Kick-Start Your Day with Breakfast the Traditional Japanese Way!

  • Breakfast, the meal of champions! What you eat for your first meal sets the tone for the rest of the day. Cereal is great and all and so is yogurt. If you really want to live Nippon style, go for a traditional Japanese-style breakfast.

    Traditional Japanese breakfast includes a few essential elements:

    White Sticky Rice

    Fresh from the rice cooker, light and just a little sticky, it is the main carbohydrate of choice for Japanese people. Many Japanese eat it at least two times a day, if not three. You can add some rice seasoning (fuirikake) on top to add some flavour, but never pour soy sauce or other liquids directly on the rice. To do so would be just sacrilegious.

    Grilled Salmon

    Fish is packed with protein and essential oils. What better time of day to pack your body with all it needs? That’s right, breakfast. Portion sizes may seem a little small to tourists, but the goal of breakfast is flavour and nutritional balance. You don’t need to eat a slab of the stuff, a few nibbles will do.

    Japanese Omelette


    Made with fish stock (dashi), sugar, and eggs, this breakfast dish is simply elegant and delicious. A few slices of omelette go great with the rest of your healthy meal.

    Miso Soup

    A superfood in itself, miso soup with tofu and spring onions, or even shellfish, is a great savoury way to start your day. From scratch is best, but instant is nothing to sneeze at either.

    Pickles or Boiled Greens

    Colour balance is also important. Pickled Japanese radish, or boiled spinach sprinkled with soy sauce and dried bonito flakes adds a little touch of colour, vitamins and minerals to go with the bland-looking breakfast food. Dig in.

    Bonus Items

    Fermented Soybeans (Natto)

    Fermented Soybeans (Natto) will gross out the most adventurous newcomer, but what it lacks in visual and fragrance appeal, it makes up for in nutritional value. Beans pack a powerful protein punch, and natto is known for its amazing effects on the digestive system. If it is your first time, just close plug your nose and swallow. You will get used to it after awhile.


    Yes, you read that correctly. Breakfast salad. Japanese people like to eat balanced meals, and vegetables are an essential part of that! A simple salad of lettuce or shredded cabbage, accompanied by cucumber and tomato slices and then topped with mayonnaise, is the little boost of veggie power you will need to help you through your day.

    Japanese traditional breakfast is available everywhere from family restaurants such as Joyful to small inns and high-end hotels. The standard Japanese breakfast will keep your belly satisfied and your body fully nourished!

    If you are feeling extra adventurous, try to make your own here.

    Happy breakfasting!

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