Food in Japan

Finding good food

Food is a major part of life and therefore automatically of travelling. Eating delicious and new things helps to create unique and unforgettable memories. But can also just be a basic necessity to keep you going from A to B.

Chinese food
Steamed Chinese Food

1. Eat local food

Food is a great way to get to know a place and its people. Don’t be scared to eat things you have never heard of. Try them. You can use translate apps to get some idea of what you’re eating. But you can also be more adventurous and let the staff surprise you with their recommendations.

2. Smaller menu, better food

First heard this tip while watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare, when Gordon was complaining about the ridiculous amount of choices in failing restaurants. Since then I’ve paid attention to this when eating out and can confirm that it’s a good rough indicator of the quality of the food. More than 15-20 options per course is a warning sign for bad food. Extra care should be taken when the many options are also from different cuisines, I’ve never eaten in a good restaurant that does pizza’s, hamburgers and sushi at the same time.

A small menu is not always better 😉

3. The longer the line, the better the food & the experience

This almost always holds true, since nobody likes to wait in line, so the reward must be good. Find your way to the town’s restaurant area and follow the people.

4. Try to eat healthy

When you’re eating out every day, it will be hard to eat healthy. An average restaurant meal is as unhealthy as a fast food meal. Cooks use a lot of salt, give small portions of vegetables and relative big portions of meat. So, change it up by ordering a vegetarian meal occasionally, get extra vegetables instead of fries or eat two lighter entrees instead of a main course. Read this article about eating healthy while travelling for more health tips.

5. Visit local markets

Local markets are a great place to visit to get to know the local produce. Go here to get fresh fruit, your breakfast and/or lunch. While you’re there use the opportunity to take some nice photos of all the colourful wares on display.

Turkish vegetable market in Izmir

6. Self-catering for one meal a day

This tip helps to save money and at the same time provides you with the option to eat healthier.

7. Go for lunch instead of dinner

If you want to get the luxurious dining experience on a budget, go for lunch instead of dinner. Many high-end restaurants offer lunch menus at a fraction of the price of dinner. An added bonus is that the waiting lists for lunch are usually also a lot shorter or even none existing.


How to eat healthy while traveling – Seven Tips

Both traveling and eating healthy are very important to us. We work hard to stay fit, so hopefully we can stay active and travel a lot in our lives. This started as a struggle, but we learned by doing, trying, failing and being creative. Read this post to learn more about our tips on how to eat and stay healthy while traveling!

Tip 1: Stick to a normal eating schedule

A traveling schedule can be quite irregular and casual. This can make it hard to stick to a normal eating routine. However, it’s key not to skip meals, have breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times. And try not to snack too much between the meals. This will also help you overcome a possible jet lag (read this article on how to overcome your jet lag). And prevent cravings for unhealthy food, so you feel energized the whole day.

Tip 2: Prep your food

To achieve Tip 1, mentioned above, it will help to plan ahead and prepare meals and snacks beforehand. If you have to get up early, make sure you can have a healthy breakfast on the way. If you’re planning to do a lot of activities, make sure your backpack is filled with wholesome snacks.

Tip 3: Ideas for healthy snacks

  • We always get some fruit at the market or in the supermarket. Apples, bananas, clementines and oranges are easy to transport and an easy snack for on the road.
  • Another favorite are nuts, as they will really fill you up and give you an energy boost. Great for hiking.
  • Dried fruit (eg. apricots or dates), dark chocolate (unless temperatures are too high!), and hard-boiled eggs are good snack alternatives.
  • When you finish your supplies before you quench your hunger, go for salty, rather than sweet snacks. As sweet snacks will only make you more hungry and low on energy once the sugar rush has passed.

Tip 4: Salads to the rescue

We agree that salads are not always the most exciting dish on the menu. However, it can be hard to reach the daily goal of 250 grams of vegetables when you only eat out. So, try to eat balanced and diverse by ordering something with nice and fresh veggies every now and then.

Tip 5: Make good use of your accommodation’s facilities.

These tips can be achieved in your apartment or hostel, but also in most hotel rooms.

  • Keep your supplies fresh in the fridge or minibar (e.g. some yoghurt and fruit for breakfast).
  • Use the water cooker to fill up your thermos flasks and make some hot tea or coffee for on the road.
  • Boil some eggs in the water cooker or coffee machine. Eggs are a fulfilling snack or breakfast addition.
  • Fill up your water bottle at the water dispenser in the hotel gym, common area, kitchen or wherever there is drinking water available.

Tip 6: Do buffets better

Oh those hotel buffets. It can be very tempting at the ‘All you can eat buffet’ to eat all that you think you want. However, this won’t make your body happy and you will regret this later on. So, go easy on the cakes, pastries and even the bread. Go for yoghurt (without the sweetened breakfast cereal), eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and salmon instead. And add color to your life with fruits and vegetables on the side.

Tip 7: You don’t need unhealthy food to enjoy your holiday

Try to change your mindset. Being on holiday and enjoying yourself doesn’t mean that you have to reward yourself with sugary and processed food all the time. In the end this won’t make you happy and energetic. There are other ways to reward and treat yourself. Visit a spa, get a massage, go to the theater or a music performance or buy some souvenirs. There are many ways to treat yourself, be creative.

Do you have any additional tips to eating healthy while abroad? Let us know!

How to eat healthy
Food in Japan

Eating in Japan

Eating in Japan is a treat and an experience on its own. From the quality of the products to the love and work put into the preparation and presentation, it’s hard to have a bad meal. Furthermore, eating out is relatively inexpensive, even more so when you skip the alcoholic drinks. Japanese food is a major attraction when going to Japan. It is the one thing we miss the most and just thinking about all the meals we had, waters my mouth. Here is an overview of the eating options, from breakfast to dinner, you can find in Japan.



Breakfast is the staple meal of the day, certainly for travellers going places and walking around all day. It will give you the energy to do all that or provide you with a moment of Zen before rushing from A to B to C.

Fish markets

Kaisen bowl
Kaisen bowl

One of the best things to have for breakfast, is fresh fish from the market. It may sound a bit heavy on the stomach early in the morning, but once you have tried it, it will be hard to resist. So, take a walk to the nearest fish market (that can be found in almost every town close to the sea, which is luckily quite usual in Japan!), and taste the quality and freshness of the products.

The obvious place to go to is Tsukiji fish market. Here, you can sit down at one of the many bars for a quick and great meal. Tuna is great, but keep overfishing in mind. If you want to try something else in Tokyo, try and go to Adachi fish market. Fish markets in other Japanese towns that stand out are the Kanazawa fish market and the Osaka Central fish market.

What to try? Go for the Kaisen (mixed sea food) bowl

Convenience store

No time to sit down? Go to a convenience store. The food is cheap and there is a big range of different breakfast options of fairly good quality. Wherever you’re going you’ll always find a Lawson, Seven-Eleven or a FamilyMart along your way.

What to try? Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)

Breakfast chains

Do you want to sit down, but don’t spend too much money? Try one of the morning breakfast sets at a restaurant or coffee shop chain. There are numerous options available. Cheap options are Beck’s coffee operated by JR East which can be found at many railway stations in the Kanto region. Another is Doutor Coffee located in business districts around Japan which serves western style breakfast options. If you have a bigger appetite, try Cocos for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.


Bento box

Bento boxes

The bento box or boxed lunch is something typically Japanese which you should try at least once. But be aware, the quality and convenience can tempt you to always eat lunch on the go. There are many bento-options at almost every station. Convenient if you have to catch a train around lunch time!

What to try? Oshizushi (pressed sushi in a wooden box)

Kaiseki Ryori (Japanese haute cuisine)

This is the top end of the Japanese culinary experience. If you want to try this and don’t break your budget at the same time, lunch time is the best opportunity to do so. You usually pay between a third – two-thirds of the dinner price. This will still set you back somewhere between 7,000 and 9,000 Yen.

fast food
Double hamburger

Fast food

You can’t be adventurous all the time. So if you’re looking for a fast and familiar fix for lunch, head over to a fast food restaurant. You’ll find all the big familiar chains in Japan but with some local specialities added to their menus. Alternatively, try one of the Japanese burger chains like Mos Burger or Freshness burger for burgers prepared with local products.


Starting to describe all the dinner options is an impossible mission. Whether you’re in Tokyo or a small provincial town, good affordable dinner options are never far away. So how to make a choice amidst this abundance? Use an app like Tripadvisor to point you in the right direction. Get a few options in an area and check them out. Most cities have areas with a higher concentration of restaurants. Food courts are also a great option. Head over there and use the best tip we can give you: “Follow the queue”. Whether you’re looking for breakfast at the fish market, picking up a bento box or choosing a place for dinner, this advice will help you every time. A long line equals a great dining experience. Lines are usually around 30 minutes long but can be longer for really popular places.



Try to eat something different every time to get as big a sample as possible of all Japan has to offer. Go for some Ramen, people have devoted their life to finding the best Ramen so let their quest be your guide. Try the different local specialties, so when you’re In Osaka try some Okonomoyaki. Go to a Buddhist temple and sample their vegetarian cuisine. And eat some sushi, whenever and wherever you want to.

Food in Japan

Three things you must definitely eat on Cyprus

Cyprus is a place where different cultures have left their mark. This is also visible when it comes to food. The three main influences are Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern, but don’t expect straight copies. Cyprus has its own defined style of food, dishes and combinations which deserve your attention. Food is available in many different price classes on Cyprus. Luckily you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy local specialities on offer.

Meze (Mezedes)

If you decide to try this dish, make sure you come with an empty stomach. Meze is a 15-30 dish meal, the exact courses differ per restaurant. Other than Spanish Tapas or other meze around the Mediterranean, Cypriot meze isn’t ordered by the individual dishes, but comes as a set. The main idea is that you eat a wide variety of small dishes. There is a certain logic behind the sequence of the dishes. The meal usually begins with some olives, tahini, humus, taramosalata and tzatziki. This comes served with bread and a mixed salad. Depending on the sort of meze, vegetarian, grilled meats like kebabs, lamb chops and chicken. Dessert will be pieces of fresh fruit or glyka, a local sweet.



Souvlaki is grilled meat on a skewer. In different variations, this dish goes back millennia. There have been archaeological finds of BBQ sets specifically for skewers dating as far back as 1700BCE. When you order souvlaki on Cyprus, you can either get a large pita filled with the grilled meat or the meat still on the skewers served on a plate. All grilled meat comes with pieces of lemon and usually some tomatoes, cucumber and tzatziki. Most of the souvlakis are made of lamb or pork meat but other variants – even fish – are also available.
If you’re in Nicosia (Lefkosia), go to Piatsa Gourounaki, the place is always buzzing with people. It’s not so much a place for a fancy diner, but a perfect spot for a quick bite to eat. The portions are big, the standard of the food is high, the price is relatively cheap and the staff is friendly.


Most places on Cyprus are close to the sea, so it’s well worth to try some of the local fish dishes. Popular dishes include calamari’s, cuddle fish, octopus and sea bass. Fish can be found in many different dishes, as a side dish in the mezedes, a sword fish souvlaki, octopus stiffado or fried calamari’s. A popular place to get fish is Ocean Basket, this South African chain has a couple of restaurants on the island.

If you’re hungry for more on Cyprus, also read our articles about its great archaeological heritage, some general tips and Choirokoitia.

Food on Cyprus