EAT! MEET! JAPAN 2022: Announcing 10 Award-Winning Food Experiences

By Rika Hoffman
Updated: April 11, 2023

On February 8, 2023, the creators of 10 award-winning food experiences convened at Tokyo Big Sight for the EAT! MEET! JAPAN 2022 ceremony. 

A governmental program created by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), EAT! MEET! JAPAN recognizes and promotes the top Japanese food experiences across the country. 

This year’s award ceremony was punctuated by two surprises: a special appearance by Shizuoka prefecture’s mascot, a giant wasabi fairy by the name of Sabi-chan; and an announcement about an upcoming project for 2023 (more info below). 

Winners of the Eat! Meet! Japan Award Ceremony with Shizuoka Prefecture's wasabi mascot


EAT! MEET! JAPAN is a program funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), which has been running for four consecutive years starting in 2019. The project seeks to discover the top food experiences in Japan and support their advancement by providing marketing support, consulting from industry professionals, and video production services. By promoting new and unique food experiences that have the potential to captivate tourists year after year, MAFF aims to increase repeat visits to Japan. 


The EMJ selection criteria are as follows:

  • Is this an experience that involves food and can be explained as 食×〇〇 (“Food x XX”)?
  • Is this an attractive experience for tourists visiting Japan?
  • Is this an initiative that fully conveys the appeal of Japanese food?
  • Is this an initiative that leads to the consumption (export) of local products through case studies?
  • Is the initiative using food/ingredients that will lead to exports?
  • Is the target country clear?
  • Is this an initiative that can be expected to have sustained visit results?

EAT! MEET! JAPAN 2022 Award-Winning Food Experiences

Representing 9 prefectures of Japan, the 10 winners of EAT! MEET! JAPAN 2022 were selected from 101 applicants. The EAT! MEET! JAPAN award-winning experiences for 2022 are diverse, yet they all share one commonality: allowing travelers to gain deep insights into Japanese gastronomy while celebrating the people who are preserving Japanese food traditions.

EAT! MEET! JAPAN 2022 Winners

Harvesting Fresh Wasabi in the Beautiful Fields of Shizuoka

Revitalizing Minamisanriku: Fresh Oysters and Local Wine Tour

Soy Sauce Making and Factory Tour in Kawagoe

Vegan Cooking Class: Temari Sushi with Local Sustainable Vegetables

Century-Old Fermentation Storehouse Tour and Miso Sampling

From Leaf to Brew: The Secrets of Japanese Tea Production

Make Your Own Pet Food From Scratch! Fishing and Grilling in Mie

Takashima, the City of Fermentation: Miso, Soy Sauce, and the Original Sushi

Hinagashi Traditional Japanese Sweet Making in Tsuruoka

Pick Mikan and Make Marmalade with a Local Farmer in Ehime

New Project for 2023: Products That Convey Regional Food Culture


Following presentations and Q&As with each of the winners, a new project was announced for 2023. Starting this April, MAFF and the travel agency JTB will be accepting applications for Japanese food products that can be sold through cross-border e-commerce. Selected products will be reviewed by a team of experts who will consult on how best to package and market them. Applications are open for two months, beginning in April 2023.

A recording of the full award ceremony can be viewed on the official Japanese EAT! MEET! JAPAN website.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Rika Hoffman
Rika is a sourdough enthusiast, amateur film photographer, and pun-lover, born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. A carb-based lifeform, she is always on the lookout for tasty bakeries in Tokyo.
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