5 Best Things to Do in Japan for Foodies
Foodie Bucket List in Japan: Best Japanese Food and Drink Experiences
Love eating?? Do you proudly call yourself a foodie?? If yes, Japan is one of the best countries to be. From traditional national dishes such as Sushi and Tempura to international cuisines like French cuisine fine dining and Italian pizza, all kinds of worldwide cuisines can be found in Japan today. Not only great dining experiences, but the country offers fun and unique food experiences such as cooking classes, and local food and drink spots.
Today, I have listed 5 best things to do in Japan which all foodies shouldn’t miss out! Let’s check the best food and drink experiences in Japan 🙂
1. Bar Hopping
Bar hopping has become one of the most popular activities among tourists in Japan now, and many kinds of night bar hopping tours can be found. Normally, the tours take you to authentic Japanese style bar “Izakaya” and show you what the real drink culture is like in Japan. Some tours take you to hidden bars which only local would know.
Besides drinking, Izakaya is actually a great place to eat out as they usually serve authentic home-made style Japanese dishes which are very unique to foreigners for sure.
Here are some of recommended bar hopping/Izakaya tours in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya and Asakusa areas), Kyoto and Osaka.
2. Cooking Classes
Now that you know where to get best ingredients to create delicious Japanese food, how about making it by yourself rather than eating at restaurants?? You may think it’s quite a challenge to make Japanese dishes, but it’s actually so much easier than you think.
A wide variety of Japanese cooking classes are available today, not only the authentic dishes like Sushi and Tempura but also home-cooking dishes with vegan and halal options. Many Japanese dishes can be cooked with simple methods and common ingredients. Moreover, learning from local teachers are quite fun, as they may learn you more than just cooking but Japanese culture, travel tips and even becoming your friends sometimes.
You can check the recommended cooking classes available in Japan, today!
Tokyo: Best Cooking Classes in Tokyo
Kyoto: Best Cooking Classes in Kyoto
Osaka: Best Cooking Classes in Osaka
3. Visit Fine Dining/Michelin Starred Restaurants
If you are keen on tasting the world’s greatest food, Tokyo is the right place.
Did you know that Japan is home to the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world?? The capital city, Tokyo owns over 200 Michelin starred restaurants which is twice the number in Paris, France.
▶ Michelin Star Restaurants in Tokyo
There are 11 restaurants in Tokyo that received 3 Michelin stars (in 2020) and numbers of renowned fine dining restaurants including Sukiyabashi Jiro which is a Sushi restaurant owned by the famous Sushi master, Jiro Ono. His restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo is extremely hard to book, but some travel agencies arrange exclusive tours for tourists.
▶ Reservation for Sukiyabashi Jiro
Sukiyabashi Jiro is pretty exclusive, and in case you think it’s too much to afford for a single dinner experience, I’d recommend you to go to the branch store of Sukiyabashi Jiro instead,which is run by his son.
▶ Reservation for Sushi Jiro Roppongi Michelin 2-star Tokyo
If you are not a Sushi fan, you maybe wanna go for Tempura or Teppanyaki (Wagyu) restaurants which are also significant Japanese dishes.
▶ 5 Best Michelin Star Tempura Restaurants in Tokyo!
▶ 5 Top-Rated TEPPANYAKI Restaurants in Tokyo
If you wanna try something very authentic, try Kaiseki which is traditional multi-course Japanese meal.
▶ 5 Best KAISEKI Restaurants in Tokyo
4. Visit Local Markets
Don’t you wonder where the great food ingredients come from? Exploring local food markets are the best way to know the food cultures especially in different regions. There are several greatest fish markets in Japan including in Tokyo (Tsukiji Outer Market) , Kanazawa (Omicho Market) and quite a few food markets in Hokkaido where you can also enjoy eating dishes with freshly caught seafood products.
Also at large local markets such as Kuromon Market in Osaka and Nishiki Market in Kyoto, you are likely to find special and traditional local products that are only sold within the regions. Food cultures in Japan are very different in each regions, and it’s one of the most fascinating things when you visit countrysides.
For more info about regional food cultures, here is a recommended article to read!
▶ 5 Best Food Cities in Japan
5. Instagram-Worthy Food
Instagram-Worthy food and drink are the biggest trend in recent years, and Japan is in fact a treasure land of them. Colourful, cute and photo worthy food and drinks are not only tasty buy fun to look at and take a lot of pictures. From unicorn cotton candy to millennial pink bubble tea, hundreds if trendy cafes and restaurants can be found in Japan today.
If you are into Kawaii theme, Tokyo, (especially Harajuku and Shibuya) is the best place to discover a lot of photo-worthy stuff. Or if you fancy beautifully made traditional Japanese desserts, matcha drinks and confectionery, Kyoto is the best city. Check out the links below to find the best insta-worthy food and drinks in Japan!
10 Best Instagram-Worthy Food and Drink in Tokyo
10 Best Instagram-Worthy Desserts in Kyoto
If you are a real foodie, I’d definitely recommend you to have all these experiences while travelling in Japan!