Food and Drink

When you travel there are many things to enjoy – culture, history and of course, food!

We know you might be thinking that Japanese cuisine is full of fish and of course it does feature heavily on menus, but there is much more on offer than simply sushi as our team have been finding out.

The Japanese are rightly proud of their heritage and their food – Tokyo for instance has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else in the world – but there is more on offer than that – at great prices and in unlikely places.

Our team have recently returned from Japan with these tasty tips for you. From beer to street food, beef to mango, there is so much to choose from and we hope you dig in!

What our team said

“The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was the first shrine I visited in Japan and was also the first opportunity to try a local delicacy,” said Kane Hazard, one of our Event Co-ordinators.

The approach to the shrine is lined with shops, one of which sells Umegae Mochi. We saw the intricate process as it was being made and only waited a few minutes for our very own fresh batch!

We learned that the sweet treat was invented in the town of Dazaifu – a 30-minute drive from central Fukuoka. Umegae Mochi is a sweet dumpling filled with red bean paste and wrapped in mochi – rice cake. This traditional sweet dumpling is best eaten hot off the grill and is largely only found in the Fukuoka prefecture. The cost was only 100 yen and well worth it.

My drink of choice in Japan was something you can’t get away from…green tea! Whether you drink it cold, hot or have various Matcha based food items, green tea in whatever form is synonymous with Japanese culture.

Our guides told us there are approximately 70,000 people over the age of 100 in Japan – and it’s all down to the green tea. It is slightly bitter in taste but makes a nice change to your usual bottle of water or juice-based drink – also a great way to fit in!"

Beef and Beer

Both Grace Cadman and Emma Fox, also Event Co-ordinators, loved the beef in Kobe.

“The beef was exceptional and cooked to absolute perfection,” they said. “We experienced the Teppanyaki style cooking where the chef cooks it right in front of you. It was amazing watching the chef using his knife skills and cooking techniques; it was more of a show rather than just a meal out!

The meat came with a variety of vegetables and sauces, the chef explained to us how best to eat the meal and which sauces we should use for each item and is something I am not going to forget in a hurry.”

While they both loved the beef, their drinks choices couldn’t be more different!

“It’s a rugby tour so you have to know where to get a pint from,” Emma said. “We went on the Premium Tour at Sapporo Beer Museum and it was a great way of finding out about the history of Japanese Beer.

For clients, my suggestion is that the Premium Tour is a must do in Sapporo. After the tour you get to sample two glasses of draft beer: Sapporo Beer’s flagship product Sapporo Draft Beer Black Label and Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei beer. You also get shown the best way to pour a pint! It was great to learn the history of the beer and find out where it all began!"

Grace opted for a more natural refreshment in Miyazaki from a street stall close to the Aoshima Shrine just off the beach.

“The great thing about Japan is that there are so many options to choose from at street stalls. My drink was shaved ice with mango, Miyazaki is famous for mangoes as it’s the only place in Japan with the climate to grow them.

The drink comes with shaved ice and mango juice at the bottom and chunks of frozen mango on the top and was delicious.”

Japanese Cuisine

Sarah McDonald, Event Team Leader, was captivated by the traditional offerings of Japanese cuisine.

From beautiful soy sauce, vegetable and noodle ramen in Sapporo to plum wine, it goes to show it’s easy to sample local food.

“The plum wine is sweet and sour and can be enjoyed whatever the weather – I would thoroughly recommend it to any fan during the tournament – the ramen was filling and hot and delicious. My advice would be just to give it a try.”