Chagayu is a traditional breakfast food from Nara that’s made by boiling rice in roasted green tea with salt until it becomes a soupy porridge. The dish was originally enjoyed by monks at Nara’s Todai-ji temple as part of the Omizutori festival, but eventually became a common food enjoyed by locals throughout the region. Chagayu can be eaten hot or cold, and the roasted aroma of the green tea gives this wholesome dish a complex, but highly satisfying flavor.
Goya Champuru (Okinawa)
Goya (bitter melon) came to Okinawa from Southeast Asia and quickly became one of the region's most favored vegetables.Champuru means "stir-fry" in the Okinawan language. This dish is a stir-fry of goya, pork, tofu and eggs. It is prepared by stir-frying various ingredients.
Yubari Melon (Hokkaido)
Known also as “Yubari King”. Yubari melons are grown only in a small town called Yubari city. The sweetest melon you can ever taste. Some Japanese people present Yubari King melons as gifts during the holiday called chugen. It becomes the must-have dessert in Hokkaido.
Takoyaki is the main street food associated with Osaka. This tasty treat is a fried round mixture of batter, octopus, ginger, and usually some vegetables and spices. The best place to sample takoyaki is at one of the food stalls along the Dotonbori, but this dish can be found all over the city. Many locals even have special takoyaki-making grills at home.
Originally a children’s treat, monjayaki is now established as a specialty of the Tsukishima area of Tokyo (near Ginza). It’s a “cook it yourself” dish with ingredients such as dried squid, sweetcorn and cabbage are cooked on the hotplate. Then a runny batter is poured into a hollow in the middle. It is all scraped around with a small spatula and eaten off the spatula as it is cooked.
Mito Natto (Ibaraki)
For a healthy eater, Ibaraki Mito Natto is a thing that not to be missed. There are numerous places all over Ibaraki sell them, and one of the most popular dishes using these is plain Natto over rice, which is a popular dish for breakfast in Japan. Natto, fermented soybeans, is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Natto from Mito is prized across Japan for its deep and earthy flavor.
Hiroshimayaki (Okonomiyaki of Hiroshima)
As the most famous food in the prefecture, the Hiroshimayaki, or Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, is unique from those found in other parts of Japan. Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, they are layered. In addition, the amount of cabbage used in the Hiroshima version is usually three to four times the amount used in the Kansai-Osaka style.
Kaiyaki Miso (Aomori)
Kaiyaki miso is a unique Aomori home-style dish featuring soup stock mixed with miso paste, to which beaten egg is added. Seafood such as scallops and fish also may be added. The ingredients are cooked on a large scallop shell in lieu of a pan, and it’s believed that each time the shell is re-used, it gives the dish even more flavor.