UNESCO has added Japanese cuisine to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list and it is easy to understand why with their focus on tradition related to the production, preparation and consumption of food and the use of fresh seasonal produce.
You’ll have the chance to sample delicious sushi, sashimi, yakitori, teppanyaki, ramen and more in Japan. It’s time to take a look at some of the flavours for the more adventurous travellers.
1. Japanese Icecream
Of course all of the usual flavours are available but beware the stranger jellyfish, raw horsemeat, octopus, python or cow tongue flavours!
Candied baby crab – it’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s crab….
3. Kit Kats
Kit Kats are one of Japan’s most popular snacks. Here you can buy anything from strawberry cheesecake to wasabi flavoured chocolate.
Nankotsu looks a lot like karaage chicken (those delicious, deep fried morsels of chicken) but is decidedly grittier in texture. It’s still chicken but instead of the tender thigh it makes use of the cartilage. Order these at a local Izakaya (Japanese pub).
These steamed and fermented soy beans are one of Japan’s traditional dishes but their slimy consistency is said to make them a challenge for some to stomach. Natto has a distinctive smell that has been likened to a strong cheese.
Bonus food-related fact: Takeshi Kaga
Did you know Takeshi Kaga, Chairman Kaga of Iron Chef fame, is a well-respected stage and film actor? He has played the lead roles of both Jean Valjean and Javert in the Japanese production of Les Misérables. In 1995, he was the Japanese representative at the 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Test your tastebuds for yourself on one of our small group tours to Japan.
For more information and travel tips, visit the Japan National Tourism Organization.