Assorted Sushi

Assorted Sushi

Japan is the first country that comes to mind when one hears the word ‘sushi’– a gastronomic specialty that has surged in popularity over the last two decade.  Sushi has developed to be a vogue cuisine for sophisticated diners and even a prestige symbol for some. 

In his article, “How Sushi Went Global”, Havard Professor, Theodore Bestor, a specialist on contemporary Japanese society and culture described how an exotic, almost unpalatable ethnic specialty has transformed to an exquisite haute cuisine.  A simple dish, sushi consists of a bed of cooked vinegared rice topped with a piece of delicately sliced raw seafood.

Today, diners travel the globe in search of their favourite sushi, debating which hole-in-the-wall eatery or restaurant offers the best sushi.  Most gastronomic aficionados would agree that the Japanese are still masters when it comes to the art of sushi making — it is more than just fresh ingredients, it about intricacy and precision.  

Jiro Dreams
This is portrayed in “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, a documentary by filmmaker David Gelb about a three-Michelin-star Master Sushi Chef, Jiro Ono.  At 85, Japanese chef Jiro Ono is regarded to be the greatest sushi chef in the world by culinary experts like Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Joël Robuchon.  Japan proclaimed him a National Treasure.  Ono has been perfecting his sushi skills for 75 years and still retains the Guinness World Record for being the world’s oldest three–Michelin star chef.  Customers line-up to pay top dollar (cash only) to dine at his tiny 10-seater Tokyo subway sushi bar, Sukiyabashi Jiro.

Japan, More than Sushi

Himeji Castle

Photo by JNTO Castle Day at Himeji Castle

Japan offers more than culinary delights.  The country is home to the most spectacular and well-preserved culture, shrines and fascinating futuristic cities.  In addition, its mist-shrouded hills and string of islands lends a perfect spot for water based and hiking adventures.  

Is Japan Safe?
Despite assurance from the Japanese government, many are still concern about travelling to Japan because of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.  A quick google on the Canadian and U.S. government travel advisory sites revealed that only disaster affected zones are deemed unsafe. 

According to Athena Ho, Canadian Director for Japan National Tourist Organization, there are many regions in Japan that are safe to visit.  The latest detailed information is available on their website.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi Trailer:

Anthony Bourdain Dining at Sukiyabashi Jiro

Travel and Health Advisories

Travel Info
Health concerns
Japan Travel Updates

Travel advisory
Public Health Agency of Canada

Travel Alert
US Embassy in Japan