I can say, hands down, that by far, Japan has the tastiest and most delicious food I have ever tasted in all the places I have ever been to (aside from the Philippines, of course!)
Everything I devoured in Japan, do not only look wonderful aesthetically but also tastes divine as well. This applied not only on freshly cooked foods but also on ready-to-eat items.
Check out my list below of my top foods to love in Japan.
Disclaimer: No sushi or sashimi in my list because I do not eat those. Sorry!
1. Garlic Oil Ramen
This is THE BEST ramen I have ever tasted in my life! And this is not the high-end expensive kind, but a humble little kiosk in the streets of Shin-okubo in Tokyo, just a few minutes away from the JR Shin-okubo station.
These cute little dumplings, although small, can be very filling because they are made from mochiko (rice flour). There are many varieties of Dango, here are some of them:
Mitarashi dango – Dango covered in sweet soy sauce
Anko dango – Dango covered with red bean paste (anko)
Tri-color dango – Dango with three colors. It can be sanshoku dango (pink, green and white) which is popular during the Hanami or cherry blossom viewing season or bocchan dango (green, yellow and brown) which is colored by green tea, eggs and red bean.
3. Japanese Curry
Japanese Curry is sweeter compared to Indian curry. This is a lot lighter in taste and comes with either rice, udon or bread.
4. Matcha Ice Cream Monaka
I am not a fan of matcha but this matcha ice cream monaka is just perfect! The matcha ice cream and azuki beans are sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers.
5. Cakes and desserts
Not only are they lovely to look at, they taste wonderful as well. Enough said!
6. Meiji chocolates and drink
I love everything Meiji, no doubt about it and I would prefer it over Hershey’s any day.
I found these in the busy street of Nakamise in Asakusa. Agemanju are deep fried manju – Japanese confection made from flour, rice powder and buckwheat. They are like deep fried buns except that they would have fillings of different flavors. The most common filling is red bean paste, but it also comes in other flavors like black sesame, custard, green tea, pumpkin and even sakura when it is in season. The one below is chocolate.
8. Soufflé pancake
This is the very famous Soufflé Pancake from Hoshino Coffee in Japan. The shape looks so perfect and fluffy, plus the whipped butter adds more oomph to the pancake.
I did not really try this though because I opted for the Pot-Baked Soufflé. I just cannot resist the chocolate syrup. It tasted good, but I find it too soft and airy.
9. Rice meals
Rice meals are a staple in Japan. I am not sure if restaurant meals like below can be categorized as bento. A bento is a complete packed lunch with rice, main dish, vegetables and/or dessert served as one set in one container. Nevertheless, whatever they are called, these rice meal sets are very satisfying and usually affordable.
A korokke is basically a deep-fried patty of meat and mashed potato. These are comparable to French croquettes and serve as convenient and savory snack.
11. Convenient store food
In Japan, you can find a convenient store in almost every street. People have very high reliance on convenient store product and ready to eat food found in these stores do not disappoint. For a reasonable price, you can get a decent meal to go.
Black Eggs of Owakudani
These are just normal chicken eggs but they are boiled in hot sulfur springs of the Owakudani Valley in Hakone. They say that eating one of these could extend your life by seven years!
This is a must-try for any Potter fan who visits Osaka. Have a taste of Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan.
These are my bets of food to love in Japan, what are yours?
More bonus! A piktochart for easy reference!