Japanese Ingredients: 8 Foods of Summer’s Seasonal Bounty

Japanese culture is famous for its emphasis on seasonality, a tradition that springs from the country’s varied climate with four distinct seasons and its Shinto background, a religion based on worshiping nature and natural forces. Even in modern times, this appreciation of all things natural can be seen in the various seasonal celebrations as well as Japan’s emphasis on eating foods at the peak of their seasonal freshness.

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Japanese Cold Noodles: Culinary Cool in the Heat of Summer

Noodles are an undeniably delectable staple the Japanese culinary repertoire. From temptingly thick udon noodles to tantalizingly thin buckwheat soba noodles, to wavy or long and straight ramen noodles, noodles come in every shape and texture in Japan and are enjoyed year-round. However, when temperature heats up and the days become languid with humidity, it is not a steaming bowl of noodles and hot soup, but rather a bowl of Japanese cold noodles, often chilled to perfection, that provides a refreshing respite from the sultry summer weather. Here are four essential Japanese noodle dishes for summer and some of the best places to enjoy them across the country.

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Yokohama Chinatown Restaurants: 6 Great Gems of Chuka-ryori

Yokohama Chinatown, located about 30 minutes away from Tokyo by train, is the largest Chinatown in Japan and throughout Asia. The busy district was established in the late 1800s as an international port and today is a popular urban destination both for sightseeing and dining. Yokohama Chinatown is bordered by four colorful gates, one on each side, and contains over 250 Chinese-owned or Chinese-themed shops and restaurants within the space of about 300 square meters. It’s an excellent place to try various styles of Chinese food, from spicy Sichuan cuisine to Taiwanese Chinese food to the Japanese style of Chinese food known as chuka-ryori. Here are 6 Yokohama Chinatown restaurants that offer a tantalizing glimpse into the wide variety of Chinese cuisine that the area has to offer.

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