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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogJapanese Street Food Spots You Have To Visit!

Japanese Street Food Spots You Have To Visit!

By James Lau
August 20, 2022
A woman walks down a busy Japanese market where people are buying different Japanese street foods

Despite Japanese culture frowning on eating while on the streets, some places have managed to create a niche where enjoying the food while on the go is part of the experience. Of course, each of these places also have their own unique stalls or restaurants to enjoy their meal fresh from the chef. Let’s take a quick look at some of the best Japanese street food spots and experiences that Japan has to offer!

Craving Seafood? Come to Tsukiji

A shop owner sells different seafood products out of his shop in Tsukiji Market, a fish market that is also one of the best Japanese street food spots for seafood items.
Tsukiji is a perfect place for those street food and seafood lovers out there! Image via Shutterstock

Ah yes, the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Once known for its early morning tuna auctions, the wholesale or inner market was moved to the newly built Toyosu Market in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. However, while the wholesale market was moved, the outer market remained and continues to thrive as both the spot in Tokyo for fresh seafood and one of the best things to do in Tokyo

Open from 5:00 in the morning to early in the afternoon, this place serves as a great location for people to eat quality sushi and other seafood at a reasonable price. You can find fresh and processed seafood along with other snack foods like fresh tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet) and even purchase kitchen utensils, like hand-crafted knives. 

You’ll hear many of the restaurant staff call and entice you to enter their eatery at all times. If you’re looking for the best seafood in town, this is the place to go. In terms of Japanese street food, eel and tuna skewers are an amazing option.

Want to Sit Down with the Chef? Nakasu is Number One.

People walk down a road Nakasu, Fukuoka, one of the best Japanese street food spots in the world, lined with many Japanese food stalls with many people sitting at them eating and drinking.
Nakasu is one of the Japanese street food spots keeping the original food stall culture. Image via Shutterstock

For those of us who want to see the action unfold in front of us, there’s no better place than the Nakasu district in Fukuoka City. Along the river and in certain spots of the city, dozens of Japanese yatai, or street stalls, await their hungry customers. 

In popular culture, these stalls are synonymous with the region’s thick tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, but many stalls also offer yakitori (chicken skewers) and other foods that you might find at an izakaya (Japanese style tapas bar). There are also other specialty stalls as well, like one that focuses on French cuisine and another that only serves alcohol in a mobile bar-like setting. 

The main attraction of these small stalls is the fact that the customer instantly enters a cozy space and becomes part of the conversation with the other customers and the chef running the stall. It’s an experience that can’t be understated.

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Looking for a Bit of Everything? There’s No Place Like Kuromon Ichiba Market.

Many people walk up and down the Kuromon Ichiba Market, a walking market in Osaka with many street foods, with many signs advertising shops
Osaka is already famous for street food, and this place is one of the reasons why. Image via Shutterstock

A busy market in Osaka’s Chuo Ward, it’s nicknamed “Osaka’s Kitchen” because both professional chefs and home cook enthusiasts come here to get their kitchen supplies. From knives, pots, scrubbers, it’s all at Kuromon Ichiba Market. But we’re talking about Japanese street food in this article, and Kuromon Ichiba didn’t earn its nickname for just having kitchen supplies. 

A kitchen has to have food, and there’s food a’plenty here. There’s fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, meat, dried fish, and even pickles! There are tens of restaurants that line the market, each one serving their own specialty foods. Most importantly, much of the hot foods seen on display are often cooked in front of your eyes.

This place is definitely one of the reasons that Osaka is known as one of the best Japanese street food spots in the entire country!

Cheap, Flashy, and Delicious? You Gotta Go to Ameyoko Market!

People walk past a bright corner stand with many fruits and snacks in Ameyoko Market, an outdoor market and another of Tokyo's popular Japanese street food spots.
Ameyoko Market is great for all kinds of things, from street food to clothing! Image via Shutterstock

One of the flashiest open markets in Tokyo, there’s nothing quiet about this market. Everything at Ameya yokocho, or Ameyoko, is all about the entertainment. Ameyoko is known for its liveliness as well as its cheap goods. There are thousands of street stalls here that serve not only Japanese food but foods from around the world. 

You can often find many stalls packed full of hungry customers and with a line outside. From fresh seafood to kebabs to candies, there’s nothing that Ameyoko doesn’t have!

Looking for Some Peace and Quiet? Take Refuge at Yanaka Ginza!

Young people walk down the streets of Yanaka Ginza past an ice cream shop and two cat statues
Yanaka Ginza has a special surprise for those who just love cats! Image via Shutterstock

Yanaka Ginza is located in the old-town district of Yanaka in the Taito Ward of Tokyo. Having survived the air raids of World War II, this shopping area has maintained its old-time feel, making many visitors feel as if they’ve been transported back in time. The shops are locally owned and frequented by residents of the area as a popular place to relax and catch up with friends over a drink. 

There are several stores, cafes, and bars, some of which have an outdoor area when the weather is warm enough, for visitors to enjoy. Yanaka Ginza is also perfect for cat lovers as it once used to be home to many street cats. These days, most of the cats have left the area but there are seven cat statues hidden within the street.

Trendy and Flashing Lights! Harajuku All the Way!

A display of Japanese dessert crepes at a shop in Harajuku, one of Tokyo's popular Japanese street food spots
Harajuku may be Tokyo’s fashion district, but with plenty of hungry young people, it has great street food too! Image via Shutterstock

There’s no doubt that Harujuku has become known for its place in Japanese pop culture. Known for the eccentric Japanese street fashion of the visitors that frequent the area, it only makes sense that Harajuku’s food matches its clientele. There are many creative and aesthetically pleasing desserts served in Harajuku, ranging from the fan-favorite crepes, kakigori (shaved ice), ringo ame (candied apples), ice cream, and even classic, traditional desserts like strawberry daifuku (strawberry-stuffed rice cakes).

Have you been to any of these Japanese street food spots before? How was the food? Would you visit again? Let us know in the comments below!

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