Japan: food and travel guides

A taste of Japan

by Great British Chefs 19 July 2021

Discover all the recipes, ingredients, produce and flavours that make Japanese cuisine one of the most respected and beloved in the world.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Ask chefs where they think has the most advanced food culture in the world, and many of them will point to Japan. With a focus on quality produce like nowhere else, a dedication to pure, clean flavours and some of the most interesting ingredients in existence, a life-changing meal is never too far away when you're in the country. Visiting places such as the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo has become a bit of a foodie pilgrimage for those obsessed with quality, while hallowed gastronomic sushi restaurants serve bitesized morsels of unmatched clarity across the island. However, while sushi is the most well-known Japanese food, there's so much more to experience – ramen, for instance, has grown a cult-like following other dishes can only dream of, while kaiseki, izakaya and donburi are sub-categories of Japanese cooking which each focus on different dishes and cooking techniques.

Whether you're planning a food-focused trip to Japan and want to know more about what's on offer, or you fancy cooking more Japanese food at home, we've got all the guides, recipes and insights you need about one of the world's most exciting cuisines below.

Japanese all-stars

SushiSushi: the home of Japanese flavour

For those after the very best ingredients and products Japan has to offer, SushiSushi is the site to turn to. Owner Stuart Turner (or 'Sushi Stu') scours the country for hidden culinary gems and makes them available to top chefs and eager home cooks back in the UK.

Flavours of Japan

Namayasai: the home of UK-grown Japanese produce

On a sleepy farm in the Sussex countryside, you can find yuzu, Tokyo turnips and dozens more fresh Japanese fruits and vegetables. Welcome to Namayasai.


Shuko Oda's udon noodles

If you want the perfect example of the pure, fresh, clean flavours of Japanese cuisine, then a bowl of fresh udon noodles in dashi is the dish to cook. Watch udon master Shuko Oda show you exactly how to make them, then get the recipe here.


A sushi masterclass

Want an all-star crash course in making sushi at home? Chef Hideki Hiwatashi's three-part video masterclass is the perfect place to begin. Watch the series here.

Introducing Dutch yellowtail

Sashimi is so often associated with tuna, but for a far more sustainable and equally delicious fish, The Kingfish Company's Dutch yellowtail is making waves in the world of sushi. Get to know more about this very special fish and how it's produced in The Netherlands.


The UK's top Japanese chefs


A sprinkle of magic

Furikake and shichimi togarashi are two key seasonings or spice blends from Japan. Make your own for guaranteed freshness with the two recipes above.


Merii Kurisumasu!

Christmas in Japan is ‘more Santa Claus than Jesus’ as Katie Smith finds out when she talks to Ken Yamada, chef and co-founder of the London-based Japanese restaurants Tonkotsu and Tsuru.


A tale of two cities

Hiroshima and Kobe might not be the first places you turn to when planning a trip to Japan, but they have some incredible food and drink scenes which deserve more attention. From Kobe's legendary Wagyu beef to Hiroshima's oysters and okonomiyaki pancakes, take a look at what's on offer.