National Passion for Foods

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In the course of launching the first Michelin guide for Japan, Jean-Luc Naret, the former Director of MICHELIN guides, has recognized the defining characteristics of Japan’s food scene: national passion for foods, the sheer number of restaurants and their diversity, and the quality of the chefs.

The Japanese perhaps are the world’s best connoisseur of food exhibiting great curiosity about gastronomy.

Dozens of magazines and about half of all prime-time television in Japan is in some way related to food and eating. Many shows exist simply to keep viewers updated on the staggering number of new restaurants opening in major cities every week.

“Japanese cuisine is dynamic, diverse, rich and interesting," Naret said.

For Japanese people, cuisine is not a mere feeding activity but the composite enjoyment including; dining out and cooking for themselves, family members, or friends.

At the same time, it’s a composite art encompassing; its ingredients and cooking techniques, tableware and furnishings, arranging the foods on dishes of various colors, its architecture, and the spirituality and aesthetic sense epitomized by the art of flower arrangement and the tea ceremony.

A facet of this enthusiasm is seen the sheer number and diversity of restaurants in Japan.

—ODAKANE Fuji

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