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Three restaurant operators from the Chubu region will participate in Expo 2015 Milano in Italy next year to promote Japanese food culture to the rest of the world.

Six Japanese companies are scheduled to take part in the event, presenting their best dishes in a food court within the Japan Pavilion.

Curry house Ichibanya Co. and Sagami Chain Co., which sells noodles and other traditional dishes, are both from Aichi Prefecture, while Kakiyasu Honten Co., which specializes in “wagyu” (Japanese beef), hails from Mie.

The other three companies are sushi chain Kyotaru, owned by Yoshinoya Holdings, burger chain Mos Food Services, Inc., and traditional sukiyaki restaurant Ningyocho Imahan.

The Milano event, to be held from May to October, is a good opportunity for companies with expansion plans to raise brand awareness in Europe.

Ichibanya already has a presence in other parts of Asia but does not have a foothold in Europe. Since it plans to expand worldwide, the company hopes to test public reaction to its dishes at the expo, which will serve as a stepping stone to the European market.

Sagami Chain, which wants local residents to try authentic “soba” (buckwheat noodles), is working on the menu for the expo.

Having just broken into Southeast Asia, where many patrons are from the growing upper class, Sagami Chain hopes the experience will prove useful at an international event like the expo.

Meanwhile, Kakiyasu Honten is planning to draw up a Japanese menu that offers wagyu. It will be based on a typical meal including rice, soup and three side dishes, with special attention given to flavor and appearance.

The theme of the expo is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

Since “washoku” (traditional Japanese cuisine) has been listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, the company will focus on “promoting the nutritional balance and food safety,” said an official from Kakiyasu Honten.

Aichi and its capital Nagoya will also open a joint booth to introduce the local specialty known as Nagoya-meshi, which includes “misokatsu,” a type of pork cutlet seasoned with rich miso sauce.

This section, appearing Saturdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published June 17.

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