Travel & Adventure 2x52'


How to get the noblest flavors from a microscopic fungus? How to awake a taste still unknown and unmatched with a simple broth? Such culinary prowess is achieved by Japan. This documentary reveals the secrets of its two essential condiments: shoyu and dashi.


On an archipelago where agricultural land is limited, Japanese must be inventive when it comes to gastronomy. They use nature’s precious and unsuspected resources, such as Aspergillus oryzae – the “noble” mold which is the base of shoyu. Thus, they were able to develop two revolutionary recipes, these of a sauce and a broth giving even the blandest of ingredients an incomparable taste known as umami (meaning “delicious taste”). In Kyoto, the ancient imperial city, traditional skills and modern techniques are combined to create the best flavors.


From cultivation laboratories to breweries, from fishing boats to restaurants, Flavors of Japan shows in great detail the making process of these condiments that form the quintessence of Japanese gastronomy.

  • Episode 1: Dashi
  • Episode 2: Shoyu

Direction: Shohei Shibata

Production: Point du Jour for ARTE France & NHK

Languages: French, English

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