Destination Foodie: Japan
Japan is an incredible destination for many reasons including its’ history, culture, traditions and arts, however, Japanese cuisine alone is reason enough to visit. When it comes to foods, the Japanese are among the most passionate and enthusiastic people. Careful preparation and absolutely meticulous presentation are very important elements of Japanese cuisine. To them, food is actually an art form and even the simple dishes are usually prepared by chefs who have been trained for years. As such, Japanese cuisine offers something special for every palate, and being home to a wide range of well known culinary destinations, Japan is the perfect destination for a foodie.
In the last couple of years, Japan has increasingly become one of the world’s most popular culinary destination. In the year 2013, the traditional Japanese cuisine which is known as “washoku,” was even added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Well, although Japan is famous for dishes like sushi, noodles, rice, Kobe beef, and tempura, there are lots of other amazing dishes to try. That said, lets now take a look at some of the best places to go to experience why Japan is a great destination for a foodie:
- Tokyo – Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, has the most Michelin starred restaurants of any other city on the planet, and is the perfect location to start when you are on a culinary trip. Tokyo offers everything you’ll need to get a first taste of Japanese cuisine. Here you’ll find excellent tonkotsu ramen (at Kyushu Jangara Ramen), yakiniku (at Gyukaku), and crab cream croquettes and tasty tonkatsu (at Tonkatsu Wako). Also, if you want to try the best sushi on the planet, you can go into one of Tokyo’s sushi temples. Here, it is known as Edomae zushi, in honor of Edo, which is the previous name for the city of Tokyo.
- Kyoto – As the nation’s former capital city, Kyoto has a very rich culinary tradition. It’s also home to over 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 400 Shinto shrines and over 1,500 Buddhist temples. Kyoto boasts a wide array of world class gardens, exciting festivals and all kinds of delicate cuisines. Here you can get to try amazing foods like the obanzai ryori and the aristocratic kaiseki-ryori which is a multi course banquet of amazing seasonal delicacies. You’ll also find the vegetarian version of this banquet, which is known as shojin ryori.
- Osaka – Osaka is Japan’s 2nd largest city, and it’s famous for okonomiyaki which is a batter pancake that’s topped with squid, meat, shredded vegetables, mayonnaise, sweet brown sauce, wafer thin flakes of dried tuna and powdered seaweed. Osaka is also home to lots of other amazing dishes which very few people living outside of the city know of. In addition to that, it has some of the cheapest foods in Japan, especially when you opt for traditional street foods such as takoyaki.
- Hakodate – Hakodate is one of the best places in Tokyo to try seafood. There is a huge morning market which opens every day, offering real fresh seafood products where you can enjoy delicious foods such as Kaisen Don and Sushi. Hakodate is also famous for its’ different takes on traditional Japanese noodles dish ramen, and also a lamb barbecue which is known as jingisukan. Other great dishes to try in Hakodate include; raw squid, corn chocolate and Ikura donburi.