Hunting for delicious street food is always a great activity to do to spend time alone, with your friends, family, and your loved ones. Japan is one of the best places to do it in this whole world, with its diverse, delicious dishes spread out nationwide.
For any foodies out there, we would like to recommend to you these five must-visit street food spots around Japan!
Sunamachi Ginza, Koto, Tokyo
Credit: Unsplash, David Klein
If you are looking to experience Tokyo’s old downtown vibes, you should definitely check out Sunamachi Ginza (砂町銀座商店街)! Once you get here, you will feel like you have gone back in time as this 670-meter long road is packed with old-school shops. These shops sell various unique traditional Japanese sweets like amanatto (beans cooked in sugar) and Saitama prefecture’s popular sweet gokabo (rice cake covered in roasted soybean powder called kinako). You can also try out pickles made using sake lees–a traditional Japanese pickling process. For those who love seafood, you can also try handmade shumai, gyoza, crispy tuna cutlet, and various type of tempura. The ambiance of this street will make you feel calm as it will be very much different from the busy and fast-paced parts of Tokyo. If you want to visit this place, make sure not to visit on Wednesday as most of the stores are closed on that day!
Asaichi Morning Market, Sendai
If you go to Sendai, you should stop by the Asaichi Morning Market (仙台朝市)! The market itself is open from 8 am to 6 pm except on Sundays, offering you different delicacies to try out. You will be able to see how the locals live as it is a popular place for the locals to buy their groceries, which definitely will give you a new experience that you might not get in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. In this market, you can find many local delicacies such as jumbo inarizushi filled with chewy rice, Sendai miso karaage, hyotan-age (battered and deep-fried fish cake skewer), and Sendai’s specialties like zunda dango made of edamame and delicious gyutan (beef tongue) dishes.
Enoshima Benzaiten Nakashima Street, Kanagawa
Located just an hour and 15 minutes from the heart of Tokyo, Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture is a famous day trip destination. On this island, you can find so many street foods at the Enoshima Benzaiten Nakashima Dori (江の島弁財天仲見世通り)! As you can guess, there are many street foods made of fresh seafood that you can try. As you walk through this street, you can try Tako-senbei (octopus rice crackers), juicy grilled hotate (scallops) seasoned with sweet soy sauce, ika maruyaki (whole grilled squid), and crispy monaka ice cream. For you beer lovers, you can have a taste of the light and fruity Enoshima Beer. Not to forget Enoshima’s specialty, you can try basically everything made of Shirasu (small whitebait fish)–from fresh Shirasu and shirasu pastes to pies and even sake and beer! Coming to such a beautiful island, you can not miss the experience of eating those delicious street treats without sitting down right in front of the sea. This is definitely a great destination for all the seafood and sea lovers!
Komachi Street, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Another excellent street food spot in Kanagawa Prefecture is the Komachi Dori (小町通り), Kamakura! Not only is it famous for its history as the former political center of medieval Japan and the place of Kotoku-in Temple, but Kamakura also has delicious seafood street food due to its geographical location near the sea. Just in front of Kamakura Station, you can walk down Komachi Dori, which is filled with many food stalls that sell different kinds of fish cakes, shumai, age-pan (deep-fried bread), ichigo dango (strawberry dango), cup sushi, and unique buddha cake–a dessert that goes along with the famous Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu).
Nakasu Kawabata, Hakata, Fukuoka
Credit: Unsplash, Frank from 5 AM
Fukuoka Prefecture is widely known for its open-air food stalls or Yatai (屋台) and while there are a lot of Yatai spots throughout Fukuoka, try visiting Nakasu Kawabata for the best experience! You can reach this hot spot using trains that stops in Nakasu Kawabata Station and Tenjin Minami Station and have a walk for about 10 minutes. Located by the river running through the Nakasu Island, you will find more of a dozen Yatai, offering various street food for you such as yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), oden (hot pot), to the famous local Hakata Ramen, ramen in pork bone-based soup or tonkotsu. You can also enjoy various alcoholic drinks while tasting the offered delicacies. This spot is pretty popular among the locals, so you will be able to feel an authentic local atmosphere. There might also be lines in popular stalls, especially on Fridays and Saturdays!
Which Street Food Spots Do You Want to Go?
One of the best ways to get to know a culture is through street food, and Japan has the best street food on offer. Street food hunting in Japan will never fail to amaze you because of its cultural aspect and the warmth of the local people. Not only that, but you will satisfy your taste buds with different flavors!
So which street food spots do you want to visit now?
Nadira Anamika Utari
For more great food you should try:
- The Best Authentic Asian Restaurants Around Tokyo
- Where and What to Eat on A Budget at Waseda
- Best Spots to Eat Authentic Italian Gelato in Tokyo
- Kyushu Food Guide: 5 Famous Japanese Dishes From Kyushu
Featured photo credit: Unsplash, Lan Pham