Kaiseki dining is Japan’s traditional haute cuisine, a tasting course of small, elegant dishes precisely prepared to evoke the flavors and imagery of the season. While Kyoto is the birthplace of kaiseki, Tokyo, with its world-class dining offers its own inimitable kaiseki dining scene, influenced by the cooking styles of various regions across Japan. Here are 11 must-try kaiseki restaurants from Japan’s metropolitan capital city.
Yakiniku is a Japanese meal of grilled (“yaki”) meat (“niku”), and most often involves diners cooking meat around a grill on a table front of them. Adopted from Korean cuisine, yakiniku became widespread throughout Japan in the 20th century. Oftentimes yakiniku restaurants have other dishes that people can order, but the meats and sauces are the main components to a yakiniku experience. The grilled meat is then dipped by the customer in sauce and eaten. The sauce for these dishes oftentimes can be savory and sweet, but other flavor combinations such as sour and spicy can be added as well. The flavor of the sauce depends on the restaurant, and the variety of sauces at yakiniku restaurants can be a reason for someone to visit many of them. Osaka, historically a mercantile city located in the south-central region of Japan’s main island, is a place that has many fantastic yakiniku restaurants for residents and travelers to enjoy–read on to discover some of these!
Yakitori is a popular type of Japanese food consisting of skewered chicken meat cooked typically over a charcoal grill, where “yaki” means to grill and “tori” is bird. The meat can come from all different parts of the chicken–from the neck, crest, breast, wings, heart, liver, and more. Vegetables such as shiitake mushrooms, green peppers and cherry tomatoes may also feature either with the chicken or separately on skewers. Yakitori is often flavored with salt or a soy sauce-based sauce known as tare, and is usually eaten as casual-style snack or meal with drinks. Read on to discover some of the best places for yakitori in Tokyo.
Japanese cuisine is one of the most popular foods worldwide, with sushi and ramen restaurants found all around the globe. Japan’s traditional cuisine, known as “washoku”, is prized for its balance of flavors, use of fresh and healthy vegetables, and focus on harmony with nature. Read on for a list of Japanese foods to try.
With its picturesque streets and atmosphere of bygone times, the peaceful city of Kanazawa has rightfully earned the moniker “Little Kyoto.” Kanazawa has convenient access to bountiful catches from the Sea of Japan, fertile lands for growing some of the country’s best produce and rice, and fresh spring water sourced from nearby mountains.
As the capital of Ishikawa prefecture located on the west coast of Japan’s Honshu island, the seaside city has evolved into a popular destination for domestic and international gourmands, boasting many restaurants that focus on promoting the areas natural assets. We hope you will make a point to visit Kanazawa while in Japan; and to help you with your journey, we’ve put together this list of 11 Kanazawa restaurants that fully capture the high-culture cuisine the city has become famous for.
Skewered foods, known as kushiyaki, feature delectable bites of meat and vegetables that go perfectly with beer or sake. “Kushi” refers to the bamboo skewers used to spear the ingredients, while “yaki” means grilled or fried.
Eating grilled meat on sticks is a Japanese tradition that dates back to at least the 17th century. Although for some time eating meat was forbidden in Japan due to Buddhist conventions, during the Meiji period of modernization people began to eat meat again and shops specializing in grilled meat on skewers took off. In the period between WWI and WWII, the battered and deep-fried skewers known as kushiage or kushikatsu also became popular. Today, both grilled and fried kushiyaki can be savored with all kinds of meat and vegetables.
Yokohama is a vibrant port city located directly to the south of Tokyo. It’s considered part of the Greater Tokyo Area, a metropolis that encompasses Tokyo, Yokohama, and Saitama, but has its own unique character that sets it apart from its neighbors. As one of the first port cities to open to foreign trade in Japan, Yokohama has cultivated an international vibe that is clearly reflected in the massive variety of dining options found within its city limits. Check out these 12 select Yokohama restaurants that span the breadth of local and international cuisine.
The city of Kyoto is one of the top destinations in the world for both travel and fine dining. This ancient former capital of Japan is known for its luscious scenery, countless historical sites, and excellent dining scene. Kyoto particularly specializes in washoku, or traditional Japanese cuisine, which has been declared a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage treasure, but offers a wide range of restaurants for any cuisine. Read on to discover 14 restaurants in Kyoto that demonstrate why it is truly a culinary capital.
Japan is a country that was relatively late when it comes to eating beef, due to Buddhist tradition which forbade eating meat. However, during the Meiji era the country adopted a more Western-style diet as it aimed to modernize. Today, Japan is one of the best places to enjoy an excellent steak thanks to the generations of artisan cattle farmers who have carefully raised regional varieties of Japanese domestic cattle, known as “wagyu”.
The fabulous Okinawa Islands are located in the southwest of Japan, and are a popular tourist destination for their sunny climate, stunning beaches, breezier pace of life, and the traditional culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Ryukyu Islands officially became a part of Japan in 1879 as “Okinawa prefecture”. However, the islands and their people have managed to retain their own unique character, charm, and cuisine. Here’s a selection of 12 restaurants that offer an authentic taste of Okinawan dining.