If you’re looking for an exciting Japanese experience while saving some money, make sure to check out the street food in Japan. I’ll talk mostly about the Tokyo area because that’s where most people visit.
There are a lot of street food vendors around the city, but of course, most of them move around. I’ll tell you where they usually are, but I can’t guarantee 100% they will be there. The weekends are your best bet to catch them.
Ramen – lots of vendors around the city. One of the more popular ones is in front of Shinjuku West Exit. This is a highly recommended ramen chain –it has a huge following and you can expect to stand in a long line during lunch time and dinner time. Visit the site here.
Takoyaki – fried octopus balls with special sauce and bonito flakes. Famous from Osaka, it`s also widely enjoyed in Tokyo. Especially during weekends, Yoyogi Park will have a few vendors.
Yakisoba – Fried noodles with meat, nori (dried seafood flakes) and sometimes with pickled ginger is found during festivals, or you can also find vendors in Yoyogi on weekends.
Yakitori – skewered chicken with a variety of sauces. They are usually found in streets during festivals, sometimes Yoyogi park, or just order them from Izakaya (like “EN”)
Crepe – Although crepe are not Japanese, there are modern Japanese versions of crepe. They are not healthy and usually strange ingredient combinations, but they are most definitely a Tokyo thing. You can find them everywhere, especially Harajuku Takeshita Street (across from the Harajuku station Takeshita Exit. (Harajuku and Yoyogi are walking distance, so if you would like to see Yoyogi Park from Harajuku station, just take the “Omotesando Exit” instead of Takeshita.)
Don’t be shy to practice your Japanese with the vendors or other customers too! A nice hello is always welcome. If you’re not great with Japanese, check out the Rocket Japanese review.
Street food in Japan seems to be the cleanest atmosphere when I compare it to other countries I’ve visited. Ramen and Yakisoba are my favorites.