One whole week in Japan and there is no way you won’t be savour their yummy food. The country is basically food tripping heaven.
Here are some of the bites we had in Osaka and Tokyo:
Yoshinoya’s Salmon and Pork set – Yoshinoya is probably one of the most famous fast food chain in Japan. Instead of the usual burger or fries, Yoshinoya offers set meals. You could find it almost anywhere in Japan. Set meals only ranges from ¥300 to ¥600. They offer bento set meals and donburi (rice bowls)
Yoshinoya’s Sukiyaki – Sukiyaki is basically noodles in sweet broth with beef, vegetables and raw egg. It is very famous in Japan especially during the winter months. Sukiyaki comes with rice as well. Price ranges from ¥250 to ¥500. They are served in a fire-lit pot to keep the warmth of the soup.
Takoyaki* – Ball-shaped snack made of special batter and filled with diced vegetables and octopus. Takoyaki is a must-try snack in Osaka. In fact, you could visit the Takoyaki Musuem at the Universal City Walk. A six-piece set ranges from ¥300 to ¥700 yen depending on your choice.
Teppanyaki – Stir-fried veggies served on sizzling plates topped with meat or seafood. In our case, octopus tentacles! It ranges from ¥600-¥900. It goes best with steamed rice or yakisoba.
Yakisoba – Stir-fried noodles in sweet and salty sauce, with seafood and vegetables topped with egg. Yakisoba goes well with either okonomiyaki or teppanyaki. The umami of a yakisoba is just so good! The saltiness and the sweetness blend well especially when they’re served hot. Definitely a must-try as well! Price ranges from ¥700-¥1000.
Okonomiyaki – is a pancake-like dish filled with various ingredients. it is a flattened and bigger version of takoyaki but this time, you could actually put on anything you want in it. The batter is usually mixed with vegetables, egg, meat and seafood and are flattened out on a grill. It is topped with special okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, nori powder and spring onions. Price range from ¥900 to ¥1500.
Bento is a traditional takeaway or home-packed lunches with rice, meat or fish and pickled sides. Price of full meal size bentos range from ¥700 to ¥1000. Some elaborative bentos could reach up to ¥3000.
Ramen – Who goes to Japan without having a taste of their signature ramen? There are a number of Ramen shops all around Tokyo and Osaka. Most famous districts like Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro offers a number of ramen shops and stalls. You could choose from any. They could be cramped especially during the winter months but even the wait is worth it for noodles in in meat broth. I am biased toward miso-based broth since they give off more flavour and enhance the juiciness of the chasu (pork belly slices). Ramen bowls range from ¥900 to ¥2000.
Donburi – If you’re craving for some cheap but heavy meals and you’re on-the-go for bento and lunch sets, then you’re up for some donburi. Donburi is simple rive bowl with toppings, sometimes with egg. Donburi are available even in food courts, convenience stores, fast food chains and a number of high-end restaurants as well. You could get rice bowls from ¥400 to ¥800. They always go best with miso soup and hot tea. Katsudon (pork cutlet) is one of the most famous type of donburis.
Ochazuke – a type of Donburi wherein taste is enhanced by adding tea to the rice bowl toppings.
Chirashi-don – Another special type of donburi wherein rice is topped with raw seafood. It’s like eating sushi rolls in a bowl! These is a must for sushi lovers. Chirashi don is served in almost all stalls in Tsukiji Market and Ameyoko Area in Ueno.
Grilled street foods and raw sea foods
Tsukiji market is probably the heaven of sushi lovers. Everywhere you look, there are seafood and sushi everywhere. They sell takeaway packs, rice bowls, and just plain seafood snack. Seafood snacks ranges from ¥500 to ¥900 per order. Make sure to taste anything that piques your taste.
Sushi rolls to-go
Daifuku is a famous dessert in Japan. It is mochi (sticky rice) topped with fresh strawberry. Mochi itself is sweet and good – filled with sweet red bean, this dessert is addictive. If you can’t get enough of it, try eating strawberry on top of it.
As mentioned Japan is a foodie’s heaven. I would encourage to try anything that pique your interest. Even foods from convenience stores are awesome! Onigiris (rice balls) on convenience stores and food stalls are a must. You could eat them while walking, while on the train. Most of them are cheap! Try their various drinks too, chocolate, yogurt and crepes. There are a number to try around.
Hopefully, next time, we’ll get to try even more…especially that Kobe beef.