The moment our plane touched the runway I rounded on the man in the aisle seat and demanded he tell us where to find the best sushi (other than at the fish market). An hour later we had unceremoniously dumped our luggage at the hotel and were sitting at the bar of Sushi Zanmai, a local chain boasting the finest regional flavours.
Unsurprisingly, sushi in Japan is dramatically different to its European cousins. Here, simplicity is king. Forget try hard maki rolls, tempura drenched in fluorescent dip and outlandish combinations of colour and texture; you wont find it here.
Instead you are served simple rolls of unimaginable freshness and flavour. But remember it's Japan and it's expensive. Just how expensive? Zuma prices. £80 for two people, no booze, at a super casual joint.
Sushi means 'sour-tasting'....
Because originally fish would be wrapped in sour fermenting rice which would break down the proteins in the fish making it taste sour (umami)...
The rice would then be discarded and only the fish would be eaten.
But this was hundreds of years ago. Modern sushi as we know it today has only been around for two centuries and was the Japanese equivalent of 'fast food' as the roll wouldn't be fermented so the whole thing could be eaten quickly and on the go.