Street food, or food stands in the streets, are not an exclusively European phenomenon. Food stands can be found in many parts of Japan and other Asian countries. However, they are a little different from the stands and food trucks that we see in the streets of Europe.

Street food in Japan

If you visit Japan, be sure to give a try to the numerous food stands which you can find in some cities. Many large cities do not have any street food stands, but places such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto can offer you Japanese delicacies which are sure to please fans of Japanese cuisine. Street food stands are also a common sight during matsuri festivals. The Nakasu district in Fukuoka is an exception – it is a place where you can have street food all year long.

Eating in the street in Japan

Eating in public is not perceived well in Japan, so if you want to give street food a try, be sure to eat it in a place which is appropriate. Seeing as the streets of Japanese cities are really crowded, eating in the streets can be a challenge – not only because of the crowd, but also due to the lack of bins where you could dispose of used packaging. Food stands often have special umbrellas or awnings which indicate that it is okay to eat there. During matsuri, you can eat while sitting on the pavement or standing, both in the street and in festive places.

Japanese food stands

Little alleys (yokochō) housing small food stands, bars and shops are also common in Japan. Such places very often offer traditional Japanese beer and snacks such as dango, takoyaki, Japanese sweets, chocolate-covered fruit on a stick, as well as edamame and yakitori.

Japanese street food festivals

Japan sees more than 100 thousand various festival every year. Many of those are food-themed events. What are some of the snacks you can find at Japanese stands? These include okonomyiaki – Japanese pancakes, watame – cotton candy sold in the form of sugar balls packed in large foil packaging, yaki imo – baked sweet potatoes sold from food trucks, imagawayaki – light pancake batter with sweet red bean stuffing, bento, and even grilled squid.

Tokyo street food

The capital of Japan is full of places where you can have an unforgettable feast. Those who do not want to set foot in high-brow restaurants are sure to find an alternative at one of the numerous street food stands. The so-called Niku Yokochō, or stands offering meaty treats, are a frequent sight in Tokyo. Not only is it a cheaper alternative when craving for a meal, but one that is much more interesting as well – eating at food stands, you can be sure to have many interesting intercultural encounters.

Street feast

Japan is famous for its delicious cuisine. You can indulge your palate not only in Japanese restaurants, but at street stands as well. This is most easily done during matsuri – frequent festivals organised in both large and small cities. You can also take a walk along many side alleys, which are full of food stands.

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