Japan has some of the best quality food in the world, so we have put together this comprehensive list of our favourite food along the way!
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Japanese food is sushi! Sold straight of the Tsujiki Fish Markets crazy early morning auctions and serve fresh on your late is the best way to go! If you cannot make it do the auctions, then wander the stalls surrounding the market for a seafood breakfast or venture to one of the thousands of sushi restaurants across the country! Our favourite restaurant was Genki Sushi which is a mixture being novelty and quality of food. You sit down at a computer and order your food as you go, and it is delivered to you via an automated sushi train - It was devious and cheap - Don't forget to order your miso soup! Fresh sushi ranges from ¥120 per serve to ¥3,000 for a set menu throughout Japan.
Japanese Noodle Soup! You can buy ramen on every corner of every city and we were not disappointed! You can select the broth, noodles, meat or veggies and its comes out hot! The best thing about ramen is the authentic Japanese experience that most of the restaurants have, as they are all so small, you actual sit around and watch the chefs prepare the food, just be prepared to hear people slurping very loudly either side of you! A bowl of ramen will set you back anywhere between ¥400-¥1,200 for a bowl, depending on where you buy it and what you want inside it!
Although curry is more associated with India or Thailand, Japan is also well know for serving a fantastic curry!! Although there are also other options for various meats and vegetables, the most popular dish is served with fried chicken and rice with a thick gravy sauce. There a speciality restaurant around the city or a reasonably priced franchise around town called Curry House Coco. The prices generally range from ¥550-¥1,200 for a bowl of rice and curry.
Forget Tepenyaki - cook it yourself! Restaurant with BBQ, kind of like a pancake with beef, pork, chicken or seafood! You will be provided with a bowl of egg, mixed veggies and meat (if thats your flavour) and you can add it all to the grill and play around until its ready to eat! Overall it is quite a fun experience and you can pick up a meal anywhere from ¥800-¥1,500 depending on your food selection.
Monjayaki is very similar to Okonomiyaki, and is even offered as a dish at the Okonomiyaki restaurants! The are some small points of difference with Monjayaki, which are the seasoning and some minor ingredients, but the main one is that once the food is nearly cooked, you pour the left over juice and seasoning over the food on the grill then remove it shortly after so that it is served as little rawer and juicer! The prices are similar to Okonomiyaki!
These tasty bite size gems are one of our favourite foods, similar to dumplings, they have a thin dough wrapping and can contain meat, seafood or vegetables and can either be fried of steamed. You can pick them up as an appetiser or main at various restaurants for anywhere between ¥250-¥1,000.
These delicous little octopus dumplings were the first street food that we tried when we were in Japan! There are cooked in bulk and usually purchased in packs of 4-10 depending on how hungry you are! They are cooked in batter then you can smother them in sauces (takoyaki and mayonnaise), sprinkle some aonori (green laver) and katsuwonus or bonito which is dried, fermented and smoked skipjack. You can pick them up for anywhere between ¥200-¥1,000.
The deadly Japanese Blowfish - Fugu! You can actually die if the fish is not cut correctly, but luckily for you that the highly trained chef’s must be fully licensed, which takes around 7-10 years of training! There are a number of places around town which serve the delicacy but the easiest one to find was Torafugu Tai, where prices ranged from ¥5,000 for set or ¥1,200 for entrée.
There are so many incredible things to eat in this amazing city, so we also listed another section for Street Food!
Street Food, Snacks and Junk Food in Japan
Cod Roe (Raw Fish Eggs), Eel on a stick, BBQ Clams and Salmon Stomach are just some of the beauties that you will find walking around the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market!
You can find a vast range of sweets at every second store in Japan, and lots of them contain beans! They range from bean & strawberry truffles, Taiyaki which are fish shaped bean sweets, kind of a cross between a cake and a waffle and green tea pancakes (uji green tea adzuki bean).
Famichiki is a crispy friend chicken that are sold at nearly every convenience store in the country! Don’t be fooled and overlook them just because they are not from a restaurant - ALL Japanese food is quality!
Finally, with every good meal, you will need a good drop to wash it down! Below are some of Japan's most popular drinks - some are a little healthier than others!
Matcha - A traditional Japanese green tea made from a high quality powder!
Highball - One of the most popular drinks in Japan, containing a special blend of whiskey & soda
Amazake - Known as Saki or Sake is a great traditional Japanese rice wine
Asahi & Kirin - The two biggest beer brands on the island, take you pick!
Strong Zero - A high alcohol percentage with a big sugar hit!
Umeshu - Japanese plum wine made from distilled liquors