Japanese food – washoku – has been named an intangible world heritage in 2013 for its rich traditions, which have developed through the centuries. The Japanese diet is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Fish and seafood feature heavy in the Japanese kitchen. It is eaten grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi.
While Japanese rice-and-fish dish sushi (or its varieties from numerous other Asian countries) has become commonplace in most Western countries, many other items are virtually unknown outside Japan.
The Japanese cuisine is rich in vegetable dishes – for example, radish is often simmered or fried instead of just being eaten raw. Soy beans appear in numerous variations – they are made into tofu, miso, soy sauce and much more.
A traditional home-cooked dinner consists of sometimes a dozen different dishes served in individual plates and bowls. There is no particular order in eating the dishes, and not all of them are eaten hot. Dessert sometimes is just a piece of fruit – or it could be a meal in itself.