food and drink

Tsukiji portraits

Tweet Not only is Tsukiji fish market one of best places in Tokyo to visit, its one of the most photogenic too. A few years ago I did a small project photographing people who work in the market. I have around 100 impromptu portraits. Usually, I just approached people explained what I was doing, asked […]

Wasabi wonder

Tweet Some photos from a little while ago that I’ve finally got round to posting (that happens a lot!) This is the owner of Marutou wasabi farm. If you are ever near the tip of the Izu peninsula, pay him a visit. He lives in one of the most beautiful Japanese villages I’ve ever seen. […]

Popping round for tea

Tweet One thing the English (I’m from England) and the Japanese share in common – other than constantly talking about the weather – is a love of tea. Last year I was asked to write about green tea and interview Masamitsu Takau, a registered “tea sommelier”. When I checked out his website I was surprised […]


Tweet Tsukiji fish market is quickly turning into the photo destination in Tokyo. It’s colourful, chaoatic and real. It’s open 24 hours a day and about 10,000 people work there. What could be better? (Just ignore the fact that officially the public, including tourists, aren’t allowed in the market). Tsukiji fish market I took my […]

Sweet and sour

Tweet When I met Mitsuyasu Uchibori he gave me a business card that read “Summelier No 001”. He is Japan’s premier vinegar sommelier.  (Su-memlier is a pun on the Japanese word of vinegar, su.) And quite the showman . . . Uchibori runs a 130 year old vinegar company in central Japan and a chain […]

Tasting danger

Tweet As I’ve written on this blog before, Tsukiji is about my favourite place in Tokyo. For anyone who’s interested in food – indeed in Japan – there is a lifetime’s worth of stuff to see, eat, learn and photograph. These photos are from a long feature I did recently on fugu (blowfish). Someone I […]

135 years of Japanese wine-making

Tweet I writing this from frigid December Bath in the UK. Brrrr. I think these photos are actually making me feel colder. At the end of summer I travelled up to Katsunuma in Yamanashi prefecture. The area is home to Japan’s largest winemaker, Mercian, and 80 odd little wineries open for visiting and tasting. Katsunuma’s […]

Second class food?

Tweet Perhaps only Japan would have an event celebrating “2nd class food”? It’s probably something to do with the fact that even the fast food in Japan tends to be very good. This year the B1 Grand Prix was held in Yokote-city up in Akita prefecture. B1 stands for B-Class Gourmet, foods like yakisoba, okonomiyaki, […]

All you ever wanted to know about Kamaboko (likely more)

Tweet There are some photographic subjects that are not exactly obviously photogenic. This was definitely one: Kamaboko AKA Japanese fish cake. I was shooting the white pasty food for an airline magazine. So what to do? I visited a kamaboko factory in the inner Tsujiki fish market and the same company’s kamaboko shop in the […]

Dashi and umami

Tweet Another shoot to add to my expanding menu of stories on Japanese food. This time I covered arguably the core ingredient of Japanese cuisine, the ingredient without which Japanese food probably wouldn’t exist: dashi fish stock. The first place I went to was Tsukiji Tamura a famous ryotei not far from the fish market […]

Kobe Beef

Tweet The first thing I realized doing this story is that Kobe beef is a much more rarified product than I’d thought. Kobe beef isn’t just beef from Kobe, and its certainly not the same thing as “wagyu”. As I was told multiple times, real Kobe beef is a particular breed of cow (Tajima-ushi), raised […]

sake brewery

Tweet More sake photos – this time of a fantastic brewery in Chiba. The sake-kura is called Terada Honke. Many thanks to photographer and friend Everett Kennedy Brown for the introduction. The special thing about the brewery is  their completely traditional methods. They use organic rice and natural sake yeast that lives in the walls […]

Japan Sake Fair

Tweet The annual Japan Sake Fair at Ikebukuro Sunshine City must be the best kept secret of the alcohol world. 3000 yen for all the sake you can drink, from all over Japan, and the best sake in Japan to boot. sake fair On the plus side I had a free press pass. On the […]

Miso photos

Tweet One of the best things about being a journalist are the tit-bits of knowledge pick up along the way and which can really enrich your life. This story I recently did on miso is a good example. I’m not sure I’d ever had proper miso before, but I doubt I’ll be able to go […]

Entomophagy in Japan

Tweet My story on bug-eating was on the front page of the Japan Foreign Correspondent’s Club magazine this month. Hope it’s not on display in the restaurant. The photos were picked up by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper too and run as a slideshow. (Many thanks to the Telegraph’s generous food critic Japan correspondent Julian Ryall […]

Foodie photos

Tweet I spent the early part of this week at “Tokyo Taste The World Summit of Gastronomy 2009”.  Held at the International Forum in Yurakucho, the event was billed as a fashion show for haute cuisine, and sold out all three days. A picture of Joel Robuchon – probably the world’s most famous chef – […]

200 kinds of instant ramen

Tweet Another shoot for my instant noodle magnum opus. There’s a restaurant – actually more of a bar – in Tokyo where all they serve is instant noodles. 200 kinds! I asked the owner why she choose instant noodles. She said because they are “cheap, easy to make, and never go off”. The dishes on […]