FOOD & DRINK
The Japanese cuisine is highly celebrated world wide for its quality and taste and is a major tourist attraction.
Generally Japanese Cuisine is a mix of staple foods (including noodles, rice), soup and several items made up of vegetables, crabs, fish, tofu and meat.
Some of the most celebrated Japanese are:
Sushi: Sushi may refer to any dish that contains sushi rice, cooked white rice flavored with seasoned rice vinegar. There are various kinds of sushi dishes, such as nigirizushi (hand formed sushi), makizushi (rolled sushi), and chirashi (sushi rice topped with raw fish). Sushi is the most famous Japanese dish outside of Japan, and one of the most popular dishes among the Japanese themselves.
Donburi : Donburi refers to a bowl of plain cooked rice with some other food on top of it. Donburi are served at specialty restaurants, but they are also a common dish that can be found on all kinds of restaurants' menus. Some of the most popular varieties are gyudon (stewed beef), katsudon (tonkatsu), tendon (tempura), oyakodon (chicken and egg), tekkadon(maguro), and kaisendon (raw seafood).
Rice Balls (Onigiri): Onigiri are made of cooked rice and are usually wrapped in nori seaweed. They are usually seasoned with salt and often contain a filling such as umeboshi (pickled Japanese plum), okaka (dried bonito shavings and konbu), or salmon. Rice balls are a popular and inexpensive portable snack available at convenience stores, but are also served at restaurants & izakaya.
Sashimi: Sashimi is raw seafood. A large number of fish can be enjoyed raw if they are fresh and prepared correctly. Most types of sashimi are enjoyed with soy sauce and wasabi.
Yakizakana: Yakizakana means grilled fish. Many varieties of fish are enjoyed in this way, especially mackaral (saba), sweetfish (ayu), and hoke.
There are various Japanese noodle dishes which are very popular in Japan, and are served both hot and cold depending on the season.
Soba: Soba are native Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour or a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour. Soba are about as thick as spaghetti, and are served either hot or cold and with various toppings.
Udon: Udon are Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. Udon are thicker than soba and are also served either hot or cold and with various toppings such as fried tofu (kitsune udon), tempura (tempura udon), and mountain vegetables (sansai udon).
Ramen: Ramen is Chinese style noodles prepared in a soup with various toppings. Ramen is one of the many popular dishes that were originally introduced from China but have become completely Japanized over time.
Somen: Like Udon noodles, somen are Japanese noodles made of wheat flour, but they are much thinner than Udon and Soba. Somen are usually eaten cold and are considered a summer speciality.
Yakisoba: Yakisoba are grilled or fried Chinese style noodles mixed with pieces of meat, cabbage, carrots, or other vegetables, and garnished with red ginger. It is a popular festival food.
Omuraisu: Omuraisu, short for omelete rice, is fried rice wrapped in a thin egg omelete. Omuraisu is usually shaped like an American football and may be garnished with ketchup or demi-glace sauce. It is a common diner or cafe food, although specialty omuraisu restaurants also exist.Bento Bento, or boxed meals, are inexpensive, single portion take out meals served in a box. They usually consist of small portions of meat, vegetables, fish, or pickles together with rice. Bento come in both hot and cold varieties and are sold at specialty restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores, and are a favorite item at train stations (ekiben) and airports (soraben).
Tempura: Tempura consists of seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, or meat coated with batter and deep fried. Tempura has a light, but crispy texture, that may be dipped in a sauce before eating. Tempura was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and has become one of Japan's most famous dishes internationally.
Okonomiyaki: Okonomiyaki is a type of pancake where various ingredients such as seafood, vegetables and meat are mixed into a batter and grilled. Okonomiyaki specialty restaurants have a large hotplate built into the table where the patrons cook their own food.
One of the first things that visitors always notice about Japan is the sheernumber of vending machines all over the country. They sell all sorts ofthings, butmostly drinks, all sorts of drinks: from Calpis (Similar to vanilla yogurt, with a light milky and acidic flavor), to Greentea (ryokucha). If it's alcohol you're after, Sake is the national alcoholic drink. Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice. In Japanese, the word sake may also loosely refer to other types of alcoholic beverage. The word nihonshu (literally, "Japan alcoholic beverage") is used to distinguish true sake from other beverages. In English, the word sake never refers to anything other thannihonshu. Umeshu is a Japanese liqueur made from ume (plums) fruits(while still green), sugar and Shochu (alcohol) or sake.
If you want to try cooking some Japanese recipes click here.