THE WORLD Cup is less than a month away but the nearest most of us will get to Japan is watching Gary Lineker or Des Lynam at some ungodly hour in the morning.
However, you can get a taste of what Michael Owen and the rest of the England squad will be enjoying in the Orient at Samsi Yakitori - a delightful Japanese restaurant at 70 Watergate Street.
Chester is blessed with a number of excellent French, Italian and English restaurants but Samsi Yakitori offers a genuine alternative.
The restaurant's décor is typically Japanese and the waitresses, dressed in kimonos, are happy to help you with your choice of dish.
The menu can seem a little intimidating but does go into detail to explain every item. Plumping for one of the banquets gives you a chance to sample some of the areas of Japanese cuisine and if you are particularly hungry, you may want to try the Sumo Wrestler's Banquet.
I decided to start with Teriyaki backrib, which was very tasty but the sauce was not a million miles away from the sauce you would taste with spare ribs at any Chinese restaurant.
My girlfriend Victoria picked Mushroom Tempura - whole mushrooms lightly battered a delicious and fairly light starter.
I am not a great fan of starters as they can often ruin a main meal but Samsi Yakitori seems to get the right balance of a delicious dish that won't spoil your appetite.
Japanese food is often associated with fish so I decided to try Tendon Tempura - a mixture of prawns, calamari, onions and asparagus, lightly battered and served with sticky rice.
Calamari can sometimes be very chewy, but this was tender and melted in my mouth.
Victoria chose the Chicken Sukiyaki - a dish consisting of small strips of chicken, vegetables and noodles which was cooked at the table.
If you have enough room after all that, and we did, try one of the sweets.
The chocolate fondue with fruit is a little self indulgent but extremely delicious, or you could try the sweet tempura alternative of apple or banana.
Rounded off with a cup of authentic Japanese tea, Samsi Yakitori is a fantastic restaurant if you are looking for something different.
The environment, atmosphere and, most importantly, the food, add up to a very enjoyable meal and if all goes well in June, you can toast a glass of sake to Sven-Goran Eriksson.