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.
Nagoya is the capital of Aichi prefecture, and the largest city in the central Chubu region of Japan. Chubu, and the Aichi area in particular, is famous for its soybean farming and production of miso, a traditional Japanese ingredient of fermented soybean paste. Thanks to its location between Tokyo and Osaka, Nagoya has been influenced by the dining scenes of both cities, but it is also known for a number of local foods, including tebasaki chicken wings and hatcho miso (a type of red miso) which is used in various regional dishes.
Japanese fireworks, or hanabi (meaning “flowers of fire”), are a tradition that goes back several centuries. Arriving to Japan during the Edo period, the art of making fireworks has become a major artistic endeavor with master artisans crafting stunning spectacles to be displayed at the fireworks festivals known as hanabi taikai. While in other countries firework displays are typically held as part of holiday celebrations, in Japan, fireworks festivals have become an important summer tradition and usually take place alongside large rivers to help people keep cool in the heat. Read on for four of the most renowned Tokyo fireworks festivals of summer, along with recommendations for great places to indulge in great food and drinks before or after the show.