Nobody does it better than Japan when it comes to cuisine specialties. Though Tokyo has it all and Kyoto is known for its traditional cuisine, there are plenty of other sites to see along the road. Do your taste buds tingle? The greatest locations to visit in Japan for foodies are listed below.
Shimoda – Seafood haven
Shimoda is a small port town on the southern tip of the Izu peninsula, roughly four hours from Tokyo. It’s not just a beautiful respite from the madness of city life, but it’s also home to some of the world’s greatest seafood. There are several fish markets in town, and local restaurants specialize on squid, baked fish, and kinmedai, a crispy golden eye snapper that is gradually garnering international fame.
Hokkaido – Known for its dairy products, particularly cheese.
Hokkaido prefecture is located in Japan’s northernmost region. The capital is Sapporo, a frigid city with some of Japan’s most interesting winter festivities and greatest dairy products. Though Japan isn’t known for its cheeses, Hokkaido produces some of the best in the world. The Hokkadio cheese tart – think of it as the smaller, more flavorful cousin of the cheesecake – is a must-try. It’s a warm bed of gooey sweet cheese lava encased in crispy, buttery pastry, and it’s possibly the most delectable dessert you’ve yet to eat.
Morioka – Wanko soba, aka little tiny bowls of soba
Soba (buckwheat) noodles are not uncommon in Japan; nevertheless, the city of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture produces soba a little differently. This delicacy, known as wanko soba, is actually an eating contest disguised as a dinner.
Wanko means bowls in the local dialect, and soba in Morioka is served in stacks of little bowls. If you go to a specific soba restaurant, you’ll be assigned a waitress who will wait until you’ve finished your bowl before refilling it with fresh, warm noodles. Simply cover your bowl (the I’m done sign) once you’ve reached your desired level of filling.
Osaka – Takoyaki Octopus balls
Osaka, sometimes referred to be Tokyo’s cool grittier cousin, has a lot going for it. However, it is their takoyaki that draws the crowds. Takoyaki, often known as ‘fried octopus balls’ in English, is the ideal on-the-go, after-drink, during-drink, and anything in-between food. It’s similar to regular fast food.
The bites are made out of fried crispy batter with small chewy octopus bits molded into golf ball-shaped chunks and coated with sauce and mayonnaise.
Okinawa – Umibudo, little salty sea grapes
The island of Okinawa is a wonderful place to visit. It’s home to some of the most magnificent beaches in the world and some of the longest living people too, so they must be doing something right.
Umibudo, commonly known as sea grapes, is one of the foods you must eat here. This peculiar seaweed, which is popular as a snack, is made up of tiny beads that burst and exude a somewhat salty taste of the sea.
Kobe – Of course, kobe beef.
Kobe beef is undoubtedly the most well-known beef in the world, as well as a cherished Japanese delicacy and the most well-known regional specialty dish in Japan. Kobe beef is one of the several varieties of wagyu, or Japanese cattle, and is usually delicate, flavorful, and fat marbled.
The most typical ways to consume kobe beef are in shabu shabu (a soup packed with boiling meat), sukiyaki (a Japanese hot pot), or teppanyaki (a Japanese grilling station where the chef cooks the meat in front of his customers).
Yokohama – Ramen
Yokohama, approximately 40 minutes from Tokyo, is the capital’s often-overlooked cousin. If you’re in Tokyo, though, don’t miss the chance to stop by. Yokohama is home to the country’s largest number of culinary museums, one of which is a ramen museum. It’s understandable, given that it’s one of the world’s most underappreciated ramen destinations. According to legend, the first Japanese ramen business established in Yokohama.
Nikko – Yuba, weird but delicious tofu skin
The one food you must taste when in Nikko is yuba. It’s basically tofu, or, to put it another way, a dish created from the surface skin that forms on top of heated soy milk — it sounds terrible but tastes good.
The most appealing aspect of yuba is its adaptability; like tofu, it takes on the flavors of the dishes in which it is prepared, but with a far more fascinating, chewy texture. The ideal way to consume it is in a bowl of hot noodles, as the natives recommend.
Fukuoka – Famed for its fugu, which is both tasty and notorious.
On the culinary scene, Fugu is a kind of an urban legend, and the best location to find it is in Fukuoka. This tasty (but dangerous if not cooked properly) blowfish is readily available for a reasonable price in Kyushu’s capital. In Fukuoka, you may have it hot pot style, sashimi style, or fried style.