MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Delicious Traditional Foods in Japan to Try – Japan is a culturally rich country everyone loves. Tons of tourist attractions in Japan could be a dream for most people. Including me. And don’t forget about its anime culture which is also successfully loved by people from other countries.

Now, Writer River won’t talk anything about them, cause there is another aspect that we would like to talk about, which is the traditional foods in Japan.

You may already know some identical foods from Japan such as Sushi and Takoyaki. But in this article, we will go deeper and discuss more other delicious Japan’s dishes & cuisine. What are those? Here they are:


The first delicious traditional foods in Japan is Sushi. No doubt about it. This food is the most popular dish from Japan in the world.

Sushi is made with rice rolled with kinds of seafood, raw meat, and fresh vegetables.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Sushi rice has a soft sour taste because it was seasoned with a mixture of vinegar, rice, salt, and sugar. It has a very delicious taste and its nutrients are very rich.

According to CNN, Sushi is the 4th most delicious food in the world.


Takoyaki is a specialty of Osaka and Kansai which is already famous in the world. Japanese are often eat this food at every festival and celebration.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

This Japan’s traditional food shapes like small balls made from flour dough filled with pieces of octopus. Takoyaki is usually sold in a set filled with 5 to 10 Takoyaki and served on a boat-shaped plastic sheet.

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Okonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese food made with diluted flour or Dashi. Mixed with cabbage, chicken eggs, and seafood or pork. Then fried on a flat pan called Teppan.

Okonomiyaki is one type of Teppanyaki cuisine that you can eat just like that or as a side dish.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Okonomiyaki is often eaten with a flat spoon called Hera which also functions as a cooking spoon when turning Okonomiyaki. The two most classic types of Okonomiyaki, namely

  1. Butatama, it contains thin slices of pork
  2. Ikatama, it contains squid slices
  3. Modanyaki (Modernyaki) is an Okonomiyaki with extra noodles so that you will become full quickly after eating this


Teriyaki is a cooking technique some traditional foods in Japan. The trick is to broil or grill the main food ingredients with teriyaki sauce (tare) above the pan or iron griddle.

The teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce (shoyu), sake, and sugar.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Before making Teriyaki, the ingredients were dipped and smeared with Teriyaki sauce several times first to make them tastier.

In Japan, the usual ingredients for making Teriyaki are fish (salmon, mackerel, trout, or marlin). While outside Japan, they use various types of meat (chicken, beef, pork), squid, or sweet potato called Konnyaku.


Soba is traditional noodles in Japan made with buckwheat flour or Soba. This food could be cooked into Yakisoba or Ramen.

After the boiling process, Soba is washed with clean water and then left for a moment before serving.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Soba is usually eaten right after being dipped in a sauce called tsuyu. Another version of Soba is called morisoba or zarusoba.


MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Yakiniku itself in the Japanese language means grilled meat. It’s actually a Korean food but mixed with Japanese spices.

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In a broader sense, Yakiniku also includes a variety of beef dishes, or grilled innards, such as beefsteak, lamb roast, and barbecue.


This traditional food found in Japanese anime and manga. It tastes very delicious indeed. This food is made from warm rice and it formed into a triangular or round shape wrapped in nori.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Onigiri has many flavors like tamarind, fish eggs, or fish meat. You must eat it with hand, not using chopsticks, cause it’s a Japanese traditional way to eat Onigiri.


Mochi is a Japanese cake made of pounded glutinous rice so that it becomes soft and sticky, then formed into a cylindrical shape.

It has a distinctive taste when you first eat it, and over time, it will feel sticky in your mouth and hands.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

In Japan, this rice cake is often made and eaten during Mochitsuki (Japanese New Year celebration).

Japanese Curry

Besides India, Japan also has delicious curry. The difference between Japanese curry and Indian Curry is its soft texture and not too spicy flavor.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

This food has been made into Japanese national food. Japanese curry has many flavors and ingredients such as chicken, seafood, and beef.


Nabe is a traditional Japanese soup. If you want to enjoy this soup, come to Japan when winter because that is the best time to eat this soup.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Unlike other soups, Nabemono has unique ingredients such as vegetables, shellfish, crabs and noodles. Usually, Nabemono is cooked above of the Hotpot, which is a pot of hot water.


Everyone would agree that Ramen is one of the best noodles in the world. Many people are crazy about this delicious food. Especially with the popular anime like Naruto, whose main character likes to eat Ramen.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle. There are many places to eat Ramen on the streets of Japan. You have to eat it when the spicy sauce is still warm because it will make your body warmer.

Also read:  MUST TRY! Top 15 Traditional Foods in France


Tonkatsu is an ancient food for Japanese kings. But now this food can be enjoyed by anyone. Tonkatsu is made from crispy fried pork. But now it’s usually made of beef.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Tonkatsu is usually served with mustard greens & carrots, then added with mayonnaise and a special sauce that can strengthen its taste.


The last dish in our traditional foods in Japan list is Yakitori.

MUST EAT! 13 Traditional Foods in Japan

Yakitori is commonly called Japanese-style of satay. It’s made from pork, beef, or chicken. The beef is cooked until crispy and covered with a special brownish sauce.

Yakitori will be more delicious if you enjoy it with Japanese sake.

That’s all! Our list of delicious traditional foods in Japan. Which one do you want to eat most? Or have we missed other traditional Japanese foods in this list? Please tell us by writing a comment below! Arigatou gozaimasu!

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