If like many a modern traveller, your ideal trip is sussing out the area with the use of your mouth and stomach, we reckon the culinary hot spot Japan might just be the place for you. Pokémon flavoured Mcflurries, curries served in toilets and cheap Japanese beers down Piss Alley? We are soy into these bizarre but delicious Japanese eateries. No more Mr Rice Guy it’s time to get weird!
1. Catch flowing noodles in Kyoto – Hirobun
What makes a scrumptious bowl of somen noodles even better? Having to catch them with your chopsticks as they zoom out of a bamboo waterfall. Move aside bungy jumps, this is our kind of adrenalin rush.
2. Have a Pokémon flavoured McFlurry – McDonald’s
Banana and chocolate Pikachu McFlurry? Erm can this be made global please? The rest of the flavours however are pretty alternative. Think broccoli flavour for Bulbasaur and habanero pepper for Charmander. Move aside green smoothie, I’ll have a Bulbasaur ice cream to go!
3. Eat out of a toilet? – Modern Toilet
Hold up, we don’t mean literally! This kitsch Taiwanese chain has made it on the Tokyo food scene, serving up curries, noodles and even swirling chocolate ice cream (so wrong it’s right?) in miniature toilets.
4. Sip on a latte with a side of artistic genius – Loger Cafe
Like the intricate art produced in Japan, the coffee maestros here have taken latte designs to a whole new level. 3D cats, Hello Kitty, pandas and more can all be seen in your cup’s foam. Head to Loger café for an instagrammable latte that’s almost too adorable to drink.
5. Indulge in the ultimate egg porn – Kichi Kichi
If slicing open a perfectly poached egg gets you going, then Omurice at Kichi Kichi will push you into egg-loving overload. No yolk! Sculpted fried rice is wrapped in the fluffiest of omelettes topped with a soy-ketchup sauce.
6. Get addicted to ‘Osaka soul food’ – Fukutaro
A savoury cabbage-based pancake that is cheap, filling and comes ‘okonomi’ – aka how you like. Watch the bonito fish flakes dance from the heat and ponder what makes the okonomiyaki sauce so incredibly tasty.
7. Yakitori and cheap booze – Piss Alley
The name doesn’t exactly scream ‘eat here’ but Piss Alley has an interesting history that dates back to post-war Japan. What started out as an illegal drinking quarter, feels like a trip back in time and is a prime spot for beers on a budget and a hearty Yakitori stew.
8. Fill up on Ramen Tokyo-style – Harukiya Ogikubo Honten
This local favourite gave birth to Tokyo’s take on the traditional Ramen. With over sixty years of experience, you know this warming noodle soup broth is going to be delicious!
9. Eat sushi for breakfast – Sushi Dai
Located right in the heart of the Tsukiji fish market, the sushi served here is as close to the source as it gets. Shake up your wake-up meal and try their famous sushi brekkie platter (warning the queues are longggg).
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10. Veggies abroad– Raw 8 Café Osaka
As delicious and unique as it is raw vegan, this Osaka café serves up colourful fusions of traditional Japanese ingredients and western dishes. We recommend the raw matcha cheesecake for an innocently sweet treat.
If this isn’t enough to get you hungry explorers packing your bags and heading to Japan pronto. Check out our destination guide for more tips and inspo.