Rugby fever has taken over, and its biggest tournament is being hosted in one of the fastest-growing travel destinations in the world, Japan. One of the reasons why Japan has become such a popular destination for travellers is because it knows exactly how to settle our hunger pangs with all that eye-bulging, taste-bud tingling Japanese cuisine. YUM.
Sapporo played host to England’s first game and victory against Tonga. Sapporo Stadium is actually famous for being a baseball ground but they keep a rugby pitch outside to roll in whenever they need it!
However, Sapporo is probably best known for the famous lager that it produces which takes the name of the town. It’s a classically smooth lager and of course, if you visit this town then it’s a must to sample a few bottles of this lager. There is also a whole museum dedicated to the lager brand and you can learn about its history and brewing process so you can feel like you’ve earnt that beer at the end of the day.
This is perfect for the meat-loving rugby fans out there. We have all seen the famous perfectly fat marbled pieces of steak that always pop up on our social media streams and have left us salivating at the lips. Kobe is the final word in the specialist beef market, and only authentic Kobe beef can be made in this region of Japan.
And because this area is famous for Kobe beef, you won’t be short of places to sample this delight. Although I recommend you don’t waste it on a boozed filled post-match dinner because it’s not going to be easy on your pocket.
Of course, I can’t do this without mentioning the biggest city in Japan and when it comes to food, it is hard to find anywhere better. In fact, Tokyo has the most Michelin stars in the world, even beating Paris and they invented Michelin stars!
Tokyo allows you to sample all of Japan’s wide-ranging cuisine in one place; the best way to get a real flavour of Japan. The must-try food in Tokyo is obviously the sushi and sashimi, which are a whole other kettle of fish to the stuff you get in the supermarket. One of the best places to get fresh sushi without breaking the bank would be Tsukiji Outer market and when I say fresh I mean some of the freshest in the whole city seeing as it’s directly delivered from the famous Toyosu fish market.
Fukuoka is a smaller town and can offer you some respite from the hustle and bustle of other parts of Japan. But most importantly, it is the birthplace of RAMEN! And I could not write a blog about Japanese food without mentioning the silky flavourful dish that is Ramen.
Ramen has become so common on every other street corner in East London but it can hardly be described as the proper stuff. In Fukuoka, you will find broths that have been made after hours or even days of cooking, so that every last drop of that soup has a wonderful balance of flavours – my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
Sake, the famous Japanese rice wine. In fact, Kumagaya is renowned worldwide for its Sake; it has over 35 different sake breweries and its population is under 200,000! If you want to get an incredible Sake experience then you must get the Sake train which takes you in and out of the beautiful mountainous region surrounding Kumagaya. And of course, there is a sake bar for you to enjoy a tipple or two to help soak up the views.
This blog has got me hungry just writing it and, I can imagine it has made your belly rumble too. Even though the rugby won’t be in Japan forever the endless food culture will always remain and, that is reason enough to visit Japan not to mention all the other incredible things you can do in Japan.