One of the most common misconceptions about Japan is that the Japanese only eat sushi. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the most underrated aspects of travel in Japan is the food. There are more Michelin rated restaurants in Japan than any other country in the world. There are more Michelin rated restaurants in Tokyo than any other city in the world (and the Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe metropolitan area is the second). One of the most common things we hear from our tour members at the end of the tour is their surprise of just how good Japanese food is.
Food is an important part of travel, especially in Japan. Regions of Japan are known for their food specialties. Since our tours focus on cultural immersion, we prefer to include Japanese food on our tours, and these local specialties when possible. In order to experience Japan to its fullest, we highly recommend you step outside your comfort zone and/or preferences and experience Japanese food. You won’t be disappointed.
We understand that some people may have dietary restrictions due to health, allergies, religious and/or personal reasons. As you might expect, some restrictions are more difficult to accommodate. Because of the complexity of Japanese cooking, and because of the different ingredients used in Japanese cooking, it can be difficult to accommodate some dietary restrictions. Here are a list of the most common dietary restrictions and their relative difficulty, and what can be done to accommodate the restrictions.
Here are the items we are able to help you avoid:
Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Shellfish: Replacements for all these can be provided. Please note that fried foods such as tempura are cooked in the same oil with other foods. If cross contamination is not acceptable, you will not be served any fried food.
Eggs And Dairy Products: Replacements for eggs and dairy products will be provided. Please note that eggs and dairy products are used in batters for fried foods. If this is not not acceptable, you will not be served any fried foods.
Raw Fish: Replacements will be provided. Or you can trade with someone.
Due to the nature of Japanese cooking and Japanese food, we cannot accommodate for the following dietary restrictions:
Gluten: Gluten is incredibly difficult, if not impossible to avoid in Japan. Gluten is added to soy sauce as a thickening agent and many foods are cooked in soy sauce. If you must have a gluten-free diet, Japanese food will not be an option. The guides will be able to point out what includes gluten and you can avoid it during your meal. However, we cannot always guarantee that gluten-free food will be available. We cannot allow you to go to a different restaurant because of time restrictions, so we recommend that you bring snacks for those times when there is nothing available. We also recommend you bring your own gluten-free Tamari sauce since it is not readily available in Japan. The amount of gluten in soy sauce is minimal, and unless you have Celiac’s the gluten should not be an issue.
Low Sodium: The Japanese diet is very healthy, but it is extremely high in sodium. Low sodium soy sauce is generally not available in Japan. It is impossible to avoid sodium in Japanese food.
MSG: MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many Japanese foods. It is impossible to tell if MSG was used or not, thus we are not able to accommodate for MSG restrictions.
Fish Broth: Many foods (vegetables included) are cooked in fish broth. Fish broth is also used in all soup broths and many sauces. We are not able to serve Japanese meals that do not include fish broth.
Fish Essence: We are not able to serve Japanese meals that do not include fish essence.
Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.