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Cuisine in Japan - Enchanting Travels Japan tours Japanese food

Cuisine in Japan

What can you expect from the cuisine in Japan? Here are the top Japan food tips from our experts.

Did you know that Tokyo city boasts the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world?

Traditional and innovative at the same time, Japanese cuisine is characterized by its seasonality, exquisite ingredients and presentation. Having indulged their love for unique flavors and the best culinary encounters, our destination experts share their favorite food experiences in Japan. Delve into the delicious flavors of Tokyo, discover the fluffiest pancakes in Osaka or the best street food of Kyoto – Japanese cuisine is yours to discover!

Food in Japan is usually a combination of rice or noodles with a soup, and okazu made from meat, fish or vegetables. Add some miso, dashi or soy to the dish and your meal is complete! The Japanese are fervent believers of five basic tastes that appease the palate – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory, or umami. Considered a distinct flavor in itself by scientists the world over, you can taste umami flavors in meaty broths served by ubiquitous street food trucks in Tokyo.

Discover the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, especially a special variety called chirashi or ‘Scattered Sushi’, which includes the freshest cut-offs served on a donburi (rice bowl dish). Walk into Ebisu Yokocho food arcade in Tokyo – a congregation of small street side shops selling delicious street food, from yakitori to sashimi. It is literally one of the tastiest neighborhood in Tokyo, where aromas of fried meat and sake entice your senses.

Japanese matcha is a finely ground green tea powder and just one cup is believed to be as good as ten cups of regular green tea. Sample the deliciousness when you visit tea plantations of Uji from Kyoto. Listed as UNESCO Intangible World Heritage, the intricacies of Japanese cuisine and the beloved bento box, is best discovered with an Enchanting Travels private Japanese cooking class in Kyoto.

Osaka’s famous restaurant street of Dotonbori is a food lover’s paradise. Stop by colorful eateries, ramen bars and upscale restaurants on your gourmet food tour.

Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
Japan's vibrant food culture makes it to our top 10 food destinations

Cuisine in Japan – What to eat

Sample some of Japan’s best food.

  • Sushi: Cooked vinegar rice with other ingredients such as raw fish and seafood.
  • Sashimi: Fresh raw fish sliced into thin pieces.
  • Tempura: A Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been covered in a light batter and deep fried.
  • Nabemono: A variety of one-pot dishes, usually chicken, fish, tofu, or vegetables, simmered in a light, fish-based broth.
  • Shabu-shabu: A dish prepared at the table with a combination of vegetables, but cooked in boiling broth.
  • Teppanyaki: A style that uses an iron griddle to cook dishes such as steak, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Yakitori: Small pieces of chicken meat skewered on a bamboo stick and cooked over hot coals.
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