Japanese festivals are a great way to experience the country's culture and cuisine. From takoyaki to karaage, there are plenty of delicious dishes to try. Here are 10 of the best and most common holiday foods, enjoyed by both locals and visitors.
Takoyakiis a popular snack made with wheat dough and tender octopus.
It is cooked on an iron plate with dents in the shape of a half sphere of the same size, and the person cooking the takoyaki flips them in half with a toothpick or metal skewer, creating the iconic spherical shape. They're hot and have a pancake-like crust on the outside and sticky with octopus on the inside, and are served topped with okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes, and often mayonnaise.
Yakitoriis a type of kushiyaki (cooked on a skewer) usually referring to chicken, vegetables and seafood skewered on the grill over charcoal. Although this style of cuisine has existed in Japan for thousands of years, it was during the Edo period that food stalls selling kushiyaki became very popular.
Okonomiyaki is another popular yatai food that is probably the most abundant of those listed here. It is a savory pancake made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, meat or seafood, and topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, dried seaweed flakes, and bonito flakes.
Wata-ame (Cotton Candy)is a staple food during festivals. These miniature versions of the castella cake are cooked on a takoyaki griddle, making them the size of a bite.
Simple ingredients make up these delicious and fluffy cake balls - eggs, sugar, flour, and sometimes honey or other flavors. The dough is then poured into the takoyaki machine and cooked until golden brown. The result is a batch of irresistibly cute and delicious mini pastries, each with a soft and fluffy texture.
Kakigori (Grated Ice)is a popular summer treat in Japan.
It is made from finely shaved ice that is flavored with syrup or condensed milk. It can also be topped with fruits or other ingredients such as mochi or azuki beans.
Taiyakiis a fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste or custard cream. It is usually made from pancake batter that is poured into fish-shaped molds and cooked until golden brown.
The result is a crispy outside and soft inside filled with sweet red bean paste or custard cream.
Yakisobais one of the all-time favorites when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Yakisoba, which means fried noodles, is a delicious noodle dish seasoned with a tasty sauce that is sweet, sour and salty at the same time. The noodles absorb flavors, resulting in a rich umami flavor that satisfies even the most demanding palates.
The chef can include ingredients such as finely chopped vegetables such as cabbage, onions and carrots, as well as proteins such as pork, chicken or seafood. Contrary to its name, the main ingredient in yakisoba is not soba or buckwheat noodles - instead chukamen mushi (èãoäè·éº) or Chinese-style noodles are used.