If you ever need a good reason to travel to Japan, the food should be top of the list. Japanese food is really amazing. The first thing most people think of is sushi, but Japanese cuisine is so much more than this. The very best way to discover Japanese food isn’t at the local restaurant in your home town though… you need to travel to Japan and try the real Japanese food.
Start with what you know
The easiest way to ease into exploring the Japanese food styles is to start with what you already know. Most of us know what sushi is, and have probably tried it, and even enjoy it. The most popular form of sushi is norimaki – rice and fish rolled in seaweed. Following that is nigiri, balls of rice topped with fish or egg. You can also try out temaki, inari, gunkan oshizushi and chirashi. All of these dishes consist of rice, vegetables and seafood in different, yet incredibly tasty combinations. Make sure you dip your sushi in soy sauce and wasabi and top it with a slice of pickled ginger to make the experience complete. Noodles for you and for me
Japanese food can include dozens of varieties of noodles. Some are made from buckwheat soba and others from regular wheat. The noodles can be served hot or cold and are delicious either way. Yakisoba noodles are fried and served with vegetables, ginger and meat. The Japanese also have a dish that is similar to the ramen noodle soup popular in China.
Branching out to other things
Other foods you can try are things like tempura, seafood and vegetables coated with tempura batter and deep fried. Gyoza dumplings are very good. They are usually filled with chopped vegetables or minced meat and then steamed. Okonomiyaki is an interesting and flavourful cross between a pizza and a pancake. It is quick to make and easy to eat, and available almost everywhere.
The Japanese have also brought in food styles from around the world, and then adapted them to their own unique cooking styles producing what is called yoshoku. A few that you should try out are omuraisu omelets, hayashi beef slices and the Japanese hamburger known as hamubagu.
Round it out with a cup of tea
You can round out the experience with a nice cup of green tea. This tasty tea should be available everywhere from your hotel dining room to street kiosks. Remember to hold the cup with one hand and support it from below with your other hand.