8 Unusual Foods You Have to Try in Tokyo (If You’re Adventurous)

Tokyo is home to a vibrant culinary scene — are you brave enough to try its more bizarre foods?

1) Flavoured Kit Kats

(Image: Flickr / Jordi Sanchez Teruel, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Let’s start off with something tame, shall we? Japan produces Kit Kat bars in over 200 flavours ranging from delicious (matcha, cherry blossom, creme brulee) to questionable (wasabi, baked potato, soya sauce.)

2) Chicken Sashimi

(Image: Flickr / yoppy, CC BY 2.0)

While we often think of sashimi as only fish, chicken sashimi is also fairly common in Tokyo. Restauranteurs swear it’s safe to eat, and enthusiasts claim it’s tender and flavourful. You be the judge!

3) Natto

(Image: Flickr / snowpea&bokchoi, CC BY 2.0)

Natto is a dish made of fermented soybeans — it’s known for its pungent smell and gooey texture. It’s a traditional Japanese dish that is often eaten for breakfast.

4) Basashi

(Image: Flickr / pelican, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Basashi is a common Japanese dish that consists of sliced raw horse meat, often served with ginger, onions and soy sauce. Its existence often shocks Westerners, especially considering it’s served so cold it’s almost frozen in the middle.

5) Square Watermelon

(Image: Flickr / rumpleteaser, CC BY 2.0)

You can actually find square-shaped watermelon in Tokyo. Or more accurately, cubical watermelon. It’s a specialty food that’ll cost you more than your average fruit, and it’s often given as a gift.

6) Ice Cream

(Image: Flickr / Wilhelm Joys Andersen, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Japanese ice cream comes in a wide variety of quirky flavours including fish eggs, Indian curry and basashi. Yes, that basashi. (See #5.)

7) Takoyaki

(Image: Flickr / Toshiyuki IMAI, CC BY 2.0)

These fried dough balls are stuffed with octopus meat, green onion and ginger and are commonly topped with Takoyaki sauce and mayo. Find them at one of the many street food vendors on the streets of Japan.

8) Akebi

(Image: Flickr / Autumn Harvest, CC BY 2.0)

Akebi is a fruit that is exclusively grown in Japan. Its mild taste makes it versatile enough to be eaten in both sweet and savoury dishes. Find it at most Tokyo grocery stores.

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