While traveling, some people tend to have just a light breakfast at their hotel, but there are plenty of intriguing options. Get up early to sample the morning fare at a café set amid the season’s fresh greenery. Visit a lively market where you can tuck into a rice bowl brimming with fresh seafood. Step back in history with breakfast at a traditional Kyoto machiya townhouse. Or try your hand at preparing a traditional Japanese breakfast yourself. Here are ideas to give your day a memorable start.
When hunger pangs strike, enjoy lunch at some of Japan’s most popular restaurants—from an udon-noodle joint to a French-accented monja comfort-food maker and a long-established purveyor of traditional rice balls. Buy lunch to go from a farm that’s leading the way in natural field management. Or sit down for cutting-edge shojin–ryori vegetarian temple cuisine, or certified halal offerings.
Fermentation is the foundation of Japanese cuisine. Soy sauce, miso, and sake are all born through the action of microorganisms and the careful attention given to the process by skilled workers. We visit makers of fermented products and introduce several restaurants using fermented foods to create delicious dishes.
Repasts to Remember
There are so many great restaurants all over Japan—from washoku and sushi to Chinese and French—that we’re spoiled for choice. Michelin-starred establishments, in particular, are a must on every gourmet’s list. In addition, visitors to Japan should make a point of dining at places with counter bars and open kitchens, where the chefs’ virtuoso skills add spice to very special meals.