A country’s cuisine is definitely the icing of the cupcake that adds thrill and another kind of fun in traveling. There’s really something so enchanted, in sampling foods that look strange, emit a funny smell, or whose name you cannot even begin to pronounce. Japan, also known as the “Land of the Rising Sun” is the country you can rely on as it will take your taste buds for an adventurous ride. Certainly, it is always hailed as being a foodie’s haven. Without spoiling the excitement even further. Below is the list of Top 10 Japanese foods that highlights the country’s rich culture that make travelers go crazy happy!
Sushi and Sashimi
What a better way of starting the list with none other than Japan’s most iconic dish, which most people associate the land of the rising sun with. Susi is globally famous and loved. Sushi consists of a piece of rice seasoned with a rice vinegar mix and sealed with other flavorful ingredients such as a variety of raw fish, vegetables, and nori (seaweed) to name a few. It is eaten with chopsticks, then dipped in soy sauce or wasabi. The result, then, is an explosion of flavors in one’s mouth. It is definitely delicious, artistic and healthy.
Sashimi, on the other hand, is a raw fish, or seafood that is served with wasabi, an iconic spicy Japanese condiment, and soy sauce. It comes with slices of fresh radish, ginger, and garlic on the side. It is rather a simple and exotic dish to travelers, but the flavors are also very delightful.
Restaurants to look out for, for Sushi and Sashimi:
- Sushisho Masa
- Sushi Saito
- Sushi Tokyo Ten Shibuya
Another well-loved and globally known Japanese food to enjoy the oriental flavor is Ramen. It is a noodle bowl served in soy sauce or miso soup mixed with many kinds of tasteful ingredients. The most typical toppings of it are green onions, slices of pork and egg and seaweed, splashed in a very flavorful soup. It’s a perfect dish for when you are feeling cold!
Best Restaurants for Ramen:
Tempura is hailed to be more of a snack than a dish. These Japanese decadent snacks are basically seafood and vegetables that have been battered and deep-fried, seasoned with a sauce mixture from soy sauce, ginger together with sugar. Great appetizer, and a side dish to many more, flavorful Japanese foods.
Winning Places for Authentic Tokyo Tempura:
- Okubo Zero
- Tempura Kurokawa
Another favorite of travelers! Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried cutlet of pork. The two main types are filet, or leaner meat, and a loin, or fatty and lardy meat but generally hold more flavor. It is served with a mouth-watering Tonkatsu sauce, which is basically ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. Moreover, rice, miso soup, thinly sliced cabbage alongside pickles are also side dishes that go with this dish.
Tokyo’s Top Tonkatsu Restaurants:
- Ginza Bairin
Another rising Japan-originated, but more of an ingredient. Matcha or green tea is one you should not definitely miss in Japan. This traditional Japanese tea is present in a variety of foods, predominantly desserts. In Japan, matcha can be found in literally all places, in the pudding, cakes, biscuits, ice creams, and mochi. Take note of these for your japan trip!
Sip and Eat Matcha in:
- Rikugien Garden
- Shinjuku Gyoen
Onigiri – Rice Balls
You may have heard of onigiri before, as it is present in a lot of anime around the world, being the best go-to light meal of every anime character. Onigiri, also known as omusubi at first glance just looks like plain rice, but often, you’ll find a savory filling inside. It is also sealed with nori, a savory wrapper made out of seaweed. Common flavors of it include kelp, pickled plum, salmon as well as bonito flakes. This riceball undoubtedly will secure a place in your tummy.
Best Places for Savory Onigiri:
- Onigiri Bongo
- Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku
- Onigiriya Marutoyo
Another must-try traditional Japanese food is Hitsumabushi, a specialty dish that comes from Nagoya, Japan. Its appearance often left people in awe, because it is well organized and beautiful. It is a cut up kabayaki, on top of white rice, and is served with delightful condiments such as green onion, wasabi, nori, soy sauce, flavorful broth, and warm green tea. It is a dish loved by Japanese ancestors and locals as it is very healthful, protein-rich, and supports digestion.
Top Restaurants Famed for Hitsumabushi:
- Hitsumabushi Bincho
- Asakusa Unatetsu
- Hitsumabushi Bincho Tokyo Solamachi
Yakitori is the best bar snack in Japan. It is cheap, flavorsome, and opens you to the path of trying a little bit of everything. It is a Japanese type of skewered meat, traditionally chicken, and is grilled in a charcoal fire. The meat is skewered with a kushi, a bamboo skewer, and seasoned. Seasoning ranges from a typical salty, just plain salt or salty-sweet variety, that is typically made with mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar. Yakitori is best paired with alcohol, according to locals and tourists alike. Thus, remember to try some in your Japan night outs!
Best Yakitori Places in Tokyo:
- Ginza Torishige
- Bird Land Ginza
Gyoza is the Japanese version of well-loved dumplings. This dish undoubtedly has little pockets of deliciousness. It is typically made with ground pork, nira chives, green onions, cabbage, ginger, garlic soy sauce alongside sesame oil wrapped in thin wrappers and with a dipping sauce. Really, really, tasty!
Well-loved Gyoza Places to Look Out for:
- Ebisu no Yasubei
Traditional Japanese Breakfast
As you are already visiting Japan, you might as well be open to trying what the locals are experiencing when they are eating their breakfast. Typically, a traditional Japanese breakfast consists of steamed rice, miso soup, a protein source that is typically grilled fish, and various side dishes. Side dishes are bountiful, as they are picked vegetables, dried seaweeds as well as fermented soybeans. Then, for completion, you are served with either a black coffee or a tea, to start your another day of wonder.
Authentic Japanese breakfast is served in:
- Shinpachi Shokudo Shinjuku
- Yaesu Hatsufuji
Have fun trying out the Land of the Rising Sun’s cuisines!