12 Must Try Foods in Japan

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The culinary experience is one of the most significant elements of a trip to Japan. In Japan, food is artistic and innovative. Chefs frequently play with traditional elements to bring them into modern dishes. Japan offers something thrilling to the taste buds with every meal of the day.

Green Matcha Ice Cream

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Matcha, a powdered green tea, is the iconic beverage of choice in Japan. In recent years the flavor has been applied to treats far beyond simple tea.

Try it at Mihashi in the Ueno district. This shop has been in operation for over a half century and specializes in Japanese traditional deserts. You can add their bold Matcha ice cream to any desert, or eat it on its own!

Matcha latte


Yes, more Matcha! We are obsessed with this flavor, so we tried as many varieties as possible during our trip. A lovely Matcha latte is a wonderful drink during Japan’s chilly winter months.



Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eel. The most common way to eat eel in Japan is as part of the donburi dish, where it is thinly sliced and laid out over a bowl of white rice. The preparation method is often the Kabayaki style, which means that the eel is de-boned, cut into filets, and then grilled in a sweet soy sauce. Yum!



Another interesting seafood option in Japan is the sea urchin, also known as “uni.” It has a rich flavor and a creamy consistency. Uni is considered a culinary delicacy, but not everyone loves it. Take the chance to find out your view during your Japan adventure!



Katsu is a simple but delicious recipe– chicken thighs flayed and coated in a mixture of rice wine vinegar, panko crumbs, and egg, then fried to perfection. You’ll find it all over Tokyo, often served as a curry dish.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Black sesame might not sound like the most appealing ice cream flavor, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Visit Gomaya Kuki in the Harajuku district to try this unique treat made from high quality local sesame. Their bowl is rich and creamy with crunchy sesame seeds adorning the top.

Selfie Lattes

Because who doesn’t want to get their caffeine with a picture of their face on top?

We got our lattes at the adorable Reissue Cafe in the Shibuya area. (They can also serve you a latte with a three dimensional panda, cat or Pikachu on top, if that’s what you’d prefer!)

Teppanyaki Grill

At a Teppanyaki restaurant, you’ll witness traditional Japanese foods grilled on a large flat smooth iron griddle right in front of you. Many foods can be cooked on a Teppanyaki griddle, but steak is the most popular option.

Visit Ginza Ukai-tei in the Ginza district for a high class Teppanyaki experience in a beautiful setting.

Black Eggs


The famous black eggs of Japan are regular chicken eggs that have been subjected to a very unique cooking method.

Thousands of years ago, Mt. Hakone erupted in Owakudani. The explosion left behind boiling sulfer water pools. When eggs are submerged in this sulfuric water, a reaction occurs with their shells and they turn perfectly black. They also take on a slight sulfur flavor.

To try this delicacy, take a short day trip from Tokyo. Get to the Owakundani Station, and then take a 15 minute uphill hike to visit the egg boiling site. You’ll also be rewarded with some beautiful natural sites and a lovely view of Mt. Fuji.

Giant Rainbow Cotton Candy


During your visit to Tokyo, you’ll certainly end up exploring the famous and vivid Harajuki district. As you meander down the bustling Takeshita Dori Street, stop off at Totti Candy Factory Shop for a giant cotton candy! We recommend sharing, because this treat is large!

White Strawberries


White strawberries are an interesting example of designer fruits that can be found in Japan. Read more about them in our list of 10 Items & Ideas We Need to Borrow From Japan!



Mochi is a small cake-like treat made from glutenous rice. Sweet rice flour is first turned into a sticky paste and then formed into any shape (usually a ball form).

Mochi can be found ALL over Tokyo. Ginza Akebono is a delicious sweets shop that has multiple locations across the city, and its a great place to start your Mochi journey

Final Thoughts

Exploring culinary diversity is one of the most exciting parts of a visit to Japan. If you want to increase your chances of tasting all these treats, while also learning more about the history and preparation of traditional Japanese foods, we suggest trying out a food tour!

Have you been to Japan? What were your favorite eats, and where did you find them? Let us know in the comments!


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