We know it best for sushi, ramen, and teriyaki chicken, but Japanese cuisine actually encompasses a vast range of dishes and flavors. Japan may be a relatively small island nation, but its topography is peppered with snow-capped mountains, broad agricultural fields, and plenty of seashore. Pasture land is at a premium, so the diet tends to be low in animal fats and relies heavily on locally sourced vegetables, grains, sea plants, and fish, with recipes adapted to the country's diverse regional preferences. But before you write it off as complicated and intimidating, know that you can complete your Japanese pantry with just a few staples, and most dishes are designed to be prepared in under an hour — perfect for a weeknight meal! Ready to learn more about turning your kitchen Japanese? Get started when you keep reading.