I started my one year trip in South Africa, which food-wise, is amazing. Every country after that was a bit disappointing (on the food side) until I reached Japan! It would be difficult to think of anything which wasn’t tasty. Just make sure not to miss out on these 6 items of popular Japanese food. Another great thing, Japanese cuisine is very healthy and you can’t go wrong with anything. Not to mention, overpriced or awful food does not exist. Read more here about which 6 popular Japanese foods you must try!
+ Popular Japanese food – Sushi
Japan is a fish country. Tokyo owns the biggest fish and seafood wholesaler (Tsukiji) in the world and that says a lot! After eating sushi around the globe, it was time for the real deal. I loved the fact that sushi is even available in the 7eleven store. Sushi is equivalent to hotdogs in the USA. Often I just grabbed a roll to go, how amazing is that!
+ Popular Japanese food – Slices raw fish or horse?
Sashimi is fresh raw meat, fish or seafood sliced into thin pieces. You want to hear something crazy? Fish can be cut alive right in front of you, just pick one from the aquarium. Or maybe have some horse sashimi? It’s all possible in Japan.
+ Popular Japanese food – Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is another yummy thing. Choose shrimp, octopus, pork, yam or kimchi and mix it with yakisoba noodles. It actually looks like a pancake! The Okonomiyaki sauce is spread over and topped with mayonnaise, shavings of smoked bonito (that actually moves due to the heat) and small flakes of dried seaweed. Styles can vary in certain regions but it’s all delicious! The preparation is cool to watch. Okonomiyaki is made on the iron griddle right in front of you. Order a Japanese beer and enjoy the show!
+ Popular Japanese food – Soba, healthy noodle
Soba noodles are a big thing in the Nagano Prefecture in the Japanese Alp’s. This noodle is made of buckwheat flour. You can eat it served in a soup, dry, hot or cold. Did you ever heard of Sobayu? It’s hot cloudy water in which the soba was cooked. Drink it or mix it up with your left-over dipping sauce. Have some tempura on the side and you will be in for a perfect treat.
+ Popular Japanese food – Surprise, its tofu!
Tofu was never my thing until I reached Japan. It’s made from curdled soy milk and there are many ways to prepare it. My favourite is Atsuage – regular tofu with a deep-fried skin, served alone with a sauce and various toppings, so good!
+ Popular Japanese food – Ramen, quick and good!
Ramen soup is a very popular Japanese food and is available on almost every corner. Ramen places are like fast food restaurants where good, tasty food is ready quickly! This speciality is a thick noodle soup usually served with pork; and the choice of toppings depends on the restaurant.
I discovered this very tiny but amazing ramen restaurant in the Golden Gai area in Tokyo. Their speciality – broth made with dried baby sardines!
In conclusion, if you are a foodie then this is heaven. Don’t forget to order a can of Japanese sake (rice wine) to go with your amazing food, cheers!
For more food inspiration read the blog about fine dining in South Africa: