map of Asia
map of Japan
map of Osaka
Copyright © All World
of Accommodations For Travelers to Japan
It's more than a mushroom cloud
and offbeat places to visit in Tokyo
Fuji, the sleeping volcano
Japan - An Introduction
Wonderful World of Sushi
|Osaka is a city in
Japan, located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, in the Kansai
region of the main island of Honshu. The city is the capital of Osaka Prefecture.
Often dubbed the second city
of Japan, Osaka was historically the commercial capital of Japan, and to
date the heart of Japan's second largest metropolitan area of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto,
whose population is 19,220,000.
A unique title that the city
of Osaka holds is the first place in Japan for day to night population
ratio of 141%, a depiction of Osaka's economical and commercial centric
character. While at night time the population ranks third place in the
country at 2.6 million, in daytime it surges to 3.7 million, second only
after Tokyo. Also, Osaka is traditionally considered the "nation's kitchen"
or the gourmet food capital of Japan.
Wonderful World of Sushi by Maxine Glass
Unless you live in a cave
somewhere in Saskatchewan, you've probably noticed the recent trend of
sushi restaurants popping up all over the major cities of the world (no
offense to anyone living in Saskatchewan, of course). The raw fish craze
has become the subject of countless restaurant reviews and uber-trendy
"it" spots giving the Japanese staple food quite a bit of attention. These
eateries with chic décor, dim lighting and intricately designed,
square-shaped plates charge a pretty penny for all things raw.
So what's the big deal about
sushi? If you live in the Far East, sushi is nothing special. Their cultural
staples of rice and fish make sushi a very unremarkable phenomenon. In
fact, the concept of sushi dates back to a very practical purpose in 7th
Century China when fish needed to be preserved for long periods of time.
Previously, the fish had been packed in salt, which helped ferment the
fish over a few months. But who wants to wait for months just to have a
piece of salty fish?
In time, it was discovered
that fish could be preserved just as well by rolling the fish in rice that
had been soaked in vinegar. Not only was this tastier, but it allowed the
fish to ferment in a matter of days rather than months. Once the fish was
ready, the rice was usually discarded, but with drought and food shortage,
people began eating the rice and the fish together for the nutrients.
Chef Yohei is credited with
originating the first types of sushi in the 1800s when he served fish wrapped
in rice to his friends at a dinner party. He created two styles of sushi
named after two cities in Japan: Edo (present day Tokyo)
The sushi that came from
Osaka is most akin to what you'd be served at a sushi restaurant today,
as they were known for blending rice with many different ingredients, especially
fish, to form a decorative presentation.
They also took advantage
of the rich variety of seafood and fish in the area by placing a small
piece of fish on a pad of seasoned rice to create nigirizushi. Today's
sushi chefs have come a long way since Yohei's time, but they still use
the same techniques and principles when constructing their rolls.
Even if you've heard about
sushi and you think it sounds interesting, it can be intimidating to visit
a sushi restaurant without knowing how to order. Let's start with the menu:
You have some choices as
to how you'd like your sushi to look:
- Nigri - a small
piece of fish placed on a mound of rice, often secured with a small band
of nori or seaweed. Some restaurants place a bit of wasabi in between the
rice and the fish for added flavor.
- Maki - probably
the most recognizable form of sushi, the ingredients are rolled inside
rice and nori and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Temaki - cone-shaped
hand rolls that include a great deal of fish and other ingredients wrapped
in a large piece of nori. Because they are so large, they are eaten with
hands rather than chopsticks.
Once you've decided what
form your sushi should take, it's simply a matter of choosing ingredients.
Modern sushi restaurants in the United States pride themselves on creative
rolls with interesting ingredients, so it pays to be adventurous. Below
are some of the most popular types of nigri that will help you translate
|Magura = Tuna
Tai = Red Snapper
Awabi = Abolone
Hirame = Halibut
Saba = Mackerel
Ikura = Salmon Roe
Toro = Fatty Tuna
Ika = Squid
Mirugai = Giant Clam
|Hamachi = Yellow Tail
Ebi = Shrimp
Uni = Sea Urchin
Tako = Octopus
Sake = Smoked Salmon
Unagi = Eel
Anago = Sea Eel
Kani = Crab
Tomago = Egg
|Not a fish fan? There are
plenty of vegetarian rolls and other dishes. A very popular vegetarian
dish is inari, which consists of a thin piece of fried tofu stuffed with
sushi rice. It's quite tasty and a great choice for anyone.
While waiting for the meal,
you can prepare your chopsticks. Some restaurants may have reusable chopsticks,
which don't require any preparation, but most places will have wooden chopsticks
that need to be broken apart. You may want to rub the sticks together after
they have been broken to remove any splinters. When you are not using your
chopsticks, lean them on the provided rest or on the soy sauce dish. Still
asking for the kiddy chopsticks with the rubber band attaching them at
the top? Check out the instructions at eHow.com and make yourself learn
once and for all.
The sushi will arrive at
the table on some sort of wooden plank or long dish. You may want to pour
some soy sauce into your small dish (low-sodium is usually available upon
request) to serve as a dipping sauce for the sushi. Accompanying the sushi
will be two small mounds of Japanese condiments:
|- Wasabi - known
as Japanese horseradish, the green pasty lump is quite spicy and made from
the root of the wasabi plant. Many people mix it in with their soy sauce
to add a spicy kick to their sushi when they dip. A very small amount,
usually one chopstick-full provides more than enough spice for a small
dish of soy sauce.
- Ginger - this sweet,
pickled condiment is used as a digestive aid or to cleanse the palate after
the meal or in between rolls.
There's no end to the types
of sushi that can be created, so take your time ordering and try new things.
Ask for any specials or what the sushi chef recommends and you'll get the
best of the best.
I Want to be a Sushi Chef
Sushi-making is undoubtedly
an art, but crudely formed rice rolls are supposed to be relatively simple
to make. Impress dinner guests with your new talent, but do a few practice
rounds before you get to the real thing. It takes a while to get the knack.
The process itself is not
hard, but it is difficult to explain without a visual aid. The best step-by-step
instructions with pictures that I could find were at IMakeSushi.com. Their
basic sushi-making directions are simple and easy to follow, which include
a standard roll, inside-out roll and nigri. The site also has instructions
on how to make more complicated rolls if you get really adventurous.
|Copyright © 2006 Ampere
About the Author: Recipe4Living.com
features more than 10,000 user submitted recipes, ideas and recipes from
Wolfgang Puck, reference guides, healthy living advice, tips for kids,
and much more. You can find all recipes mentioned in this article at www.recipe4living.com.
for hotels in Osaka
FEATURED HOTELS, JAPAN
browsing hotels in Osaka
Providing all the modern
day comforts, Imperial Hotel Osaka welcomes you for an unforgettable stay.
The hotel is about 10 minutes drive from Umeda, the heart of Osaka and
is only a five-minute walk from the nearest station, JR Sakuranomiya. This
location is ideal for anyone wanting to get out of the busy district of
the city. Guests can enjoy French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine served
at the onsite restaurants. The in-house bars provide the ideal setting
for you to relax, while enjoying a variety of cocktails, canapes, coffee
and other liquid refreshments. Guests can workout in the gymnasium,
take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, unwind at the sauna, jacuzzi
or in the relaxation rooms. Sports enthusiasts will find a squash court,
golf practice area at the hotel.
Hotel Nikko Osaka is located
in central Osaka, close to Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, Osaka Castle,
and Tsutenkaku Tower. Nearby points of interest also include Shitennoji
Temple and Umeda Sky Building. Dining options at Hotel Nikko Osaka include
a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited
hours. This 4.0-star property has a business center and offers small meeting
rooms. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available
in public areas. Guest parking is available for a surcharge. Additional
property amenities include a coffee shop/café, multilingual staff,
and currency exchange. The property has designated areas for smoking.
Royal Hotel Osaka
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
is located in the Umeda neighborhood of Osaka, close to Grand Cube Osaka,
Osaka Castle, and Umeda Sky Building. Nearby points of interest also include
Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Tsutenkaku Tower. Dining options at RIHGA
Royal Hotel Osaka include a restaurant and a poolside bar. Room service
is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool,
a health club, and a sauna. The property's full-service health spa has
massage/treatment rooms and beauty services. High-speed Internet
access is available in public areas. Guest parking is available for a surcharge.
Additional property amenities include a coffee shop/café, a concierge
desk, and multilingual staff.
Umeda Hotel Osaka
Sunroute Umeda Hotel is
located in central Osaka, close to Umeda Arts Theater, Umeda Sky Building,
and Osaka Castle. Nearby points of interest also include Shinsaibashi Shopping
Arcade and Umeda Joypolis Sega. Dining options at Sunroute Umeda Hotel
include a restaurant. This 2.5-star property offers small meeting rooms
and technology support staff. Complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet
access is available in public areas. Guest parking is available for a surcharge.
Other property amenities at this Art Deco property include multilingual
staff and currency exchange. The property has designated areas for smoking.
A total renovation of this property was completed in February 2010.
Port Hotel Osaka
Whether you are in Osaka
for business or pleasure, the Weekly Mansion with its comfortable accommodation
is one of the finest budget-lodging alternative hotels in Japan.
The Weekly Mansion Osaka at Otemae is situated near major tourist destinations
and business districts. This area is well known as one of business districts
in Osaka and is easily accessible from any area of Osaka and just 4 minutes
walk from the subway stations. Enjoy the convenience of a well-furnished
western-style apartment with enough room for the single traveller or the
whole family to stretch out in comfort. The hotel does not have a
restaurant, but there are many dining options nearby. During leisure,
you can browse the net or explore the area attractions.
- Cambodia - China -
Hong Kong - India
Indonesia & Bali - Japan
- Korea (South) - Kyrgyzstan
- Laos - Macau - Malaysia
Maldives - Nepal -
- Singapore - Sri Lanka
- Taiwan - Thailand
- Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan