When it comes to Japan’s northernmost prefecture, most epicureans likely envision refreshingly chilled ale, expertly braised cuts of succulent Genghis Khan mutton and delectable mountains of cheese and other dairy products. While the culinary prominence of Hokkaido’s meat and dairy products is undeniable, ignoring its teeming seafood culture would not only be cruel to your stomach, but would serve to discount those who have made it their life’s work. Nowhere is this dedication to craft, seasonal excellence and exceptional flavor more apparent than in the realm of sushi and sashimi, where master chefs effortlessly mold the ocean’s bounty to their whims for your pleasure. Come out of the cold with these 7 top-notch Sapporo sushi restaurant recommendations.
When people talk about Fukuoka ramen, connoisseurs immediately understand that they are actually referring to Hakata, a Fukuoka city ward. A typical bowl of Hakata ramen starts with the soup broth, comprised of gelatinous stock made with bones from every part of the pig, creating a rich, bold flavor and distinctive, meaty aroma. The thin, straight noodles are served at a firm al dente due to their shorter cooking time, and as people in old Hakata could attest, one helping is never enough!
As ramen is so ubiquitous in Fukuoka, with a shop on nearly every corner, how do you distinguish between the average and the extraordinary? Here are 5 shops that rise above the fray, each rightfully considered the best ramen in Fukuoka.
Sake has continually maintained its place as the country’s quintessential libation of sophistication and good taste. Often referred to as “rice wine” overseas, the fermentation process taken upon master sake craftsman is much more akin to brewing a fine ale than fermenting grapes for wine. Like wine, however, there are an endless number of lesser-known craft labels, each with wholly unique flavors and complexity that often cannot be found in foreign markets. To truly understand the art of sake, you must come to Japan—but even then there is much to learn before taking the first sip.
Japan has plenty to offer for the discerning diner. With the changing seasons comes a range of tantalizing tastes, each offering a truly elevated epicurean experience. Spring weather brings delicately flavored vegetables and edible buds and shoots; and warmer ocean currents draw fresh seafood closer to the coast. Read on to discover more about this special time of year, imbued with fleeting sensations so beloved that the Japanese people actually dub them, “the taste of spring.” Here are just a few of the essential Japanese ingredients that are at their best in springtime.
Over 1,200 years old, Japan’s most historic city and former capital is a top travel destination not only for its UNESCO world heritage sites but also for its amazing culinary delights. Kyoto has a vibrant nightlife, and the gastronomically inclined on an evening outing should look no further than one of Kyoto’s many izakaya. An integral part of Japanese food culture both high and low, izakaya have long been the place where Japanese people go to unwind after a long day. For good food, good drinks, and a heavy dose of traditional Japan, here are 10 Kyoto izakaya that are sure to more than satisfy your epicurean desires.
For a few weeks every spring, Tokyo becomes awash in shades of pink and white as the sakura trees come into bloom. Because Japanese cherry blossoms appear for only a short window each year, it’s easy to blink and miss them—a fleeting reminder of the beautiful but transient nature of life. What better way to enjoy hanami, or sakura viewing, and reflect upon the season than with fine food, drink, and company at one of Tokyo’s many excellent eateries? Here are four must-visit restaurants in Tokyo with an unforgettable view of the cherry blossoms.
Tokyo’s Ginza is a glittering upscale oasis that, for discerning epicureans, offers a veritable cornucopia of culinary possibilities. Contemporary eateries coexist with traditional establishments, all united by the common pillars of quality, service, and unwavering commitment to gathering only the finest ingredients. Read on to discover why Ginza is especially renowned for its flourishing seafood and sushi scene—and learn about the very best places to experiencethe freshness for yourself!