If you are visiting Japan on vacation—Japan tour packages budget—and you like to try local dishes while on holiday, Japan has a rainbow of national dishes and the most 3-star Michelin restaurants in the world. Whether you are adventurous or not, there are certain local dishes that everyone visiting this wonderful country should try.
In addition to the freshness and taste, visitors will be surprised at the artful way in which the Japanese present their cuisine. For a variety of palates, below is a list of a few dishes with a mix of haute cuisine and interesting street fare enjoyed as late-night snacks in Japan. Why not try them all and decide which one is your favorite?
Takoyaki is a dumpling much like a fritter that is stuffed with octopus, battered and fried on a hot griddle pan. Originally created and sold in the food markets of Osaka, this tasty snack can still be found on the streets from local vendors, and some restaurants specialize in creating some amazingly innovative versions of these traditional dumplings.
Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with ingredients that vary from region to region. The most common fillings are pork belly, cheese, vegetables or various seafood like shrimp, squid or octopus.
All types of noodle dishes in Japan are inexpensive, tasty and convenient to eat as street fare, or in a restaurant. The most popular varieties include udon from wheat flour or soba made with buckwheat flour. In winter they are served in a broth topped with tofu, deep-fried vegetables or scallions, while in warmer months they may be served cold.
If you enjoy visiting the local grocery stores while on Japan vacations to check out what the local people eat, you will find many interesting variations of products you know from home. For example in some places in Japan, you will find Kit Kats with amazing flavors like green tea, soy, ginger ale, and banana. They even have green tea flavored ice cream and cola to sample for fun.
Mochi is a tasty snack made from pounded rice that can be found all year round but is especially enjoyed during New Year celebrations in Japan.
Yakitori is a delicious snack of chicken strips on skewers commonly sold at street market stalls. They are either salted or sweetened with soy sauce.
Donburi is an inexpensive rice dish that can be found in food market stalls all over Japan. This rice dish is topped with meat, deep-fried vegetables, and eggs and is a great choice to fill up on when you are hungry and short on time.
Teppanyaki is restaurant fare that is prepared and cooked by a chef in front of you. This Japanese Steakhouse-style interactive dining is entertaining and fun with choices of meat, vegetables or seafood.
Kaiseki is a Japanese traditional experience that you can enjoy when you wish to splurge out on something exceptional. Kaiseki is an eating experience rather than a dish that is served over a long period of time with each small, individual dish prepared with utmost care and precision for an exquisite gastronomic delight. Viewed in the gourmet world as an art form its menu, design, and flavors relate to the current season.
Sashimi is raw seafood and fish served with soy sauce, wasabi (green horseradish), and pickled ginger. This is where the idea of sushi originated. Sashimi is usually served as a starter without any accompaniments. Sushi, on the other hand, is vinegar flavored rice stuffed with a variety of raw or cooked seafood like tuna, shrimp, or octopus, and vegetables rolled into tight sausage shapes and cut into bite-sized pieces. In Tokyo, they offer 3-hour private lessons in English at the Tokyo Sushi Academy where sushi fans can learn the art of making sushi.
Japanese don’t eat on the go while walking or on public transport. They don’t take small bites of sushi for example but use chopsticks to put whole pieces of Sashimi or Sushi into their mouths. It is considered rude to blow your nose in public and to use a toothpick without covering your mouth. However, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up your bowl of noodles in broth and slurp it.
If you have never been to Japan, known as The Land of the Rising Sun, there are many wonderful experiences awaiting you, culinary and otherwise.