By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert
As Japan’s former imperial capital and the country’s cultural and artistic heartland, Kyoto boasts magnificent Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Its relics, pavilions and gardens are breathtaking. See renowned Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) with its shimmering gold leaf walls or Sanjusangendo (Hall of 33 Bays) with its amazing deities. Visit the castles of Osaka or Nijo with its moat, stoned walls and nightingale floors.
SAIL: Kyoto, Japan. Bring Japanese flavors and flair home. Shop for silks, kimonos and fans with floral cherry blossom motifs. Chopstick sets, bento boxes, ceramic serving pieces and traditional teapots or sake sets are perfect presents.
SIP: Sake. Considered the nectar of Buddha, this fermented rice wine is Japan’s sacred drink. Sip cold or hot and take note of the alcohol range–the finer the grain the better the liquor.
SAVOR: Sushi & Sashimi or Kobe Beef. Raw fish fans are in for a treat with the freshest served solo as sashimi or as sushi when atop delicate beds of rice. Carnivores can enjoy tender cuts of wagyu cattle considered the best beef in the world.
Mara is the Tastes & Traditions Expert for Regent Seven Seas Cruises where she lectures regularly about the history of cuisine and culture and what to sip and savor in various ports. Watch her dining and wine tour videos on our website under multimedia. She next sails on the Seven Seas Navigator from New York to Canada October 12-22, 2014. You can read more about her at www.marapapa.com