Tasty travels in Japan

Welcome to Umami bites, your ultimate guide to exploring the unique flavors, culture, and lifestyle of Japan, crafted especially for international visitors.

Latest

Experience the Tranquility of Houkokuji Temple in Kamakura: Savor Matcha while Gazing at the Bamboo Garden

Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture is a popular tourist destination with many temples and shrines that date back to ancient times. Each temple and shrine has its own attractions, but Hōkokuji Temple (which introduces itself in English as “Houkokuji Temple”) is especially known for its beautiful bamboo grove. Enjoy the seasonal beauty of Houkokuji Temple’s Japanese garden As you pass through…

Hakone’s Floating Torii Gate Is One of Japan’s Most Photographable Spots! But Here’s How to Triple Your Luck During Your Visit!

When visiting the highly popular sightseeing area of Hakone in Japan, a trip to Hakone Shrine is a must. The “Torii Gate of Peace” (heiwa no torii), which appears to float upon Lake Ashinoko, is a famous photo spot, with long lines of people waiting for a chance to take pictures. The Torii Gate of Peace Mountain deities enshrined at…

HIBIYA BLOSSOM 2024: A Celebration of Spring, Art, and Eco-Consciousness

This spring, the fusion of art and nature paints Tokyo Midtown Hibiya in vibrant colors with HIBIYA BLOSSOM 2024, set from March 20 to April 14. Embracing the theme “Art & Flowers,” this annual event weaves together artistic expression and the beauty of flora, spotlighting sustainability and elegance in its 2024 rendition. Imagine a setting where artificial flowers, crafted from...

Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples: Answering Common Questions

Visiting Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan is a rewarding experience, offering insights into the country’s spiritual practices and cultural traditions. Here are practical tips and answers to common questions for first-time visitors. Goshuin: special seals at shrines and temples Goshuin are special seals collected from shrines and temples, usually kept in a goshuinchō (seal book). These beautiful mementos…

How To Pay Respects at Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples in Japan: Dos and Dont’s

Japan beckons travelers with its rich tapestry of culture, where ancient traditions seamlessly blend with modernity. Among the many experiences awaiting them are places of worship devoted to Buddhism and Shintoism, Japan’s ancient religion. Here’s a guide to assist international visitors with the proper manners and etiquette for paying respects at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Before you visit Dress…

Calling All Spicy Food Lovers! Tokyo’s Karashibi Curry Kikanbo Adds a Noodle Twist to Japanese Curry!

For lovers of super spicy ramen in Japan, “Kikanbō” is well-known hot spot. In 2022, Kikanbo branched out to open a curry specialty restaurant called “Karashibi Curry Kikanbō!” “鬼金棒カラシビカレーライス,” Karashibi Kikanbo Curry Rice 1,100 JPY (tax included) Much like the ramen shop, the flavor cherished at Karashibi Curry Kikanbo is the spiciness of chili peppers and the numbing sensation of…

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine: Discover Japanese Tradition and History Amidst Nature, Including a Mini Mount Fuji!

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is located near the Japan National Stadium, a venue for international competitions. Filled with nature and dominated by a large sacred ginkgo tree, its grounds serve as a peaceful retreat for local residents. The shrine offers many attractions, including the Sendagaya Fujizuka, a replica of Mount Fuji, and the Shōgidō Hall, which houses a large shōgi (Japanese…

The Great Buddha of Kamakura Is One of Japan’s Grandest Sights to Behold at Kotoku-in Temple

Kōtoku-in, a temple in Kamakura, is widely renowned for its Great Buddha statue. The official name of Kamakura’s Great Buddha in Japanese is dōzō amida nyorai zazō, otherwise known as the Bronze Seated Amida-butsu (Amitabha Buddha). It is the only Buddha statue in the area designated as a National Treasure of Japan. The Great Buddha of Kamakura – the only…

Koami Shrine: Tokyo’s Ultimate Destination for Financial Fortune, Loved by Visitors Worldwide

Shintoism believes that spirits reside in everything, from mountains and rivers to even household furniture. The benefits bestowed by the deities enshrined at Shinto shrines are varied, ranging from traffic safety and business prosperity to protection against evil. Among these, the improvement of financial fortune is one of the most sought-after blessings. Koami Shrine in Tokyo is renowned for its…

Tokyo Fruit Sandwich and Parfait Paradise Exists in Azabudai Hills and Its Name is Sembikiya

In Japan, there are certain fruits that hold special value as presents as part of the country’s strong gift-giving culture. Unlike fruits commonly used as ingredients in everyday cooking, those chosen as presents are top-quality in taste, appearance, and everything else. “Sembikiya-Sohonten,” founded in 1834, offers a menu that changes one’s image of fruits and shows why they can be…

Meiji Jingu, a Natural Oasis in the Center of Tokyo! Learn How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit to This Gorgeous Shinto Shrine

Meiji Jingu, a shrine located near Harajuku and Shibuya in Tokyo, is known for having the highest number of New Year’s visitors in Japan. The first visit of the year to a shrine or temple in Japan is a custom known as hatsumōde, where many pray and make wishes for the upcoming year. The shrine’s vast grounds are so green…

Imado Shrine: Asakusa’s Cat Shrine Delivers Matchmaking Blessings and Adorable Feline Good Luck Charms!

Imado Shrine (Imado Jinja in Japanese) enshrines Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, the deities of marriage. The shrine is said to provide blessings for finding a good relationship match and marital harmony. Imado Shrine is also famous for its maneki-neko (beckoning cat) motifs. These feline figures and statues are thought to summon good fortune. So, from the shrine’s sacred items (lucky charms,…

Kanda Myojin: Known for Collabs with Love Live! and Other Anime, This Tokyo Shrine Fuses Tradition and Modernity

Kanda Myōjin, also known as Kanda Shrine, is a historic landmark located within walking distance from Ochanomizu and Akihabara Stations in Tokyo. Revered as a guardian presence in Tokyo, it has a deep history and offers numerous blessings to its visitors. The deities enshrined there serve as the tutelary ujigami (regional guardian deities) for many areas, including Kanda, Nihonbashi, and…

Tempura Hisago Akihabara UDX Serves up Must-Try Tempura in Tokyo With an Unbelievable Sauce!

Tempura specialty restaurant “Tempura Hisago” has a history surpassing 100 years since its establishment in Japan’s Taisho era. At the Akihabara UDX branch of Tempura Hisago, you can enjoy the taste of this long-standing establishment at a reasonable price! Tempura Hisago’s special sauce that has been passed down for many years Akihabara is an area always bustling with many people,…