Since food is a very serious business in Japan, it’s no surprise that Japanese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world.
Time-tested preparation techniques, combined with great attention paid to the provenance of ingredients, is what lies at the heart of Japanese cooking, and even the utensils used are just as highly valued as the chefs preparing the mouthwatering food.
This attention to detail means that you will dine like royalty throughout your stay, whether you’re eating in a fine dining restaurant or sampling a hot broth at a neighbourhood noodle bar.
Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. From late March to mid-April, or even early May, the country’s iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) capture the attention of visitors and locals as their beautiful flowers blanket the country in soft pink splendor.
Each spring, the cherry blossoms burst into bloom across Japan. Cherry blossom season starts from Kyushu in southwestern Japan around late March, and all the way up to northward, Tohoku and Hokkaido in late spring.
In Japan, the most common cherry trees are Somei-Yoshino, with masses of pale pink blossoms. Don’t miss the elegant shidare-zakura, weeping cherry trees, which often grow in parks and along riverbanks.
Award-winning restaurants in Japan can be found easier elsewhere given those reputation for fine cuisine. However, there are endless opportunities to dine in exceptional establishments, whether you wish to try something on the experimental side or keep things super-traditional.
Deeply influenced by four different seasons and shaped by the region in which it is served, an exploration of Japanese cuisine could last a lifetime, with enough variety to cater for even the most demanding of plates. Whether you seek a sake-paired tasting menu or an opulent private dining affair, the food of Japan will never disappoint you!
In a country with a cultural diversity as rich as Japan, traditions change from region to region and village to village. To experience the many cultural differences, travel like a local across the Japanese countryside and get a glimpse of a way of life away from the urban bustle in small scenic villages surrounded by rice fields, mountains, rivers and lakes.
The richness and incredible diversity of culture and the arts in Japan is the result of the combination of indigenous culture complemented by the addition and skillful adaptation of cultural imports, historically mainly from China and korea, but with considerable Western imports also. Many cultural forms have been lost in their home countries but are still preserved in Japan. Most of the fascinating ancient practices and traditions are still very much alive, and remain a part of everyday life for Japanese people. On your travels, you can delve into the country’s multi-faceted culture, explore and experience authentic Japanese rituals and traditions by taking part in a tea ceremony with local experts, watching sumo wrestlers practice, or spending the night in a temple and joining the monks in their daily routine.