Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. With a culture uniquely its own, these tropical islands have been strongly influenced through trade with China, Japan, Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.
Up in Iwate prefecture is a tiny town called Ninohe. Ninohe’s community center has boosted their efforts to increase youth involvement in hopes they will carry on local traditions. One such tradition is a dance with lots of colors and instruments.
Japan's Tōhoku Region (東北地方), known for its rustic countrysides, expansive landscapes and relaxing natural hot springs, consists of six prefectures located in the north of Japan's main island of Honshu. Renowned for its samurai history, the region is also famous for having Japan's highest quality agriculture including rice, sake, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and horse sashimi.
As is the case with many things in traditional Japanese culture, simplicity seems to be key even in home cooking. Many of the dishes close to people’s hearts are the ones that embrace the wabi-sabi, the imperfections and sometimes the rough nature of home cooking. They are made just as much by the intent going into them as they are by their individual ingredients.
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.
Noodles have a rich history in Japan and are integral to Japanese cuisine. They're extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in soups, stir-fries, dipped in sauces or in salads. Some of them may seem similar but there are countless varieties based on the ingredients and regional flavors. There's a noodle for every taste!
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 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!
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