A Taste of Tradition & Harmony
"The humble Izakaya - possibly Japan’s answer to Cichetti or Tapas, offers small, inexpensive bites in a predominantly drinking establishment, and can be found dotted around train stations throughout the country."
“タイ も 一人 和 うまからず” - Eaten alone, even sea bream loses its flavour
Japan | A Food Journey
The Seasons of Japan | Best Time to Travel
Conte recommends travelling to see the mainland Cherry Blossoms between late March and early April - those looking to travel off-season could enjoy them as early as January in the well-kept secret of Okinawa and the southern islands. Summer (June to August) is the rainy season in Japan. It is hot and humid. For a winter ski vacation, visit the northern region of Hokkaido for powder snow that is at its deepest from January to March.
Flight Time (New York to Tokyo) - 14 hours and 30 minutes
Flight Time (Singapore to Tokyo) - 6 hours 40 minutes
Flight Time (London to Tokyo) - 13 hours 45 minutes
Rewarding, culturally rich and decisively moreish, the cuisine you will experience in Japan is a gateway to understanding the people and communities who built the Japan we know today. From the traditional washoku dishes which prioritise fresh, local produce, precise production skills and aesthetic presentation to the modern street food markets selling beloved takoyaki and yakitori, Japan is a culinary montage of unparalleled effect.
Differing not only in the type of food offered but also in the curated element of participation, Japanese restaurants have many different styles of dining to try. The humble izakaya - possibly Japan’s answer to cichetti or tapas, offers small, inexpensive bites in a predominantly drinking establishment, and can be found dotted around train stations throughout the country. In the modern metropolis of Tokyo, you might find yourself seated at an exclusive omakase. Here, the chef will curate a bespoke offering for their guests, of which there are often no more than 12, and serve it in a selected order to maximise the guest’s experience of the skills and ingredients on show - this sort of dining is simply not found elsewhere in the world.
Further west you’ll find no shortage of fine dining and local choice either. From the heritage-soaked 3-star Mizai in Kyoto to the neon-laden Dotonbori district in Osaka, food is a way of life - the phrase ‘kuidaore’ (‘eat until you drop’) was even created to describe the food culture of the locals in the latter. Depending on where your travels take you, there is much to be explored; from learning about the rare procurement of ginseng on Daikonjima Island to smoking and fermenting your own skipjack tuna for katsuobushi, it’s impossible to visit this glorious location without having a deep impression of the symbiotic relationship between the people, culture, and development into the country Japan is today.