A chef fans the flames as he swiftly grills skewer after skewer of eel at a hole in the wall in Aichi prefecture - you can see he has got a regular production line going here! Everywhere you go in Japan you’ll find expertly cooked and reasonably priced street food on sale from street food stalls and kiosks known as “yatai” in Japanese - it won’t break the bank, so why not try everything you see?
The blazing red, orange and yellow colours of autumn foliage perfectly frame a temple path at Korankei Gorge in Aichi prefecture. In the 17th century, the head priest of Kojakuji Temple planted some maple trees along the temple approach, prompting locals to do the same. Today, visitors can appreciate the fruits of their labour in the form of the exquisite autumn scenery that peaks around mid to late November every year.
With expert brush strokes, a woman carefully adds the finishing touches to a vase at Noritake Garden in Aichi prefecture. Noritake’s history began with a single dinner plate in 1904, and today it is one of Japan’s leading ceramics companies. Noritake Garden was opened in 2001 to commemorate the company’s 100th birthday, and is a pleasant entertainment facility with a workshop, museum, shops, and restaurants all set in 48,000 sq m of lush greenery in the heart of Nagoya.
Tuck into a hearty dish of miso-nikomi udon at Yamamotoya Honten in Nagoya. This city of in Aichi prefecture is well-known for its unique cuisine known as “Nagoya meshi” (“meshi” is a colloquial word for “food”), particularly dishes featuring miso. Miso-nikomi udon consists of piping hot thick udon noodles in a rich miso broth topped with egg, spring onions, and fishcake.
This mind-boggling image shows one of the streets in Tokoname pottery district in Aichi prefecture, paved and walled with pots, jars and tiles in the town’s signature redware. The area has a been a centre of pottery production since ancient times and is still the foremost producer of maneki neko (welcoming cat) figures today! It is conveniently located just 10 minutes by train from Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport, making it the perfect stop-off on your way to or from the airport.
ご/dango (Japanese dumplings) hangs on a street corner in Takayama in Gifu prefecture. While in Japan you’ll see many signs and paper lanterns like these advertising products, shops and businesses and - while you may not always know what they mean - they’ll undoubtedly add to the authentic atmosphere of your stay!
When most people think of sushi they usually assume that it has to include fish or seafood - whether raw or cooked - at some point. But did you know that sushi actually refers to the kind of rice used to make sushi, which has been prepared using sushi vinegar? It doesn’t even need to include fish or seafood - the one at the back is from Gifu prefecture and is topped with the area’s famous melt-in-the-mouth Hida Wagyu beef!
Majestic purple curtains hang outside the entrance to Takayama Jinya (高山陣屋) in the mountain town of Takayama in Gifu prefecture. This building served as the local government office staffed by officials dispatched from Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa Shogunate. It was in official use in 1969, but is now an interesting museum with tatami mat rooms, the largest traditional storehouse in Japan and an interrogation room, that makes a great stop to learn more about the town’s history and background.