After an academic exchange of six months in Japan, I will share with you some tips, in order to have a great culinary experience in Japan. You can also read my tips for the perfect visit of the Land of the Rising Sun capital city in a previous article called “What to do in Tokyo (Japan)?”.
Uobei sushi restaurant
When you think about Japanese food, what is the first dish that comes to your mind? Of course, SUSHI!
The first restaurant that needs to be introduced is the Uobei Sushi restaurant. This restaurant chain is more than just a basic conveyor belt sushi restaurant. It might be the future of sushi restaurants worldwide. After having selected a seat, the client is in front of a tablet, on which all the menu is available in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English. Once you have selected a product, it will be delivered automatically to you in less than a minute on delivery trays. In addition to being amazed by the magic of seeing dishes from others passing in front of your eyes constantly, it will also make you hungrier than ever. After having collected your sushi, you will have to press the “return to kitchen” button. The only products that will not be delivered to you through this process are drinks. Once, you have filled your belly, you can leave your seat and pay at the reception. The overall experience will enlighten your day for sure.
Uobei chain is part of the Genki Sushi company, also owning Senryo and Genki Sushi. If there are many Uobei restaurants throughout Japan, my special recommendation is to eat in the one located at Shibuya, in Tokyo city center. The queue might be long, but the experience worth some patience.
Membaka Fire Ramen
If Tokyo is the modern capital city of Japan, the historic one is Kyoto. It is precisely in Kyoto that you will find the most uncommon ramen experience you should be able to live. Let you tempted by the Membaka Fire Ramen restaurant because, in addition to the taste, the show will stay in your mind for the rest of your life. As for the Uobei restaurant of Tokyo, you might have to be patient in order to get a seat at the Fire Ramen restaurant but once you are finally seated, the show can start! The cooker will make your ramen burn while filming your reaction, a souvenir that will remain on your camera and in your head. The recipe is even available on the restaurant’s website and the owner doesn’t want to open more restaurants, preferring to remain in Kyoto. Do not wait any longer and take a Shinkansen to Kyoto to discover Membaka Fire Ramen!
Another well-known dish from the Land of the Rising Sun country is the Okonomiyaki. A delicious pancake mixed with eggs, shredded cabbage, but also, green onion, octopus, squid, shrimp, and many other ingredients depending on your taste. One of the cities, where it is a specialty, is the magnificent Osaka. If many are competing to be the best of the second largest metropolitan city of Japan, the Ajinoya restaurant stands out, and going there is not optional while visiting Osaka.
Nanaya Matcha Shop
Have you ever heard of Matcha Tea in Japan? I guess yes. But have you ever heard that the Japanese are also making ice creams out of Matcha? Furthermore, it is delicious. I advise you to go straight to the Nanaya Aoyama Shop, close to Shibuya, in Tokyo city center. You will find a wide variety of Matcha ice creams and derived products.
Shibaraku Onigiri Shop
Another unmissable dish is the Onigiri. This rice triangle, wrapped in seaweed and filled with salmon, meat, or your favorite flavor, is a common food for Japanese who are eating these marvelous at any time of the day when hungry. One of the best shops to eat them are the Shibaraku chain. One is located in Tokyo city center, close to Shibuya.
The list is long when it comes to listing the best Japanese dishes, but my recommendations are to try the following ones:
One of my favorite address for Sushi in Japan is Itamae Sushi Nishi-Shinjuku:
You have to taste some Taiyaki, delicious waffles filled with whatever you may like from red beans to chocolate.
Soba Noodles & Tempura Vegetables
Kobe Beef (Wanomiya Kobe Beef)
The worldwide known beef! The tastier and original ones being in Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto. My favorite address is Wanomiya Kobe Beef, located in Osaka at the following address:
It is already the end of my Japanese food guide. I might have forgotten your favorite Japanese dish, but the Land of the Rising Sun country gastronomy is wide and these dishes are just the ones I enjoyed the most during my stay in this beautiful country. All the pictures from that article were taken by me, I hope they will make you hungry.
Please do feel free to comment and share your experience of Japanese gastronomy in the comments and give me your opinion. I would be delighted to hear about your experience and find out more delicious Japanese dishes to try.