Food Trip: Japanese Street Food

While traditional Japanese cuisine is known for its elegance and luxury, Japan’s street food culture has become increasingly popular and as pertinent. It is not like your typical street food. Usually, you can only find street food during festivals or at popular tourist spots. If you are not familiar with Japanese street food, most of it are based on old classics that have been around for centuries. Needless to say, it is as exotic as you would expect. Although I am not a Japanese street food expert (yet), I got very excited when I did see the ones I am familiar with.

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I am most familiar with takoyaki. Originally from Osaka, takoyaki is a ball of fried batter with chucks of boiled octopus at its center and topped with green onion, pickled ginger and fish flakes.

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Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake usually made with eggs and shredded cabbage. Toppings are added and varies from meat to seafood to wasabi or cheese.

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Dango is a sweet dumpling on a stick made from mochiko or rice flour.



Shioyaki is simply grilled fish on a stick. The type of fish varies from salmon to mackerel and is usually salty.



Street food ramen is one of my favorites. There is nothing like a real locally made ramen in Japan.



Japan has a lot more street food to offer. Not only is it the best way to experience Japanese culture but it is also affordable. If you are foodventurous, then Japan is perfect for you. I don’t think one would go to Japan and NOT enjoy its rich food culture. If you are thinking of going to Japan for the first time, I recommend trying as many of the street food possible. Oh, and take me with you!


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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.