FOOD: 6 Tips to Eat Like a Local in Japan
From amazing street food, to exquisite dining, and opportunities to learn cooking secrets from the masters, Japan offers you food experiences like nowhere else in the world. Check out these helpful tips for eating like a local in Japan:
1. Train Station Boxed Lunches
Ekiben are boxed lunches sold at train stations and on trains throughout Japan. Stations that offer ekiben pride themselves on unique presentations of local flavors and specialties, ready to be enjoyed from the comfort of your train seat.
2. Department Store Food Halls
Meals in Japan don’t always have to break the bank. Visit a department store basement level at closing time when shop owners are eager to sell off the days remaining product and get great discounts on freshly prepared meals.
3. Izakaya: Japanese Pubs
For a place to eat, drink and hang out with friends, try a Japanese pub. The low prices and shareable dishes are great for groups and the extensive menu options make it easy to find something for even the pickiest eaters. Also, be sure to remember that there is no tipping!
4. Take A Cooking Class
Want to really immerse yourself in Japanese cuisine? You can learn how to make dishes such as sushi and soba from the chefs themselves. Don’t forget the best part – you get to eat your work when you’re finished.
5. Stand Up Noodle Shops
Usually featuring soba or udon noodles, stand up noodle shops are a common fixture in train stations and shopping thoroughfares in Japanese cities. Warm up with a hot bowl in the winter or cold noodles in the summer. Either way, surrounded by noodle slurping locals, this is a can’t-miss cheap and quick meal.
6. Conveyer Belt Sushi Shops
Conveyer belt sushi bars allow you to experience sushi in Japan at a price (and pace) closer to fast food. Offering fresh seafood ubiquitous in Japan, with plates starting at 100 Yen (about $0.80), how can you not afford to get filled up on sushi?
photo credit: Salads via photopin