Best dishes of Japanese cuisine | Elena Kazantseva's blog

Well, gastrotourists! Today is an article for you! I talk about Japanese dishes!


Do not forget to read my other gastrostations about:  RomeSicilyMunichTallinnYerevanPrague


what to try in japan


After the familiar Europe, I was afraid that the food in exotic Japan would be too spicy or fatty for me, which is typical for Asian countries. But surprisingly, I really liked Japanese food. The simplest dishes and the most unusual desserts – that’s how I would describe Japanese cuisine. Yes, they still have insanely delicious pastries!

I turn to the list of popular Japanese dishes

No. 1. Sushi is what first comes to mind when we think about Japanese dishes. Yes, sushi is probably the most popular Japanese food. The main thing is that sushi will always be fresh and of high quality, wherever you buy it – in an expensive restaurant, in a fish market or in the nearest supermarket! The Japanese carefully monitor the quality of the products!


Japanese food


The same goes for fish and seafood. To try all the freshest, I recommend, first of all, to go to the fish market – “Tsukiji” in Tokyo or the Kyoto fish market! I haven’t tried such a delicious fish anywhere, and for the first time I tried the sea urchin caviar in the Kyoto market!

what to try in japan from food
Trying sushi on the Kyoto market

No. 2. Rice and fish are not the only combination in Japan. Rice and meat (beef, pork, chicken) is also a very popular combination. A cup of rice with meat you can eat hearty, tasty and inexpensive. Such a cup costs about 5 dollars and it tastes like “at home”.

japan food
Rice and beef is a cheap and tasty dish


No 3. Ramen – homemade noodles in chicken or pork broth, where in addition to noodles, meat (usually pork), bamboo, greens, egg and other ingredients are added. Honestly, I would call it soup, not noodles. But as it is 🙂


See also “Tokyo Guide: How to Travel to Japan on Your Own”


The serving of ramen is always huge. We took one for two. It is inexpensive, 3,5-5 dollars. There is a cafe where you can order ramen only through a vending machine, but we didn’t get into that, usually ordered through staff.

ramen japan
Ramen is a dish on the left. A huge plate.


No 4. Udon – similar to ramen, but less saturated. It is considered Japanese fast food.

No. 5. Soba – buckwheat noodles. It can be served hot in broth, or cold with sauce. For winter, the first option is characteristic, for summer – the second. Apparently, our waitress was thinking about this, when instead of soup she brought us cold noodles))) Therefore, be careful when ordering – check several times that you need hot noodles)))


Soba and tempura. Tempura is hot, soba is cold))

No. 6. Takoyaki – balls of dough, deep-fried with octopus filling. Served with special sauce and sprinkled with planed fish.



No 7. Okonomiyaki is a dish that we have been hunting for a long time)) Okonomiyaki is a tortilla made of meat or fish, fried and watered with sauces and sprinkled with greens, or the same planed fish. The most popular is Osaka style okonomiyaki. And it is in this city (in extreme cases, in Kyoto) that I recommend you try okonomiyaki. To find the dish in Tokyo is a lot harder. We found in one restaurant, but it was a fish restaurant, so I could only try the fish option. It tastes like a fish patty from a school cafeteria))) And in another restaurant, “okonomiyaki” meant some completely different dish ….


okonomiyaki japan


No 8. Gedza or GyozaPan-Fried Asian dumplings. Actually this is a Chinese dish, but in Japan it is also very common.

gedza japan
Gyoza is the dish on the right (they look like pelmeni or ravioli)

No. 9. Yakitori – Japanese skewers of meat or chicken

No. 10. Onigiri is more like fast food. They look like sushi, but the filling is wrapped inside – it is convenient to take along on the road. Can be wrapped in nori.

No. 11. Unagi – a grilled eel dish with sweet sauce. Served with rice.

unagi japan
Eel, rice and something else

No. 12. Pie or dumpling stuffed. I do not know what it is called in Japanese, I can not find the name. It is not a dumpling, not a bun, but inside the filling. Something like chinese bao. Delicious pizza toppings sold at the 7-Eleven or Family Mart supermarket chain. They are inexpensive, look like this:

Japanese food


No. 13. Eki ben is not the name of the dish, it is those very boxed dinners that you can take with you on the train . Such boxes are sold at large railway stations. Not the most delicious content, but it looks exotic. Yes, and the very understanding that eating it at a speed of 250 km / h gives special feelings)))


eki ben japan


No. 14. Kobe Steak – a steak from a special kind of meat of cows “Vagyu”. The Japanese call kobe “meat that doesn’t need teeth to bite.” You can only try this in Japan, because meat is not exported. Best to try in Kobe. But prices are high. These steaks are in the top 10 most expensive steaks in the world, and the price per 100 grams reaches 5,000 yen (47$)


Kobe beef


And now I turn to Japanese sweets and desserts

No. 15. Tayaki – cakes in the form of fish. Inside is a sweet filling. Popular street food.

tayaki japan


No. 16. Dando is a dessert for which there is a separate emoji on Instagram. Balls for him are made using special flour of their sweet rice.


dando japan


No 17. Matcha-flavored ice cream. Matcha is a green Japanese tea in powder form that is added to many desserts. For example, here’s a matcha-flavored ice cream

No 18. Wisteria-flavored ice cream – you can try this in Asikaga Park .

No. 19. Moti – a dessert made from sweet rice. Toffee – that one too! This Mochi sprinkled with matcha tea. I tried it in Nara

mochi japan


No. 20. Hanabira Mochi is another variation of mochi. This time – from pink with bean paste filling. Some add strawberries. For beauty. What can I say – strawberries are the most delicious part of this dessert)))

mochi japan

When trying mochi, be careful, several people per year die from suffocation by this toffee, eat very carefully!

Many desserts and instagram food are sold in the Harajuku area in Tokyo. I wrote a separate article about this area , therefore, I will not repeat myself, read the link.

That’s all! Listed the most popular Japanese dishes. Finding them will not be difficult, and all the dishes (not counting the Kobe steak) will not ruin you 🙂 So, try, experiment and share your impressions!

And if you have already tried, write your recommendations in the comments!

Tasty Japan to you!

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