Discovering Japanese Food at Japanese Food Expo

I was invited to the Japanese Food Expo as an influencer and it was quite the honor! The Japanese Food Expo was located at Loews Hollywood Hotel and presented by JFCA which is the Japanese Food Culture Association. The expo had different areas that explored a wide variety of Japanese food, drink, and travel. The different areas consisted of Rice, Seafood & Wagyu, Ramen & Noodles, drinks like Sake and Shochu, Sushi Street, Japanese Beer, Dessert & Sweets, and Premium Tastes From Japan.

One of the highlights for me at the expo was meeting Sugimoto-san who is the CEO of Sugimoto.

Sugimoto is all about Shiitake mushrooms from Japan. On display at their booth was the Sugimoto Shiitake powder that you can use to enhance and bring out the umami flavor in your food. They also had samples of their Vegan Nimono Mushroom which was super delicious. Nimono is a simmered dish in Japanese cuisine. Shiitake mushroom has many health benefits like lowering your cholesterol, boosting your immune system, and supports digestion.

I also got to sample one of the most refreshing drinks I have ever had! The Yuzu Apple Cider Vinegar drink from the company Kuze Fuku & Sons.

I really love Apple Cider Vinegar and Yuzu which is a citrus fruit and plant. So having both flavors in this drink was a combination I was very delighted to have. I was told you can get this at Mitsuwa so you know where I will be doing my grocery shopping soon.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t go to the Japanese Food Expo for the Bluefin Tuna.

Chef Andy Matsuda who has a licensed sushi school called the Sushi Chef Institute was out at the expo where he beautifully demonstrated the cutting of the bluefin tuna. I was very happy when they started to pass out the bluefin tuna samples as you can see in the above photo.

Can you believe I got to have sushi from a robot? Autec sushi robots were at the expo. The robots were super fast at making the sushi which was really good!

Autec also has machines that can make onigiri which is a rice ball filled with ingredients like Salmon, Salted Plum, etc. I asked Autec if these robots were available for at home use but sadly they said they are only available for restaurants. Please make a sushi robot for at home use as well! You can find footage on my social media of the robot.

Then I got to sample the super fancy melon from Shizuoka Crown Melon.

The Crown Melon is known to be the best Japanese Muskmelon. This is a premium melon that melts in your mouth. I really wanted seconds but I knew that was not going to happen. These melons are usually given as gifts for a very special occasion. One melon costs $116 dollars. Please someone give me this melon for my birthday!

The Japanese Food Expo wasn’t all fun and games.. or was it? I was happy to play Shateki at the JTB USA booth.

Shateki is a shooting game that uses an air gun with paper button bullets to shoot down prizes. JTB USA is a Travel Agency in the USA that provides various Japan and Asian customized tours. You can also purchase Ghibli Museum tickets before traveling over to Japan. That is what I did on my last trip out to Tokyo. I unfortunately didn’t shoot down any prizes while playing Shateki. But JTB was generous and gave me some free green tea from Shizuoka as a consolation prize.

I really had such a wonderful time at the Japanese Food Expo. Thank you so much for having me and looking forward to more events promoting Japan to the US.

Writer: Stephanie Yanez
Instagram @stephachu