Strangely enough, though, there is not a lot of information regarding wagyu outside of Japan. What do most people know about it in foreign countries? It’s fatty and tender, it’s pricey and served usually in tiny portions. And the best there is is called Kobe beef.
It is here as well as in the neighboring town of Minobu that you can find the most renowned of Fuji’s Five Lakes, Kawaguchi Lake. Fujikawaguchiko is also home to the famous Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge from which many take breathtaking photos of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. It is also in this small town, that you’ll find the lovely restaurant of Funari.
You can eat sea urchin sushi at any time of the year in many of Japan's sushi restaurants, but people who really love uni recommend eating it in Hokkaido, especially when it's in season. Newly picked Shakotan uni is so fresh that you can still taste the sea. It is so creamy, it melts in your mouth.
My love affair with Japanese cuisine actually began at Itami Airport, at a chain restaurant named KATSUKURA. Katsukura was where I had my first experience eating tonkatsu, which is a pork cutlet coated with panko, fried and served with a small cup of rice, a small cup of miso soup, and a small cabbage salad.
On my recent trip to Nara, I was lucky to visit Kinatei, a cosy vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant serves Japanese and Chinese style vegan dishes, and everything is homemade and organic. I got off at Kintetsu Line’s Nara Station and did a little sightseeing before coming, so the walk was a bit far.
While Sendai isn’t known for very much beyond its Tanabata festival and grave site of Date Masamune, the city is making competition to be the food capital of the country. Other cities might be a kitchen, but Sendai chooses to be a science lab. Those with an adventurous stomach will enjoy every mouthful.
Okonomiyaki is a type of savory dish that looks like a pancake – it might be known as the Japanese pancake or pizza is some countries, like in Indonesia. Okonomiyaki Chitose is a small food shop at the back of an alley in Shin-Imamiya, Osaka. It has been running since 1959 under the hands of Hideki-san.
In fact there are a wide variety of Japanese foods and most of them are unfamiliar to the Western traveller. This is inconvenient to the short term traveller because you can only eat so many meals in a day and few resources tell you what to look for when you really want to search for the truly unusual stuff. So here is a short list of some things you, or your friends, have probably never eaten.
Each of the three restaurants visited in this article are located in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa. In each, the integrity of the ingredients is held to an Ishikawan standard; that is, if it is good enough for the world’s top chefs, it is good enough for you.