Washoku: Nature and Culture in Japanese Cuisine

  • Things to do, Exhibitions
  1. 特別展「和食 ~日本の自然、人々の知恵~」
  2. 特別展「和食 ~日本の自然、人々の知恵~」
    画像提供:国立科学博物館織田信長が徳川家康をもてなした本膳料理の再現模型 奥村彪生監修 御食国若狭おばま食文化館蔵
  3. 特別展「和食 ~日本の自然、人々の知恵~」
    画像提供:国立科学博物館奈良時代の貴族の宴会料理の再現模型 奥村彪生監修 奈良文化財研究所蔵
  4. 特別展「和食 ~日本の自然、人々の知恵~」
    画像提供:国立科学博物館マグロの実物大模型(2020年の展示風景) 国立科学博物館蔵

Time Out says

Washoku, as Japanese food is known in its homeland, is globally more popular than ever. Conveyor-belt sushi restaurants are a staple of the world’s cities, while the wider public is discovering the nutritional benefits of many traditional Japanese dishes. The year 2020 saw washoku designated as a Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage, and this recognition is now celebrated (belatedly due to the Covid-19 pandemic) by this fascinating large-scale exhibition.

Across multiple zones featuring interactive installations, replica dishes and much more, the Washoku showcase explores how both nature and culture have over centuries shaped a cuisine that for many visitors is one of Japan’s key attractions.

Highlights include a look at how fermentation, now a buzzword with foodies, was developed as a preservation technique that could also stave off boredom with a limited range of ingredients. The scientific similarity between fermentation and simple rotting away is also explained. Life-sized replicas of Edo period (1603-1868) food stalls, meanwhile, reveal the street food origins of sushi and tempura.

Note: The exhibition is closed on Mondays (expect Dec 25, Jan 8, Feb 12 and Feb 19), Dec 28-Jan 1, Jan 9, and Feb 13.

Text by Darren Gore


¥2,000, high school students and under ¥600
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 9am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
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