Japanese food is also one of the most well-known dishes in the world. You may already have tried it once in your countries, but it still gives you a huge difference when compared with the traditional dishes in Japan. When having a meal in a restaurant in Japan, you are not only having food, but also experiencing the atmosphere of japanese culture as well. Moreover, each dish is also cooked in a meticulous way, which makes the quality of food extraordinary. If you are planning to visit Japan, these are the top 6 foods that you should not miss in Japan.
Sushi, one of the most popular japanese dishes served with wasabi and soy sauce, is a must try dish when visiting Japan. In Japan, you will experience a real traditional sushi which could range from supermarket sushi to Michelin star sushi. Conveyor belt sushi restaurants are also popular in Japan, which let you grab any plates on the Conveyor belt to eat or you can just order the specific menu to the staff. The color of the plate determines the price range, but occasionally the price of sushi in conveyor belt sushi restaurants is affordable (start at around 100 yen per plate). It is a quick and convenient way to have sushi.
In addition, the fish market is the best place to find sushi. Not only sushi, but also lots of sashimi and seafood with a fresh fish that you can find in the fish market. The price of sushi or seafood in fish markets is kinda lower than the one they sell in the restaurant, so come early and get fresh and cheap food at the fish market. There are lots of fish market throughout Japan , here is an example for a popular fish market, Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo), Nijo Fish Market (Sapporo), Maizuru Port ToreTore center (Kyoto), Izumisano Fish Market (Osaka)
Tempura is another signature dish of Japan. A deep fried seafood or vegetables with a special technique result in a crispy light tempura. The most common tempura is a shrimp tempura where the crunchy of the shrimp perfectly match with the crisp outside. The vegetable tempura also tastes really good as well. I was surprised that I liked the vegetable tempura the first time I tried it. Some vegetables you may not know what it is, but give it a try or you will regret later.
Ramen is the main typical noodle dish everyone loves in Japan. It is simply a noodle in a broth with slices of pork, boiled egg and flavored topping. There are mainly 4 ramen soups, which have some different taste for each style, based on its flavour. First, tonkotsu soup is a broth of pork bone, which gives a cloudy white soup and heavy flavour of pork broth. Second, shio soup is a salted based flavour which tends to have a lighter soup color than others. Third, shoyu soup is a clear brown soup made by a soy sauce, which makes the soup sweeter than the shio one. The last one, miso soup is made with miso paste to get the salted flavour, but the flavour seems to be more complex than shio soup. These 4 types of soup are only the based type. In Japan, each region has its own style of making ramen, so there would be more combination and technique you could see and have a try. Ramen in Japan always comes with a large amount of noodles, so it is also a convenient way to fill up your stomach with the affordable price.
Yakitori means grilled chicken in Japan, but actually it usually provides a variety of meat and vegetable roast sticks in skewers, which is well-seasoned by Tare sauce. You should see lots of small yakitori shops in the city. It is a great place to have a break during your trip, and have a small meal. You could also see yakitori menu in every izakaya (Japanese bar), it is a popular side dish in Izakaya
Tonkatsu is a Japanese deep fried pork fillet, served with tonkatsu sauce and mustard. It is usually offered to you in a set with rice, shredded cabbage and side dishes. Different tonkatsu restaurants may have different techniques of cooking tonkatsu, but when it is served with original japanese rice, it always makes tonkatsu perfect. Many tonkatsu restaurants in Japan usually offer unlimited rice and shredded cabbage, so you can refill them any time until you get full. Tonkatsu also perfectly matches with the japanese curry, it is one of my favorite dishes in Japan.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake or Japanese pizza where topping and batter are varied among the region and style of each restaurant. It usually contains the batter and cabbage, while other toppings can be anything, such as pork, seafood, cheese, egg, noodles with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. You can find okonomiyaki in many izakayas or okonomiyaki restaurants. There are many popular okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka where it originally makes okonomiyaki well-known. The special thing about okonomiyaki restaurant is that the chef will cook in front of you or even let you cook by yourselves in some restaurant. It is a good experience to have during a trip.
When talking about Osaka, Takoyaki or octopus ball is also a popular snack that has the flavour similar to okonomiyaki, but come in a ball shape and have octopus inside. It is a great snack to have between big meals, but be careful of the newly cooked takoyaki, it is very hot and can hurt your tongue easily.