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[Nationwide ] Worth going out to eat! 5 fascinating gourmet foods in Japan

[Nationwide ] Worth going out to eat! 5 fascinating gourmet foods in Japan


It is rare in the world for a country to be as blessed with good food as Japan. The incredible variety and the ability to eat reasonably high quality food in all price ranges is truly amazing. This article highlights five of the most appealing gourmet foods from all over Japan. Why not use them as a reference and consider your next travel destination for region-specific tastes?

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slotted dome cast iron grill for preparing this dish

Widely popular in households throughout Hokkaido "Jingisukan ". The best way to succinctly describe the characteristics of this dish would be to say that it is a barbecued mutton dish. It is so well known throughout Japan that it is listed at the top of the list of dishes to try when visiting Hokkaido. The umami of the vegetables intertwined with the gravy and sauce is irresistible.

Developed with the history of sheep in Japan

An essential ingredient in Jingisukan is mutton. Since there were originally no sheep in Japan, mutton may seem to be an unfamiliar ingredient compared to beef, pork, or chicken meat. It is true that sheep first became popular in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912), not for eating, but for wool for clothing. Later, as the percentage of domestic wool used for clothing decreased, the purpose of raising sheep gradually shifted to food. Against this background, Jingisukan was invented and popularized in order to increase the consumption of mutton.

Home-style cooking with deep roots in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is home to many famous Jingisukan restaurants, which attract many tourists. In a positive sense, Jingisukan is not a special treat, and is well known for being a common dish on the tables of households throughout the year. Because of its nature of being eaten by a large group of people, it is not uncommon to have a Jingisukan party, much like a barbecue.

Lamb-specific peculiarities

It is well known that lamb has a distinctive odor when compared to beef or pork. Of course, the peculiarities of each ingredient are not necessarily negative, but they create a unique character and variation of the dish. It is said that there are two ways to eat Genghis Khan. One is to grill the mutton as it is and marinate it in the sauce like regular yakiniku, and the other is to grill the seasoned mutton that has been marinated in the special sauce in advance. One of the ways to enjoy Jingisukan is to choose the way that suits you best, depending on the chemistry between the mutton and the meat.

Hiroshima okonomiyaki

There are several regions in Japan that are famous for okonomiyaki. Each region has its own developed style and recipe, and among them, Hiroshima's okonomiyaki gives the impression of individuality and pride. Because of the many processes and the large surface area of the griddle required, it is certainly more complicated than Osaka okonomiyaki, where the ingredients and dough are mixed in a bowl in advance. However, because of this, the perfection and satisfaction of this established dish is unique to Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.


The overlapping layers provide a satisfying eating experience.

While other okonomiyaki are mixed together before grilling, Hiroshima okonomiyaki is like a puzzle where the dishes are assembled on the teppan. One of the charms of Hiroshima okonomiyaki is that you can enjoy the cooking scenery alone.

At first it is a simple dough, on top of which ingredients such as cabbage and pork belly are placed. When you think it has been turned over, yakisoba noodles appear in the empty space. It seems as if another dish is about to begin. An egg is also added, and everything is combined to complete the dish. If you go to a restaurant where the food is cooked on the teppan in front of you, you can enjoy the cooking process with your eyes and ears before you eat it.

Roots of Issen Western Cuisine

It is said that Hiroshima okonomiyaki has its roots in a food for children called "ichisen yoshoku ", which was sold in candy stores during the Meiji era. Ichisen Yosoku is made of loosely watered-down dough, baked into a round, topped with powdered bonito, green onions, and grated yam, folded in half, and topped with Worcestershire sauce. It is similar to Central American tacos. The thin dough and the ingredients in between are inherited from today's okonomiyaki.

Thanks to the thin dough, the Hiroshima style is not too heavy for its volume, which is a good thing. The abundance of cabbage and other vegetables also makes it a healthy choice.

Many famous restaurants to visit in Hiroshima

Hiroshima's okonomiyaki is so highly recommended that it is worth visiting Hiroshima for okonomiyaki. There are many famous restaurants throughout the city, including the locally famous "Micchan Sohonten "and "Hachimasa ". Also check out "Okonomimura ", a great place to enjoy eating and drinking, with more than 20 stores on the second to fourth floors of a lively building. If you are having trouble choosing a place to eat, be sure to visit.

thick udon from Kagawa pref.

Udon is one of Japan's most famous noodles. Especially nationally famous is "Sanuki udon ", and many people associate "udon "with "Sanuki ". As the name suggests, Sanuki udon originated in what is now Kagawa Prefecture and is commonly known locally. Kagawa Prefecture has been involved in the "Sanuki udon boom "many times in the past throughout Japan. Thanks to this, the prefecture, which is the smallest in area in Japan, has become so well known "as an udon prefecture "that it has become a strong identity.

Udon restaurants throughout the prefecture

In Kagawa Prefecture, you can usually find an udon shop wherever you go. Few of them cater to tourists, and most of them are just ordinary restaurants that support the daily lives of the locals. The best part is the low prices. For example, it is not uncommon to find a bowl of udon for 150 to 200 yen and a side dish for less than 300 yen. Because of its cheap price and convenience, it is recommended to visit many udon restaurants on a walking tour.

Iriko dashi (broth) with strong texture and rich flavor

Kagawa Prefecture, which faces the Seto Inland Sea and has little rainfall, has always had high-quality wheat, salt, soy sauce, and iriko as local products. These are all essential elements for udon.

Sanuki udon is often specifically referred to in terms of taste "Koshi ". In fact, the definition of the word is ambiguous depending on who uses it, and it is not easy to convey the exact meaning. At the very least, koshi, which is unique to Sanuki udon, can be described as a state in which the udon is not too hard or sticky, but has just the right amount of elasticity when it is chewed. This profound balance is the key to delicious Sanuki udon.

Iriko dashi supports the seasoning of udon. Iriko is the dried sardines such as Japanese anchovy. Iriko dashi is characterized by a strong flavor that is as good as the satisfying noodles and a wide variety of side dishes.

Substantial side menu

Udon goes perfectly with fried foods. The standard items include vegetable tempura such as eggplant and pumpkin, hearty kakiage (deep fried fish cakes), and various kinds of fish paste. Some restaurants serve tempura with a half-boiled egg.

fried chicken with vinegar and tartar sauce

Chicken Nanban is a local delicacy originating from Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture "Chicken Nanban ". It is a popular local food that is eaten on a daily basis, whether at home, in restaurants, or in school lunches. It has now spread throughout Miyazaki Prefecture and can be found in restaurants throughout the prefecture. If you visit Miyazaki, be sure to stop by a Western-style restaurant for a taste.

The origin of this dish is a makanai dish

Chicken Nanban is said to have originated in the 1930s, when it was prepared as a makanai dish at a Western-style restaurant in Nobeoka City. It started as a basic style of fried chicken marinated in sweet vinegar, but later on it was perfected with tartar sauce and salad, and has taken on its current form.

Nanban sauce with the store's individuality

"Nanban "is a term used to describe the Portuguese and their culture. Among their food culture is "Nanbanzuke ". This is made by marinating ingredients in sweet vinegar with chili peppers. The same procedure is combined with fried chicken, hence the name chicken nanban.

At the various Western-style restaurants and izakayas that serve chicken nanban, you can enjoy the optimal balance of meat, nanban sauce, and tartar sauce that the restaurant has arrived at. At a truly delicious restaurant, you will not feel heavy or bloated even though the portions are large. It is a good idea to visit one of these restaurants to find your favorite one.

Hakata Ramen

Ramen is now an integral part of Japanese food culture. Hakata ramen from Fukuoka is a major force that has ramen fans from all over the country roaring with excitement. The combination of pork bone-based soup and thin, straight noodles is a firm favorite. Another interesting aspect of Hakata ramen is the variety that is spreading, influenced by neighboring Kurume ramen and Kumamoto ramen.

Choice of surface hardness

Hakata ramen is famous for its particularity regarding noodles. Most ramen stores will ask you how hard you want your noodles. Some stores post a list, but in order from hardest to hardest, the following terms are used: "balikata ""kata ""normal ""yawa ""buriyawa " For those who prefer harder noodles, there are "Harigane ", or even "Kofu-Dori ", which is just a simple hot water bath. With a wide variety of options to choose from, ordering your favorite way to eat noodles can be a fun experience.

I can get a double.

"Daitama "culture has also taken root. At restaurants that allow it, you can add noodles as many times as you like as long as there is soup left at the end of the meal. This system is too happy for those who just want to eat their fill. Today, this system has made such an impact throughout Japan that more and more ramen shops are introducing the "baedama" system, regardless of the region.


These are just a few of the many attractive local delicacies from around Japan that we have carefully selected. All of these dishes are served at many restaurants in the area, and are full of the local people's love for their hometowns. We encourage you to take the opportunity to visit a local restaurant and enjoy the real thing for yourself.

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