The best way for foodies to discover and master a country’s cuisine is first-hand, which is why exploring the culinary traditions of Japan is a fascinating and inspiring way to spend a holiday.
Culinary tours are designed to captivate and empower those who have a real interest in learning all aspects of cooking Japanese food, but prefer not to gain their knowledge from a book.
Well-organized food tours such as those run by Culture Bites go far beyond basic learning by providing expert one-to-one cooking lessons. Such trips also include visits to everyday eateries, speciality food outlets and top-tier restaurants, making each experience personal, fun and unique.
A culinary tour is Japan will, of course, feature tastings and explanations of classic dishes like ramen and sushi. You might learn, for example, that so-called “Chinese noodles” – originally a mix of wheat and lotus flours, served in a broth – were reportedly first eaten in Japan by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the Mito domain’s (now Ibaraki Prefecture’s) second lord.
Meanwhile, tailored cooking classes go beyond simple demonstrations, encouraging participants to learn at the elbow of a renowned professional chef. Visits to local markets offer insights into common ingredients such as chuka soba, and participants even learn details such as how to shop for the best pork to braise for the soup, and how to test the freshness of bamboo shoots and eggs.
The best Japanese food adventures are specifically designed to match participants’ interests and wish lists, and they also allow time to explore the country’s intriguing cities. Cultural sites are included in the itinerary with personal guided tours and discussions on the historical and current importance of locations, architecture and art.
In this way, culinary tours offer a deep and full taste of the dishes, drinks and culture behind Japanese life, at the same time offering glimpses inside kitchens that most people will never see.