Japan Travel Diary – North to South
Over the past 3 months I’ve been traveling the entire length of Japan, exploring its cuisine from north to south – from the ice and snow in Hokkaido in February, through the riot of the cherry blossom season, and on to the sun and sand (and rain) of Okinawa in May.
It was an amazing trip exploring food and culture, and of course huge thanks must go to the entire support team that saw it through months of pre-production and a lot of travel on just about every form of transport possible.
There are a number of BIG projects coming out of this trip (one of which may be obvious from the photo above), but the first is a weekly Japan Travel Diary I wrote along the way as part of my regular “Around the Table” column for The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia.
I’ve collected all of the articles together here for you, so if you want to follow my trip from start to finish, just read on!
Hokkaido, Week 1: Off Script in Hokkaido
Tohoku, Week 2: Onsen Dining: Come for the Hot Springs, Stay for the Food
Ishikawa, Week 3: The Secrets of Perfect Sushi
Fukui, Week 4: Understanding Umami Part 1: The Kombu Code and Part 2: Bringing Balance to the MSG Debate
Tokyo, Week 5: Back to School with Ramen
Tokyo II, Week 6: Yakitori and Negative Space
Kyoto, Week 7: Sweet Treats, and Tea, in Kyoto
Osaka, Week 8: When the B-List is Best
Fukuoka, Week 9: Saving Fukuoka’s Street Food
Okinawa, Week 10: Okinawa’s Gourmet Revival
You can stay tuned with the rest of my Around the Table columns for Scene Asia here. And of course, keep in touch for the SBS TV series and much more coming out of my trip over the next few months.
Adam…the photos are gorgeous! Did you snap them yourself, or was there a professional photographer with you?
Hi Garrett, I took all the photos myself. Except of course for the very first photo, which was taken by one of our crew.
Really glad you like them!
Stunning photos Adam, you make me want to go back!
As a South African who’s lived in Japanmost of her adult life, two things:
1) The best tacorice in Okinawa is from Kijimunaa Cafe in Chatan, and the best burgers are from CaptainKangaroos. Haha.
2) Hope you’ll be back in Jozi for the Good Food and Wine Show this year!
Anyway, brilliant articles and stunning photos! ^_^
I would love to be involved in your new restaurant, whenever the time comes:)
Having visited Japan on numerous occasions, I am inspired to see even more of the place after being tantilised visualised by your new show on SBS. I think with your stylish threads, you should introduce some hole in the wall fashion experiences into your show 🙂 I am really curious about visiting Akita to experience the Tsurunoyu onsen, and your favourite sushi restaurant, Otomezushi in Kanazawa. Any Ryokan / Minshuku suggestions in those areas? Many thanks. Leo
If visiting Tsurunoyu I would just stay there. As for Kanazawa, I am sorry but I don’t know any ryokan in the area as I always just stay with family.
Lovvvvved the series Adam. Any chance of a guided tour in the future?. Would place our name on the” want to” list if you are. Fayne
oh yes, a guided tour would be AWESOME. … onegaishimasu!
oh yes, a guided tour would be AWESOME. … おねがいします！
I am visiting my mother and family here in Indonesia, and am watching your show… amazing. I wish I can see more of your shows when I return back home in SoCal. I will try to follow your journey of cooking in Japan, I am fascinated by all these exotic food. I am a very much sushi lover, one of my hobbies is deep sea fishing, I love to eat my own catches. I will definitely try your sushi recipes the ones I saw this morning on your show 🙂 Arigatou gozaimasu
My husband and I would also love to be a guided tour by you if ever that is happening, in Japan.
I love your show. I set it on series recording so that I do not miss an episode of it. I was just looking through your website to see if you have come up with some form of travel guide or itinerary, names and addresses, details of the places you have recommended on your shows but I can’t seem to find some thing similar.
I love Japan and I just started taking lessons for the language. Would be a great idea if a recommended DIY tour or a guided foodie tour, by you.
Hi, I was hoping to motorbike from North to South Japan next year. Do you think this would be achievable and, if so, how long do you think it would take / when is best to take on such a challenge?
Many thanks – inspired by your website. I have always wanted to become a photographer but lacked the right eye for the creativity!
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