We need to talk about Japanese food. Debunk the myths, unravel the surprises, indulge in a few snacks. As one of the best cuisines in the world (definitely in my top 3), I was pretty excited to travel to Japan for the second time. Because DTE, guys.
With the help of my best friend, I rated my food experiences throughout Japan over 14-days to give some insight into the Japanese food culture.
The convenient store experience
My choice? 7/11
Why? Affordable pre-packed meals, drinks, bento boxes, sandwiches and a never-ending supply of eggs. Add to that ATM’s that will work for international travel cards and microwaves on hand so you can heat up your food/purchases.
My rating? 9/10 for affordability, never-ending choice and proximity (literally one every hundred metres)
The Snacks of Japan
“Butter chips. How I imagined butter would taste crunchy.” My rating? 7/10 and can be found in Family Mart
“Seaweed chips salted adequately but not my favourite. ” My rating 6.5/10
“Green usually means chicken right? Tiny balls usually mean plenty of flavour right? Well, these tiny chicken balls smacked me right in the face and had me screaming for more.” My rating? 9/10
“How I would describe heaven in chip form. It’s plain salted chips covered in milk chocolate. So ingenious. I’d be a millionaire if I sold this at the movies” My rating? 10/10 and can be purchased at Tokyo airport
“Matcha and cherry blossom flavoured ice cream.” My rating? 7/10
“Another weird thing about Japan I noticed is the fact there are plenty of franchise cafe’s serving ridiculously cheap watery coffee and quick bites from hot dogs to muffins and sandwiches. I had to try it for myself and boy did it fail. They also love sugar syrup.” My rating? 5/10
“Gross. Do not eat this.” My rating? 4/10
The drinks of Japan
“An automated beer machine. That is all.” My rating? 10/10
“Cold tasty coffee and not entirely sure if it does a good job of keeping you awake but it sure is appetising.” My rating? 8/10
My favourite meals throughout Japan…(In no particular order)
“Deep-fried Wagyu with a side of cabbage and rice. I like that the wagyu is the focus and everything else that surrounds it enhances the flavour; the curry sauce, runny egg, pepper and other condiments.” My rating? 8/10 – so delicious we went back again the next night!
“Japanese bento boxes are unsuspectingly rich in flavour. Located nearly at all major train stations are tiny kiosks selling all sorts of bento boxes, you’d be spoilt for choice. This particular chicken katsu was a winner in my eyes.” My rating? 7/10
“Thou shalt not go to Japan without trying Ramen. Ichiran is a popular ramen franchise and for good reason. Each person in this particular joint gets a cubicle to sit in, their own supply of cold filtered water and their personal waiter who will deliver the food through a shaft. Great for people who don’t want to interact with anyone so they can truly focus on enjoying their meal – fo realz. ” My rating? 8/10 for pure tastiness.
“**Heavy breathing** Chao Chao Gyoza in Kyoto was hands down one of the best gyoza joints I’ve ever been to. The pork and prawn gyoza were sure winners. If you’re game, also try the deep fried garlic.” My rating? 9/10
“Thanks to Trip Advisor, nowadays wherever you are, it’s not difficult to find a decent local joint. This wonton noodle soup makes my mouth water. And to think this entire meal was $10.00!” My rating? 8/10
“Japan makes some of the best sushi in the world. A few observations: they don’t over complicate the flavours like we do. The flavours are rather simple with extra fish and less rice. The wasabi doesn’t come separate, it’s tucked in-between the fish and the rice. Nigiri (Eel) is fucking delicious.” My rating? 9/10
“Holy mother of tonkatsu, this was tasty. Tonkatsu is deep-fried pork on a bed of rice with shredded cabbage on the side. Loved the sesame mayo that came with it!” My rating? 8/10
“You don’t go to a new country, without trying McDonalds. Each country around the world caters to its market – fact. Japanese McDonald’s is no different having a rather delicious Teriyaki burger available. Which makes me wonder… WHY DON’T WE HAVE THIS IN AUSTRALIA?!” My rating? 8/10
“Okay so we got sick of the shitty coffee we were drinking and gave this place in Kyoto a go. #Winner. Apparently the trick to finding cool places in Japan (so it seems) is to walk into hole in the wall joints. This retro coffee bar was wonderful in every way, giving off a very ‘Mad Men-esque’ vibe.” My rating? 8/10 for pure experience and service.