Japanese Food You Must Eat

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Japanese Food You Must Eat

Japanese cuisine is not only interesting and joyous to the taste buds but also elegant. Restaurants are also accommodating and make you at ease especially when they shout “irrashaimase” – welcome, as you enter. When you go to Japan or maybe try a Japanese restaurant in your local country, here are the foods you must eat!

I’ll be discussing this in 3 partsRice Meals and Toppings, Noodles and Soups and Snacks. This would be the first part which will discuss more about Rice Meals you should try to eat and some popular toppings!

Warning! This will make you hungry, because honestly, while writing this my stomach was complaining to me for food (and I just ate). Anyways, Enjoy!


Sushi is a Japanese dish; a combination of vinegared rice, sugar and salt, seafood, vegetables or fruits. What really makes it a sushi is the sushi rice the fillings and toppings often vary.

My favorite place eating sushi is at a Sushi Go Round Shop, not only is the sushi fresh and delicious but you could see the chefs making it and the decision and waiting process was so fun.

Sushi Go Round Shop

On a Sushi Go Round shop, each plate costs differently; e.g. white plate JPY 100, blue JPY 160, Pink – JPY 250, always check before eating if you’re in a budget. My first one was an expensive plate (JPY 250), I initially though it was only JPY 90 because it was next to the sign (haha), but anyways it was super delicious I didn’t regret making that mistake.

Fun Fact: Sushi is not raw. Sushi is actually the rice + filling and what you call a meat/fish is a Sashimi. Maki is a type of Sushi not the other way around, Maki (roll) is sushi rolled in seaweed.


Onigiri is an affordable and perhaps easy to make Japanese food. It is made from Japanese rice mostly triangular or cylindrical shaped often wrapped in nori (seaweed) and filled various fillings. Most conbinis sell Onigiris; you could take it wherever you go and take it out when you’re hungry. When almost expired, Conbinis sell onigiris at a discount, so I buy a lot on the evenings and eat it for breakfast.

Fun Fact: Onigiri and Sushi are different, while they are both made of rice, Onigiri is made with plain rice that’s lightly salted while sushi is made of vinegared riche, sugar and salt.



“Don” for short, means “bowl” in English, is a popular rice bowl dish. A topping is placed before –don to describe what it is; e.g. Gyu Don (Beef Bowl), Katsu Don (Pork Cutlet Bowl), Ten Don (Tempura Bowl) and etc.

A popular food chain offering these is Yoshinoya, not only is this affordable in Japan but it tastes delicious! Bowls are of different sizes; Regular, Medium, Large depending on your appetite.

Buta-Negi-Tama Don
Buta Negi Tama Don (Pork and Raw Eggs)
Ika Donburi (Raw Squid)

Curry Rice

Curry rice is inspired from Indian Cuisine (which was introduced by the British) that is also popular in Japan. This is made by putting the curry sauce on top of cooked rice and meat. If you ever want to eat you could go to a Coco Restaurant who specializes serving them.

Honestly, I don’t like Curry Rice, and it’s not because it’s not delicious but I like my rice dry J

Tokyo Guide

Check out my Tokyo Guide to know how to fit these into your budget!

Curry at Coco Ichiban

Omu Rice

Omu rice is my dream breakfast (though I have only eaten it on a lunch or dinner). It is another Western Influenced Cuisine. This is made by covering fried rice with an omelet and usually topped with ketchup (sometimes you could ask to put your name on it).

I tried making this at home once, but epically failed in rolling the egg resulting to a destroyed omelet and overflowing fried rice. But hey, I was proud (since I’m no chef) and it was still delicious.


Sashimi is another must eat delicacy that is raw meat/fish sliced into thin pieces. They maybe made as toppings for Sushi or sometimes a side dish.

Although, I don’t really know how they define “thin” but the first time I ate one was as thin as a sheet of paper, but a side dish I had was probably as thin as my phone. A sashimi is a delight to the taste buds, but if you’re not into raw anything, I feel bad that you’ll be skipping it.

Sashimi on Top of Vinegared Rice = Sushi
Tuna Sushi


Tempura is another Japanese dish that has been battered and deep fried; be it vegetables or seafood. 

Fun Fact: Tempura is not only shrimp, but shrimp is the most popular ingredient for a tempura. Fish, Prawns, Crabs and other sea foods are also used and so do vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, potato.

Tempura at Yoshinoya
Tempura Don


While Tempura has is crispy and thin, Karaage is a cooking technique where food is deep fried resulting to a crispier taste. While Tempura can be dipped with sauce, Karaage flavors are already within the meat. The popularly used would be Chicken Karaage.

My couchsurfing hosts actually treated me with Karaage, a set costed JPY 1000 and honestly, it was too big for my stomach. I have a big appetite but 5 chicken rolls (that were still big), a miso soup, sashimi, rice and vegetables were enough for two ME.

Karaage Set
Karaage (Top Center) in between Sashimi and Cabbage, Below - Potato, Rice, Miso Soup


Korokke is another Japanese style dish inspired by French cuisines’ croquette. It’s made by mixing chopped meat/seafood, vegetables, mashed potato and looks like a patty. These are then rolled with Japanese style crumbs, flour and eggs and are deep fried.

I just recently discovered this through my Japanese boss who ordered it, so when I went to Tokyo I ordered curry rice with a crab flavored Korokke. Check the curry rice picture!


Yaki means grilled and Tori means Chicken, so this would be Grilled Chicken, or what we refer to as Chicken Barbeque Japanese Style.

Yakitori bought at 7-11

Hope your stomachs are still okay and you’re not drooling because of the food! Trust me, they don’t only look good in the pictures but they taste like heaven. Looking at them makes me want to go to a Japanese restaurant and order at least two!

This is only part 1 of the Food You Must Eat in Japan Series. Subscribe and I’ll keep you posted for parts 2 and 3. Now tell me, which (in this post) do you want to eat or is your favorite?

Japanese Food You Must Eat - Lyzappy

Come and check out PART 2!

Comments (15)

  • gallivantinggoals

    July 3, 2018 at 1:08 AM

    My husband and I love Japanese food and your post will certainly help us decide what all to try when we visit 🙂

  • Followingtherivera

    July 2, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    My mouth is watering after reading this post! I love Japanese food, especially sushi and sashimi. I love Donburi too, but haven’t tried nearly enough. Lovely photos, and I need to get some now!

  • Farrah

    July 2, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    I love japanese food too, I’m lucky I’ve tried everything on this list. My top favorite from this list are, sushi, yakitori, sashimi, and tempura.

  • Lissy

    July 2, 2018 at 4:46 AM

    This is great! I am going to Japan next spring and I can’t wait. I love curry rice!

  • Sarah

    July 1, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    Japanese food is my favourite. I tried most of these dishes when I visited Japan, unfortunately there are Japanese restaurants near where I live so I guess I will just have to return to Japan. Thanks for bringing back happy food memories 🙂

  • Rein

    June 20, 2018 at 2:44 AM

    I ate most of these in Korea^^ Some of them I even thought for the longest time that they were Korean dishes because I could find them everywhere, even in Korean-food themed restaurants. I really can’t eat spicy food, so I ended up eating more Japanese (Koreanised) food there than actual Korean dishes, haha XD

    PS: I thought I could manage…but it did make me hungry, haha^^ Does this mean you owe me a meal? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

    1. Lyza P

      June 20, 2018 at 6:40 PM

      Japanese food is awesome, though I am in love with Korean because it’s so spicy and fun in the mouth.
      Okay, I’ll owe you one, but I’m introducing you to Filipino 😉

  • Federica Provolenti

    June 19, 2018 at 11:07 PM

    I am a big fan of Japanese food and I loved eating it in Japan! Thanks to your post, I now know the different types of rice and of frying.

    1. Lyza P

      June 20, 2018 at 6:38 PM

      You were not the only one to learn, I did too as I researched about everything here!

  • alison netzer

    June 19, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    I think I would leave gaining 500 lbs. Everything sounds so yummy, I’m dying to go and try it all.

    1. Lyza P

      June 20, 2018 at 6:37 PM

      If I lived in Japan, I would really gain weight too, unfortunately all food I ate turnes into energy because I walked a lot 🙂 Try it all!

  • highlands2hammocks

    June 19, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    This all sounds so amazing! Have always loved trying new foods and will definitely be ticking some of these off my list now. Planning a trip to Japan in the next couple of years so will keep this in mind 😀

    1. Lyza P

      June 20, 2018 at 6:36 PM

      Japanese food is suberb! I hope you get to enjoy and eat everything!

  • jennybhatia

    June 18, 2018 at 6:04 AM

    I have tried some of these foods, but some I have not. Your pictures look great, by the way. I try really hard to get my kids to try different cuisines. My daughter will try some things, but is still picky, plus has some food allergies. My son, well won’t try too much. But they will eat anything chicken!
    But, I will try anything so this list gives me a few ideas. Thank you.

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