The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

by Amy - TripleLights travel specialist

Japanese food is famous and well-loved around the world. No food is more representative of Japan than sushi. However, now Japan is famous for some non-traditional foods such as crepes and many desserts. When visiting Japan you can't miss enjoying all the wonderful local delicacies on offer.

1. Osaka Zushi

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Sushi chefs apply themselves to the ingredients to create this carefully prepared sushi known as Osaka zushi. High-class seafood including conger eel, shrimp and sea bream along with fried egg and other ingredients are prepared to create a light and refined taste that is fresh.

2. Miso Ramen

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Sapporo comes to mind when one thinks of miso ramen. Miso, lard and other ingredients are added to pork bone soup to make this rich ramen for the cold areas. It has been created so that the film of oil on top makes it difficult for the soup to cool down.

3. Okonomiyaki

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

The soul food of Osaka, okonomiyaki is made from flour with ingredients such as cabbage, meat and seafood added in and fried on a teppan hot plate. Then topped with a rich sauce and mayonnaise, it’s great to eat it fresh off the grill!

4. Japanese BBQ

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Yakiniku, or ‘grilled meat’ dishes. Yakiniku shops are usually self-service barbecue. It’s not the same as a steak. Nowadays, the Korean Town in Osaka is located in Tsuruhashi. This area are well-known for good Yakiniku restaurants.

5. Takoyaki

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

The biggest dish in “eat-until-you-drop” Osaka. Cheap, good and hot. Within the balls of batter that are fried until the surface is crispy, the octopus has a fine texture. Takoyaki goes well with the rich sauce and mayonnaise.

6. Japanese desserts

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in JapanIngredients which are indispensable in the making of sweets such as high-quality milk products and fruits are manufactured in great quantities in Hokkaido. In Sapporo, there are popular spots where famous desserts from all over the prefecture are gathered. Have your fill of some of the most refined sweets.

7. Tempura

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Tempura is more of a snack than a dish and is made basically from seafood and vegetables that have been battered and deep fried, seasoned with a sauce made with soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Tempura made from fowl and fish can also be found. The size of the piece has to be able to be eaten in one bite and even when it is fried, it is carefully looked after not to be oily. Tempura is served with Tetsuyu sauce that it is a mix of consomme, sweet sake, soy sauce, ginger, radish and spices. What many people don’t know is that tempura is actually a classical Portuguese dish brought to and made famous by Japan.

8. Shabu shabu and Sukiyaki

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Shabu shabu and Sukiyaki are Japanese style hotpots with meats that are usually in thin slices, vegetables and sometimes different noodles, these ingredients are then slowly boiled or shimmered in a pot that’s at the table then the cooked ingredients are taken to small plates from the pot and eaten, once your plate is empty you fill it with more food, but it is eaten together with other people so be sure not to be the person who hogs all of the meats. The differences of Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki come from how they are boiled, sukiyaki is usually boiled/shimmered with water, soy sauce, sugar and mirin where Shabu Shabu is boiled just in water and after the ingredients are ready you can dip them in different sauces that you have at the table. These are very social foods just like Yakiniku. Often in you will find Korean restaurants in Japan as well.

9. Curry Rice

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

The Japanese curry rice differs from the Japanese one a lot.  The basic version of Japanese curry rice is the Japanese curry, potatoes, onions, carrots, meat, and this curry sauce is served with rice. Another version is the curry sauce and rice served with a Tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet). This is another of the many fast foods in Japan and there are many different restaurants and chains selling curry rice in Tokyo. One of the most well known is Curry House CoCo Ichibanya that has restaurants all over Japan as well as other countries. The prices of the meals starting around 600 yen.

Meet the best curry shop in Tokyo - Curry Kingdom

10. Tonkatsu

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

It is said that tonkatsu has its origins in the beginning of the 20th century when the popular dish of pork cutlet was made in the yoshoku (Japanese-style Western cuisine) restaurants of Tokyo. Tonkatsu, which has thick slices of pork coated in panko and then deep fried, is usually served with chopped cabbage. Currently, there are numerous tonkatsu restaurants and the dish is even made and eaten inside the home.

11. Harajuku Crepes

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

12. Udon

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

Udon (Japanese: う ど ん or 饂 飩) is a type of thick noodle made from flour, popular in Japanese cuisine. Udon is usually served as soup, in hot broth based on dashi, shoyu and mirin. About basic udon, one or more ingredients are added, and these ingredients give rise to various types of udon. Most of them carry negi (chives) chopped.

The flavor of the broth and the additional ingredients varies from region to region. Dark brown broth made with stronger-tasting shoyu (koikuchi shoyu) is consumed in Tokyo and in the northern regions of Japan, and light brown broth made with softer shoyu (usukuchi shoyu) is preferred in Osaka and in more regions south.

The difference in broth is also a fact when it comes to instant noodles, which are sold in two different versions, one adapted to the north and another to the south.

13. Karaage

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

14. Yakitori

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

15. Shabu Shabu

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

16. Kaiseki Ryori

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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17. Sea urchin (uni)

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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18. Crab

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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19. Kushikatsu

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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20. Hitsumabushi

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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21. Shojin Ryori

The Top 21 Most Famous Foods to Try in Japan

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Want to have a better experience in Japan?

Japan is certainly a country that has a rich culture and lot to visit.

To plan better your trip,  you can hire a private guide with TripleLights. Here are some advantages of the service:

  1. Save your time
  2. Custom itinerary
  3. Know more about the history and culture of the places you are visiting
  4. Qualified professionals to guide you
  5. Private experience that allows you to focus on the people that are traveling with you and with time flexible.
  6. Affordable price

You can also join a tour from TripleLights too and get knowledge about the main spots selected by the guides. This way, you will certainly have a great experience visiting Japan.

If you want to go further to the country, you can also hire private cars from TripleLights that allows you to go to various places without having to worry about the public transportation system and schedule.

Triple Lights is a company that wants to help tourists in Japan to have a better experience visiting the country.  If you want to know more about how can the company helps you, visit the website or contact one of the guides.

Blogs about food in Japan

Best Foods in Japan - Must-eat foods from Around Japan

Best Places to Visit in Tokyo - Parks, Shops, and Foods

Best Restaurants in Tokyo - Cheap and Affordable Foods for Visitors

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Japan, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Japan


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