An old Japanese proverb suggests primacy of preparation: Eat it raw before all else, then grill it, and boil it last of all.
Total Sensory Experience
From precise preparation to artful presentation, no aspect of Japanese cuisine gets overlooked. Flavors, textures, colors, the overall composition and presentation of food on the plate--everything is designed to appeal to the senses.
Seafood in Abundance
Though Japan is a mountainous country with relatively limited agricultural output, the waters around the archipelago are brimming with sea life. Not surprisingly, seafood dominates Japanese cuisine, along with rice, soy, seaweed and fresh vegetables and fruits.
An Island unto Itself
Culinary Japan has emerged mostly unmolested by outside influences. Two notable exceptions are tea and soy, which were introduced by the Chinese, and the cooking method called tempura, lightly battering and frying foods, introduced by the Portuguese.