A challenge for your taste buds
One cannot leave Japan without having a meal of delicious sushi, fresh sashimi and a bowl of ramen. Sure, these are the famous food items you should definitely eat in Japan, but why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new?
Apart from serving some of the most delicious foods known to the world, Japan is also home to some of the strangest food combinations we’ve ever heard of!
1. Not your average popcorn – Soy sauce butter, curry
Forget the usual salted and sweet popcorn, quirky popcorn flavours are the new black!
There are a range of popcorn flavours sold in Tokyo Disneyland, but our favourite flavours are soy sauce butter and curry. Who knew these would taste good together?
Be sure to grab them when you see them, because each flavour is only sold in one particular location.
2. Out-of-this-world ice cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Not anyone that we know. There is ice cream sold everywhere in Japan, but this amazing country has outdone itself by producing some of the most unthinkable flavours you can possibly imagine – something worth trying for the bold and courageous foodie.
From mildly odd flavours like wasabi, miso, cheese; to the unimaginable such as coal, indian curry, raw horse meat, and even beef tongue. Namja Town’s Ice Cream Parlour in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, has it all.
3. Crackers with bugs
Wasp crackers, known as Jibachi Senbei in Japanese, probably sound like rice crackers from your worst nightmare. Unfortunately (or not), they are only sold in Nagano Prefecture.
Surprisingly, although people who have tried this unique rice cracker have said that it’s not the best thing that they’ve ever tasted, it is not all that bad either. On the bright side, it is also known to be nutritious because of a high level of protein!
4. Gotta try them all with KitKat
We all know that Japan sells a huge array of Kitkat flavours, but some of them are really weird. We love our original KitKat, but Japan has taken creativity a step further and came up with flavours such as baked potato, french salt, sports drink and wasabi flavoured Kitkat! In light of cherry blossom season, KitKat also has a cherry blossom flavour.
KitKat is widely available throughout Japan – they can be found in both Haneda and Narita Airport, convenience stores or discount stores such as Don Quijote. So if you’re looking for a unique souvenir to take home with you, try a weird flavour of KitKat!
5. Noodles and bread…?
Popular throughout Japan, Yakisoba Pan (stir-fried noodle bread) is one of the food combinations that seem so ordinary, yet so unheard of. This starch-on-starch pairing may seem like too much, but every calorie is worth it.
You can easily find Yakisoba Pan in convenience stores like 7-11.
6. Fancy some ice cream with your corn?
You read the header right, it’s not corn-flavoured ice cream. It’s ice cream ON grilled corn! This unique combination was created by Chef Dominique from Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan and is only sold during the summer season in Japan. Corn is glazed with soy sauce and butter, grilled, then topped off with caramel sweet corn ice cream and bits of sweet corn jam.
Peculiar as it sounds, this dessert was so popular in summer 2016 that it was sold in the summer of 2017 as well! This dessert is only sold in the Omotesando branch in Tokyo, so if you want to get your hands on this delectable dessert, be sure to drop by in the summer!
7. Eel in soda
Unagi. Cola. Why Japan, why?
If you have ever craved for unagi and some soda at the same time, you can now have them both in liquid form. Made with real eel extract, this weird beverage was produced by a drinks company called Kimura Inryou, and can be bought along highway rest stops and gift shops only in Shizuoka Prefecture.
How does it taste like? We don’t know, but we predict that it’s going to taste like how it sounds – like washing down a good meal of unagi with some coca cola.
8. Chocolate covered potato chips
You might be thinking that this combination doesn’t sound strange.
That’s where we’ll agree to disagree, because although it seems relatively normal to dip food in chocolate, there wasn’t anyone who came up with dipping potato chips. Try imagining the taste of the saltiness of potato chips together with sweet and rich chocolate – we can’t comprehend how it can go well together.
Luckily, this bowl of goodness sells itself well and goes for only 250 yen or 400 yen with soft cream. You can give it a try at Calbee Plus in Takeshita Street, at Harajuku in Tokyo.
9. Highly unusual ramen
When we said that Japan has a wide variety of ramen flavours, we weren’t kidding. You would think you’ve seen it all until you look at what we’re about to show you.
Forget chocolate covered potato chips, this bowl of ramen has actual chocolate chunks in its broth! This Valentine’s day dish is only available from 1 – 14 February at MENSHO Tokyo. So you better hurry to Japan this Valentine’s!
Green tea and ramen are two words that scream “Japan”; put them together and you’ve got the most Japanese food combination you can think of – matcha ramen! Nissin’s matcha ramen instant cup noodles are on sale for just 128 yen at local grocery stores. Even if you don’t have time to try this, it would definitely make a good souvenir to bring home.
10. Wasabi Beer
For beer lovers out there, this is THE beer you should try while in Japan. This green coloured beer really tastes like wasabi and will definitely give your taste buds a spicy kick. Take a trip to the Daio Wasabi Farm in Nagano Prefecture to get your hands on this one-of-its-kind beverage.
In Japan, dine with an open mind
Food in Japan is certainly not for the faint-hearted, so make sure that you go in and eat with an open mind! There are many places to explore so be sure to check out these transport passes from Klook before you embark on your food adventure, for a smooth journey around Japan!
Tokyo Subway Pass
Hankyu 1 Day/2 Day Pass