One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Japan is trying different local cuisines. While sushi remains a large part of Japanese heritage, myriad flavours from all around the world have contributed to Japan’s gourmet foodie culture.

Japanese people are passionate about food, and it’s not just fine Japanese cuisine that gets them excited. Inexpensive local food also gets respect. Japanese people are willing to stand in long lines or travel far and wide for a perfect bowl of noodles.

Shopping in one of the Department Stores’ underground Food Courts is a surreal experience. They’re vast, noisy and offer everything you need under one roof. An excellent selection of quality brands are on offer – from local names to popular imported goods, with plenty of staff available to help when you need it. It is a festival of shopping! Eating, it seems, has been transformed into a favourite national preoccupation.

It’s no surprise that Tokyo is ranked the number one food city by Food and Wine magazine, not to mention the fact that Tokyo has more Michelin Star restaurants than any other city in the world.

From noodles to sashimi to gourmet international cuisine, you can find food to satisfy the most discerning of palettes. Huge variations in climate and culture in Japan led to each region developing profusion of local delicacies.

Here are some mouth-watering highlights from our May gourmet tour of Japan.

Photographs by Beata Romanowski.