japan's far north

japan's far north

Explore the traditional food culture of Tohoku, Japan's rugged far north, shaped by its mountainous geography and harsh climate. Discover the role of naturally preserved fish and vegetables, wild uncultivated greens, and game in the diet, as well as the warmth and kindness of the locals who preserve food customs handed down through the generations.

Ever since I started traveling to Japan, I've been fascinated by the "edges" of the country -- the reaches beyond hypermodern Tokyo. I just returned from researching story assignments in Kyoto, and also Tohoku, Japan's rugged far north - one of those edges. What a trip. In Tohoku I learned how traditional food culture endures there, and how its mountainous geography and harsh climate have shaped the way people eat. I met farmers, fishermen, cooks, sake makers, Buddhist priests, moms and grandmoms who carry on food customs handed down through the generations. I learned about the role of naturally preserved fish and vegetables, wild uncultivated greens and even game in the diet. And I got to feel the soul of the place through the warmth and kindness of strangers who invited me into their homes, kitchens, barns, breweries and workshops. More to come...