Miyajima is known for its oysters and coming up with interesting new ways to incorporate it into street food is a revered pastime. So Curry Oyster bread is this year’s winner.
Most places in Japan don’t have street food; but there are a few near famous tourist places. These squid balls can be found near Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto and, frankly, all throughout Japan.
At these fast food stands you buy a ticket for the meal you want, carry it to the counter and are served up piping hot food in minutes. To see just how fast you can order, see our Ten Seconds in Tokyo video.
One of the many products you can find on sale in markets throughout Japan. These were spotted in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market.
The Odakyu line Romance car from Tokyo to Hakone is memorialized in a souvenir bento box lunch that you can enjoy on your journey.
No, you can’t get a geisha from one of Japan’s famous and ubiquitous vending machines, but the city of Kyoto encourages vendors to make use of their iconic image for some street decoration. This one was in a parking lot.
Yudofu, in Arashiyama, is a beautiful location to enjoy a special tofu meal. You’ll be served a variety of forms of tofu in a set course luncheon selection.
While dining at Endo, one of Kyoto’s well-known tempura restaurants, we were also treated to an exquisitely presented sashimi course.
Lots on offer outside Fushimi Inari Shrine. Not sure exactly what these colorful offerings are, but we think mochi is involved.
In addition to small and cute, the Japanese do “delicate” with incredible flair and panache (think miniaturization!). These candies, each individually wrapped, were on display on tiny individual plates in a storefront in Nihonbashi. Keep in mind that they also change colors and flavors with the seasons and the variety available is almost endless.
We’re not sure if your kids would go for these, but the Japanese must. These lemon cooled cucumbers on a stick were on sale on the street in Arashiyama (western Kyoto) in the summer.
This shop in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market specializes in Miso paste. Shown here are four different varieties as well as “serving suggestions” for how they would look when transformed into miso soup.
Conveyor belt sushi (kaiten sushi) in Japan is a fast and delicious and usually inexpensive way to get a quick meal. This one, in Shinjuku, used English to make sure to convey the concept as well as the sushi.
These are just so adorable; crackers wrapped like little Japanese, kimono-clad dolls. When you open them, one cracker is sweet and one is salty – the perfect afternoon combination.
The Japanese bring local food as gifts when traveling (the practice is called omiyage), so you will see shops and stands with individually wrapped food throughout Japan. This stand offers some pancake-like cookies in a variety of sizes and box configuration, all beautifully packaged for gift giving.
The picture says it all; we’re just not sure who needs instructions in this vending-machine happy country.
When in doubt about where to eat; head to the nearest department store. They all have multiple restaurants, usually located on one or two floors at the top of the store. This guide to the dining options at the Takashimaya in Kyoto also lets you know which ones have an English menu. You’ll often find restaurant guides like this in popular places (stores,stations).
You can find lots of this in Japan – candies that are so small you can’t figure out if you can even taste them. Even the packaging is tiny. We think the two different color tapes mean two different flavors, but who knows until you try one.
In a little taste of Kyoto, the noren over a restaurant’s door waves gently in the evening breeze.
Many small shops in Japan make their products right in front on you, like this shop that sells sweets.