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Thirty Cups a Year: The Enduring Popularity of Instant Noodles

Nissin launched its Chicken Ramen, the world’s first instant noodle dish, on August 25, 1958. Sixty years on, these easy-to-prepare meals are a global staple, with more than 100 billion servings sold each year around the world.

Sake, Wine, and the Theoretical Physicist Who Brings Them Together

Sugiyama Asuka, the sommelier with a PhD in theoretical physics, is a woman of action. Falling head over heels in love with both wine and Japan’s own sake, she spends her life with the globe as her stage, commuting between Tokyo and Paris every two weeks to pursue her passion to convey the appeal of wine to the Japanese public and the joy of sake to France. We asked Sugiyama what drives her philosophy of work.

Creepy Crawly Cuisine: Exploring Insects as the Future of Staff

Global food shortages caused by overpopulation have long been on the radar as potential threats to humankind. And it is increasingly common knowledge that insects could provide a helpful nutritional alternative to current food sources. For the moment, though, there are few people actively considering the possibility of including bugs in their diet. Not that this would be a culinary innovation, …

A Family Farm (Photos)Motono Katsuyoshi

Rejecting city life, the Tanakas set out to become farmers. Photographer Motono Katsuyoshi captures their daily life with their three children in rural Ibaraki Prefecture.

Cooking Guru Yukimasa Rika: Spreading the Gospel of Stress-Free Excellence

An entrepreneur with extensive experience abroad, Yukimasa Rika has employed a variety of media to share her secrets for living the good life in today’s busy, cosmopolitan world. Having gained a devoted following among Japanese working women with her simple but tasty recipes, she is now eager to spread the word about Japanese cooking.


Japanese summer would not be the same without the shaved ice dessert kakigōri. Traditionally incorporating syrup, it may also feature many other ingredients.

Bjorn Heiberg, the “Savior of the Japanese Knife”

Razor-sharp Japanese wabōchō, chef’s knives created by skilled master craftsmen, are essential to the preparation of washoku. Bjorn Heiberg, who runs knife specialty stores in Osaka and Tokyo, fell in love with wabōchō after coming to Japan, and is spreading the good word about these remarkable knives to the rest of the world.

French Sommeliers Taste Sake in Paris Contest

Paris, June 26 (Jiji Press)—Thirty-five professionals in the French restaurant industry, including top-flight sommeliers, gathered in Paris on Monday to taste sake from Japan. The Kura Master contest was designed to choose Japanese sake brands suitable for the French market from among 550 entries. The contest took place for the first time in France, its organizer said. The results of the compet…

Interview: Frenchman Aims to Up Sake’s Presence in Top Restaurants (News)

Paris, Feb. 4 (Jiji Press)—French sommelier Xavier Thuizat, who has been under the spell of sake for years, aims to make the Japanese rice wine account for 15% of drink menus at top-ranked restaurants in his country. In a recent interview with Jiji Press, Thuizat said he hopes to realize the target in three years. He will serve as head of judges in a sake contest to be held in Paris in late Ju…


Bentō lunches are Japanese meals that can be enjoyed anywhere. Different regions have their own specialties, aimed particularly at rail travelers.

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