Foods to Try Before Leaving Tokyo
Few visitors want to leave Tokyo without trying some of the popular foods and delicacies that are popular in the city. From sweet treats to hearty dishes, Tokyo offers a variety of flavors that food enthusiasts from all over the world will enjoy.
Izakayas or drinking houses are similar to pubs, and the meals served there are designed for a group of people to partake in. These shared plates, which usually come with several servings of sake or beer, include grilled beef or vegetable skewers, along with small cubes of fried agedashi tofu. Tori karaage, a deliciously seasoned chicken dish also comes with the Izakaya platter. The meal is finished with black sesame ice cream or cups of green tea for dessert.
These items are the equivalent of snack cakes and often serve as tasty souvenirs. Train stations and airports in Tokyo sell the Tokyo Banana, which is a snack cake shaped like a banana and filled with banana cream. Kurogoma Dango is black sesame cream-filled cakes that have both a sweet and slightly savory flavor. Tokyo also offers Kit Kats that are green tea-flavored instead of the traditional chocolate flavor that is familiar in the Western world.
Sweets With Tea
Travelers who have the privilege of going to a Japanese tea ceremony will likely taste the small sweet treats that come with the warm beverage. The sweets are about the size of a golf ball and are decorated with small artistic scenes. Mochi, the Japanese version of rice cakes, are common at tea ceremonies, as are Anko, which are made from azuki bean paste. Nuts and seeds with a warm, rich flavor, such as chestnuts and sesame, are available during a tea as well.
Curry rice, which is actually an Indian dish, is a Japanese comfort food that is especially delicious for diners who enjoy especially savory meals. The hearty curry sauce, which is often a blend of spices like turmeric, fenugreek, and cumin, comes with a choice of protein such as beef or chicken or can be served with vegetables.
Finally, ramen noodles are very popular in the U.S. in processed form, but Tokyo offers the steaming bowl of noodles in a rich broth that can be served warm or cold. Tsukemen, or noodles that come with a bowl of broth for dipping, is a popular dish in Tokyo. The meal also comes with sudachi, a Japanese lime, which brightens the flavor of the ramen, makes a tasty topping for the dish.