Japan's Regional Best Food

We all know how much Japanese food is tasty and delicate, but did you know that depending on the region the food is totally different ? We would would think that sushi and ramen are eaten and produced everywhere but in reality it is not as simple. Although Japan looks small on a world map, it is a very large country with different landscapes and different foods.

This article will present the most famous (and delicious!) regional food from north to south.

Hokkaido Region

Genghis Khan (Hokkaido Prefecture)

Named after the famous Mongolian general Gengis Khan, it consists of fine slices of sheep  and vegetables are cooked on a special cast-iron grill in the shape of a helmet. It is said to be the favorite dish of Genghis Khan, hence its name. It is also said that the Mongolian warriors roasted the sheep meat on their helmets. This dish is particularly popular in Hokkaido.

Tohoku Region

Wanko soba (Iwate Prefecture)

These soba are served in a very original way. The bowl is served with a small amount of noodles and when you are done, the waiter sends you a loud cry until you are satisfied. So you can eat up to 50 or 60 bowls of noodles. This tradition goes back several centuries when the landowners made it a point of honor to serve their guests until they were no longer hungry. Every year, wanko-soba competitions are held with the aim of eating as much as possible in a minimum of time. The "trick" then consists in swallowing the noodles more than eating them. If you are confident in your apetit, why not try your luck?

Kanto Region

Sushi (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba Prefecture)

Sushi is a Japanese dish consisting of a vinegared rice called shari combined with another ingredient called neta which is usually raw fish or seafood. The sushi known worldwide is a type of sushi known in Japan as edo-mae-zushi (sushi from Edo Bay), originated in Tokyo in the 1820s, then called Edo. In Tokyo people eat them with a salty soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. While its consumption is only occasional in Japan, it is outside of Japan one of the emblematic dishes of Japanese cuisine.

More informations about Sushi on our article here!

Chubu Region

Miso Katsu (Aichi Prefecture)

Happy Monday from 🇯🇵! Today i was looking back on some photos I've taken throughout our trip... And of course came across a photo of one of my favorite meals we had in Nagoya. Miso katsu. It's a Nagoya specialty signature dish! Fried pork cutlet drenched in a savory salty sweet miso sauce with a tiny bit of spice! Served with a side of steamed white rice, miso soup and some freshly chopped raw cabbage and carrots. You also get a second serving of rice with your dish if you ask for more! So for ¥1000 (approx. A little under $10.00) for the "small" size, It's not bad at all! You definitely get full and totally satisfied! Not to mention the katsu is so crispy and juicy!!! Perfectly cooked and on point👌👌👌 oh! And don't forget, rice in Japan is the freakin shit so that was super bomb too. Defiantly one of the best meals so far that I've had. Top 5 for sure hands down. So if y'all are ever in Nagoya, stop on by to Yabaton! They really know what they're doing here. . . . #japan #yabaton #misokatsu #misokatsuyabaton #nagoya #nagoyajapan #japanese #japanesefood #tonkatsu #pork #miso #rice #food #foodporn #foodie #deliciousness #deliciousfood #travel #ad #traveling #foodietravel #foods #instatravel #instagood #instadaily #bestofthebest #bestofthedays #photo #photography

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When you eat deep-fried pork here in Aichi, red miso sauce is served instead of Japanese vegetable sauce. Miso is known to have excellent nutritional value, and is getting popular in other countires as a health conscious food. If you want to enjoy miso more, you must try misokatsu once. It is the famous dish in Nagoya and Japanese people love it.

Kansai Region

Takoyaki (Osaka Prefecture)

These octopus balls are made by pouring a kind of pancake batter and then adding small pieces of octopus, sliced onions and cabbage and a little marinated ginger. They are constantly turned over during cooking to form pellets. The dough is crisp on the outside and melts inside giving these dumplings a unique flavor. They are served on trays and are seasoned with green algae powder, a slightly sweet sauce, dried bonito chips and more and more often mayonnaise. It is a snack very often found in Osaka to eat while walking in the street.

Chugoku Region

Okonomiyaki (Hiroshima Prefecture)

#hiroshimaokonomiyaki #okonomiyaki #okonomimura #hiroshima

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The okonomiyaki is a dish cooked on a metal plate on which are placed various ingredients to overcome the flour dough. It is sold at a relatively low price nationwide. The okonomiyaki literally means "grilling what you like" but is actually not a dish that consists of grilling only what you want. In general, the grated cabbage should be mixed with the flour and water paste and then poured onto the plate. Among the ingredients to be added that are popular are meat such as pork, crustaceans such as squid or shrimp.

Shikoku Region

Katsuo (Kochi Prefecture)

This dish is the most popular in Shikoku island. Katsuo no tataki is a bonito tuna dish lightly toasted, then cut into slices, topped with garlic and ginger. It is seasoned with salt or soy sauce, vinegar and citrus fruits. There are many ways to serve this bonito fish, but the tataki version is the most classic and combines the sashimi and grilled styles.

Kyushu Region

Tonkotsu Ramen (Fukuoka Prefecture)

The main characteristic of Tonkotsu Ramen is the white, thick soup that is made from pork bones, also called Hakata ramen. Some of the other differences in character it has from other types of ramen are thinner noodles, and the simple decorative toppings of cha-shu , chopped scallions, red colored ginger, and sesame seeds. The soup broth, which is the essential ingredient, is prepared by boiling pork bones in water for a significant amount of time, up to eight hours, and the broth is typically cloudy in appearance. 

Okinawa Region

Soki Soba (Okinawa Prefecture)

Normally, soba are buckwheat noodles but on the island of Okinawa, where there is no buckwheat, they are made with wheat flour. These noodles, also called Okinawa soba, are served in a light broth based on pork bones and dried bonito grated, with pieces of chicken breast, fish pâté and chopped vegetables on the top. Soki soba are always accompanied with ribs of pork.

Already hungry ?

Japan is a paradise for anyone who like food. The paradox is that even thought life in Japan is expensive in many sectors (renting, transportation, education, clothes...) food is very cheap ! Indeed you can find very tasty meals for 4 euros for example even in the center of Tokyo. Also outside of Japan, Japanese food is usually reduced to sushi and yakitori which represent only 5% of what Japanese eat every week. I assure you that eating ramen, soba, wagyu or okonomiyaki is something you will always remember. 

More informations about Japanese famous food on our article here!

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Fabien Mizart

Author & Translator

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