I am new-ish to Japan and my only previous experiences with Japanese food have been sushi in the US/UK (and then only really cheap and cheerful places in Hawaii and NYC and only one slighter nicer place, but nothing notable) and tempura (again, nothing even remotely notable). I didn't know anything about tonkatsu, kushiage or even yakitori before moving here so you can see I'm talking basics. I am currently studying Japanese, but am only a beginner so I'm looking for some English language sources available here in Tokyo to get me started.
For instance, I'd love to learn more about tofu, all the different kinds and how to serve it. Same with miso. And I've read a lot here about kaiseki. I had one kaiseki meal at a randomly chosen ryokan when we first came to Japan but have no basis for comparison or critique. In fact, this question springs from that experience. I've just joined Chowhound and have been reading over lots of old threads and in one someone had a bad kaiseki experience and others here could tell just by looking at the pictures of that meal that it wasn't good. That really struck me. I don't see what they are seeing and I'd like to know more background about all kinds of food here as I try them and work on getting to know them.
Anyway, apologies if this is a bit dorky. I get that there is no substitute for just getting out and about. I'm using the threads here to try lots of different things and places. I just thought it might also be interesting to read a bit more about the different types of food/cooking/serving in additional to getting out there and eating.
Hope this makes sense!