Local Food

Japanese Food Is Not All About Sushi

Sushi – in addition to – ramen have already made culinary waves all across the world and, unquestionably, you’ll want to check out the real deal when you visit Japan.

However, the fact that this list was so difficult to narrow down (and caused a whole lotta’ debate) is proof that when it comes to food in Japan, the choice is pretty much endless.

Sukiyaki And Shabu Shabu

Order plates of your favourite raw meats, cook them in a big pot in the middle with seasonal vegetables in broth and then dip them into a sauce of your choice. Polish it off with some mouth-watering white rice.

The main distinction between the two is that sukiyaki is cooked in a sweet and salty broth with a strong flavour while shabu shabu is meat that is boiled in a clear, seaweed-based broth. Both are pretty classy meals here (particularly shabu-shabu) – mainly owing to the amount of meat consumed – so make sure that you watch your wallet as things could get quite pricey.


This is a thick white noodle that is made of wheat flour, udon may either be dished up cold with a dipping sauce, stir-fried, or – most often – in a hot, mild broth made of mirin, dashi, as well as soy sauce.

Accompaniments go from sweetened deep-fried tofu (kitsune udon) to tempura shrimp as well as vegetables. One of the absolute best bowls can be found at Yamamotomenzou in Kyoto, where the silky smooth noodles are made by hand and also have the perfect amount of chewiness to them. Make sure that you finish off your meal with their homemade almond jelly—it won’t disappoint.


At first glance, katsudon is not the most attractive of dishes aesthetically-speaking, however it sure is tasty. Made with a good solid helping of rice, onions, deep-fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu) as well as eggs that are poured over the top, this is the greatest Japanese comfort food.

It’s also become a ritual for Japanese students to eat it the night before taking an exam as “katsu” also means to win. Lately, katsudon has become more familiar to western audiences because of the popularity of the figure-skating anime, Yuri on Ice, and its main character’s obsession with the plate.


Sukiyaki is a tender, thin slices of beef that are cooked in sugar as well as soy sauce (together with vegetables) in an iron pot, kansai-style sukiyaki is highly addictive, and so, so delicious. Take off your shoes and then take a seat on the tatami floor at Iroha Kitamise in Kyoto and prepare yourself for an absolutely delightful meal.


How can eggs and rice be as satisfying as finding the top slots to play in Canada? Omurice (a shortened katakana version of “omelette and rice”) is often mixed with ketchup, stuffed with chicken, rice as well as vegetables, and held in a smooth embrace by a simple egg omelette.

Although normally homemade fare, there are plenty of restaurants which feature omurice on their menus or specialise in this most versatile of meals. Favourite variations include demi-glace sauce instead of ketchup and Okinawan style with taco rice.