Agency for Cultural Affairs

Japan - A Country Rich in Food Culture

What Is Japanese Food Culture?

The sea-girt Japanese archipelago spans a long distance from north to south and enjoys four distinct seasons. While deftly incorporating cultural influences from other countries, Japan has become home to a diverse food culture rooted in its rich natural environment, long history, and the spirituality of its people. Japanese food culture has a number of outstanding features, including the subtle beauty of its tableware and the exquisite arrangement of food thereon, as well as decor and the spirit of hospitality, and cooking techniques that bring out the umami in the ingredients. Japanese cuisine is also attracting growing interest around the world as a healthy diet offering a good nutritional balance.

Aiming to pass on Japan’s food culture to the next generation and spread the word about it overseas, this website showcases its cultural value, examples of food culture research, and regional initiatives seeking to protect food culture and sustain its heritage into the future.

Take a 360° video tour of an Edo period kitchen!
*This is a 360° virtual reality (VR) video.

Five themes
for understanding Japanese food culture

  • Skill
  • Tradition
  • Local cuisine
  • Tableware and decor
  • Seasons