Japanese Food – 8 Places that make the Land of the Rising Sun a Foodie’s Paradise
The beautiful island country of Japan, situated in North-West Pacific Ocean is a unique world, celebrated globally for its language, culture, art, and food. Whenever we think about Japanese food, the first things that come to our minds are Sushi, Samurai, Anime, Cherry Blossoms, Origami, Tea Ceremonies, etc. although the diverse country has much more to offer. Japan also boasts of a rich history of thousands of years, with many different rulers and their various contributions all come together to make the country what it is now – a global force.
Japanese food like sushi, sashimi, matcha, and ramen is popular around the world and now have had a global impact in the world of cuisines. But, Japan has a lot more to offer than that which is available in the international section of our grocery stores. For a foodie, traveling means food, and therefore, here are some of the special local fares from different parts of Japan that will make a food traveler’s heart race with excitement.
Hokkaido for Cheese and Dairy
Cheese in Japanese food is really popular and goes well with the sea-food dominated and spicy Japanese palette. Hokkaido prefecture is the center for the delicious cheese and dairy products. One of the special dishes of the region is the Cheese Tart – a buttery pastry tart filled with a flavourful sweet cheesy filling that should not be missed in Japanese Food Tour.
Kobe for Wagyu Beef
Wagyu beef is one of the most famous beefs in the world that is procured from Japanese cattle. Kobe Beef is a particular breed of Wagyu that is marbled and very tender and is a great addition to a Japanese hot-pot.
Tokyo for Monjayaki
Famous for street food and bar hopping, Tokyo has a unique blend of eclectic food items. One such item is Monjayaki, a soft savory pancake full of meat, cabbage, and fish. There is also a street nakes after it in Tokyo called Monjayaki Street. Tokyo is the best place to try this popular street-food.
Osaka for Takoyaki
Takoyaki is another cult-favorite Japanese dish – a fried ball of dough stuffed with little pieces of octopus. There are many dedicated Takoyaki restaurants in Osaka and one can find one such place in almost every corner, it’s so popular. Nowadays Takoyaki has also been experimented with widely and various customizations can be done to the dish according to the preference of condiments and sides.
Kyoto for Sake
Kyoto is the best place to try the patent national drink of Japan – Sake. There can be no Japanese cuisine with sake and Kyoto, sitting at the meeting point of natural and artificial waterways, as well as filled with sweet-water reservoirs beneath, is one of the best Sake hubs of Japan. Kyoto has the highest concentration of Sake breweries and even a Sake museum. Don’t miss to include Kyoto in your Japanese Food Tour Itinerary.
Kawagoe for Yakitori
Yakitori or grilled chicken skewers is a well-known dish in Japan and the best Yakitori can be found in Kawagoe, about 30 minutes away from Tokyo. A special local addition to the traditional dish is a red spicy paste that enhances the hot quotient of the mild meaty dish.
Yokohama for Ramen
Legend has it that the first shop that sold ramen, possibly the most widely-available item of Japanese food in the world, was in Yokohama. The region also has a dedicated annual ramen festival and is a great place to try out authentic Japanese ramen. It also boasts of a ramen museum, a must-visit for foodies.
Uji for Matcha
Matcha is a fine powder made of green tea leaves that are traditionally served as hot tea, even though recently there has been a spike of match flavored goodies like matcha cookies, ice-cream, cakes, etc. This tea is very healthy and has a lot of nutritional value and has been in use for Japanese Tea Ceremonies since about the 12th Century. Uji is also called the ‘Town of Matcha’ and is famous for the beverage.
Japanese food, in addition to all these signature dishes, is also about the complex assortment of different kinds of beverages – both traditional and new, a vibrant bunch of flavorings in chips and chocolates, and lots of unusual experimentation in street foods. All of this comes together to make Japan the Foodies’ Paradise that it is and make it a sensory adventure.