Japan: The Ultimate Culinary Journey

Our latest travel experience is now a done deal and, of course, we couldn’t fail to document it. This time, we embark on a culinary journey to the Land of the Rising Sun – Japan. Renowned for its rich culinary heritage, this country manages to offer a feast for the senses, effortlessly passing from perfectly traditional flavours to surprisingly flavorful twists. Leaving this description, we’re sure you’re already drooling, so let’s get started!


Sushi: A small bite of fine art

Our first gastronomic stop is the heart of Japanese cuisine: the famous Japanese sushi. Visiting Tokyo’s bustling Tsukiji market, we watched the morning tuna auctions and were lucky enough to taste the freshest sashimi we’ve ever laid eyes on. Every piece of sushi, from the buttery otoro (a type of fatty tuna) to the delicate ebi (prawn), was a testament to the craftsmanship and precision that Japanese chefs put into each of their creations. But we didn’t stop there, our need for culinary discovery into the heart of flavours led us to taste all sorts of sushi: From nigiri, which is handmade pressed rice with slices of raw fish, to sashimi (slices of raw fish), to the classic maki, which is sushi with rice and filling wrapped in seaweed, to temaki, the hand-wrapped seaweed cones filled with rice, fish and vegetables.


Ramen: A moist culinary delight

We next entered the magical world of ramen, a comforting bowl of noodle soup, perfect for any weather, which has recently become a culinary trend in our country as well. From the rich, porky tonkotsu ramen in Kyushu to the soy sauce-filled shoyu ramen in Tokyo, each region offers its own unique version. Our favorite was a tiny ramen-ya in Sapporo, where we enjoyed the savory and slightly sweet miso ramen, with corn and butter.


Street food adventures

The street food scene in Japan, as in every corner of Asia, is vibrant and full of surprises. So, satiated by the countless sushi and ramen bowls we’ve consumed over the past few days, we headed to Osaka’s Dotonbori, where we tried takoyaki – dough balls stuffed with octopus and topped with various kinds of salty sauce. These hot, crispy treats were a burst of flavour in every bite, but not the only food we tried that night, as the next was okonomiyaki, otherwise known as the Japanese version of a pancake – a savoury crepe, that is, filled with cabbage, pork and prawns, cooked to perfection on a grill.


Yakitori: The Japanese skewer

Wandering around Tokyo’s Asakusa, we found stalls selling yakitori, a dish not far from our taste buds. We found it simmering in the form of seasoned chicken skewers on grills. The smoky aroma drew us in from afar and, thus, we enjoyed these juicy, flavorful skewers with a cold and refreshing Japanese beer.


Taiyaki: A sweet little fish

For dessert, we couldn’t resist taiyaki – a fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste or cream. These sweets, with their crispy outer texture and soft, warm interior, were truly the highlight of our sweet tooth quest. Each bite revealed the perfect combination of flavors and textures, making us return again and again for more. Rumour has it we may have consumed more than 13. We suggest you don’t believe them.


Vending machines for unconventional sweets

You might think we’ve already tried too much in Japan and that we should stop, but we’re going to disappoint you. For many years now, we’ve seen tourists from all over the world curiously (and perhaps a little fearfully) sampling what the vending machine culture that dominates the Land of the Rising Sun has to offer. And so we made one last stop and we certainly can’t say we left disappointed.

In Shibuya, we came across some state-of-the-art vending machines with cameras offering everything from hot corn soup to gourmet bean-flavoured ice cream. But, as we couldn’t choose our favourite, we decided to buy one of everything: custard pudding, matcha green tea parfait, black sesame and sweet potato ice cream, dango (round rice cakes made from mochiko rice served on bamboo sticks), the famous Pocky and Pretz sticks, and finally, the familiar purin, or the crème caramel we used to eat as kids.



As our culinary adventure in Japan comes to an end, we gain a deeper insight into the country’s rich food culture and traditions. From carefully crafted sushi and hearty bowls of ramen to bustling street markets and quirky vending machines, every meal in Japan is an experience in itself. The tastes, textures and aromas we encountered are etched in our memories, and every bite tells a story of the place and its people.

While you continue your journey through the culinary delights of Japan, don’t forget to follow our Instagram page for more information and behind-the-scenes moments from the trip. For more about our travel and culinary adventures, be sure to check out our other stories on our blog.