Whether you are a casual cook or a skilled chef; in order to fully understand a country’s cuisine and culture, it’s an excellent idea to experience it up close on a culinary tour – especially if that country happens to be Japan.
With personal guidance from professional chefs, filmmakers, architects and other local culture vultures; trips organized by operators such as Culture Bites offer a deep insight into Japanese cuisine, including all aspects of making it and enjoying it to the full
Participants on such tours can learn the subtleties of buying ingredients at local markets, the skill of using native cooking instruments, and of course, the techniques used to prepare many different superb Japanese dishes.
Either in home kitchen settings or world class restaurants, visitors find out how to cook regional dishes from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, with well researched methods demonstrated daily. Local specialists are recruited to guide the tours and they offer all manner of interesting information, as well as taking participants to a range of culinary and cultural locations, from sake breweries to venerable temple shrines.
The trips also take in specialty shops where the creation of Japan’s many unique desserts is a fine art, or street food areas like izkaya in Tokyo, where the thrilling blur of neon lights melds with the fragrant aromas of cooking stalls selling every type of Japanese delicacy imaginable.
Traditional Japanese cuisine, or washoku, is acknowledged as some of the healthiest food on the planet, and those who create it every day certainly justify the food’s recent designation as a UNESCO “intangible cultural heritage”.
Participants on a culinary tour in Japan can enjoy evening drinks with fellow foodies, either partaking in the treats of their own making, or those prepared by expert local cooks. All aspects of the trip are carefully designed to suit specific interests, tastes and budgets, including accommodation, sites to visit, and the style of the personalized cooking lessons.