Food & drink in Japan
AThe InsideJapan team could wax lyrical about Japanese food for hours.
From the country's freshest sashimi at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market to hearty octopus-filled dumplings at an Osaka streetside stall, to warming winter crab stew and cherry blossom-flavoured ice cream, there are always more regional and seasonal specialities to savour.
You don't have to take just our word for it! Japanese cuisine, or washoku, has just been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. French food is the only other national cuisine on the list - although certain Turkish and Mexican dishes are recognised. And Tokyo has again been crowned the city with more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world.
And don't forget the drink! The Japanese have turned a humble cup of green tea into a cherished art form, while sake, the indigenous brew made from fermented rice, is great fun to drink from tiny porcelain cups served either hot or cold. Throw into the mix excellent local beers and whisky? Well go on, you are on holiday!
A world apart from finicky kaiseki fine dining, ramen is Japanese soul food that appeals to old and young, rich and poor.
Insider Experience: Osaka street food
Take a street food tour of Osaka's exciting Nanba district with one of "Insider" experts
Tokyo cooking class
While eating Japanese cuisine is the highlight of any trip to Japan, it's nothing compared to learning how to cook it yourself.
Oysters and Chablis on Miyajima
Watch the sun go down on Miyajima Island with some of the freshest locally farmed oysters washed down with a glass of fine wine
Golden Gai night tour
Once Japan's black market, now Tokyo's backstreet drinking dens; there's a lot of fun to be found in the bars of Golden Gai.
Kaiseki cooking with a Michelin star chef
Become a kaiseki haute cuisine pro under the instruction of a top Tokyo chef.
Green tea harvesting
Help out on the farm by picking some of Japan's finest green tea leaves.
Yokohama Cup Noodle museum
We all love cup noodles! Create your own at Yokohama's newest museum.
Try a sake crawl between traditional breweries in Takayama's old town.
Hiroshima casual dining
Try okonomiyaki - a savoury pancake-style dish
Japanese kitchen knives
Cooking enthusiasts must head to Kappabashi Street or Tsukiji market to buy world-class Japanese knives.
Evening with a sake expert
Got a taste for Japanese sake? Learn to distinguish the best from the not-so-good varieties with a sake expert.
Make Japanese confectionery with a pâtissier
Meet one of Tokyo's top patisserie chefs for a lesson in the preparation of Japanese sweets.
Tsukiji fish market tasting tour
Take a guided tour of the world's largest wholesale fish market.
Soba noodle making
Make your very own buckwheat soba noodles before wolfing them down for lunch.
Kobe Beef is known all over the world for being tender and full of flavour so, whichever way it is served, you are in for a treat!
Lunch at the Tokyo Skytree
Dine at the vertiginous heights of the world's tallest tower: Tokyo's 634 m Skytree.
Make your own sushi
Roll up your sleeves and have a go at making your own sushi in Kyoto
Whisky distillery tours
Yamazaki, one of Japan's most famous whisky brands offers insightful tours of their distilleries.
Five day Japanese cooking course
Spend five days in Kyoto on an intensive cooking course. What better way to get to know a culture, than by learning to cook its food?
Shojin-ryori: vegan Buddhist cuisine
If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you must try “devotional cuisine” at a Buddhist temple.
Koshu vineyard tour & wine tasting
Explore the vineyards of Yamanashi and try the wine at several family-run wineries.
Vegan-friendly cooking class
Learn to cook Japanese-style without compromising your vegan values at this special cooking school in Kanazawa