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Satoyama: The Japanese Coexistence of Human-Made Landscapes and the Natural World

coexistence of human-made landscapes and the natural world.

A deep connection to nature has traditionally been a key element of spiritual life in Japan. In spite of the distance from nature, or perhaps because of it, Japanese people have a great fondness for rural landscapes. There is even a term in Japanese, Satoyama, that expresses the transition and coexistence of human-made landscapes and the natural world.

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Kazemaru-Nojo - The Apple Farmer Harvesting the Next Generation with His Entrepreneurial Spirit

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Kazemaru-Nojo - The Apple Farmer Harvesting the Next Generation with His Entrepreneurial Spirit
Mr. Saiki Kimura, who was not initially excited about taking over his family's apple farm, has become an unlikely advocate for farming due to his entrepreneurial spirit. He has also nurtured young talent to ensure the continued vibrancy of the apple orchards in Aomori Prefecture.

Seating Arrangements for the Perfect Dining Etiquette in Japan

Seating Arrangements for the Perfect Dining Etiquette in Japan
From formal meals to traditional tea ceremonies, it is wise to develop some understanding of what is considered good manners. Whether eating with new Japanese friends, dining in a Japanese restaurant, or attending a business lunch with a Japanese client, following a few simple etiquette rules can make you shine.

Japanese Etiquette for Eating Noodles

Japanese Etiquette for Eating Noodles

Japanese culture has a rich and long traditional history, with a proper etiquette for almost every occasion. Not surprisingly, eating noodles has some specific rules and etiquette which come in hand if you're planing a trip to Japan.

Food Etiquette in Japan

Etiquette rules on how to eat sushi, ramen and other Japanese food in Japan

Food and etiquette are an important part of Japanese culture and we would like to shed light on some specific Japanese dishes that have their own rules, including sushi, ramen and boxed meals known as bentos. This will help you as you travel through Japan!

Soy Sauce vs Shoyu vs Tamari: Know the Difference?

Japanese soy sauce

Soy sauce is Japan's most popular sauce, adding salty umami flavors to so many Japanese dishes. You may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few varieties of soy sauce used in Japanese cuisine based on the region, ingredients and methods in which it's brewed. 

Chopsticks Etiquette for Perfect Japanese Table Manners

Chopsticks Etiquette for Perfect Japanese Table Manners

Whether you are planing a trip to Japan or want to make a good impression, you should definitely do your research. Japan has a rich dinning history, especially when it comes to the use of chopsticks, with many traditions and unwritten rules.

Sakura season is almost here as well as these tasty cherry blossom foods!

Sakura season is almost here as well as these tasty cherry blossom foods!
The most beautiful time of the year is near in Japan - during spring, the beautiful cherry tree blossoms know as sakura turn into a sea of pink. Not only are the cherry blossoms beautiful to see, the season also brings with it many special sakura foods to enjoy. For cherry blossom viewing (hanami), various shops have limited edition sakura inspired food items each year. Here are some must-try sakura foods and some iconic ones to try. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Japanese Curry Rice

RECIPE: Japanese Curry Rice Featuring Apples from Aomori

Japanese curry rice (karē raisu or カレーライス) is the quintessential comfort food in Japan. More sweet than spicy, this dish is easy to make and will quickly become your favorite home cooked meal. 

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Ichikara Farms - Rebuilding Snow Country with Soba

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Ichikara Farms - Rebuilding Snow Country with Soba
The story of Ichikara Farms is one of rebirth and regeneration. Despite numerous challenges, difficulties and the ever-present unpredictability of nature, Yudo was able to transform an abandoned pasture into what is now 30 hectares of farmland in the Uonuma and Ojiya districts of Niigata. 

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Toyokuniya - Family-Farmed "Phantom" Soybeans

PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Toyokuniya - Phantom Soybeans
Toyokuniya, located in Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture, cultivates an heirloom variety of Japanese soybeans called “Tsukui soybean” - a once common soybean variety that has become so rare in Japan that it’s been called the “phantom soybean".

RECIPE: Shio Koji Chicken with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes

RECIPE: Shio Koji Chicken with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes

If Shio Koji is something you have never heard of before, get ready to fall in love with its taste and versatility. It can be used as a salt substitute and also enhances the flavors of the ingredients it’s mixed with. It also makes for a great marinade as you will see in this recipe.