If the idea of eating sushi turns your head, or if you’re the guy who's hunting down the McDonalds in Tuscany, then perhaps you're also the guy not too keen on the idea of Japanese cuisine. If so you’re definitely the guy this guide was made for. Japanese cuisine is some of the world’s best, and a trip to Japan without sampling the local fare would be like visiting Paris and missing the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it’s that important. So get over those reservations, read on and dig-in.
First up: Sushi. Sushi is a true gourmand's delight. Simple, stylish, and elegant; sushi is so much a Japanese culinary sensation that you can find it in the farthest-flung corners of the world (though you might be right to question eating it there). While there is no simple definition of sushi, the golden rule to eating sushi is eat fresh. The majority of it is uncooked fresh fish, though some is baked, seared, or otherwise cured by soaking overnight, which all but eliminates any potential food-borne illnesses. The ways to prepare a sushi meal vary widely, but expect some locally caught fresh fish, perhaps a seaweed wrap (nori), and sticky rice. Still squeamish about sushi? Why not try your hand at it in a sushi-making class and see how delicious it is for yourself?
Tonkatsu is another famous Japanese fare, and is essentially deep-fried pork cutlet. When you visit a tonkatsu restaurant, there may be several choices of set meals depending on the type of dipping sauce, additional sides like croquettes, and the cut of pork ordered. Try Rosu-katsu for a fatter cut of pork loin, or Hire-katsu for pork tenderloin, which is leaner and a tad healthier.
Last up is Okonomiyaki. Nowadays okonomiyaki means "cook what you like, the way you like" and has been likened to pizza. This dish is made of a flour-and-yam-based batter mixed with chopped cabbage and then pan-fried. Add toppings like cheese, bonito (fish), a fried egg, or even kimchee, and finish it off with Japanese Worcestershire sauce and a healthy dose of mayonnaise. Sound different? It is. But after all, that’s what you travel for isn't it? Make an experience out of your foray into Japanese cuisine with a Tokyo cuisine night tour and don’t miss out on a taste experience you won't soon forget.