Local Food in Japan

5 Must-Try Local Food in Japan

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Japan is the perfect holiday location for plenty of reasons, a couple of them being its rich historical and cultural background and striking natural grounds. However, a huge part adding to the appeal is their cuisine! With multiple unique meals following Japanese heritage, their gastronomy ranks exceptionally high in the world. 

So, make it a part of your journey! For whatever time you visit, try at least five of their best local food. Here are our suggestions!

1. Sushi

Whether you choose group or tailor-made Japan tours, you will inevitably visit places with the best Sushi ever. Not that hard, really, since every Sushi place in Japan is guaranteed to serve the top products! 

The country’s signature food, Sushi, is known to be a refreshing pre-meal or the main if you order more. Its name literally means sour-tasting or having a savory taste, and that resonates with its combinations. 

Real Japanese Sushi is made from vinegared rice, seaweed, seafood, vegetables, or imitation of crab meat. There are too many types of Sushi to count, and it is quite an easy dish to manipulate. Served with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce, Sushi is the perfect, authentic, local Japanese meal for you to try!

2. Udon

While many people confuse China for having more noodle-based dishes than Japan, the two actually come quite close in this competition, and Japan has more than enough to offer. For example, their signature Udon! 

Like most food from Japanese cuisine, Udon is an easy and light meal, perfect as a bigger appetizer, but applicable to eat for dinner, as well! The noodles are made from wheat and brine water, cooked, and flavored with different kinds of garnishes. You can find Udon noodles on their own, but most of the time, they are the main ingredient of delicious Udon soup. 
Try one of the top three most famous kinds while visiting – Kitsune Udon with tofu, Tempura Udon with battered seafood and vegetables, and Chikara Udon with grilled mochi rice cakes!

3. Tempura

If you are a fan, you probably know this name from Sake Tempura Sushi, but a Tempura on its own is a bit different than what you have with rice! So get ready to find out how! By the way, if you need help navigating through Japan and ticking all the boxes on their best food, go to asiatrains.com and get your pointers. 

Tempura is one of Japan’s most-loved and popular meals, and basically, every local vendor will have it. So if you like crispy, deep-fried food melting in your mouth, this is the one for you! Combined meat, fish, and vegetable pieces are dipped in a special Tempura batter and deep-fried until crunchy and delicious are sinfully good. 

The best thing about it is that you can eat it as a snack or an addition to a dish. So you can easily get it mid-tour just to have a taste, or place it in your noodle soup or any rice dish for extra flavor and kick!

4. Sashimi

Now, this one is not for everyone, but just try it before judging! 

Controversial even among the Japanese, not to mention the tourists, Sashimi is a delicacy that was in the cookbooks as early as the 15th century. That being said, after finding out what the recipe entails, one might argue that 15th-century folks ate it for different reasons. 

Well, no matter the origins, Sashimi is a combination of absolutely raw fish or meat served with soy sauce. It is often presented as the first meal during an official Japanese dinner, meaning high-ending restaurants. However, Sashimi is quite easy to acquire no matter what level place you choose! 

While not everyone agrees on how appetizing it sounds, when prepared by a true Japanese chef, Sashimi can quickly become your favorite. Try it!

5. Ramen

Noodles for the win! Every student or youngster has had the packed ramen phase, but it is time to take it to the next level. We present Japanese Ramen. 

One of the most popular warm meals deemed comfort and even hangover food, Ramen consists of wheat noodles, a rich-flavored broth, and various toppings. These include vegetables, meat slices, Nori seaweed, onions, eggs, and anything else you could think of! 

You can get Ramen from a street food vendor or a posh restaurant; it makes no difference since all variations are delicious. Actually, even coming from a bag, Ramen that you find in Japanese supermarkets tastes better than your usual Ramen pack! Try and compare!

Before you forget, put all of these five on your must-list! Japanese food is undoubtedly one of the best ones worldwide, and even if you do not like something, you will still get an experience. So, be brave, curious, and have a good meal! 


Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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