“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.
In Japan, rice has a history of over 2000 years. It is the staple of the Japanese diet, and with its long history comes an irreplaceable importance to the culture and daily lives of the people.
In Japan, New Year's is one of the busiest time of the year but also one of the most festive! We'd like to take this opportunity to share with everyone some of the fun foods and activities you'll only be able to experience around this season.
Matcha (抹茶) is a powdered green tea. Known for its particularly strong flavor, it holds a special place in Japanese culture as the leading role in the Japanese tea ceremony, where it is served along with a confectionary sweet, known as wagashi (和菓子).
When dining at an izakaya in Japan, one is bound to notice the word shochu (pronounced show-chew) while glossing over the list of alcoholic beverages. Typically lesser known than the popular “sake” (which refers to nihonshu), shochu is a widely enjoyed versatile drink that is created through a fairly intricate brewing process.
Kaiseki embodies the fundamental concepts in washoku, such as the attention to the seasons, and the emphasis on using natural local ingredients to create an eating experience that is not only delicious, but also demonstrates how preparation and execution of a meal can be an art form.
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.
When people are asked to think of a food or drink they associate with Japan, one of the first things that comes to mind is none other than sake, Japan's national beverage. Global consumption of sake has been growing steadily in recent years, and people around the world are coming to recognize its distinct qualities.
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?
This winter season in Japan welcomes a rare experience of traditional holiday events, food, and unique Japanese holiday cheer. Japan’s winter skies are crisp with sunny weather, making it the perfect time for sightseeing and taking breathtaking photos.
Autumn is arguably the best time to be in Japan.For many people in Japan, autumn marks the end of hectic summer vacations, signaling a transition to a season filled with delicious food, gorgeous scenery, and a flourishing of the arts.
Japan has four seasons, and the people of Japan traditionally have had numerous ways to enjoy each of them. They place great importance on the progression of the four seasons, and have developed their culture and leisure activities around it. The ancestors of today's Japanese population thought up numerous special ways to escape the summer heat.