“Irasshai!” Customers are greeted by the Japanese word for “welcome” as they enter a traditional sushi restaurant. They are led to the counter seat, and decide to do “omakase,” leaving the responsibility of choosing the selection of fish to the chef. The chef knows best; which order to eat, what fish is in season, and which fish is especially good on that particular day.
While the term literally means "Japanese food," in reality the term refers to a much broader and important cultural concept. In 2013, washoku was actually added to UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritages. The organization's explanation of washoku reveals why it is so much more than food, and why it deserves to be enshrined as an invaluable part of world culture.
Wasabi (わさび), Japanese horseradish, is a root vegetable eaten with many Japanese dishes. Many of you have probably seen wasabi in the form of a finely grated green paste with your sushi, sashimi, or soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles). But did you know that even in Japan, most of the wasabi eaten is, in fact, not “real” wasabi? Then what have you been eating all along?
Number one on the "top 10 places to go" list in Japan in TIME magazine online, the Tsukiji Fish Market definitely has its own charms that all fish lovers (and even those less attached to sea creatures), should not miss out on. We have provided this short guide to visiting and enjoying the Tsukiji Fish Market.