Google Arts & Culture opens virtual exhibit exploring Japanese cuisine

Japanese green tea actually originated in China; Japanese cuisine was once completely vegetarian; and Tokyo is the city that is home to the greatest number of Michelin stars in the world. 

These are some of the fun facts visitors learn during a tour of Google Arts & Culture's new virtual culinary exhibit "Meshiagare! Flavors of Japan."

Meshiagare is the Japanese equivalent of the French saying bon appétit and is said by the chef or host.

Created in partnership with Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the virtual exhibit explores the history, origins and dishes of Japanese cuisine via interactive multimedia formats, photos, videos, and e-prints of historical paintings and contemporary manga. 

Visitors can time travel back to the Edo period, which gave birth to Japanese cuisine, and learn more about foods like sushi, bento, ramen, wagashi, tea and sake. 

The e-collection also dedicates space to Japanese tableware, the laying of the table, the art of Japanese tea, the discovery of umami, Japanese fish markets, and how to build a bento box. 

Other food-centered exhibits on Google Arts & Culture include explorations of Spanish and Nigerian cuisines.