Want To Discover Japanese Food Culture? Here’s a Fast and Fun Guide to Traditional Japanese Food-

It’s True: the food in Japan is indeed responsible for the people’s outstanding lifespan (the longest in the world) and young look. All major western culture diseases such as heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer are less common in Japan.

Many people hesitate before tasting Traditional Japanese Foods, especially raw dishes.
That’s a pity since there is nothing like Traditional local food for an exciting gastronomic experience with Super tastes, colors, and smells.

Food in Tokyo won’t make you feel heavy. A Traditional Meal hardly contains any butter, sugar, fat, or red meat.

The traditional Japanese diet is considered one of the main reasons that local people have one of the longest life spans in the world.

Interesting Things About Japanese Food

Japanese Food - Age Tofu

  • A Traditional Japanese Meal is always served with green tea.
  • A bowl of Miso Soup accompanies breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. It is made from Miso paste, wakame seaweed, and small pieces of tofu.
    Tofu is made of soybeans which is an important source of protein.
  • Agedashi Tofu is tofu slices that are deep-fried and dipped into a soy sauce.
  • Tempura is deep-fried seafood or vegetables and mushrooms, coated with tempura mix.
  • A bowl of plain cooked rice is served with every Japanese meal. Yes, breakfast too.
  • Sashimi is raw fish, eaten with soy sauce and wasabi. Impeccably fresh fish is the secret to wonderful sashimi and sushi. You can count on it to be fresh and clean in every Tokyo restaurant. Try these Tokyo Restaurants in Tokyo Fish Market.
  • Japanese people love their noodles. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat. Ramen are thin noodles prepared in a soup. Somen are thin noodles eaten cold and considered a summer specialty.
  • Shabu-Shabu is a delicious Japanese-style meat fondue. Thinly sliced quality meat is dipped into boiling water along with vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu. Ponzu vinegar or a sesame sauce goes with the meat.
  • Yakitori is grilled chicken pieces on skewers.
  • Onigiri is rice balls wrapped in nori seaweed. They contain umeboshi (pickled Japanese plum), katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings), tuna, or salmon. Rice balls are a healthy and low-cost snack available at every convenience store.
  • Japanese Curry Rice (Kare Raisu) is a very simple dish, tasty and inexpensive. It is so popular that many fast-food restaurants serve it, especially in Tokyo subway stations.
  • Kobe beef is a delicacy from cattle raised in the Kobe district. There is a long tradition of raising cattle in that area of Japan. The cattle drink beer(!!!) and receive a daily massage(!!!. The price accordingly is expensive.
  • The local people in Japan don’t like sugary desserts. The Japanese desserts are made from pounded rice, sweet red bean Japanese dessert paste, sweet white bean paste, mashed sweet potatoes, and chestnuts.
    Try Mochi Japanese cake or Wagashi. Stores change the colors and shapes of Wagashi to reflect the changes of season. Also, very recommended are Green tea ice cream and Green tea Japanese cake.

Daily Japanese Foods

A very widespread belief is that Food in Tokyo is expensive.
It’s true that there are Tokyo Restaurants where you will pay a fortune, but besides them, there are thousands of Restaurants selling yummy food in Tokyo, without being pricey.

Japanese Food Culture is influenced by the fact that most Tokyo office workers commute for more than an hour to work.

That’s why the population of Tokyo has a Japanese Food Culture of plenty of affordable Restaurants throughout the day and into the Tokyo Nightlife scene.

The typical office worker eats 2-3 meals a day in Restaurants. He ends his working day by drinking and eating with his colleagues before commuting home.

The problem of hygiene which you have in many other countries in Asia does not exist in Tokyo. All Tokyo Restaurants are clean and safe to eat in.

Breakfast in Tokyo contains many small dishes which look like a lot of food to the western eye. Together they make a ‘power breakfast’ that is surprisingly very light.

What To Expect From A Traditional Japanese Meal?

Japanese Food - Typical Meal

A Traditional Meal typically includes Rice, Miso soup, fish (usually two dishes – one hot and one cold), Japanese pickles, and Green tea.

Another type of Traditional Japanese Food is noodles. There are at least 10 kinds of different noodles here. The noodles are served in soups – Ramen, or fried – Yaki Soba.

Another type of local Food – Sushi.
What is Sushi? Sushi is small pieces of seafood. Sushi is served with Japanese pickles, Ginger, Wasabi (very spicy), and soy sauce.

You pour some soy sauce into a small plate and add a little (!!) Wasabi. You then mix the Wasabi into the Soy. The Sushi is then dipped with the help of the chopsticks into the sauce.

To be on the safe side order –

    • Chutoro –Tuna
    • Ebi- Shrimps
    • Ikura – Salmon fish eggs

Sashimi is the raw fish or seafood itself, served without Rice.

Japanese Desserts

Japanese Food - Sweets

Sugary-sweet desserts are not common in Japan. Desserts are not a part of Traditional food in Japan.

Japanese cake recipes and Mochi recipes are usually based on sweet red bean paste, sweet white bean paste, mashed sweet potatoes, and chestnuts.

I know this sounds weird, but wait… It only gets weirder – Desserts normally have a sticky texture. But believe me, you have to Give local desserts a try! They are addicting…

Traditional desserts have a very subtle sweet taste.

The sweets are also a great way to include Green Tea products in everyday food since there are Green Teacakes and Green Tea ice cream.
See More: Japanese Desserts, Japanese Mochi recipes, How to make Green Tea

Foods In Japan: Foods For Slow Aging

Japanese Food - Miso

Foods in Japan are probably the Best for your Health. The people of Japan are known for their slow aging. The Traditional Japanese Diet and the Traditional Tokyo foods are considered the main reasons that local people have one of the longest life spans in the world.

Another thing you’ll notice in Japan is how much younger everyone looks compared to their age group in western countries.

The traditional diet relies heavily on soybeans. Soybeans are said to be the most complete nutritious protein.

Traditional Foods like Miso Soup and tofu which are made from Soybeans, accompany lunch, dinner, and Breakfast in Tokyo.

The Japanese Food culture is very different from the western ‘Meat and potatoes’ plate. Traditional meals include many small dishes, carefully planned to satisfy the taste and the eye. A small bowl of Rice is served with each meal. Miso soup is the last thing you have at the end of every meal.

See More: Foods in Japan, Traditional Japanese Diet, Japan Foods

Tokyo Trip Checklist

  • To make sure you have all the important things covered see my first-time-in-Tokyo guide
  • Get your 1,2 or 3-day Tokyo Unlimited Subway Pass to easily get around Tokyo
  • If you want to travel on bullet trains you can save big with a Japan Rail Pass. Here’s why is worth it.
  • You’ll need a prepaid sim or Portable WIFI to stay connected in Tokyo.
  • Check out my detailed Tokyo packing list to make sure you’re prepared.
  • The best site to book hotels in Tokyo is almost always Booking.com. And remember to book early, especially during busy times.
  • For travel insurance (which you need) Word Nomads offer great coverage in Japan and are highly recommended.

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