Imagine sitting in a bustling little restaurant in Japan. You spy a waiter making his way through the tightly-packed tables towards you, and suddenly he’s at your side, placing a dish down before you. Immediately, the fresh aroma rises up to greet your nostrils, causing your mouth to water. But you don’t reach for your chopsticks. Staring down, the dish – so perfect and delicately prepared – looks too good to eat.

 

Japanese cuisine is an art-form. Their techniques and flavours are derived from the country’s rich history, and the produce is fresh and seasonal. As a result, it’s no wonder that food is one the biggest draw cards for travellers.  Soup, fried meat and vegetables, and raw seafood are popular, as is the vast selection of noodle dishes. Contrary to popular belief, Japanese curry is one of the nation’s most-eaten dishes, in front of sushi and ramen.

 

Here, we’ve compiled a list of must-try dishes for when you tour the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

 

Soup:

Miso (miso paste, broth, tofu and vegetables)

Ramen (broth, soy sauce, noodles and meat)

Kenchinjiru (broth, burdock root, mushrooms and seasonal vegetables)

Suimono (dashi broth, matsutake mushrooms)

 

 Miso Soup, Miso Japan, What to eat in Japan

 

Appetisers:

Edamame (boiled and salted soy beans)

Gyoza (dumplings filled with meat and vegetables)

Sashimi (thinly sliced raw meat)

 

Mains:

 Japanese curry (served over udon noodles, rice, or in bread pastries)

Sushi (rice, meat, vegetables wrapped in seaweed)

Shabu Shabu (thinly sliced meat and vegetables cooked in boiling broth)

Udon (thick wheat noodles)

Yakitori (charcoal chicken skewers)

Takoyaki (Deep-fried dough balls with octopus)

Soba (thin buckwheat noodles)

Yakisoba (fried noodles with vegetables, meat and seafood)

Korroke (deep-fried croquettes filled with crab meat or potatoes)

Tempura (vegetables, meat and seafood that are battered and deep-fried)

Okonomiyaki (grilled pancakes with vegetables, meat and seafood)

Tonkatsu (crumbed, deep-fried pork cutlets)

 

Japanese noodles, Japan food, visit japan, japan tourism

 

Sides:

Rice

Pickles

Boiled eggs

Onigiri (rice balls)

Kinpira Gobo (stir-fried burdock root and carrot)

 

Desserts:

Dorayaki (pancake filled with chocolate, red bean jam or matcha powder)

Mochi (rice cake with sweet fillings)

Taiyaki (fish-shaped waffle filled with red beans or chocolate)

Sakura jelly (sakura, jelly and white chocolate)

Yokan (jelly cube made from gelatine, red bean paste and sugar)

Kompeito (sweet, colourful jelly lollies)

Japanese desserts, Tour Japan, Japan tourism

 

Drinks:

Aojiru

Matcha latte

Kombucha

Hoppy

Ramune soda

Green tea

  

Beer:

Asahi

Suntory Malts

Sapporo

Kirin Ichiban Shibori

 

Wine:

Plum wine

Yamanashi region

 

Spirits:

Sake

Shochu

Whisky

Chuhai

 

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