But on this trip – so close to the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster — I also wanted to find out what impact the nuclear crisis was having on the way people viewed their food. How had Japan’s relationship with one of the world’s great cuisines changed?
I’d heard of campaigners arguing over inadequate testing – of mothers taking to the streets, raising questions over the safety of ingredients in milk formula and school meals. Had – as I’d read in newspaper reports – beef, tea and rice been contaminated with radiation for decades to come? Had the government scientists, who’d appeared on television night after night, failed in their mission to reassure the nation its food was safe?
Please listen to my documentary for the Food Programme on BBC’s Radio 4, as I try and find the answers.