Most Japanese food taste quite light, (except noodles, they are very salty), and simple. A small portion of salted vegetables (咸菜) or Sashimi can be put on top of rice to make a dish. In fact, the rice itself is an ingredient. It is fresh and fragrant so the whole dish is still rich and flavorful.
If to name one characteristic about Japanese cuisine, it must be their artistic plating. The dishes look so beautiful that you want to cherish them instead of eating them. If the content of the dish is simple, the preparation and cleaning must be time consuming because it takes many dishes to make a dinner. It is said that this is because in the past the resources is relatively scarce so Japanese have to make the food appealing to appetite. But I think pursuing the attractive presentation to the extreme is embedded in Japanese’s blood. The product packaging is always artful, the streets are always tidy and organized, even people are always dressed fashionably.