For anyone wanting to be fully immersed in the local culture, most would suggest tackling the Japanese street foods. Each year Japan holds more than 100,000 festivals and events. Here are some of the classic japanese foods that can be seen on roads and streets
Takoyaki are small balls made from flour with fillings such as squid, ham and cheese.. This is one of the most popular street food in Japan and can be seen almost anywhere. They are served with mayonaise and fish flakes.
Gyoza is the Japanese version of fried pot stickers. Filled with seasoned grounded pork and vegetables, they are delicious with a little soya sauce. Some gyozas can be made from shrimp, mushrooms, cheese or shiso leaves.
Dangos are sweet glutinous rice balls made from rice flour. It is often grilled to give it a smokey grill flavour. It may be plain or come with fillings such as sweet red bean paste and green tea. It can be eaten as a savoury snack too with soya sauce.
Another French-inspired snack on our list, the Korokke is the Japanese version of the croquette. It is made of chopped meat, seafood, vegetables and mashed potatoes. This savoury snack is yummy and can act as a pick me up when you are hungry.
Although a well-loved French dessert, the Japanese have their own take on this sweet treat, making it a little on the crispier side. Japanese crepes are very popular, especially among Japanese school girls and can be found in harajuku among many other places. They are usually rolled up into a cone for easier eating and often contain fresh ingredients like fruits and savoury eggs.
A hot lunch spot in the business districts in Japan, bento stands usually sell out in less than hour. These colorful boxes full of an assortment of meat, rice and vegetables offer a convenient method to consume multiple dishes from one compact box.
You hear a cheerful melody slowly drifting closer. “Yaki-imo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo!” The seductive smell of roasted potatoes creeps into your senses leaving you no choice but to submit to the temptation. A customised cart with a potato-filled wooden stove stops in front of you. It’s here, your yaki-imo.This hundred-year-old street food tradition still lives on despite the simplicity of its nature.
If you are feeling very hungry, you might want to try some Yakisoba which is fried noodles in soya sauce with vegetables and meat. It may even be served in a hotdog bun.
Imagawayaki is a Japanese dessert made with batter cooked in a special pan with a circular shape. It's traditionally filled with red bean paste but in recent years ingredients such as custard, fruit jams, meat, potatoes and curry are also common.
Nikuman are a Chinese-style steamed bun filled with pork and other ingredients such as spice. The bun is light and fluffy and typically sits atop a piece of wax paper. Shops that sell Nikuman often have steam pouring from them that looks quite dramatic on a cold day. Nikuman are popular in Japan as a snack and are available from konbini and street food vendors.
Vendors selling squid pierced through the length of its body with a wooden skewer is completely normal in Japan and particularly Osaka. Vendors grill the squid and then top it off with soy sauce leaving room for costumers to experience the freshness and delightfully chewy texture of the squid. It may be a simple snack, but when cooked correctly, the slimy meat transforms into a plump and tender culinary work of art.
If you find yourself in Japan, look out for these tasty eats..