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Sushi, tempura, yakitori, katsudon, okonomiyaki, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, nabe, yakisoba Ė the variety of Japanese food is extraordinary and one of the highlights of any trip to Japan is the chance to experience just quite how good Japanese food is. Over the last decade Japanese food has grown in popularity across the globe with nearly every city in the UK boasting a Japanese restaurant Ė something that would have been unthinkable only ten years ago.

However, for all itís popularity Japanese food is still a bit of a mystery in the west. For sure everyone knows sushi but even this most well known of Japanese foods is somewhat misunderstood. For starters, an almost universal misconception is that sushi is raw fish. In actual fact the term sushi refers to the lightly vinegared rice upon which (amongst other things) raw fish is placed either on top of (nigiri zushi) or rolled inside of (maiki zushi). Slices of raw fish served on their own with soy sauce and wasabi (the spicy green mustard which catches so many people by surprise!) is known as sashimi.

Aside from sushi and sashimi though, Japanese cuisine offers all manner of delights from kaiseiki with its extremely refined dishes and immaculate presentation, to okonomiyaki, a kind of pancake where you just throw it all in and cook on a hot plate.

To help you get a little bit extra out of your adventures in the world of Japanese food, we have designed a number of food related experiences for you to enjoy. So whether you are looking to get hands on and try a spot of cooking yourself, or just want those eating out experiences you might otherwise miss, we are sure that one of our Japanese food experiences will be a fantastic addition to your trip.

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Izakaya Experience


Dine out at an izakaya, Japan's own unique take on pub dining. Japan has a huge number of restaurants. In Tokyo alone there are an estimated 200,000. These cover the full spectrum of styles of food and price - from tiny noodle shops under the railway tracks serving delicious ramen noodles in hot broth for 600 yen, to exclusive by invitation only eateries where a meal can cost as much as 100,000 yen per head.

However, perhaps one of the most enjoyable places to eat is an izakaya. These lively eateries are the preferred after work dinner spots for Japan's legions of salarymen. They are fun and lively and always offer a wide range of both Japanese and Asian-Western fusion dishes all at a very affordable price. However, they are not always easy to find, often being located several stories up and with no English signage.

Exclusive to InsideJapan Tours, on our izakaya experience will your English speaking guide will take you to one of their favourite izakaya. As well as translating the menu for you, they will be able to explain about all the dishes and also give you a few insights into this relatively unknown side of Japanese eating out. With all food and drinks included, this is a fantastic way to get to enjoy the mainstay of the Japanese eating-out experience.

Izakaya are open 365 days a year so our izakaya experience is also available on any day of your visit. However, do keep in mind that this may be harder to book in peak Japanese holiday seasons such as New Year, Golden Week (end of April / beginning of May) and Obon (middle of August)

Our izakaya experience is available in Tokyo and can be taken in any district of the city.

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Plan your trip

Many thanks for taking the time to browse our web-site. We very much hope you are enjoying the site we have put together and that it has inspired you to contact us and take the first steps towards your holiday in Japan!

There are many things to consider when planning your Japan trip: time of year you wish to travel; how long you have available; where in Japan you want to go; the things you wish to experience; what budget you have available to name but a few.

Our Tailored Trip Enquiry Form is designed so we can get as clear an idea as possible as to what will make the perfect Japan trip for you.

After we have received your enquiry, one of our Japan-expert travel consultants will get in touch to discuss your trip in more detail so as we can out together a proposal for you. We donít ask for any money upfront to put together a quote and most importantly, every quote we do is 100% tailored for you.

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Donít have time to fill in our Fully Tailored Trip form? Submit a quick Email Enquiry instead.

Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009