An early, two-hour ride on the bullet train brought me to one of the most postcard-worthy cities in the world. After hastily dropping off the bags at the hotel, I set off to enjoy the first rays of sun sipping through the bamboo forest of Arashiyama and wrapped up the day savoring matcha in a tea house of Gion.
Japan, aka the nation of noodles, offers more than just ramen. In The Land of the Rising Sun you can taste virtually any type of noodle – hot or cold, white or grey, flour or rice, and with or without broth.
Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit made from many different base ingredients that reveals itself in a variety of aromas and flavors, and can be consumed many ways. It makes a nice addition to any liquor cabinet and, as it’s distilled, will keep for a long time if stored in a cool and dry spot.
Summer in Japan gets scorching and steamy. Mid-summer Temperatures often reach 95 F or higher depending on the region. Along with beer, watermelon and soomen (cold udon noodle), kakigoori (shaved ice) is a popular cold food that cools us down during summer.
Every culture has its own rules regarding etiquette. In Japan, some of these rules are straightforward while others are more subtle. One of the basic concepts of Japanese society is to maintain social harmony by respecting how others might feel.
Ancient Egyptians consumed wine-soaked lilies to boost sexual performance. Aztec leaders drank melted hot chocolate. The Assyrians bathed in saffron infusions. Oysters, chili, avocado, asparagus, figs, vanilla, nutmeg, basil, duck eggs containing a fetus—the spectrum of aphrodisiacs throughout history is broad.
A brisk shinkansen ride from Tokyo through the bamboo-covered hills and rice paddies will bring you to Kanazawa, a charming coastal town often compared to Kyoto and referred to as the hidden pearl of the Japan Sea.