I asked our Japanese expert, Sakura, about food in Japan and what she would recommend those food-loving travelers to eat while visiting the country. This article contains her list of Japanese cuisine that should not be missed during your next trip to Japan.
1. Shabu Shabu
Shabu Shabu is a dish that consists of sliced beef and vegetables. The fun part about this dish is that you will be able to cook it yourself at the table. Who doesn't love a entertaining hands-on dining experience?
Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu are actually quite similar. Both are soups that contain thinly sliced pieces of meat and vegetables. However, there are differences. Sukiyaki is sweeter than Shabu Shabu and the ingredients in Sukiyaki are cooked all together, whereas the meat and vegetables in Shabu Shabu are cooked piece by piece.
3. Tempura Udon
Tempura Udon is fried fish or vegetables in a hot noodle soup.
Ramen is a dish that the Japanese are known for worldwide and iff you are in Japan, it is a must eat if you are looking to become a more local traveler.
Okonomiyaki is the Japanese version of a pancake that comes with various toppings and flavors depending on who you buy it from and where you are in Japan.
This is the obvious one on the list. But, if we don't put it here, you all will probably think we know nothing about Japanese cuisine.
Yakiniku is Japanese style BBQ. If you know anything about Korea, it is actually quite similar to Korean barbecue where you cook the meat and vegetables on a grill at the table. Apart from being delicious, it is great to be able to cook the meat to your particular liking.
8. Fried Tofu
You can try various types of fried Tofu in Japan and ganmo is one that Sakura recommends.
Takoyaki is a popular street food snack in Japan. They are wheat flour balls that are generally stuffed with octopus, pieces of Tempura, ginger, and green onions.
10. Tempura Soba
Soba refers to the buckwheat noodles. They can either be served cold, or hot in a soup. Tempura will be the fried fish or veggies you see at the top of the picture.
Bonus Recommendation: Go To A Kaiten Zushi To Eat Sushi
Sakura also mentioned that the Kaiten Zushi restaurants are not to be missed. Kaiten Zushi basically means "rotation sushi". These are the restaurants where you sit at the bar and can pick out the sushi dishes you like as they pass by you on a conveyor belt. It's a great place to go for quick food, not to mention that it is a great cultural experience as well.