However, when it comes to eating, there are plenty of options available across the entire price spectrum — assuming you know where to look. You can either spend your evenings splashing out on high-end traditional dining, or scrape some pennies together for a (surprisingly delicious) convenience store banquet. Whatever the state of your finances we’ve got your covered.
That’s because eating horse isn’t taboo at all in Japan — in fact, it’s very common. Much like in France and Italy, people in Japan tend not to draw a line between horses and their other farmyard friends when writing up their menus. It wasn’t always this way however, as at one time eating horse could land you in some serious trouble with the government and religious authorities.
Ramen is a delicious Japanese dish famous the world over. From easy cup noodles devoured by hungry students to steaming bowls of broth and pork prepared artfully by master chefs for hours or even days at a time, all the styles of this popular food share a common ancestor and history. Learn the complicated techniques and wide variety of ingredients that make this simple soup of noodles and broth a global favorite.
Japanese whisky is some of the finest in the world, and Japanese distilleries take their art seriously. This elite group of craftsmen produce a wide range of blended and single-malt whiskies enjoyed around the globe. These exclusive spirits feature flavors and notes you can’t find in whisky from anywhere else. For whisky lovers, it’s a growing market with an ever-increasing list of fine brands and bottlings to enjoy.
Raw seafood may seem like a strange ingredient to Westerners, but in Japan, it’s perfectly normal. In fact, it has a long history that’s led to its current popularity. Many traditions surround its use, and professional chefs prepare it in different and particular ways. Of course, the factor that ties it all together is that it’s delicious.
One thing that can be confusing is the terms “matcha” and “green tea” are often used interchangeably. While both are derived from the same plant sources, there are a number of differences between the two drinks – in both taste and nutritional content. What they have in common is both are delicious, and both are widely consumed in Japan – you’ll no doubt have many occasions to enjoy both delicacies on a Japanese trip.
Japanese snack food is more than just delicious. It’s often strange and unique in a way you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why travelers to Japan love to bring examples of it back with them when they leave. Not only are these treats great additions to the pantry, they’re excellent souvenirs to surprise your family and friends and give them a little taste of Japanese culture.
Known as the “sampuru” by the Japanese which translates to mean sample, these food replicas are a glance into what to expect at the restaurant — from the actual bowl to toppings and side dishes included. The details of the food replicas can even boil down to the bubbles of oil in a ramen bowl. The best part of these food replicas is that it acts as a visual menu to point at, for those of us who are lacking in the survival Japanese language. If a picture says a thousand words, an actual 3D model of the meal will speak volumes.
The Japanese diet is lauded as being extremely healthy, with experts drawing strong correlations between what the Japanese eat and their increased life expectancy. Sushi is no exception to this rule – most variations boast a winning combination of fish, vegetables and rice; ingredients which get two thumbs up from nutritional specialists. Of course, as with any food, there are unhealthy variants of sushi – for example, the deep-fried varieties (tempura) are high in saturated fat, and not suited for every day consumption (unless you’re hankering after a heart attack). It is also worth noting that sushi is not necessarily low in calories – oily fish can pack a caloric punch, so don’t confuse “health-boosting” with “weight loss promoting”.
Ramen is the iconic staple dish of Japan, being something that you must try during your trip here. Made from noodles, mixed with savory broth and topped with various toppings unique to each type, Ramen is definitely something you do not want to miss out on, and is far from the typical instant Maruchan noodles we Americans are so accustomed to eating.