Hi friends! Welcome back!
On this part 2, I will list down the food (s) that I recommend you try out when you go to Japan. Personally, this is the most exciting part of the trip for me because I love loveee Japanese cuisine. (My favorite food is SUSHI! Yes SUSHI lovers, I feel you!) And because I just love eating in general (Yes, food lovers, yes!).
Hope you enjoy!
1) KATSU DON
Okay, I think this food is near the bottom of a tourist’s list, because when you say Japan, you would immediately think— “RAMEN!” Or “SUSHI!” right? It wasn’t on our list either when we went there, but guess what? It turned out to be one of the best foods we’ve tried there— compared to the ones you can get in Canada at least! I am not sure if the taste would be consistent anywhere in Japan, but the one we’ve tried is located at Nara, Nara. I forgot exactly the name of the restaurant, but it is near the train station for sure.
A little back story first: When we went to Japan, our second destination was actually in Nara. We landed at Nagoya International Airport, spent the afternoon/night at Kyoto, then we went to Nara the next day. It was in Nara where we first tried our first dish in the restaurant— which was unexpectedly SO SO GOOD!! The chicken was juicy, the breadcrumbs was just the right amount and it was cooked perfectly. I love it! :) The price is also decent as it comes with miso soup already.
We also ate Tonkatsu (Pork) don, as pictured below, at Tokyo DisneySea which is a bit pricey, but it was still really good.
2) OKONOMIYAKI & TAKOYAKI
Even though I am not really much of a fan of both okonomiyaki and takoyaki, I suggest that you still give these ones a try, they are pretty bomb.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made with different ingredients. If you google it, OKONOMI means “how you like” or “what you like” and YAKI means “cooked”. We tried okonomiyaki at Hakone prefecture in a small local restaurant that is open late at night. It was pretty cool because the okonomiyaki was cooked right in front of you. And on the menu, they have different options on what you like to be put in the pancake. I don’t remember now what we’ve tried but this is what it looked like:
Next up, we tried TAKOYAKI at Osaka prefecture. Yes, I am calling you all Takoyaki lovers out there!
This food was apparently first popularized in Osaka, where it was invented in 1935 (wow that is 84 years ago) by a vendor named Tomekichi Endo. So now, the food became really popular at Osaka. We tried the ones you can buy in the street and yes, they were really good. They were softer and tastier compared to the ones in Canada.
3) THEMED RESTAURANTS: Maidreamin Maid Cafe and Pokemon Cafe
If you’d like to see KAWAII (translation: cute) food presentations, then try these restaurants. Essentially for both, you are really paying for the experience you’ll get more than the food.
Maidreamin Maid Cafe can be found in Osaka, Akihabara, Tokyo and Shinjuku, Tokyo (to name a few). The servers there were dressed as maids and they had some sort of a performance.
Pokemon Cafe is located in Chuo, Tokyo. For this one, you have to make a reservation to get in which can be found online. I think the best part we’ve had there was seeing Eevie! :) Also, I loved seeing the big version of Snorlax. :)
4) DESSERTS (Random Sweets)
*Calling all sweet tooth people out there!*
These ones we didn’t actually plan on trying them out, we just spontaneously went in the shops/restaurants and tried them because why not? We may only get to Japan once. (#PRO-TIP: really just walk around the streets and try out random food at random restaurants)
Mister Donuts misdo pablo (Shinjuku, Tokyo): *Side note: the one in the middle is the best one for me, forgot what it’s called though!
From left to right (below): Souffle fluffy pancakes (Osaka), Matcha Cake (Tokyo Disney Sea), ChocoCro pastries and drink (Ebisu, Tokyo)
Desserts at Cheese Craft Works (Diver City Tokyo Plaza - Odaiba, Tokyo):
5) WAGYU BEEF
Before we head back home, we spent the night at Nagoya. And Nagoya is famous for its Wagyu beef, so we had to try this. I must say though, the price is not cheap, but it’s okay, because it’s worth it. I mean, the beef is so soft that it feels like it melts in your mouth!
No words! I love how you can try different types of sushi in a revolving sushi restaurant which can be found in many places in Japan. The one we went to is at Tokyo. Literally, you will come in and be seated, then you can just grab all the sushi you want from the rotating belt and eat! You will then pay after based on the kind and total of plates you’ve got. The red ones I believe are the more expensive ones. Sometimes though, at night around 9 pm, they would offer discounted plates as with what happened to us (kind of like their version of happy hour). Awesome, right?
And I nearly forgot to mention— The chopsticks, soy sauce and green tea are all there in front of you in the table. For the green tea, you just need to use the tap (as pictured above) and then mix in their green tea powder.
Next, of course—We tried the sushi don at the Tsukiji Fish Market. BOOM! Hello, my love.
Last but not the least, Ramen. Yes. Hands down, this is the best ramen I’ve ever had. I purposely put this last because ramen in Japan is totally inexplicably different from what you can get in Canada (at least). So, I would definitely go back to Japan to eat more of this!
I also tried ramen in a mall and I equally loved it. Maybe it was the way they hand made the noodles? Or the soup base? I don’t know. But for sure, I would eat more of this when I go back there.
#PRO-TIP must try: Ichiran Ramen at Shibuya (on the left)
And that wraps this mini-guide up! Thank you for stopping by and I am sorry that this post made you hungry (LOL). But I hope that I’ve helped you in some way in planning your future trip or maybe it somehow inspired you to also go to Japan and try their cuisine if it is still not part of your bucket list.
P.S. This is the final part of the Japan series. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me! Email me or message me in social media.