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Trails to Oishii Tokyo

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Shark meat has been eaten in Japan since ages past. It's often used in old-school Japanese soul foods such as Oden. We visit Aomori Prefecture, where shark is still eaten regularly, to discover traditional methods for catching and consuming shark, including a collagen-rich dish good for the skin and another excellent for overall health. Join us as we dive into the world of sharks in Japan!

Shijimi: this tiny, coin-sized clam is beloved in Japan. Not only is it packed with nutrients like amino acids, but it has a rich umami flavor and goes perfectly in miso soup. We visit Lake Shinji, famous for its shijimi catch, and discover how these clams are harvested, sorted with a surprising sound-based method, and used in a variety of delicious dishes. Come with us as we crack open the secrets of shijimi.

This time, our theme is shiso, a plant used as an herb in Japanese cooking. Shiso is known for its refreshing aroma, and is used to garnish sashimi, as a spice and more. Its anti-bacterial properties have long made it an essential part of Japan's culinary culture. We visit a farm that uses insects instead of agrochemicals to grow shiso organically. We also discover foods such as traditional pickled shiso from Kyoto and a shiso-based alcoholic beverage gaining attention around the world.

This time, we dive deep into soba, Japan's iconic buckwheat, which is used to make soba noodles. Soba long supported the lives of mountain dwellers who could not grow rice or wheat. It also has deep ties to Japanese culture, and is eaten to pray for long lives and more. Ever wondered why you slurp soba noodles in Japan? We discover the very special reason. We also visit a traditional production area and see the various ways soba is prepared there.

From sashimi to sushi to ramen and more, soy sauce is an essential part of Japanese cuisine. With complex, umami-packed flavor and full-bodied aroma, soy sauce is a fermented condiment made possible thanks to microbes. We visit a traditional producer to see how it's made. Plus, we get a look at soy sauce-based ramen and a renowned French chef who uses soy sauce in his dishes.

Native to Japan, like its western counterparts, lemon or lime, sudachi is used as a condiment or for its tangy, aromatic juice and is not consumed as a fruit. Its mellow acidity and aroma add an extra boost to Japanese cuisine. Where it once only grew wild, its popularity has now spread nationwide thanks to the endeavors of one small town. We visit Tokushima Prefecture, the production hub of sudachi, to capture its delicate charm.

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