FOOD & DRINK
In so many areas of Japanese culture, presentation is just as important as practicality.
Traditional Japanese food is no exception. The look of the food is just as important as the taste.
In fact, this nation takes food and drink so seriously that behind their celebrity game shows, cookery programmes
are the next popular genre of television.
Below are some generic foods of Japan. There are of course many other dishes and regional variations, too many for us to mention all of them..
The idea that Sushi is just raw fish is a myth. While raw fish can often be an ingredient of sushi it is by no means everything. In fact it is the vinegarized rice accompanying it which categorises it as Sushi.
Traditional Sashimi consists of thinly sliced raw fish accompanied with soy sauce and wasabi. While it may sound aesthetically bland, the manner in which it is garnished makes all the difference
A meal consisting of thinly sliced beef, an assortment of vegetables and tofu etc..cooked on a communal pan with soy sauce and other seasoning and then dipped in raw egg before eating.
Originally a dish thought up by the Portuguese, this is deep fried vegetables and seafood, battered in flour, water and egg.
While ramen is originally a Chinese creation it has been thoroughly integrated into Japanese cuisine and out of the 3 types of Japanese noodle is the most popular
The noodles in udon are much thicker than other types of noodles and therefore takes a little longer to prepare.
The soba noodles are made of buckwheat and wheat flour which is what gives it that brown appearance.
There are a number of different teas to try in Japan: sencha, gyokuro, maccha (above image), bancha are just a few types that the Japanese often drink.
Unlike the tea we drink in the UK, sugar and milk is never added to tea in Japan. Cans and bottles of tea can also be bought in supermarkets and vending machines outselling sugary drinks such as cola.
It is also normal practice to receive a complimentary cup of tea in restaurants to accompany one's meal.
Otherwise known as 'rice wine', is traditionally Japan's favorite alcoholic beverage (although nowadays beer sales have overshadowed this).
It can be served either hot or cold and keeps one warm during those cold winter months.
Sake hangovers however are amongst the worst and so one should take care not to drink too much.
Usually made from rice, sweet potato, sugar cane or barley, this is another alcoholic favorite in Japan.
When diluted and flavoured with fruits such as lemon or grapefruit, it then becomes 'chuhai' and could be thoughtof as a Japanese style alco-pop.