Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture

Rice Noodle Fish Deep Travels Through Japan s Food Culture Travel Book of the Year by the Society of American Travel WritersFinalist for the IACP Awards Literary Food WritingNamed one of the Financial Times Best Books of An innovative new take

  • Title: Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture
  • Author: Matt Goulding
  • ISBN: 9780062394033
  • Page: 454
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 2016 Travel Book of the Year by the Society of American Travel WritersFinalist for the 2016 IACP Awards Literary Food WritingNamed one of the Financial Times Best Books of 2016 An innovative new take on the travel guide, Rice, Noodle, Fish decodes Japan s extraordinary food culture through a mix of in depth narrative and insider advice, along with 195 color photograph2016 Travel Book of the Year by the Society of American Travel WritersFinalist for the 2016 IACP Awards Literary Food WritingNamed one of the Financial Times Best Books of 2016 An innovative new take on the travel guide, Rice, Noodle, Fish decodes Japan s extraordinary food culture through a mix of in depth narrative and insider advice, along with 195 color photographs In this 5000 mile journey through the noodle shops, tempura temples, and teahouses of Japan, Matt Goulding, co creator of the enormously popular Eat This, Not That book series, navigates the intersection between food, history, and culture, creating one of the most ambitious and complete books ever written about Japanese culinary culture from the Western perspective.Written in the same evocative voice that drives the award winning magazine Roads Kingdoms, Rice, Noodle, Fish explores Japan s most intriguing culinary disciplines in seven key regions, from the kaiseki tradition of Kyoto and the sushi masters of Tokyo to the street food of Osaka and the ramen culture of Fukuoka You won t find hotel recommendations or bus schedules you will find a brilliant narrative that interweaves immersive food journalism with intimate portraits of the cities and the people who shape Japan s food culture.This is not your typical guidebook Rice, Noodle, Fish is a rare blend of inspiration and information, perfect for the intrepid and armchair traveler alike Combining literary storytelling, indispensable insider information, and world class design and photography, the end result is the first ever guidebook for the new age of culinary tourism.

    One thought on “Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture”

    1. It’s eleven o’clock on a Saturday night. I should be out at the bar sucking up bourbon the way my parched California lawn opens wide for spilled afternoon beers. I should be making poorly rehearsed passes at people I’ll never have a chance with. I should be begging my Uber driver to take me back through the Del Taco drive-thru a second time because three burritos obviously won’t be enough. Or maybe In-N-Out? I should be doing the stupid stuff I usually do on the weekend, but I’m home. [...]

    2. "The concept of shokunin, an artisan deeply and singularly dedicated to his or her craft, is at the core of Japanese culture. Japan's most famous shokunin these days is Jiri Ono, immortalized in the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but you will encounter his level of relentless focus across the entire food industry. Behind closed doors. Down dark alleyways. Up small stairwells. Hiding in every corner of this city and country."This amazing travel book examines the culture, history, and people of [...]

    3. This book is about the food culture in Japan and how it has developed over the years. It's a real gem of a find for anyone interested in Japan and Japanese food. It's chock full of gorgeous color photos--photos so good you might find yourself drooling.Matt Goulding spent a lot of time in Japan working on this book, and the depth of his research is impressive. Japan is a country made up of 4 islands, and each island has its specialties. He starts in Tokyo, a city where you can move from ancient t [...]

    4. An exquisite book that I'm now tempted to buy after borrowing this from the library. There's a real empathy and respect for the Japanese art of shokunin - craftsmen who concentrate on one specific item, whether it's okonomiyaki or ramen or yakitori - beautifully written and accompanied by deliciously moody photographs. I love that there are profile pieces on so many fascinating characters too. It's a terrific homage that never veers into patronising territory or gawking sensationalism as many tr [...]

    5. "Rice, Noodle, Fish" is a travelogue through the delicious and fascinating food culture of Japan. When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is to explore the new place through their food. This is a gorgeous book that takes us to many different parts of Japan to show us how the Japanese prepare and eat their food. One word of warning: do not read this book while you are hungry. If you do and you don't have quick access to authentic Japanese food, you're probably going to eat the book and tha [...]

    6. *Based on a reading of ARC I've read some duds lately that I dropped mid point without regrets but finally I came across a book that broke that reading pattern. This is part travel lit, part food lit, part history and part cultural study. It is fascinating, insightful look at food culture of country and the artists known for their dedication and craftsmanship that goes beyond just eating. The writing is good, very good and suits this type of a book. At times full of humor and a lot of mouth wate [...]

    7. Nicely done foodie travelogue of Japan. If you like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you will love this. No recipes, tho.

    8. Recommended if you are actually in Japan now, or if you are taking a trip there before, say, 2020, because it will steer you toward a lot of interesting-sounding places to eat. NOT recommended for the armchair traveller, because there's a lot of “oh, this is a great place to eat” and “that is great but not-well-known type of pickle” and “here's a must-visit spot”, which will be of limited utility if you are condemned, by life-choices or otherwise, not to be able to get to the Land of [...]

    9. The first book you see in a bookstore (finished reading April 24, 2016)What is wrong with this book? I don't suppose there is actually something "wrong" with it, and in fact the book did provide me with some entertainment and the book did make me lust about traveling to Japan the whole time. The whole concept of eating your own across Japan is actually a really great idea for a book and I felt that if there were similar books like this one in Japanese, I would have loved to read them. I would ha [...]

    10. I had to abandon this book. I was so excited about it- having lived in Japan for four years and loving the food and culture, I thought it would be the perfect book for me. Not so. The book is oozing with pretentiousness, making it absolutely impossible to enjoy. It's wonderful that they highlight those dedicated to their craft, I'll give them that. But it's too painfully obnoxious to read.

    11. I had my first piece of sashimi between the ages of seven and nine. My father and paternal grandfather had taken my sister and myself out for dinner, and since my paternal grandfather was one of the co-owners of Saisaki, at the time one of the most popular Japanese restaurants in the Philippines, he and my father decided it was high time to introduce us to Japanese food. On that night, we had sashimi (but not sushi - my father isn’t a very big fan of it), shrimp tempura, and sukiyaki: not exac [...]

    12. What an awesome book! Thoroughly enjoyed it. “The concept of shokunin, an artisan deeply and singularly dedicated to their craft, is at the core of Japanese culture. Behind closed doors. Down dark alleyways. Hiding in every corner of this country. The 80-year-old tempura man who has spent six decades discovering the subtle differences yielded by temperature and motion. The 12th-generation unagi sage who uses metal skewers like an acupuncturist uses needles, teasing the muscles of wild eel into [...]

    13. It's easy for food and travel writing to fall flat, or circle around cliches that are just as easy to stumble upon on sites like Medium or even Tumblr. But Goulding takes an incredibly fresh look at a foreign country that I've lived in, waxing lyrical but brilliantly on Japanese food culture. Spanning the culinary must-sees of Tokyo to the neglected regions of Fukuoka and Noto, Goulding tells the stories of each sub-region's cuisine through engaging and interesting characters. In some settings, [...]

    14. Maybe it's because I've never dropped my cutlery after being so astounded by the first bite of some food, but Rice, Noodle, Fish came across as overly dramatic and often pretentious. The more factual writing about the history of some item of food or type of meal was well written and the small guides to various things like types of sushi were nicely displayed, but the anecdotes were often painful to read.I could tell from the moment I began reading the correspondance between the author and Anthon [...]

    15. I think this is an amazing book. This is because it is very interesting, with a story, history, and background of each delicacy in the Japanese culture. I also realized that I learned a lot about the history of Japan, and how each city runs and operates. This book identifies the history of Japanese food and culture, and how it is different from other cities around the world. My favorite parts of the story is when the book shows certain experiences only to be found in Japan, such as eating at lea [...]

    16. Traveling to Japan NowI love Japanese food and in love finding out where things have come from and why they are considered the best for that region. This book does just that and more! After reading this book, I now want to travel to Japan more than ever and experience all of the food mentioned in this book, and see all of the different regions that comes with finding the food. Matt Goulding does and excellent job of not only making your mouth water and your stomach grumble, but the way he descri [...]

    17. Like the title says, Matt Goulding's "Rice, Noodle Fish" is a deep travel through Japan's food culture. It's a book I wish I read before I went to Japan, and yet I still have a deep appreciation for it even though I've been to Japan a number of times.This is food porn on the page, and Goulding takes you on an amazing journey. He even had me thinking I should try chicken sashimi or mackerel that's been fermented for 15 years. And these are decisions I usually make on the fly, while in Japan, with [...]

    18. This book was amazing. I got it from the library and paid a huge fine because I couldn't bear to return it. So I'll have to buy it. I have a love affair with Japan, and the detail on each prefecture's food culture was fascinating. After each chapter, I HAD to have sushi, or ramen, or noodles. SO good.

    19. I travel to Japan for work relatively regularly. I had very little understanding of the food culture until I read this book. It'll shed a new light on meals and eating in Japan. Highly recommend for those who travel to Japan or those interested in food culture.

    20. Simply too pretentious throughout. Rhapsodizing over a chef whose passion is showcasing water? It's time to tell the emperor he has no clothes on. The two stars are for the interesting pictures.

    21. Great book!! I read the first half before I went to Japan and the second half after and now I want to go back already!

    22. Maybe my expectations were too high. I loved the idea of the book: a travelogue by someone who "eats" his way across the country. When the book was being hyped it sounded like a fun read and I've read a few Japan food-specific books that seem similar to this, so it seemed like a good read.  So you'll look at foods you have probably heard of (sushi, ramen) but learn a bit more (like what's stocked in their convenience stores, what are some common phrases to know, what are "love hotels", etc.) T [...]

    23. Rarely do I read a book that stirs up the strongest of emotions and motivations in me. I've been to Japan twice over the years and fell in love with its culture, mystique and more importantly, its food. I've been a reader of Roads & Kingdoms for years now and I can confidently say that they produce one of the best travel journalism pieces out there. M. Goudling brings that spirit into this ambitious project that delves into Japan's history and culture through the medium of food.Rice, Noodle, [...]

    24. I received this in a giveaway some time ago and only just got around to reading it, but once I got started I was engaged the entire time. Goulding's writing style is equal parts informative and humorous without falling into the habit a lot of Western writers have of overly-exoticising the subjects. There's a loving, humanizing touch to exploring the lives of the people who guide him through their culture. I loved the setup of splitting the regions into separate chapters and the various photo gui [...]

    25. An excellent Japanese food guide book and a pleasure to read! Goulding takes you from convenience stores to ramen stalls to Kyoto's kaiseki spreads. My only regret is that I read it on Kindle paperwhite, and missed out on many of the gorgeous photographs that are in the print version.I read this book with my phone in one hand so that I could bookmark all of the fantastic food and restaurants that he recommends. And I ate them and they were indeed excellent. From Lawsons' egg salad sandwiches (th [...]

    26. Rice, Noodle, Fish is a helpful primer for anyone looking for a foodie adventure in Japan. It needn't be used as a dogmatic text of places one must visit, but an introduction to what a visitor can expect. This book really gets it right and is full of beautiful photographs. Flipping through Rice, Noodle, Fish after returning from a recent trip to Japan, I joyfully reminisced about shinkansen, conbini, izakaya, and other happy memories made on that journey. I recommend Rice, Noodle, Fish for anyon [...]

    27. This book is glorious! Such a mesmerizing examination of Japan's food culture that focuses on the big hitters: ramen, fermented goods, street food, sushi, rice, and alcohol. The photos are well placed and not overdone, and the food tip guides that break up the narration are fun and informative. Goulding is having too much fun traveling around Japan and eating, and I was supremely jealous throughout the book. The general size, font, and layout of this book is so pleasing; it feels small enough to [...]

    28. A great book to read before my recent trip to Japan. Crazy, in-depth, passionate, and at times a wee bit pretentious (a statement that wooden chopsticks from one region affect the flavor of the food?), This book is nonetheless great fun to read. I especially loved the two-page timeline on how to go out drinking and performing karaoke with the boss. A month after reading the book, the line about how, past a certain hour of the night, boorishness will now be tolerated, still makes me laugh.

    29. A fun book to read. I appreciate that it goes beyond the usual guidebook/food article cliches about Japan to reveal the culinary depth and diversity that can be found there. It was very enlightening and I learned some new things about Japan and the foods and cultures of Japan. Nice photos. Highly recommend.

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