Foodie News

Though we know many/most of us cannot travel now, due to Covid-19, we would love to continue to share our blog series in the spirit of looking forward, and to help you plan your future adventures in Japan! 

Learn about Japanese food through culture and keep up with food trends. Read and learn before your trip to Japan and use our posts to help plan what you want to eat, see and do in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and elsewhere in Japan!

Goya – The bitter(sweet) Okinawan secret to longevity

Philipp Reiher

Learn about this amazing vegetable. If you want to follow in Okinawan footsteps to find your personal ikigai, adding goya to your diet might be a first step to maintain and improve balanced nutrition and therefore, wholesomeness and a long life.

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Discover Kokorocares, the Authentic Subscription Box for Foodies

Jessica Iragne

Today we’re really excited to introduce you Lillian and Aki from Kokoro Care Packages, they specialize in authentic subscription boxes filled with premium-quality, all-natural Japanese foods delivered straight from Japan to your door.

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From Spring to Winter – Fall in Love with Japan All Year Long

Denise Aoki

Have you ever fallen in love with a place on the first day you arrived? Well, Japan is one of those countries that you can easily fall in love with on your first trip, and I daresay that you can fall in love with the land of the rising sun not only once, but four times a year!

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Fun and Interesting Alcohol in Japanese Convenience Stores

Venese

There are many types of mixers and alcohol in Japan, and Japanese convenience stores—called ‘konbini’ in Japan—sell pretty much all of them, and at really affordable prices... (find out more in this guest post from our friends at FLIPGUIDE)

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Crazy Shaped Watermelons, the secrets of the Japanese luxurious fruit

Denise Aoki

Crazy Shaped watermelons started to be produced in Kanagawa prefecture in 1980’s in order to fit better in compact Japanese refrigerators at that time. The first one created was cubic, a good shape not only to be easily stored but also to prevent it from rolling...

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Surviving Summer in Japan: ALL about Kakigori

Narumi

Shaved ice and sweet toppings, beloved by the locals. Just the signs for this summer specialty often pull us in for a sweet and heavenly cooling treat of Kakigori (かき氷).

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Eat Play Works, a concept mixing working space and delicious food in Tokyo

Norma

Eat Play Works is a new community co-working space that has found the perfect combination of comfort, tranquility and professionalism, in its 6 floors there are 17 small restaurants, conference rooms, individual and group work spaces, rest rooms, kitchenettes, among other things. The place has a design that focuses on the work needs of new generations...

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Interview with Soul Travelling

Jessica Iragne

Instagram Live sessions around the world... "Travel has been banned and people have gotten online to pacify themselves. We thought that since everyone is online, we could make the most of the opportunity by getting people connected with the heritage, culture and food all across the globe."

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Interview with Akito-san, founder of Tea Cup Trip

Jessica Iragne

Unagi, all you need to know about this Japanese tasty food

Denise Aoki

Consumed for centuries, there is no denying that Unagi is a genuine classic of Japanese traditional cuisine and a popular dish due its health benefits and delicious taste. You can find Unagi in Japan all year round but specially during summertime...

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5 Delicious Japanese Summer Foods

Denise Aoki

The Japanese summer food list is so long, colorful and delicious that it’s very difficult to choose just five of them to savor. That’s why we ended up making this selection of 5 summer food recommendations to help you choose, or to add to your bucket list.

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Umeshu: The Japanese Plum Liqueur

Eleonora Badellino

Umeshu is liqueur that derives from the preservation of plums in alcohol (the whole fruit, with their seed still inside) together with sugar. Depending on the alcohol and sugar percentage, you can get different flavors, and preparing it at home is really simple.

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5 Awesome Father’s Day Gift Ideas to Bring Japan to You

Denise Aoki

Father’s Day is almost upon us! If you are wondering what to buy for the most important man in your life on this special day, we’ve prepared 5 Father’s Day gift ideas to help you in this task.

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Slimy Yet Unexpectedly Delicious Japanese Food

Thuy Nguyen

When thinking about Japanese food, most people would immediately think about tempura, ramen, or okonomiyaki. But do you know that in Japan, there are a lot of traditional dishes that are sticky, smelly, but unexpectedly delicious? Those “bizarre” dishes are loved by locals not only for their taste, but also because of their immense health benefits and interesting textures...

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Interview with Chef, Marybeth Boller

Jessica Iragne

Today, we’re really excited to introduce you to Marybeth Boller, an amazing female chef in Japan with a world class background in Cooking seasonal, delicious dishes!

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Making Miso A Farmstay Experience

Lauren Shannon

Arigato Japan Tour-Guide Jordan and wife Satomi had the chance to stay at Minshuku Kuyama (a traditional Japanese Home-Stay) and learn how to make Miso with an expert!

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Travel Safety for Women in Japan

Petra Sufliarska

For all travelers and especially women, Japan is a safe country and consistently ranks as one of  the countries with the lowest crime rate, world wide. We hear from many of our guests that Japan felt like one of the safest countries they’ve traveled to. People often fall sleep on the train, children in elementary school age take the subway by themselves… It’s not difficult to see that local people value public safety and order.

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The Secrets to Japanese Longevity: A Food Guide

Alexandra Ziminski

In Japan, it’s not rare to see a street attendant working past retirement, or a kind 80-year-old woman still running her family soba restaurant. It’s a widely known fact that this country has some of the oldest people in the world, falling only behind Hong Kong in life expectancy. Why is this? Could it be the fantastic healthcare system, the high regard that seniors receive, or the fact that many of them remain active, getting up at 6 AM for their daily exercises? Of course these are all contributing factors, but we are missing a pretty important one: food.

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A Taste of Okinawa to Bring Home

Rae DeFrane

Okinawa, with its turquoise seas and white sand beaches, touches the heart of anyone who visits. Whether you’re strolling down Kokusai Dori or you’re dipping your feet in the seas of Ishigaki, you want to take a slice of the Okinawan lifestyle back to reality. While Kariyushi (Okinawan aloha shirts) and island made jewelry are lovely baubles, I have found that the best way to show those back home how wonderful a culture is, is to bring back a little taste of their local delicacies...

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Hanami, the Fleetingness of Beauty in a Year of Crisis

Norma

Memories of fleeting beauty and friendship. All the more important to think about wonderful past experiences and look forward to future chances when this difficult time is behind us. MEMORIES: We laughed and shared stories, talking for hours and hours under the soft rain of sakura petals. It was like a scene straight out of a fairy tale, and a smile comes across my face whenever I recall it....

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Hiroshima, Hidden Gem of the Sake World

Rob Bailey

The town of Saijo in Hiroshima is home to eight Sake breweries and is where much of the sought-after soft water is sourced along with other locally produced ingredients. The winter weather experienced in Saijo also makes it an ideal site for Sake brewing...

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Sugamo, The Local Food and Culture Adventure For Everyone

Norma

My experience taking Arigato Japan’s Food, Culture and Calligraphy Tour in Sugamo felt like a breath of fresh air. After living in Tokyo for almost five years, it is always fun to get to know places that still have that local feeling. Read more about our Sugamo Foodie adventures...

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Sakura and Matcha: A Perfect Match for Spring

Kady Potter

On the one hand, there’s sakura: sweet pink flowers, light and subtle. And on the other hand, you’ve got matcha: the green tea with a rich, earthy scent and taste.So put your hands together for the epic seasonal flavor that is sakura matcha!

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Saga Collective, Crafts to Conquer the World

Norma

It is always nice to see local efforts to highlight the best of a special place. Recently Arigato Japan had the pleasure to be invited by the Saga Collective to sample regional products from Saga Prefecture, an area on the north side of the Kyushu Island of the Japan.

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Guide of the Month From January 2020: Jordan from Tokyo

Alan Tse

Each month we choose an amazing guide and feature them here in our blog in the following month. Please meet Jordan, our amazing guide from January 2020. Our guides are all special people that love to share their passion for Japan with all our visitors...

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March 2020 Kyoto Foodie Events

Petra Sufliarska

With March marking the beginning of spring, it’s not only nature that’s entering a new season, but the foodie world as well. Have a look at a couple of the exciting events available in Kyoto this March.

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March 2020 Events in Tokyo: Cherry Blossom, and MORE!

Norma

Spring is an amazing time to explore Tokyo. Please check our March events for experiences, things to do, see, and of course TASTE during your visit to Japan!

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Yatsuhashi – Kyoto’s Famous Sweet Souvenir

Sneha Nagesh

Kyoto has innumerable souvenirs to choose from. Yet, one souvenir continues to outrank the rest. Yatsuhashi is one of the most popular souvenirs from Kyoto. Some studies have shown that over 40% of the tourists visiting Kyoto, Japanese or otherwise, take yatsuhashi back with them as a souvenir for their loved ones.

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Yanaka: Slow Down in Tokyo’s “Old Town”

Nick Colaccino

Just northeast of Ueno Park and next to Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line, Yanaka is as quaint as it is urban. From the quiet side streets around the famous Himalayan Cedar to the bustling market of Yanaka Ginza, then over to the austere temples and serene cemeteries, and down to the avante garde art houses, Yanaka is a vibrant neighborhood with a deep history.

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Top 5 Traditional Foods in Hiroshima

Darren

After WWII Hiroshima took pride in rebuilding the city, and local people also took traditional Hiroshima food to another level. Here, I will explain the top 5 traditional food dishes that you must try while you are exploring Hiroshima Prefecture during your vacation....

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7 Things You Can Strike Off Your Bucket List By Visiting Japan

Robert Baker

The Land of the Rising Sun boasts a unique culture that fascinates people all around the world. If you’ve watched films about samurais, eaten sushi in a restaurant, or taken part in martial arts training, you probably already admire some aspects of Japanese culture. But the best way to truly experience Japanese culture is by visiting Japan.

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Top 5 Date Ideas in Tokyo for Valentine’s Day 2020

Rae DeFrane

Top Tokyo Spots for Valentines 2020! Romantic and fun.

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Kaiseki Ryouri – Historical Haute Cuisine

Michelle Lam

Kaiseki ryouri evolved throughout the ages. From simple meals served at a tea ceremony to fancy Heian imperial court cuisine with influence from the Buddhist boom during the Kamakura period, to the emphasis upon balance from the Muromachi age of Samurais, modern Kaiseki cuisine has been shaped by many aspects of Japanese culture and history - and now you can taste these dishes too.

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Popular Japanese Winter Sweets

Sneha Nagesh

Traditional sweets in japan reflect the seasons in both ingredients and appearance. Inspired by nature, these delicious and beautiful desserts are a must try when you visit in Japan.

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Guide of the Month December 2019: Ida from Kyoto

Alan Tse

For foodies interested in exploring various aspects of Kyoto cuisine, I would recommend our Nishiki Market tour. This tour takes place in "Kyoto's kitchen," Nishiki market in the heart of Kyoto city. We sample local foods during the first hours of the tour, then sit down and enjoy a kaiseki (traditional Kyoto-style meal) course prepared by the chef using ingredients from the Nishiki market. Definitely a must-do for any foodie out there!

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February Events and Setsubun in Tokyo 2020

Norma

February is full of great foodie events in Tokyo. Check out our must do and see list for this wintery season! From Setsubun to Star Wars, from old traditions to new theme cafes there is something for everyone.

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Sipping Among the Stars: Milky Way Cafe in Ikebukuro

Rae DeFrane

Theme cafes and restaurants are a fun, surprising and must-try experience in Japan. When in Tokyo, head off the beaten path to MILKY WAY for a star-struck experience at this Zodiac inspired cafe in Ikebukuro...

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Osusume Japan: Miyama, A Tofu Lover’s Paradise

Todd Reczka

Driving along Route 55, we went down a short steep road to a parking lot for Konjo-In Shrine and Seibu Kyu-Jo Station. That’s where we found the restaurant, a two story house nestled in Totoro Forest. Entering through its noren curtains, the owner’s friendly voice welcomed us into a corridor glowing with lamps illuminating the paper sho-ji door...

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Best Vegan/Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto

Michelle Lam

Being vegan/vegetarian while traveling in Japan can be quite hard, especially when it comes to eating out. Most of modern Japanese cuisine consists of more meat and animal products as most veggies are imported and therefore a bit expensive. But fear not - here are some of the best places to eat with affordable AND delicious vegan cuisine in Kyoto.

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The Handkerchief, a Western Import Beloved by the Japanese

Yutaka

Like many things imported from the West, the Japanese have embraced, improved on and made handkerchiefs an indispensable part of their everyday life. In fact, Japan is now the number one market for handkerchiefs in the world and Japanese-made handkerchiefs are renown for their quality and exquisite designs.

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IRORI, Past to Present

Todd Reczka

Near the foot of Mt.Fuji is Sanrokuen (山麓園), a bold and daring Kushiyaki Irori Sumibiyaki – a Japanese style barbeque restaurant that uses fireplaces for charcoal grilling and serves food on skewers. This restaurant has preserved this traditional cooking style and the building’s unique type of architecture, and has also opened its doors to foreign tourists.

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – January 2020

Norma

Exciting foodie events and experience in Tokyo for January 2020! Check out this list if you are traveling in the Tokyo area in the first month of 2020. And Happy New Year Japan Style.

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Mochitsuki: The Traditional Art of Making Mochi

Nick Colaccino

While mochi is enjoyed year-round, it is particularly popular during the New Year’s holiday when families come together. This is important, because the traditional method of making mochi takes time and a lot of helping hands...

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What is Japanese food?

Alan Tse

How would you explain Japanese Food? That sounds like a simple question with a simple answer, right? Well, for anyone who has lived in Japan for any length of time, that question is far from simple. Each of the 47 prefectures of Japan has its own local specialty food and desserts.

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Guide of the Month November 2019: Norma from Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

Today we are happy to introduce our Guide of the Month chosen for her hard work and excellent guiding in November 2019! Norma from Tokyo

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Fun Christmas Gifs From Japan

Michelle Lam

Looking for fresh, unique gift ideas this Christmas? Japan has weird and wonderful gifts galore for foodies and hoarders. From fish sandals to Pocky collections, here are just a couple of recommendations...

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When I Say “Christmas,” You Say… “Chicken?”

Nick Colaccino

As an English teacher in rural Japan, one of my favorite “culture” lessons was teaching my first-year students the shocking truth about Christmas in my home country: we don’t devour KFC for Christmas dinner. I’ll bet that most of you reading this find it odd that I would have to clarify such a thing. But for more than 3 million families in Japan, Christmas and Kentucky Fried Chicken go together like Coca Cola and Santa.

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‘Tis The Season To Eat Nabe

Michelle Lam

As chilly winter hits and the temperature drops below zero, fellow visitors to Japan are probably wondering where to get a nice hot meal - and what to choose for the optimal flavor + warming factor...

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Why being a tour guide is a great part-time job in Japan

Ida Johansson

There are several perks to being a tour guide in a city with such a vibrant history like Kyoto. First of all, you will learn so much about the city you reside in, whether it is Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo or Hiroshima. I thought I knew a fair bit about Kyoto's culture and history before I started doing tours, but I have probably learned more about the city in these past couple of months as a tour guide than I did in two years living here.

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Recommended Tokyo Christmas Events 2020

Norma

Christmas is the time of year when the world gets caught up in the spirit of sharing love and peace. Tokyo is no exception, and during this season the city celebrates in its own unique ways.

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Japan’s Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine – Shojin Ryori

Sneha Nagesh

Until the18th century, plant-based agriculture was preferred to livestock rearing. This combined with the influence of Buddhism and Shintoism meant that most of the country harboured a vegetarian friendly diet. Emperors regularly issued meat bans and for a while, plant-based diets thrived. A version of this historic cuisine is still available today...

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Arigato Japan Christmas Giveaway – Win a food tour, a free week of Pocket Wifi or a Delicious Japanese snack box

Jessica Iragne

Arigato Japan Amazing Christmas Giveaway-- Three great prizes to thank you for all your support in 2019 and wish everyone a fantastic 2020!

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7 Types of Must Try Japanese Noodles

Thomas Chang

Noodles are a staple food in Japan. Referred to as “men”(麺), it’s as common as rice and enjoyed in many different ways such as in broth, dipped, mixed, or fried. This article will explore 7  types of noodles along with how they are different and interesting facts about them. Let's get started, shall we?

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Kyoto: 100+ Years of Food History

Michelle Lam

At Arigato Japan we believe FOOD is the best gateway to culture, customs and history and this is true even more in the ancient city of Kyoto. From tea houses more than 300 years old to restaurants that have been serving food for half a millennium, Kyoto has a rich food history that is still relevant today.

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – December 2019

Norma

December is not just about Christmas and the rush to the new year! There are great foodie events around Tokyo-- check out our top three recommendations for making delicious memories around the city.

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Traveling in Tokyo During 2020 Olympics: Tips for Your Trip

Rae DeFrane

You have your tickets. You booked your flights. You’ve reserved your accommodations. You’re finally going to Japan for the Olympics. You and the rest of the world. Tokyo is always an amazingly busy city that can be totally overwhelming, and you had better believe that it will be insane during such an exciting, global event.

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Guide of the Month October 2019: Yoshie from Kyoto

Jessica Iragne

I have been working with Arigato Japan since May 2019. Sharing Japanese food and culture with people from all over the world has been the most rewarding experience.

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Macho Bar, a bar themed around Macho Men in Kyoto

Michelle Lam

Japan is famous for weird and wacky restaurant themes, but this one is sure to carry weight. Macho Cafes or Macho Bars have recently become popular amongst locals and foreigners alike. Although it is quite pricey, you can experience Magic Mike-esque evening with muscley eye-candy.

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Golden Gai, a Cozy Bar Hopping Experience

Norma

There are places in the world that just drag you in, and this is certainly one of them. The first time I visited Golden Gai four years ago, I just couldn’t contain my excitement while looking forward to exploring all the bars in the area. We only walked around talking about how we needed to improve our Japanese skills so we could step foot into one of those amazing establishments one day.

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Yokohama: a City You Must Visit During Your Trip to Japan!

Jessica Iragne

Accessible via train from Tokyo (only 30 min from Shibuya), Yokohama is full of activities for families, friends, couples and even solo travelers. Whether you like to visit and learn new aspects of Japanese culture, lighten your wallet and go shopping, eat to your heart’s content, or Kanpai (cheers) with locals using your best Japanese, there is definitely something for everyone.

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – November 2019

Norma

Are you in Tokyo in November? Check out our top three recommended foodie happenings in Tokyo this month.

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Yaki-imo: the perfect taste of Autumn

Nick Colaccino

Let’s get this straight—yaki-imo is not your grandma’s butter-and-sour-cream, heart-attack-inducing, cholesterol bomb. Unlike traditional baked potatoes in the West that do everything to mask the bland flavor of your standard potato, yaki-imo is a call to simplicity, and the beauty it reveals....

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Interview with Kei Yuzawa, Sharing Japanese Calligraphy Around the World

Jessica Iragne

Today we are really excited to tell you more about our brand-new food tour in Tokyo, which includes a traditional calligraphy experience with experts! To do so, let us introduce the great people at ConveyJapan, who organize the calligraphy class.

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Guide of the Month September 2019: Asami from Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

I have been working in Arigato Japan since 2017. The thing I love about being a tour guide is meeting people from all over the world, and sharing Japanese culture with people who visit Japan. I also have a special interest in Sake, and I love to explain how to pair sake and food together.

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Eating on the Road: Snack Attack in Japan

Rae DeFrane

Traveling is always fun and exciting, but amongst the days of planes, trains and automobiles, one of the hardest parts of travel can be the simple act of finding your next meal. In this article, we're going to explore some fun and easy options to chow-down on the go in the land of the rising sun.

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to EricSurf6

Jessica Iragne

Teaching gives me live human to human communication which I feel we all need. Creating videos on YouTube gives me a creative outlet to reach a world wide audience. It's a comfortable balance...

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – October 2019

Norma

Monthly Foodie Events! Check out our top three recommended food happenings in Tokyo this month.

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Okiniawa’s Centuries Old Pottery Alley

Rae DeFrane

Shops are overflowing with hand-made treasures in a myriad of colours that encapsulate island life. Many of the pieces I saw were a blue that was reminiscent of the tropical seas of the region, and can only have taken inspiration from the surroundings.

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Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Belgian Tea Master in Kyoto

Jessica Iragne

Practicing the tea ceremony gave me the opportunity not only to deepen my understanding of the ritual, but simultaneously to expand my knowledge into other areas of Japanese culture because of its relation to the practice. In essence, I have come to feel that the tea ceremony is a microcosm of Japanese culture as a whole.

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OSUSUME Japan – Kyoto Brewing Company: When Worlds Collide

Nick Colaccino

Kyoto is a city that is famous for its rich and historic culture. But the beauty of culture is that it is never fixed. Innovation and exploration, defining qualities of Kyoto Brewing Company, are at the center of a cultural revolution maintaining Kyoto’s relevance in our modern world.

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Staff of the Month August 2019: Jenkie from Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

Today we're more than happy to introduce you to Jenkie, from our Tokyo team. This month is a bit special because Jenkie is not a guide but she is very important to the whole company and our operations at Arigato Japan...

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Fake Food in Japan: The World’s Most Delicious Looking Plastic

Rae DeFrane

If you have ever been to Japan, you might have seen plastic models of food in the windows of restaurants, displaying the edible counterparts that lay within. These are called ‘sampuru’ or ‘sample’ and have been part of the Japanese economy and food culture for nearly one hundred years...

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Interview with Eka Wong, author of the “Hungry in Japan” books

Jessica Iragne

Today we are so happy to ask some questions to Eka Wong, author of the "Hungry in Tokyo", "Hungry in Osaka" and "Hungry in Kyoto" books....

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The Saba Kaido: Kyoto’s Historic Mackerel Highway

Nick Colaccino

The peaks of northern Kyoto are crisscrossed with roads and trails that wind through valleys and over mountain passes to Fukui Prefecture and the Japan Sea. Since at least the Heian Period (794-1185), the mountain passes have connected the imperial capital to the port of Obama City, which was a hub for marine goods. The Saba Kaido (kaido 街道 usually translates to “old road”) that connected these ancient areas...

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – September 2019

Norma

Check on the best foodie events around Tokyo in September! Delicious craft beer, Local Gin, Markets and Moon-inspired foods for the start of the autumn season!

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Nanaya Aoyama Tokyo – Level Up Your Matcha

Rae DeFrane

Searching for real matcha flavors? Nanaya is unassuming, so you can miss it if you are not keeping an eye out for the signs. The outside is decorated with a mural of rolling, scenic hills and a blue mountain (Aoyama means ‘blue mountain’) and a few wooden chairs are the shop’s only customer seating....

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Pocketalk: your best friend for your trip to Japan

Jessica Iragne

Are you are traveling to Japan and worried about the language barrier? Pocketalk could save your travel and make you feel like a local!

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SA-SHI-SU-SE-SO The Basic Rules of Japanese Cooking

Eleonora Badellino

When you decide to start cooking Japanese Food in your kitchen, you realized that just having the best ingredients is not enough if you want to prepare a good meal...

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Ayu: Still Time to Enjoy a Taste of Summer

Nick Colaccino

Generally considered to be the most savory river fish in Japan, ayu is a staple food at the many festivals and barbecues throughout the summer months.

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5 Things You Can Do in Japan That Will Make Your Trip Special

Gel Evangelista

How can you make your trip to Japan even more special? Let’s get to know some activities that will keep you on your toes during your journey.

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Night Aquarium and Geisha performances in Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

Are you are traveling to Japan in August or September this year and you're looking for something original to do in Tokyo? Be sure to put the The Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium on your to do list!

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Tokyo Tapioca Land – A Bubble Tea Themed Park for Instagramers

Jessica Iragne

Located in Tokyo’s pop culture and fashion district of Harajuku, "Tapioca Land" is a limited-time theme park that opened on August 13. If you like boba, if you want to have fun in a unique "Only in Japan" place, and you are looking for Instagramable places, you must add this one to your list.

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Guide of the Month July 2019: Ryuichi from Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

The reason why I became a tour guide was because I’ve been to a lot of countries by myself, experienced many different cultures and I really wanted to share Japanese culture with tourists from overseas through my experiences in both Japan and other countries.

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Sukiyaki: how and where to eat this popular dish

Kirsty Bouwers

Learn about the iconic dish Sukiyaki and our recommendation of where to try a delicious version in downtown Tokyo.

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Recommended Foodie Events in Tokyo – August 2019

Norma

In Tokyo summer means festival, which is the best way to bare with the hot and humid weather of the city...Come find out festivals and events going on this month!

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Giveaway: Win a Free Consulting Call for your Trip to Japan!

Jessica Iragne

Japan is your next destination? You have so many things you want to experience but don't really know where to start? You are getting worried because you don't want to miss anything or do anything wrong? You have too many questions swirling around in your head? JUST RELAX! We're here for you!

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How to Purchase and Use a Goshuincho

Chris Hagebak

If you plan to visit some of the many beautiful shrines and temples of Japan, consider getting a goshuincho. Collecting goshuin (passport stamps) creates a remarkable personal souvenir of your visit.

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Family Friendly Eats: Eating Out and About in Japan

Rae DeFrane

Food is a beautiful and delicious way to push us out of our comfort zones and experience a new culture. That being said, food is tied tightly to our emotions, and if you are travelling with children or particularly picky-eaters, it can cause a rift in your travelling party and unneeded stress for everyone.

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Guide of the Month 2019: Gabi from Osaka

Jessica Iragne

I am Gabi, an Arigato Japan Food Tours guide in Osaka and Kyoto. I was born and raised in Brazil, but my grandfather was Japanese. He left Japan with his family around 1920 and completely adapted to life in Brazil. When I was born he was already older and I didn’t have much change to hear about Japan from him. That made me very curious about my heritage, the culture and food in Japan...

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Run (to the Supermarket)! It’s Kyoho Budo!

Nick Colaccino

Every summer, a purple monster comes down from the mountains to wreak havoc on frugivores’ wallets throughout the land. This giant’s name is Kyoho (巨峰ぶどう kyoho budo) and it’s a grape of epic proportions.

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Discovering an Ancient Art Form in the Modern World

Lauren Shannon

Hidden and exclusive you can find a dining and theatrical experience in the heart of Nihonbashi. It's very location is mysterious and as you enter you are transported back in time and into a new world...

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Why pocket wifi is the best option to stay connected while in Japan

Errol Televantos

When travelling to Japan getting connected online may seem like a bit of an impossible and confusing task, however this isn’t really the case. With the correct tools and information, connecting to the Internet can be seamless and easy. There are three main ways to get online while in Japan...

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OSUSUME Japan – Wagyu to Worldwide: Delicious Matsusaka beef burgers in Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

When we heard that a new burger restaurant opened in Tokyo, it caught our attention. BUT when we heard that this restaurant specialized in Matsusaka (a type of wagyu) Beef Burgers, we felt the urge to go there and try for ourselves!

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Arigato Japan Food tours teams up with the Japan Festival Canada 2019

Jessica Iragne

Japan Festival Canada is the largest Japanese cultural event in North America to introduce and promote Japanese culture. This year, over 80,000 guests are expected and the Festival will be held in Ontario on August 24th-25th to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Japan-Canada Diplomatic Relations, and we are proud to announce that Arigato Japan Food Tours will be a partner!

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Recommended food events in Tokyo – July 2019

Kay Knofi

July is here and we are serving up the best in Foodie-related events across the city! Check out our list and hope you will have the chance to eat and have some fun.

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All about Japanese Knives

Tina

Knives. One of the top selling souvenirs people want from Japan. Japanese made knives come from a long history of sword making passed down generation to generation. These knives are skillfully handcrafted, beautiful, and highly specialized.

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Where to stay in Japan – Tokyo Family Stays

Jessica Iragne

All of our homes are a "home away from home" and offer comfortable western beds, fully equipped kitchens for western cooking and multiple internet and cable TV options. Plus they are fully family friendly with kids bedding, toys, books, and dishes. "We think about the needs of traveling with a young family and elderly grandparents or extended family and friends and create exceptional guest experiences with this in mind. This allows for our guests to enjoy the amazing Japanese experiences that Tokyo has to offer outside the home and then come home to a welcoming and familiar environment to rest.

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Guide of the Month May 2019: Hiroe from Kyoto

Jessica Iragne

Today we're more than happy to introduce you our guide of the month for May 2019, Hiroe from our Kyoto team. Hiroe is an architect, scholar, foodie, mom and a lovely woman with a huge heart!

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Top 10 foods to eat in Okinawa

Rae DeFrane

Okinawa is an absolutely beautiful tourist destination. Its turquoise seas, white sand beaches and tropical breezes are a relaxing break from the usual hustle and bustle Japan can bring. Another wonderful thing about Okinawa is the unique and delicious cuisine that it offers to visitors. In this article, let’s dive into the top ten foods you should sample in the south of Japan.

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Best Food Events in Tokyo – June 2019

Kay Knofi

Tokyo is infamous for its intensely hot and humid Summers. If you’re visiting during June, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and clothes you don’t mind sweating right through! It is also rainy season so an umbrella and rain gear are surely helpful. It’s true it can be uncomfortable, especially on the jam-packed trains during rush hour, but relief can be found through the medium of deliciously refreshing Japanese cuisine at Special FOOD AND DRINK events in June!

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From Kyoto to Hiroshima: Cheers to Beer!

Nick Colaccino

Food and drink are fiercely regional in Japan and beer has played nicely into this. Home to the food and imperial capitals of Osaka and Kyoto, respectively, Kansai boasts a lively and enthusiastic craft scene. A little more to the west lies Hiroshima with its own unique take on beer. Any lover of suds would be remiss not to check out these three craft havens while on holiday in Japan.

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Recommended food events in Tokyo – May 2019

Kay Knofi

May is a fantastic time to visit Japan - it’s sunny but not too hot and there’s plenty of things to do. One of the major vacation periods in Japan occurs at the beginning of May - Golden Week, a culmination of a few national holidays. This year it’ll take place during April 28th and May 6th. It’s true that this means tourist locations such as Tokyo and Kyoto will be busier than usual, but it also means that there’s a lot of festivals and events!

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Anime and Food – A Tasty Relationship

Kay Knofi

You may have seen Japanese anime as a child and, like myself, have been mesmerized by the food that the characters ate. It seemed so otherworldly, a far cry from the lunch meat sandwiches my mum used to make me for school. The thing was - I had no clue what any of it was! I’d never seen them in real life before...

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How to enjoy Tofu?

Rinrin

On the NIshiki market tour in Kyoto, we bragged about how and why the tofu here is so heavenly. We’re partially to blame for your tofu craving. So we’d like to bear the responsibility and show you how to enjoy tofu, full DIY, no guides required!

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OSUSUME Japan – Kyoto Beer Lab

Nick Colaccino

Kyoto is both the protector of Japan’s cultural heritage and the innovator of its future. This dual existence is exemplified in the tea beer at Kyoto Beer Lab, Cha Brewing LLC. Read on to find out more...

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Rugby World Cup 2019 – Kyoto Rugby Food Tour

Russ Mainwaring

You can ring the new rugby ball shaped prayer bell and make your prayers for your team’s victory. You can write your prayers for your team’s success on a rugby ball shaped prayer tablet and hang it on the shrine’s wall. The tour will also include some north kyoto food specialities mame (bean) mochi from the Futaba store, one of the most popular in Kyoto, saba sushi ,the local sushi style, from a shop at the end of the 1000 year old Saba (mackerel)Trail...

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Spring return for students and employees in Japan

Rae DeFrane

The cherry blossoms are almost at peak bloom here in Tokyo. Their calming pink hue and delicately sweet scent is a contrasting backdrop to the frenzy that accompanies the preparations of students and job-seekers in Japan as they gear up for April and all it brings with it. Spring harkens new beginnings in the form of a new school year, a new fiscal year and a new wave of initiates beginning their careers in companies across Japan.

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Recommended food events in Tokyo – April 2019

Kay Knofi

So you're in Tokyo in April 2019 and you're looking for food events? Do you like Ramen? Sake? Coffee? YES!!! Here are a few foodie events we recommend!

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Japanese Green Tea Company – TEA-RRIFIC and awarded Matcha

Jessica Iragne

Like a fine wine, high-quality tea depends on more than pretty packaging. The age of the leaves, their growing conditions, and even soil fertility all impact the final flavor. For us, how tea is grown and the way it’s processed is the secret for crafting a sweet, nutritious tea like no other.

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Morgain Le Fae

Jessica Iragne

I was expecting Japan to be more exotic. It actually surprised me, that Japan was more "normal" than I expected it to be. The first thing I saw at the station when I got off, was a young Japanese man who was probably 200 cm of height. Therefore, I totally forgot all assumptions that I had about Japan...

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White Day in Japan – The day the men give back

Rae DeFrane

White Day??? What's the history of this strange twin to everyone’s favorite Hallmark holiday you might ask? In the 1977, the CEO of a small confectionary company in Fukuoka called Ishimura Manseido was reading a magazine in his office for inspiration to revitalize sales...

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Why the Japanese Shinkansen is the ultimate form of transportation

Lucy Dayman

It’s not called a bullet train for nothing! The shinkansen can travel at a rate of up to 320 km/h, depending on which train you take. The speed at which you can zoom across the country is staggering. If you factor in the outside time required to catch an airplane (check-in security etc.) in most cases, the shinkansen will be faster.

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Sakuramochi: See Beautiful Cherry Blossoms, then Eat Them?!

Nick Colaccino

Salt and sugar help the world go ‘round. These two essential nutrients are what give sakura mochi its popular appeal. Rest assured: you are supposed to eat the leaf!

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A Crash Course on The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Lucy Dayman

Far more than just a way to enjoy delicious matcha tea and sweets, the Japanese tea ceremony is a tradition that goes back to the ninth century. The origins of the ceremony have roots in Zen Buddism, a religious practice introduced from China.

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Recommended food events in Tokyo – March 2019

Kay Knofi

So you're in Tokyo in March and you're looking for food events? Here are a few we recommend!

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Ask our guides: best places to visit in Winter in the Kansai area

Jessica Iragne

To celebrate the last cold days of winter, this month we asked our beloved, adventurous guides Hiroe and Yuko what are their favorite places to visit during the coldest seasons in the Kansai area.

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to 5AM Ramen

Jessica Iragne

I’ve been eating ramen since I was old enough to chew. My mother would make the “Sapporo Ichiban” brand instant ramen at home, also adding eggs and various veggies. So I essentially grew up on ramen. As I got older, I started to appreciate ramen on a greater level.

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OSUSUME Japan – USHIO CHOCOLATL & foo CHOCOLATERS

Jessica Iragne

The slogan for Ushio is  “Chocolates not to eat. Feel” ! An increasing number of people are already conscious of the power of respecting raw materials and the importance of knowing who made something and how it was made.  Not only chocolate but much more than that.

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What You Need to Know for Your First Visit to Japan

Lauren Shannon

We asked some of our guides and friends for a few hints on things to know before you arrive. Even if this is your first visit to Japan, here are a few top tips that are sure to make you seem like an insider. We want to help you have a great time traveling around this amazing country!

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What is a Depachika?

Tina

What’s a Depachika? Let me explain. Can you imagine for a minute, food heaven? Any kind of food you could imagine. Desserts, prepared food, lunch boxes, popular treats and gourmet delicacies. Yes, that’s right. Depachika means food heaven, in a basement?!

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Anne-san CEO of Arigato Japan

Jessica Iragne

There is no better way to discover and immerse in a country's culture than food. Food is a universal language that connects people from all over the world. Joining a food tour will help you discover hidden gems you wouldn't find on your own, expose you to many unique flavors and will allow you to connect with locals like you can never imagine...

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Where to stay in Japan – The Millennials

Jessica Iragne

Originally Capsule Hotels were known to be cheap and to provide a basic amenities. However, The Millennials just put this concept on another level and offers their guests a whole new experience through social spaces and A LOT of facilities.

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An Elegant Evening in Tokyo Bay on Suship

Lauren Shannon

The concept behind Suship (sushi + ship) is sophisticated but still approachable. They have thought of everything to make your dining experience a delicious adventure.

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Antenna Shops: Travel Across Japan All in 1 Day

Josh

As if by magic, it’s possible to virtually visit most of Japan’s forty-seven prefectures through antenna shops located throughout central Tokyo. Antenna shops are local specialty shops sponsored by local governments throughout the country.

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Ichigoichielove

Jessica Iragne

My name is Lisa, I’m half Swedish and half American, but I grew up living a little bit of everywhere. I’ve been living in Tokyo for the past 7-8 years. I’m a senior editor at Tokyo Weekedender magazine.

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Christmas in Japan

Tina

Christmas in Japan has taken from western traditions and adapted to Japanese needs and culture. As with so much in Japan, the Christmas season is rich with meaningful traditions, and elaborate delicious foods, but it is also very high-tech, sparkly and fun! 

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Arigato Japan Christmas Giveaway – Win a Food Tour in Japan!

Jessica Iragne

It's already the time sparkly time of year, the smell of the Christmas trees, the beautiful illuminations and of course the warming comfort food. To thank you all for this great year supporting us, the Arigato Japan team wants to offer you a 3-hour food tour for 2 in Tokyo!

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Ask Our Guides: Favorite Arigato Japan Food tour?

Jessica Iragne

This month we asked our beloved, adventurous guides Taena, Mario and Gabi what are their favorite Arigato Japan food tours and why?

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Celebrate with Japanese New Year Foods

Tina

New year traditions here are ancient and meant to bring health, wealth, and a renewed spirit. Preparations for the new year start off with a practice called Omisoka, where everyone lends a hand in cleaning the house and cooking traditional foods for the osechi ryori in the last few days of the old year.

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Sam

Jessica Iragne

Living in Japan. Coming to Tokyo was definitely the right decision for me. Since I only just graduated, I was still in the cramming groove and picked up basic Japanese relatively fast in language school and after 1 year of 4-hour studying every day, I was pretty confidently conversational...

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10 Healthy Ways to Use Matcha

Jessica Iragne

The key thing about matcha is the antioxidants that are integral to its nature—hundreds of times more than regular green tea. That’s led people to try to learn more ways to use matcha and gain those benefits. This graphic gives you some tasty, health-boosting options.

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Katsuobushi: Fun Fish Flakes

Tina

Have you heard of dashi? Or Bonito flakes? Both of these are born from Katsuobushi an essential ingredient used to create the infamous umami flavor in much of Japanese cuisine. Katsuobushi is dried and fermented skipjack tuna usually shaved into flakes. Like so many things in Japan, katsuobushi is deeply rooted in history, culture, and tradition.

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Ask Our Guides: Favorite Autumn food

Jessica Iragne

Find the best advice from local experts! This month we asked our beloved, adventurous guides Jennifer, Haruka and Ryuichi what are their favorite Autumn foods and why?

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Amelie Marie in Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

From our Expat Series--- "The first time I travelled to Japan was in 2007. Although I was familiar with the culture and the scenery thanks to Japanese animation, manga and generally speaking, thanks to Japanese pop culture, I must tell I was in shock during my first days in Tokyo! I come from a relatively small French town, so the vastness of Tokyo, the tall buildings, the super urban sceneries surprised me."

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15 reasons why you still need to go to Tsukiji even though the inner market moved

Lauren Shannon

The historic wholesale market has moved to new swanky (but sadly, institutional looking diggs) but there is still so much to see and do at the old outer market and surrounding neighborhood.  You really need to keep this on your must-see list. 

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Fall Foliage in Tokyo

Kate

One of the biggest and most popular activities in Autumn is to go "Koyo" (Viewing Fall-foliage). Koyo refers to the phenomenon of changing autumn colors, mainly when it occurs to the leaves of deciduous broadleaf trees before the leaves fall to the ground. Much like Cherry Blossom trees, the momiji trees are the most famous for Koyo viewing for their vibrant red color.

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Ask our guides: Where to go for a day trip close to Tokyo

Jessica Iragne

Want to take a day trip out side of Tokyo? Discover great advice from our passionate guides and local experts  in this new series "Ask Our Guides"!

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Expat in Japan Interview – 10 questions to Warmcheaptrips

Jessica Iragne

Being an Expat Japan foreigner I have found that this is an amazing country also for its peculiar and sometimes crazy culture and rules. Visiting Japan is a trip among contrasts, opposite cultures and a lot of ancient habits. Don’t judge Japan or ask “why”, just take it as it comes!

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Happy Halloween Tokyo 2019

Kate

Halloween in Japan is a unique experieince and the best place to participate in in Shibuya, Tokyo! Get all the details for 2018 Halloween right here!

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Your AirBNB was Cancelled in Japan! Now what?

Lauren Shannon

What to do and where to stay if your AirBNB in Japan was cancelled under the recent regulations. This post is a great list of accommodations and other tips for booking your visit to Tokyo, Kyoto and other spots in Japan.

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Watch this Video– Street Food Tour in Shibuya, Tokyo

Lauren Shannon

Check out this awesome vlog of one of our most popular Tokyo food tours! So much good food and fun. Follow the adventures of TelevisionOfNomads and see for yourself.

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Tsukiji Fish Market: The One Guide to Rule them All

Lauren Shannon

The markets and neighborhood around Tsujiji are among my favorite places in Tokyo. Visiting stalls, having the freshest sushi in the world, browsing terrific kitchen tools, finding the perfect handmade sushi chef's knife, eating mochi, drinking green tea-- the area has no end of experiences to enjoy.

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Flavors of Winter: Japanese Yuzu

Josh

About the size of a tangerine, the truly unique flavor of yuzu is commonly described as a mashup of Meyer lemon, mandarin orange and grapefruit. The most common way of using fresh yuzu is usually thinly julienned slivers of the brilliant yellow zest to garnish Japanese cuisine or accent noodle or hot pot dishes.

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Oden – Traditional, Wintery Taste of Japan

Gigi

Oden is a light and easily digestible Japanese stew, very warming in the cold winter months. The savory flavor goes well with rice, noodles and sake.  This comfort food can be enjoyed solo or with a group of friends.

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All About Kaki — the Must Try Autumn Flavor of Japan

Josh

In Japan, as a harbinger of autumn, kaki seem to conjure up thoughts of all the delicious foods to come with the season. There are two main types of persimmon available almost everywhere in Japan.

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Kampai to Craft Beer in Japan

Craig

Japanese craftsmen and women are well known for having an eye for detail, passion, and a taste for high quality ingredients...

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5 More Summer Sensational Flavors (part 2)

Saki

Following up on our Top 5 Summer Foods post -- here are 5 more must try dishes to beat the heat in a sweltering Japan in August! Take a look at these summer favorites and book one of our tasty food tours during your stay in Japan.

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Sipping Summer Sake

Delilah

Perfect for sweltering-hot Japanese summers, cold sake is served around a refreshing 8 degrees Celsius. Its delicate aroma contrasts the intense flavor and goes well with mildly sweet and sour foods.

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5 Tasty Summer Foods in Japan

Saki

Although the summer season in Japan is hot and humid, these amazing seasonal foods will definitely boost your appetite and cool you down! You can try not only typical summer ice-creams but also a variety of tasty festival food.

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Beer Culture in Japan

Satoshi

Japan has a unique beer culture and brands which might not be as well known or popular as sake (nihonshu or rice wine) but for me, when you start understanding the culture of beer probably you can learn more about what's unique about Japan.

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Mayo in Japan is Just So Darn Delicious!

Craig

Mayonnaise is never far away from a meal in Japan. Whether it’s attached to your convenience store bento (lunch box), on a side dish at lunch, or a pocket size bottle called, ‘My Mayo’, bought from a variety store, it’s a daily condiment.

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Terrific Tofu

Kathrin

Tofu comes in many shapes and sizes. The versatile ingredient can be baked, grilled, stir-fries, cooked or even served as a sauce, shake, or salad dressing. Depending on how you want to use it, you can buy extra soft, soft, firm, or extra firm tofu.

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Fantastic Festival Food in Japan

Josh

Summer Matsuri (festival) season is just around the corner in Japan, here's a roundup of the must taste experiences to put on your trip plan!

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Sushi Go Round; the ins and outs of Kaiten

Laura

No visit to Japan is complete without a visit to the sushi bar. Kaiten sushi is a great way to experience many kinds of sushi, but you also want to make sure that you get the best experience. Knowing what to expect and how to use all of the additional condiments correctly will enhance your experience at any kaiten sushi restaurant.

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Osaka Famous Streetfood: Takoyaki

Craig

Osaka is widely known in Japan to be the food capital of the the country. The city streets are overflowing with places that you can pick up some Takoyaki, along with many other delights. Takoyaki, is something that Osakan people are extremely proud of, and are happy to share their favorite spot with you.

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All About Marvelous Matcha

Molly

Learn about Matcha, historical, ceremonial, healthy and Fun! Want to experience a nearly thousand year old tradition in Japan, or enjoy the health benefits provided by matcha? You can taste it for yourself with Arigato Japan Food Tours!

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Tokyo Coffee Culture

Craig

The coffee culture in Japan is in a very exciting time. Young Japanese people are truly embracing this third wave of coffee, with roasteries popping up everywhere. Many of these cafe's are opening in the residential areas. They are keeping clear of the high streets, and relying on wholesale, the locals, and passionate coffee lovers for their daily trade.

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5 Must Try Foods in Kyoto

Akari

The Kyoto area has a lot of pure, underground, spring water. This clean, clear water is does not have a lot of hard minerals and tastes pure and mild. Because of this water quality, Kyoto’s tofu, tea, sake, and many other foods are so delicious. Today I’d like to introduce you to 5 famous Kyoto foods.

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Onigiri: Japan’s Most Loved Snack

Kathrin

Onigiri is the perfect snack to carry around and enjoy while traveling Japan. With countless tastes and flavors at hand, anyone - even the most picky eater - will definitely find a rice ball to his or her liking. An essential part of Japanese food culture, onigiri are an absolute must-try when in Japan.

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Washoku: Japanese Food and Culture

Molly

Washoku has deep roots in Japanese history, with cooking and serving techniques dating back over 400 years. While Washoku is extremely traditional, it is also flexible.

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