Japanese street food

 In Japanese culture, it is considered rude to “eat on the go”. You always eat at the restaurant or eat at your destination, never while walking around (yes, this includes your coffee). For this reason, Japanese street food is pretty much nonexistent, except during a festival. So, in honor of festival season, here are some street food favorites.

Grilled squid on a stick. Nope, haven’t tried this one.

Also, roasted fish on a stick, generously salted. You’re supposed eat everything, head to tail. I wasn’t brave enough to do that, but the meat of the fish was fabulous!

Potatoes in all forms are very common. This man is serving them boiled with butter, or fried. The entire potato was battered then fried, I really wanted to try that one.

And don’t forget the french fries. These are roasted Japanese sweet potato wedges, which are quite sweet.

My girls love the roasted corn on a stick. As you can see, almost everything comes on a stick to make it easier to walk around and eat.

You’ll always find many stalls of various yakiniku, or grilled meat. The cuts have a lot more fat on them than what I usually prefer, though.

Beef, chicken, and eel seem to be the most popular choices.

Not only is there grilled meat, but also fried. This is karage, or fried chicken, and is a favorite!

Takoyaki, or, octopus balls, consist of a pancake-like batter containing octopus, and any other ingredients you would like.

 Okonomiyaki  is a Japanese pancake with many ingredients added to the batter, such as, vegetables, meats and seafood. Fried, or raw, eggs are a very typical topping on many Japanese dishes.

Yakisoba, or grilled noodles, is a favorite of the girls. Cabbage is usually added to the yakisoba, as well.

I don’t usually see American style hamburgers, but this festival was in the same town as our Air Base, so maybe they were capitalizing on the large number of American’s. And judging by the size of the line, they were very good! (Notice the uncooked bacon? That’s very normal here.)

You will always find dango, which is a Japanese dumpling made of rice mochi (paste). They usually have a soy sauce marinade on them, but can also be made sweet.

I don’t really know the name for these, but they are little pancake balls. Pancake batter cooked in the special pan. The girls really love them.

And this pancake mold was especially kawaii!

Fruit on a stick is normal fare, and expensive! The skewer of 2 strawberries cost about $3, but they are absolute perfection. 

A personal favorite of mine is the Japanese cucumber on a stick. Japanese cucumbers are much more crisp than the American version. They also smear a little miso paste on the side, which adds a nice salty flavor.

A festival isn’t complete without several fully stocked bars!

We never skip the opportunity for a chocolate covered banana!

Also, ice cream and shaved ice are regulars, to beat the heat of summer.

Festival season is HOT and humid, but I love the lovely yukata worn by the ladies, the festive and colorful decorations, and the FOOD!


  1. belann
    August 2, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    Totally informative and entertaining as usual. What an interesting place.

  2. Amara
    August 3, 2015 / 3:08 am

    I feel like I learn so much reading your posts! I especially like when you talk about differences in customs –like the not eating and drinking while walking around.Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Erica
    August 3, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    I found that frustrating to not be able to roam around sipping my iced tea, like I like to do. You order a drink and they put it in a paper bag!Also, I remember Adam and I so frustrated at the complete lack of garbage cans! I suppose if you're not walking around opening straws and disposing of empty cups you don't need them as much. Another great post!

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