To tell you the truth, Niall and I were more excited about eating Japanese food than doing anything else when planning our travels to Japan.
We have a love affair with Japanese food. During our many conversations about our favourite cuisines over the years, Japanese food has always ranked very highly for the both of us. (For me, it is too difficult to pick between my native cuisine – Chinese – and Japanese food to nominate as my absolute favourite). We even have trouble picking a favourite Japanese dish – it is ALL good!
We are happy to report that Japan certainly did not disappoint.
Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the world, and is home to an amazing array of eateries for the hungry traveller to explore – from the weird and wacky themed restaurants to the hyper-traditional culinary experiences. There was certainly something available for all types of food cravings and budgets in Tokyo! Kyoto, on the other hand, is world-famous for its (Buddhist) vegetarian cuisine, tofu, and sweets. Overall, we felt you had to try really hard (or be really unlucky) to have a terrible meal in Japan.
Rice and noodle dishes
Rice and noodles are staple foods in Japanese cuisine, and remain two of the most important ingredients in Japanese cooking. We encountered the following dishes in an array of eateries – from proper restaurants to vending machine restaurants!
Sushi and sashimi
Such care and technique goes into the preparation of sushi and sashimi dishes – it’s no wonder why these delicacies cost a little more at restaurants in Japan! Luckily, however, delicious and fresh sushi is also available at supermarkets and department stores at cheaper prices, so there really is no excuse for not indulging!
Snacks and street food
One needs to keep their energy up whilst out and about when travelling. Luckily for us, Japan is full of really yummy snacks and really well-made pastries that can be purchased from konbini (convenience stores), bakeries, and street food stalls. Trying the huge variety of snack foods in Japan was by far our most favourite part of this food adventure!
Other delicious goodies
Japan is dotted with drinks vending machines everywhere! It is almost impossible to go thirsty here. What is even more amazing is that you can pick between cold or hot beverages to purchase, too! Wow! We also tried many delicious Japanese beers, whiskeys (not pictured), sakes, and umeshus… The Japanese definitely know how to make excellent drops to drink and be merry with!