Japan is awesome because it’s so different from the West. Old and new blend together in such harmony that it creates an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world.

While these differences make Japan an incredible place to visit, they also make it hard to understand.

This is especially true with food.

Travelers will often have a fantastic meal that they can’t remember the name of. Or try something kind of familiar, like sushi, but be unable to explain why it’s so much better in Japan.

We’re here to help

Our mission is to help you understand Japanese food and culture more deeply than the average tourist.

To do that here’s a selection of our writing on Japanese food and travel to get you started.

Food

If you’re going to spend time in Tokyo, be sure to check out Eat Tokyo, a book we wrote about Tokyo’s food culture.

Eat Tokyo will introduce you to Japanese food with a focus on Tokyo. Learn about the most distinctive dishes, some basic etiquette, and the 15 most distinctive neighborhoods. You’ll know where to go, what to eat, and how to navigate Japanese food etiquette.

For a look at Tokyo’s ramen scene, we introduce you to five of our favorite ramen joints.

Travel

If the food isn’t enticing enough, here are some more reasons to visit Japan.

Japan has a reputation for being extremely expensive and many people avoid going because of it. While it’s certainly not cheap, Japan doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

Don’t overlook the natural beauty. There are beaches, mountains, and beautiful forests all over the country. For a little inspiration, check out this look at Hokkaido’s natural beauty.

Or see Oita, a hot spring hotspot in southern Japan.

https://eattalktraveljapan.com/2017/07/oita-japan-the-perfect-weekend-trip/

Japanese

Also, be aware that not many Japanese people speak fluent English. Some speak a little, but you shouldn’t assume that you can get by without any Japanese.

We’ve written a couple articles to prepare you for basic communication. You won’t be having deep conversations, but you should know enough to get by when traveling.

Here are ten phrases for basic conversation and some common restaurant phrases.