Tokyo Food Journey with ANA & Video of Coffee Culture

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Tokyo has always been on our our favorite cities in the world to visit. On our first visit we hopped on a plane in 2009 on an impromptu personal adventure trip and it was one of the best trips of our lives. We still remember all those delicious and wonderful moments in Tokyo. The food, style, culture and coffee was better than we had even imagined.

When we first visited in 2009 we didn’t think we’d have time to visit again so soon because we had so many other world destinations that were on our list: like Puerto Rico, Vietnam and Cuba. Boarding the plane on our flight home we felt a bit of our hearts release and stay behind in Japan. But sometimes you are lucky in life and a heart’s desire becomes reality. Early this month we returned to Tokyo on a feasting and culture exploration trip thanks to a wonderful partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

When ANA reached out to us and wanted to collaborate on ANA by Design, a travel project to explore food and culture in Tokyo, we couldn’t turn it down. And to top it off, they offered to fly us on their business class to experience their wonderful food collaborations on their in-flight menu with world renowned  “Connoisseurs” who are respected Chefs and restaurants like Ipuudo Ramen, Tsuyama and Patina (one of our photo clients!). We couldn’t say no because we’ve never flown business class on ANA airlines before and we wanted to know what it was like to experience luxury and sleep in their AMAZING fully-lay flat seats. To actually sleep, legs fully stretched out, on a 10 hour flight was a dream. Also, to be able to return to Tokyo, eat, photograph, document, photograph and eat some more is always a dream job we’re grateful for.

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Over the last two weeks we shared an inspired Japanese inspired cotton cheese cake recipe to celebrate our love of Japan and collaboration with ANA. We also shared Japanese Yuzu Sorbet recipe and some pictures of all the marvelous in-flight food from Ippudo, Tsunami and Patina during our flights. Today, we’re all about feasting again and sharing our adventures with some pictures and video!

Anyone who knows us, or has been to our house or studio, knows how obsessed we are with great coffee. No one ever leaves our meals without coffee from Todd’s La Pavoni. All our travels always include exploring the coffee scene of the city and to taste how each city is unique when it comes to their espresso.

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

So to start off Tokyo, after venturing off the ANA flight, we slept a few hours in the hotel, and then stumbled onto the subway in search of great coffee in Tokyo. Japanese coffee culture is truly unique with a long standing history. The attention of detail in every drip and drop, from hot espresso to cold brewed coffee is remarkable. In fact, one of our favorite ways to drink ice coffee is the the Japanese-style slow drip. With all this wonderful caffeine, we were always ready to jump on our next adventure. Here’s what our week in Tokyo was like to search for great coffee and understand more of Tokyo coffee culture:

Video: Tokyo Coffee Culture with Todd and Diane 

Another popular part of the food scene in Tokyo is the Tsukiji fish market, one of the largest seafood markets in the world. Not only is it a market, there’s the outer market that boasts wonderful food stalls and amazing sushi made with some of the freshest seafood you can ever imagine. We’ve shared stories about Tsukiji before here and re-visiting the market again was such a treat because they’ll be moving the whole market soon and we’re so grateful to have seen it for one last time!

Video: Taste of Tsukiji Outer Market

Even beyond all the coffee, seafood and sushi, Tokyo is brimming with food gems at every single corner, train station and small street alley. There’s something to be said, positively, about the Japanese people’s dedication to quality and commitment to excellence. In fact, even the food at their convenience stores and “fast food” stops are thoughtfully prepared with impeccable attention to detail and quality. Our friends always told us that Japanese “fast food” is still great and without a doubt, after two trips, that is a fact. Some of the best food, especially Ramen stalls, are in the train stations. It was so hard to leave the stations because there was such an abundance of great food to explore!

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Coffee in Japan Story on @whiteonrice

Thank you so much ANA for supporting us in our love of food, adventure, travel, culture and helping us do more of what we love and share with the world! 

-diane and todd

We’ve partnered with All Nippon Airways (ANA) to experience their unique collaborations, in-flight menu, Tokyo food culture and to share our honest experience with everyone. All opinions are always our own and to do that as best we can, we ate everything. It’s a hard job but we’re always up for the challenge!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Shiumai Eats

    Wow, your photos are amazing! It’s interesting to see how coffee is playing a role in Japanese lifestyle now and how they’re making it their own…I mean, matcha coffee?! That sounds so good!

  2. Loriel

    Gorgeous photos! 🙂

  3. Mary Frances

    What a beautiful trip. That latte art is so impressive! Loved following your gorgeous food journey.

  4. sandy7sand

    Thoroughly enjoyed. Until I reached the end of the post, I had travelled to Tokyo , sipping some Coffee.

  5. Life Images by Jill

    your food photography is an inspiration to me. thank you. Wishing you happy fooding and happy travels.

  6. Dorian Swift

    Love the photos and the videos truly felt like we where on the journey together and exploring and getting to know that there’s a coffee culture in japan which looks great by the way. Nice!!

  7. Jane

    This is a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  8. Kiran @

    Thorougly enjoyed the video, you guys! Especially when it’s all about the coffee culture in Tokyo 🙂

  9. Scrumptious and Sumptuous

    Loved the mini videos. Took me back to my two years I lived and taught the Japanese students many many years ago. It was an incredible time of my life. I remember visiting the Tsukiji fish market, traveling the trains at the crack of dawn, and my jaw dropping at the sight of the 6-foot long tunas! I had no idea they were so big. And oh, the luscious fresh sushi near the market. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  10. Kim at Something New For Dinner

    Beautiful pictures and videos! I’m dying to know what is in that beautiful green coffee? Matcha?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Kim.
      It was a matcha latte. So good!

  11. Celia

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! I had no idea that Japan had a coffee culture!

  12. Jenny @ Paleofoodiekitchen

    This post made me feel like I was there with the 2 of you! Happy to hear you had an amazing time in such a wonderful city.

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