If you’re like many modern travellers and want to experience the culture with your mouth and stomach, Japan might be the destination for you. Do you want a McFlurry with a Pokémon flavour, a curry served in a toilet, or a cheap Japanese beer down Piss Alley? We love Japanese cuisine because it’s weird but delicious. Goodbye, Mr Rice Guy, it’s time to get weird!
1. Catch flowing noodles in Kyoto
What enhances a delicious bowl of ramen noodles? Use your chopsticks to catch them as they zoom out of a bamboo waterfall. Bungy jumps, step aside; this is our kind of adrenaline rush.
Experience this at Hirobun
2. Have a Pokémon flavored McFlurry
Chocolate and bananas McFlurry Pikachu, anyone? The remaining flavours are quite bizarre. Bulbasaur broccoli flavour and habanero pepper for Charmander.
Experience this at McDonald’s
3. Eat out of a toilet?
Hold on—we’re not talking literally! This tacky Taiwanese chain, which serves curries, noodles, and even chocolate ice cream in miniature toilets, has made it big in the Tokyo food scene.
Experience this at Modern Toilet
4. Sip on a latte with a side of artistic genius
Latte art has advanced to entirely new heights thanks to the Japanese coffee masters. You can see pandas, 3D cats, Hello Kitty, and more in the foam of your cup. For a latte that is almost too adorable to drink, visit Loger Café.
Experience this at Loger Cafe
5. Indulge in the ultimate egg porn
Omurice at Kichi Kichi will send you into egg-loving overload if cracking open a perfectly poached egg gets your juices flowing. Zero yolks! A soy ketchup sauce is drizzled over mounds of fried rice that are wrapped in the fluffiest of omelettes.
Experience this at Kichi Kichi – Kyoto
6. Get addicted to ‘Osaka soul food’
A tasty pancake made from cabbage that is inexpensive, filling, and made “okonomi” (or how you like). Discover what makes the okonomiyaki sauce so unbelievably delicious as you watch the bonito fish flakes dance in the heat.
Experience this at Fukutaro
7. Yakitori and cheap booze
Although the name might not immediately scream “eat here,” Piss Alley has a fascinating past that begins in post-war Japan. What was once an illegal drinking area feels like a throwback and is a great place to get cheap beer and a filling Yakitori stew.
Experience this at Piss Alley
8. Fill up on Ramen Tokyo-style
Tokyo’s interpretation of traditional Ramen began with this regional favourite. With more than 60 years of expertise, you can be sure that the flavour of the warming noodle soup broth will be excellent.
Experience this at Harukiya Ogikubo Honten
9. Eat sushi for breakfast
The sushi served here is as close to the source as it gets because it is located right in the middle of the Tsukiji fish market. Change up your breakfast by trying their renowned sushi breakfast platter (warning: the lines are very very long).
Experience this at Sushi Dai
10. Veggies abroad
This Osaka café offers colourful fusions of traditional Japanese ingredients with a western twist that are as unique and delicious as they are raw vegan. The raw matcha cheesecake is a great option for a healthy sweet treat.
Experience this at Raw 8 Café Osaka
If you globetrotters still need more motivation to pack your bags and fly to Japan right away, check out our Japan Tours