What And Where To Eat In Japan

A Visual Guide To tasty delights in Tokyo, Kyoto, Miyajima Island, and Mount Kōya

Are you going to Japan? I’m so envious. It has become one of the most incredible countries I have visited and would go back in a heartbeat. Whether you visit the plethora of temples and shrines, hike up Mt Fuji or bathe in hot springs, one thing that you must not forget to do, is…EAT. Okay, that is obvious, sorry. What I am trying to convey is eating in Japan should be part of the things you ‘do’ as eating can be one of the most fun, peculiar and enjoyable activities you will partake in. You will hear the slurps of ramen, the sizzle of fat dripping onto hot coals, the sweet smells of pastries baking and my favorite, the popping of oil as fried goodness is plopped in.

 

WHAT TO EAT IN JAPAN

The hardest decision you will make in Japan will be what to eat and where to eat. So to make it simple and easy, eat everything and everywhere! Whether you are walking along a street, peeking into a nook, getting lost in train stations, shopping in malls, wandering the markets, or peering through a steamed up window, when something catches your eyes or tickles your nose, eat it. Maybe you don’t know what that colorful ‘thing’ is wrapped in plastic, but it sure looks tasty, buy it! Wait, they have cucumbers on a stick? Yup, crunch away. I have to order my ramen noodles through a vending machine? Click, click.

If you prefer a meal where you can sit down, head to the funky and vibrant alleyways (each City will have them). You will find hundreds of tiny eateries crammed side by side, each offering their own specialty. Whether it’s yakitori, a vegetable stew or Wagyu Beef Katsu you will eat plenty and drink a lot. Some of the taverns hold as little as 5 people, prepare to learn a lot about your fellow neighbor.

Lastly, you must book a night at a temple in Mount Koya south of Osaka to sleep and pray with the monks. Prepare to be blown away by the unique vegetarian dishes they serve.

Below are just some of my munchings from Japan.

*A friend pointed out that most of my food consumption was deep-fried. Aren’t the yummiest things fried in oil? Because of this, don’t expect to see a lot of greenery. Plus, a holiday is when splurging is a must!*

Ramen Alley: Tokyo Station

Nakamise Shopping St. in front of Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

Tsukiji Market (closed) moved to Toyosu Fish Market

Tamawarai:1 Micheline Star Soba Noodle Restaurant, Tokyo

Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho, Tokyo (funky alleyway)

Philosopher’s Path to the streets of Arashiyama, Kyoto 

Miyajima Island near Hiroshima 

Hoon-in Ryokan, Mount Koyasan

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