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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Washoku Traditional Japanese Cuisine added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

“Washoku” or traditional Japanese cuisine was officially added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The proposal was formally approved on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at a meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan. The committee valued the spiritual tradition of respecting nature that is associated with Japanese washoku. This good news is a great boast to Japan and its profile as a tourist destination and will hopefully attract more foreign tourists to this amazing country as well as raising its food profile globally.

In more recent times Japan has seen an influx of Western style eating habits such as fast food, which have spread due to their popularity among young people. A move back to traditional eating habits and culture will only benefit the nation as a whole and help preserve this cultural asset. It should ensure that traditional Japanese food culture is continued to be passed on to future generations, as well as raising its profile among people overseas. Washoku (和食), Japan’s traditional cooking method embraces seasonal ingredients, a unique taste and style that is steeped in centuries of tradition.

The proposal to UNESCO for the registration of the country’s food culture was made back in 2012. It was titled “Washoku: Traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese”. Japanese food across the country share many basic common characteristics, but it also had great diversity based on geography and history. Areas through-out Japan have regional specialties and it is this diversity along with the connection to seasonal events and celebrations that make washoku so special.

Japanese Cuisine now joins French Cuisine as the only other UNESCO registered national cuisine. This could lead to an increase in tourism to Japan with tourists keen to visit to sample the culinary delights. Washoku also joins Mount Fuji, which was officially named a UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 22nd, 2013.

Japanese Traditional Multi Course Meal ~ Kaiseki Ryori (懐石料理)

Japanese Traditional Cuisine ~ Washoku (和食)

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  1. I'm very happy about this. Though I still think chocolate is best. ;)


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