Japan: A Pescetarian’s Paradise

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Having dietary requirements when visiting Japan can add extra challenges to your holiday, but with the help of your travel consultant, tour leader or guide, and Info-Pack you should still be able to have a delicious time in Japan, no matter what you eat; vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian or otherwise!

If you happen to be a pesky pescetarian like me, you needn’t worry. My recent trip to Japan has reminded me that Japan really is a pescetarian’s paradise.

If you’re not squeamish about sushi and want to try the freshest fish you’ll ever taste, you can’t do better than a visit to one of the world’s largest fish markets, Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. To be honest, I previously hadn’t seen the attraction of visiting this working wholesale market, but now I’ve been to the bustling hive of activity that is Tsukiji I totally get it! Watch your back as you walk around though – you don’t want to get hit by one of the forklift trucks whizzing around or slip in something soggy and end up with fish guts on your clothes!

Octopus at Tsukiji Fish Market
Octopus at Tsukiji Fish Market

The wonderful array of colourful fish at Tsukiji, everything from massive tuna to tiny tiddlers, really is quite a sight to see. If you’re lucky, you might get a taste of some fresh sashimi as you’re walking around, but if you want to be sure to try some fish, I recommend having a sushi breakfast or brunch at one of the many restaurants in and around the market.

Dinner?
Dinner?

Of course, delicious fish isn’t only found in Tokyo. Wherever you go in Japan you’ll be sure to run into tasty sushi, sashimi, and of course cooked fish too. If you’re keen to try a taste of real Japan, I highly recommend choosing the Japanese breakfast in your hotel instead of the Western breakfast, if there’s the option (many hotels with buffet breakfasts offer Japanese food as well as Western, and this is a great way to try a Japanese breakfast, especially if you’re not sure you’re going to like it). A simple breakfast of rice, miso soup and grilled fish makes for a really healthy start to the day, and will fuel you up for a day of sightseeing wherever you are!

A Japanese style breakfast - a perfect start to the day
A Japanese style breakfast – a perfect start to the day

Coming from England, I’m used to having to search for sushi. Sure, sushi is available in most major supermarkets now, but it’s often so inedible it barely deserves the right to be called sushi! However, in Japan you’ll find that all convenience stores (conbinis) sell reasonably priced and delicious packs of sushi, which make a great lunch or even dinner if you don’t fancy going out. Many sandwiches and other lunch options in Japan will contain meat, but if you eat fish and like sushi you’ll be spoilt for choice!

'Chirashi-zushi' (scattered sushi) from the convenience store
‘Chirashi-zushi’ (scattered sushi) from the convenience store

Wherever you visit in Japan you’ll notice that the fish is fresh and delicious, however it’s prepared. Whether you try an ‘iwana’ fish freshly caught from the rivers of Kamikochi and grilled over and open fire, or a tuna mayonnaise rice ball from the convenience store, you’ll be sure to enjoy it!

Iwana in Kamikochi
Iwana in Kamikochi

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