Japan Food Tour
Spirit of Washoku
Washoku (和食) is an approach to achieving nutritional balance and aesthetic harmony at table; both a culinary philosophy and a set of practical guidelines for preparing food. It has been drawing attention since it was registered as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The first character, 和 (wa) means Japan or Japanese, which also represents harmony, and the second character 食 (shoku) means food or to eat; it can be translated to “harmony of food”.
The traditional cuisine of Japan is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes; there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi.
Historically influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine has also opened up to influence from Western cuisines in the modern era. Dishes inspired by foreign food—in particular Chinese food—like ramen and gyoza, as well as foods like spaghetti, curry, and hamburgers, have been adapted to Japanese tastes and ingredients.
It can sometimes be unusual, such as shirako (fish sperm), nankotsu (chicken cartilage), Basashi ice cream, ice cream made from raw horse meat …
You will enjoy
The principles of Washoku, its concept or the Japanese culinary mindset of “the harmony of food”.
- Go shiki: Every meal should include the 5 colors: red, yellow, green, black and white.
- Go mi: Every meal should include the 5 tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter and spicy.
- Go ho: Combine 5 different cooking methods like “Nama” (cutting), “Niru” (Simmering), “Yaku” (Grilling), “Musu” (Steaming), “Ageru” (Deep-frying).
- Go kan: Engage the 5 senses in every meal: taste of course, but also smell, touch, sight and sound.
- Go kan mon: The rules around eating.