Japan is known for showcasing its local and seasonal ingredients. From tropical Okinawa to the snowy mountains of Hokkaido, Japan’s diverse landscape and long history have allowed each of the 47 prefectures and cities to develop their unique cuisine. With plenty of matsuri (festivals) and shoutengai (traditional shopping streets) you ought to find irresistible street food anywhere you visit Japan.
Bubble and squeak okonomiyaki Source: Adam Liaw
is another must-try. Costing just over 100 yen (about $1) per skewer, the battered and deep-fried skewers of meat and vegetables can be found all over Osaka. There’s one place you’ll be spoilt for choice at Shinsekai, downtown Osaka.
While you can enjoy Kyoto’s finest matcha traditionally in tea houses and restaurants, out on the streets there’s an extensive array of matcha-inspired sweets, from ice cream to mochi, crepes, parfait, and even tiramisu and baumkuchen.
Kyoto is also famous for its yuba, a by-product of boiled soy milk high in protein and iron. While yuba is often used in shojin ryori or Buddhist meals, its versatility has allowed for creative street food in recent times, like yuba-cheese – a fish cake infused with cheese, wrapped with yuba and deep-fried.
Situated far south of Japan’s main island, Okinawa is known for its enchanting fusion of diverse cultures. From the neighbouring Asian countries to the presence of an American Naval base on the island, Okinawan cuisine beautifully embodies the unique blend of influences. You cannot talk Okinawan cuisine without pork, and when discussing street food, Okinawan style onigiri with spam and egg is not to be missed.
Hakata Ippudo ramen, Sydney Source: Yusuke Oba
Fukuoka is also famous for karashi mentaiko or cod roe marinated in a mix of spices. There are many ways mentaiko can be enjoyed, from onigri, to pasta and even potato salad, but when in Fukuoka, mentaiko tamagoyaki is a must-try. Simply a Japanese egg omelette with mentaiko, this dish makes a perfect drinking snack.