Savouring the delights of Japanese cuisine on its home turf is half the reason to come to Japan, and you can easily build an itinerary around trying regional specialities and dining in sublime restaurants. Eat just one meal in a top-flight Tokyo sushi restaurant – or gulp down fresh noodles at a station counter – and you’ll see why.
There’s more to Japanese food than sushi, including tempura, yakitori, and shabu-shabu, but part of what makes travel here so fascinating is the variety of national and regional dishes. Every prefecture, it seems, has is own style of noodles, its locally grown vegetables, its delicacies, and unique dishes, whether it’s mountain vegetables in Takayama or hairy crabs in Hokkaido. Japan is also renowned for sake, with about 10,000 varieties available throughout the country.