For those lucky enough to live in Japan, one knows how amazing it is. For those luckier enough to actually travel within the regions, one definitely knows how each prefecture can seem like its own country with its own customs, seasons, and especially food. One only has to look at the multiple regional varieties of the well-loved ramen to see what I am talking about. Have you ever tried it with corn and butter (Hokkaido) or super thin noodles (Hakata)? The list goes on and on. For those who believe that the best way to tour a country is through your stomach, a special treat awaits you in Nihonbashi.
Why Nihonbashi you ask? This place has multiple shopping malls with 3 different COREDO stores alone in one area. The Nihonbashi Tour organizers have set up tours of this complex with special attention to all the different foods that Japan has to offer.
Appropriately entitled the “Best of Japan Gourmet Tour,” guides take you on a tour with exposure to regional foods, souvenirs and even hands-on activities that would be hard to get unless you have funds and the ability to travel to each region individually. With no less than 10 stops, there will literally be something for everyone.
Led by well-versed guides dressed in the traditional kimono garb, they take you on a tour of Japan through your stomach. First stop is a konbu (edible kelp) store from Fukui, then a definite highlight is the fried sweet potato sticks from Kyushu. Normally, there would be lines out the door for this treat, but as part of the tour, you get to go to the front of the line and taste them freshly made and piping hot! It’s amazing to taste so much umami from each region.
Highlights also include the gold store of Ishikawan artistry complete with skin care items and even chopsticks that have edible gold flakes in them, and the chopstick store that showcases handcrafted chopsticks and even super large ones that sumo wrestlers use. My husband really enjoyed the hands-on demonstration on how to make bonito flakes from hardened, dried, and smoked fish.
All of the above and more is in store for you at a bargain of only 1,000 yen! There is even a free drink coupon and discounts on future events – including origami, tea ceremony, or my personal favorite of making your own hanko seal! So if ever you’re in the Nihonbashi area, make sure to check this tour out. As they are open on weekdays and Saturdays, it really is ideal for locals and guests alike. Happy touring!