Top 3 Popular Traditional Japanese Dishes among Foreigners

By Staff Writer
December 22, 2023
Following the registration of “Washoku” (traditional Japanese cuisine) as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, Japanese food culture and cuisine have become the focus of worldwide attention. According to the "Consumption Trends of International Visitors to Japan Survey" released by the Japan Tourism Agency in 2019, approximately 70% of foreign visitors to Japan expected "to eat Japanese dishes" during their visit.

Below is the ranking of popular Washoku based on the results of this survey, asking "What Japanese cuisine satisfied you the most?”

No. 1: Meat Dishes

There are many famous dishes such as "Sukiyaki," "Teriyaki," and "Wagyu" that are known and loved across the world under their original Japanese names, and many inbound tourists look forward to such meat dishes in Japan. “Tonkatsu" (pork cutlet) is also very popular because of its uniquely Japanese flavor and quality ingredients. At many restaurants, the cutlets are fried right in front of customers.
A sukiyaki hot pot

No. 2: Ramen

In Japan, each ramen restaurant has its own unique ramen with a variety of distinctive flavors. Highly seasoned ramen dishes are popular among foreigners, especially "Tonkotsu" (pork bone) flavored ramen, which is rich and not too heavy. Finding your own favorite flavor is part of the fun of eating ramen. Also, ramen is not heavy on your wallet, which adds to its popularity.
Picking up hot ramen with chopsticks

No. 3: Sushi

Sushi is one of the most representative Japanese foods and it is familiar to many foreigners. Numerous sushi restaurants menus include the "California roll," a westernized version of a sushi roll that has become well known overseas. Many inbound tourists look forward to eating authentic sushi in Japan, citing its "deliciousness” and “good quality” as reasons for their satisfaction in the survey. In addition to eating sushi at conveyor belt sushi restaurants, the hands-on experience of making sushi has also become popular.
Various kinds of Sushi served on a plate
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