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The Best Street Food in Japan and Where To Find It

Updated: 1 day ago

With Japan opening up to tourism after a long pandemic hiatus, people are booking travel to Japan like crazy - and I'm one of them! Here's a sneak peek at some of the best street food in Japan and where I found it.


Giant clams opening up on a grill top
I got to grill these giant clams on my own little grill top. I found this place somewhere tucked off Shibuya crossing

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Street Food in Tokyo


Fresh Tuna from Tsukiji Fish Market

If you didn't already know, Japan has a LOT of seafood on offer, and this dish below is one of the most memorable for me - fatty tuna straight from the Tsukiji fish market.


A bowl of raw tuna slices with a dash of wasabi on top
Fatty tuna fresh from the Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

The now permanently closed inner market at Tsukiji Fish Market was a sprawling and popular market for fresh catch to come in for auction. I got the opportunity to walk around solo, later in the morning so it wasn't too busy, and look around at the fresh tuna. It's MASSIVE! I wandered the maze of food stalls across the street from the market and sat down to a pine booth and asked for some toro, and my god was it delicious. Buttery fatty tuna at its freshest. HEAVEN. The Tsukiji market has been replaced now by the Toyosu Fish Market, however, you can still get all the fresh sushi meals at Tsukiji's outer market.



Shimizu, a fishing and cruise port town not far from Tokyo by water actually boasts the title of #1 tuna fishing port in Japan! If you find yourself there, check out the Kashi-no-Ichi market for a wonderful selection of tuna offerings.


Yakitori

Find this treat anywhere! It's basically meat on a stick. You may see all manner of meats, too, including intestinal looking things - so just try to decipher through your best methods of breaking the language barrier before you commit!

Food on sticks
Yakitori! Peep the takoyaki octopus ball on my friends chopsticks too :-)

Yakitori stall in Tokyo showcasing meat on sticks
Yakitori stall in Tokyo

Sweet Treats with Sweet Service

Harajuku is a popular area for tweens and teeny boppers, not to mention the hoards of tourists looking to see it in all it's bubblegum glory. Check out any of the stalls down this very sweet street for treats.

Pink bubblegum colored crepe shop in Harajuku
Creperie on Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Tokyo

Another great spot to see the sweet local girls dressed in full kimonos is at Asakusa. Browse the stalls of souvenir stands and grab a sweet treat!

Local girls enjoying a mango treat
Local girls in Asakusa enjoying a mango treat

I personally love getting candied strawberries on a stick. For 500 yen per three berries, it's a little steep, but worth it. You can find these delicious treats everywhere. Namely, I also saw them in Osaka and Yokohama's Chinatown.




Street Food on Miyajima Island, Hiroshima


Miyajima Oysters

Miyajima Island is definitely worth a visit in Japan. Taking a ferry from Hiroshima, you arrive at a large plaza leading to several streets to wander. Food and shopping options are plentiful, along with the temples and sites.


You can pop in and out of shops with the Nara deer tailing you close by. The deer are adorable and not at all scared of humans, who often pet them and feed them. They'll follow you and hang out with you as you walk the streets of the island.


One of the specialties while on the island, I was told, was the Miyajima cooked oyster. I had to try one. And so I did, and it was DELICIOUS. Covered in cheese and five spice, this was a real treat that I can't wait to repeat when I visit in April.

Miyajima Oysters covered in cheese and 5 spice
Miyajima Oysters covered in cheese and 5 spice



Green Tea (Matcha) Ice Cream

Blog owner holding green ice cream
Matcha ice cream - another specialty of the island!


Maple Cakes

Filled with bean paste or custard, these are a delicious choice while on Miyajima Island.




Street Food Near the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto


Grilled Crab Skewers

As the trip carried on there were all sorts of seafood options - on sticks, dried in packets (literally rows of this stuff for snacking in grocery stores), from raw to grilled, fresh to freeze dried. The crab on a stick was one of my favorite street foods, grilled simply and splashed with soy sauce. Holy cow that's a good walkable treat while visiting the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. I found myself wandering solo again, which was a lovely reprieve from the large tour group I had joined in on, and I got to enjoy some down time at a cat cafe for a coffee and some wifi (not to mention kitty snuggles),





Street Food Near Mt. Fuji


Volcanic Everything

From volcanic bread to sugar cubes, road side stands play up this unusual element of food service.


Mt. Fuji Volcanic Bread Hot Dog at a roadside rest area
Mt. Fuji Volcanic Bread Hot Dog at a roadside rest area

Volcanic sugar cube and coffee at a roadside rest area by Mt. Fuji
Volcanic sugar cube and coffee at a roadside rest area by Mt. Fuji


Street Food in Nagasaki

Get a pork bun! Found commonly in Chinatown, you can even get Pac Man themed buns.





Everywhere!


Dumplings

Found everywhere! Check out the soup dumpling offerings in Yokohama's impressive Chinatown.

Amazing dumplings at a train station
Amazing dumplings at a train station

Onigiri

Not sure you would try your local WaWa or 7-11 Sushi? Well in Japan, convenience stores everywhere are serving up triangular rice pockets called onigiri that are sure to delight your appetite. Like a mini sandwich, onigiri is filled with any assortment of fish and flavors, wrapped in seaweed and surrounded by rice. Check it out!






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