From north to south, Japanese cuisine varies greatly and adventurous eaters will be spoilt for choice with the number of weird and wonderful dishes to sample. Culinary experiences are in abundance in Japan, such as learning how to roll your own sushi, enjoying a traditional tea ceremony or visiting a local market. Food is at the heart of the country and a great source of national pride, so getting stuck in with one of these unique experiences is bound to be a holiday highlight.
Tokyo for foodies
In Tokyo, the Mandarin Oriental is a mecca for food lovers. Offering unforgettable vistas, incredible dining experiences and no less than three Michelin starred restaurants, the Mandarin Oriental is a true treat for the taste buds. Elsewhere in the city, take a visit to Tsukuji fish market, one of the largest and most historical fish markets on earth, and be rewarded by sampling of the world’s best seafood in the outer market. Whilst fine dining options are in abundance in Tokyo, some of the best eateries are to be found in the most unassuming of places. In a subway station, look out for a hubbub surrounding popular street vendors, a long queue is a reliable starting point to find a delicious mid-afternoon snack.
Authentic Japanese cuisine
One of the most authentic ways to eat Japanese cuisine is tucking into a ten course Kaiseki banquet in the comfort of a ryokan. These traditional Japanese inns are a wonderful insight into olden day Japan and the food is an incredible testament to the timelessness of Japanese cuisine, its age old traditions and unique customs. Dish after impeccably presented dish is brought to your table, fusing the flavours of Japan old and new, and they are all washed down with sake.
Dining is often an interactive experience. From preparing your own Okonomiyaki, a DIY pizza if you will, to barbecuing your own Yakiniku, or grilled meat, getting to grips with Japan’s flavours makes for a truly exciting experience. Sample Sukiyaba or Shabu Shabu, broths which bubble with the flavours of sake, soy and sugar and served with beef, vegetables and noodles for incredibly fresh and flavoursome dishes you’ll be vowing to recreate at home.
Our top tips
It’s important to bear in mind that restaurant reservations are notoriously hard to get hold of in Japan so booking in advance is crucial to secure sought after tables. No matter where you are, the endless choice of dining options, from street eats to fine dining, hold the key to unlocking the secrets of sushi, sashimi and soba.