Rice is the staple food and is eaten with chopsticks, which in Japanese are called 'hashi'. Besides rice, the Japanese love bread and noodles and a rich variety of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. In traditional Japanese cooking, fresh ingredients are prepared with great care. A typical Japanese meal consists of rice, vegetables, miso soup, pickles and fish or meat. For seasoning usually soy sauce (shoyu) is used, and rice is often eaten with dried seaweed (nori). Seaweed is also very tasty and healthy! Famous dishes are also sashimi, thinly sliced raw fish with hot horseradish paste (wasabi), and sushi, sliced raw fish or cut into strips slightly sprinkled with vinegar and eaten with rice. It may sound simple, but it takes many years of training to become a good cook. Tempura is deep fried seafood and vegetables, a dish introduced in the 16th century by Portuguese traders. Until 100 years ago, Japanese did not eat meat, but now there are many dishes with chicken, pork or beef. For example, Japanese satay (yakitori) is very popular, and sukiyaki, beef cooked with vegetables and tofu in a pot on the table, is a popular dish also. Noodles (soba, udon) are very popular in Japan and are often eaten instead of rice, served in a bowl of hot soup with vegetables, meat or fish. And of course you can eat in Japan as in almost every country in the world- burgers, fries and other "fast food" (very popular with the Japanese youth). Before a meal you say, "Itadakimasu", and after the meal "Gochiso deshita-sama", thanks for the food.
Tap water is drinkable everywhere. It may have a chlorine taste, but it is drinkable. Furthermore in Japan much tea and especially in the variant 'green tea' is drank . At various locations in the cities there are beverage vending machines where you can choose from hot or cold beverages. Coffee is also available, with or without milk or sugar! Sake is probably the most famous drink of Japan (made from fermented rice), but there is still a lot of beer available!