Japanese Food 101: Five Casual Dishes to Try on your trip to Tokyo

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Tomie, our lovely guide in Tokyo, is not only an experienced local guide, but also an accomplished cook. We've asked her to take some time today to share with us five easy-to-find snacks and meals that are popular with the locals in Tokyo and the surrounding towns.
Sushi, Tempura and Sukiyaki have been introduced many times before, and you are no doubt familiar with them. However those seem very expensive for everyday dishes even for Japanese, and we have other casual options we enjoy more often. You can access the following five foods without difficulty and enjoy them for a reasonable price. Furthermore the tastes will never betray your expectations.

1. Eki-Ben (train lunch)

We can buy Eki-Ben at every Eki station, all over Japan. When you are hungry, you know that even at a very tiny train station you might find them and enjoy their local tastes. If you want to try one but don’t having enough time, Eki-Ben center at Tokyo station is central and will likely work for you.

Many different Eki-Ben are waiting for you to try, knowing you are eating something which is very popular with the Japanese and you won’t find at home. Also Sora-Ben (airplane lunch) can be enjoyed at domestic Airports.

2.Tei-Shoku (a set meal)

In the photos above you will find a photo showing a typical style of a Tei-Shoku. A set meal is composed of a bowl of rice, miso soup, a small portion of salad, pickled vegetables and a main dish that provides a variety of options, such as a roast fish (Yaki-Zakana), a breaded pork (Ton-Katsu), deep-fried chicken (kara-Age) and more. Tei-Shoku is a nutritiously well-balanced dish. If a person is calorie conscious, each menu tells the total calorie at some restaurants. You can order your favorite one by a menu with photos.

3. Karei-Raisu (Curry Rice)

It is well known that Japanese try to Japanize so many kinds of foods. Karei-Raisu (Curry Rice) is one of them, which is so different from so-called Indian curry. Hotness can be chosen from a wide range of curries on the menu and you can choose a variety of toppings, such as pork cutlet, fried chicken, and vegetables, which make this dish very tasty. Japanized Karei-Raisu is good for both kids and adults.

4. Skewered Rolled Egg (Kushi-tama)

Skewered rolled egg seems to be a new face in Japan. Many Japanese people are familiar with rolled egg called Dashimaki-Tamago, which is cooked with dashi-bonito stock and sugar, so the taste is much milder than ordinary Tamagoyaki (Omelet) cooked without dashi. Now you can enjoy this Skewered Rolled Egg for just 100 yen.

5. Soft Cream (soft serve ice cream)

Soft serve ice cream called Soft Cream (ソフト クリーム) can be found at every sightseeing spot and enjoyed not only in summer but rather all the year round. You may be surprised at one shop in a local area that sells 100 kinds of Soft Cream, even though it’s difficult to imagine each taste.

Well, how about being bold and trying a vinegar-flavored Soft Cream when you want to refresh during your tour?

Thanks Tomie, for enlightening us on the sorts of easy-to-find foods we should try while in Japan. Any visitors headed to Tokyo this spring or summer should consider getting in touch with Tomie to see what other suggestions she has for how to spend your time in her amazing city.
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