Japan Food Guide: Must Try Foods in Japan

By A Not So Secret Life and Randomly Candid

When you travel to other places you just don’t explore the place, learn the culture and have a glimpse of the past. But part of it is the possibility of tasting the country’s culinary culture. Japan is rich in delicious cuisine not just with sushi and bento but it boasts an enormous selection of food choices, not to mention the exquisite art that goes along with their cooking.

Here are the top Japanese foods we can recommend in case you’re planning to visit the Land of the Rising Sun:

Ramen – One of the most popular dishes in Japan. I am not really a ramen person, but I suggest that one should have a taste of it when you’re in Japan. It actually comes in different varieties depending on your preferred soup base, noodles and toppings.

Gyoza – My favorite! When I first came to Japan we had lunch at Ohsho and gyoza is one of their top served foods. It immediately became my favorite.  Gyoza is a fried dumpling filled with ground meat and vegetables wrapped in thin dough.

Chicken Karaage – Japanese version of the fried chicken and I swear this is not your typical fried chicken because this one taste sooooo good it’s so addicting!

Tenshinhan – Nope, this isn’t the Dragon Ball character but rather one of the popular dishes in Japan. Tenshinshan is a crabmeat omelette on rice covered in thick sweet sauce.

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Tamagoyaki – Anyone can cook this, even those at home but it’s just a different experience when you’re in Japan. Tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelette where eggs are rolled in several layers, you can combine it with rice, vinegar or soy sauce.

Sashimi – A Japanese delicacy that needs no introduction, sashimi consists of thinly sliced raw meat or fish.

Taiyaki – A Japanese fish-shaped cake. You can choose it’s filling from red bean, custard, sweet potato, cheese or chocolate. Red bean is my favorite and best eaten when hot.

Takoyaki – Ball-shaped snack with different fillings like meat, and seasoned with different vegetable toppings and sauce.

Bickkle – A Japanese yogurt-drink popular in Japan, evident by its presence in every vending machine. What I love about this is the tangy taste and it kinda reminds me of my childhood favorite – Yakult.

Onigiri – A rice ball made with Japanese rice combined with furikake and wrapped in Nori. You can always find this in convenient stores or better yet you can experiment and make one at home.

Daifuku – It’s a Japanese confection composed of mochi with a sweet filling.

Shabu Shabu – It’s a hotpot dish that features thinly sliced meat you can dip in boiled water. I swear I was so amazed by this when we first it in Amagasaki. Dip the meat for a second and boom, it’s cooked.

Sweet Potato Ice Cream – Had a taste of this when we went to see Osaka Castle. I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream but never a sweet potato flavored one. And I was not disappointed, although the taste seems so foreign to me but I find it really delicious.

Matcha Ice Cream – Japan is a sweet haven for matcha lovers! You can find and have matcha everywhere! All sorts of matcha from drinks to candies to ice cream. Matcha soft ice cream is the best.

Natto – traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It’s slimy and smelly but tastes really nice.