Are you planning to go to Japan? Then, just like in any other cultural experience, one of the things that you must try when you get there is to eat Japanese street foods. Yatai is the Japanese word for food stalls. Although eating in food stalls is not as widespread in Japan compared to other Asian countries, it has gained popularity due to the massive volume of tourists, particularly during festivals.

Here are some of the must-try street foods in Japan:




Okonomiyaki is a very popular food in Japan, especially in Osaka and Hiroshima. It is a pancake with many ingredients. The prevalent version of Okonomiyaki is the Osaka-style, this contains flour, eggs, yam, meat, seafood, vegetables, and cheese. There are various types of batter and toppings of Okonomiyaki depending on the region.




Takoyaki comes from the words “tako” which means octopus and “yaki” meaning to fry or grill. The most common fillings of Takoyaki are diced octopus, tempura scraps, spring onion and pickled ginger. Top with Takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, dried seaweeds, and dried bonito fish flakes. You will surely love these delicious golden balls.




Yakisoba is fried wheat noodles with pork, cabbage, and onion, which is drizzled with Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, pickled ginger (beni shoga), dried skipjack tuna, green laver (aonori), and sometimes topped with an egg. If you are a noodle lover you should try to eat this.




Yakitori consists of small pieces of chicken skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal fire. This is seasoned with wasabi, sour pickled plum paste, mustard, salt, and grilling soy sauce.




A bite-sized, disk-shaped street food which is filled with either chocolate, custard or red bean paste. A sweet treat made from a batter of eggs, flour, sugar, and water.




This is a fare for seafood lovers. A squid grilled to perfection and coated with soy sauce and served with a slice of lemon or lime. A simple yet mouthwatering dish.




A snack that is perfect for autumn or winter. Japanese sweet potato baked over a fire that will give you the comfort of its soft texture and caramel-like taste.



Yaki Tomorokoshi


During the summer season, yatai’s are vast with this food as this is the peak season for harvesting corn. Yaki Tomorokoshi is grilled corn brushed with soy sauce, mirin and butter.



A popular treat for children, it is a Japanese cotton candy. You can watch how the vendors prepare Wataame.


Candied Fruit


Another sweet treat, fruits drenched with syrup. It can vary from apples, cherries, slices of pineapple to citrus fruits. This is usually kept in a block of ice to prevent melting.




Beat summer in Japan with this shaved ice treat. Typically topped with flavored syrup, condensed milk, sweet red beans, mochi (sweet rice cakes), jelly, and whipped cream.



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Although crepes come originally from a Western country, this has been adopted by the Japanese and widely spread in yatai’s. Crepes are made from batter and cooked on a griddle then, filled with sweet delights. This cone-shaped food is wrapped in a paper case for the convenience of eating on the go.


Choco Banana


A banana coated in chocolate (milk, dark or white) with sprinkles.




A fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste, chocolate, sweet potato, cheese, custard, okonomiyaki, gyoza, or sausage. You should try this when you visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.




The traditional bottle is made from glass and sealed with a marble top. It comes in the form of soda, popsicles, or candy, all in its trademark blue. However, the roots of the original Ramune soda still remain a mystery. It is believed to have been brought from foreign lands by the British in the 1800s as lemonade, and thereby earned the moniker “Ramune”.



Sources and References:


29 Japanese Street Foods by John Spacey, (2015). Retrieved from https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/japanese-street-food

12 Japanese Street Foods You Need To Try by  gurunavi.com, (2016). Retrieved from https://gurunavi.com/en/japanfoodie/2016/07/yatai.html?__ngt__=TT0d89c8f39005ac1e4ae6a2La3ucvqU3wkjekRQPkMDLz

A Guide To Street Food In Japan by Corlena Bailey, (2016). Retrieved from https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/a-guide-to-street-food-in-japan/

Yatai (food cart) by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yatai_(food_cart)

Takoyaki by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki

Katsuobushi by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsuobushi

Mizuame candied fruits by Muza-chan, (2014). Retrieved from http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/mizuame-candied-fruits

Fukuoka Food Guide by japan-guide.com (2016). Retrieved from https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4811.html

Okonomiyaki by recipes.sparkpeople.com. Retrieved from https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=108172

10 Favorite Places To Get Takoyaki In Manila (2016). Retrieved from http://says.com/ph/foodtrip/favorite-places-to-get-takoyaki-in-manila

Chicken Yakisoba By Sarah (2016). Retrieved from  http://thewoksoflife.com/2016/04/chicken-yakisoba/

Yakitori, Grilled Chicken by goingmywayz.com. Retrieved from https://www.goingmywayz.com/yakitori/

Imagawayaki by it.wikipedia.org (2016). Retrieved from https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagawayaki

Ikayaki: Grilled Squid on Sticks by Yuri (2014). Retrieved from https://triplelights.com/blog/ikayaki-grilled-squid-on–273

Baking Sweet Potatoes in the Schoolyard by eb-japan.org (2004). Retrieved from http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/archives/news/04-02/yakiimo.html

Yaki Tomorokoshi by oksfood.com (2014). Retrieved from http://www.oksfood.com/grill/yakitomorokoshi.html

Totti Candy Factory: The Cute Sweet Shop in Harajuku Everyone’s Talking about by goinjapanesque.com (2016). Retrieved from http://goinjapanesque.com/11085/

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival by jcjsm.org (2017). Retrieved from http://jcjsm.org.au/fest/

The Kakigori Chronicles A Guide To Tokyo’s Iciest Treats By Metropolis (2015). Retrieved from https://metropolisjapan.com/the-kakigori-chronicles/

Japanese Street Crepes Recipe by littlejapanmama.com (2011). Retrieved from http://www.littlejapanmama.com/2011/10/japanese-street-crepes-recipe-harajuku.html

Frozen Bananas by bakedbree.com. Retrieved from https://bakedbree.com/frozen-bananas

Tayaki/ Koy Fish waffles recipes by theartofforking (2014).  Retrieved from https://theartofforking.wordpress.com/tag/taiyaki/

The Origin of Ramune by jpninfo.com (2015). Retrieved from http://jpninfo.com/15978



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