5 popular Japanese take out foods

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Japan has long been about convenience for simple transactions, and ordering food is certainly part of that. Japanese fast food is always available for take-out, but here we will look at some different foods not mentioned in our fast food article. This time we’ll focus on some of the best options to take to the park, take back to your car, or take home.



by sk8geek, CC BY-SA

We will start with Pizza. Everyone loves pizza, but is Japanese pizza different? Yes, it does tend to be. While deep pan is available, it generally isn’t very deep. Thin and crispy pizza bases rule in Japan. Toppings vary too. Corn is very popular, as is teriyaki. Cheese is used more sparingly and your Japanese pizza will be far less calorific.

ドミノ・ピザ 麻布十番店, Foursquare.com
Pizza-La, Dominos and Aokis are all very popular. You can have your pizza delivered, but if you pick it up yourself many stores will give you something for free, such as a free drink. Approaching Christmas you’ll see delivery staff riding their scooters in Santa costumes.


Revolving Sushi Bar

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Sushi is one of the best things about eating out in Japan, but it can also be great for take-out. Not only supermarkets, but also revolving sushi bars such as Kura Sushi offer take out sushi. It’s even possible to phone your order through in advance or use their website, which saves you lining up. It will cost you approximately 500 yen per 10 pieces of sushi. They’ll normally give you a deal if you are buying one of the larger packs. These feature salmon varieties, tuna varieties and combos including egg, shrimp, squid and salmon roe.


Convenience Stores

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The ‘konbini’ in Japan have a whole range of take out food options. There are boxed lunches with rice, there are pasta dishes, you could even get a curry. Look a little higher on the shelves and you’ll see a range of rice balls; salmon, sea chicken, tuna mayo, konbu and more, plus a variety of sandwiches.
Then you reach the register and they offer to heat up your meal for you. It’s then that you notice more food at the register. A display case holds frankfurters, fried chicken, spicy chicken, and French fries among others. You’ll also find donuts, cakes and various snacks.
Oden is also a popular Japanese food commonly sold in convenience stores. Oden is a collection of ingredients such as boiled eggs and daikon raddish for example, in a soy broth. This is especially good in winter when you need something to warm you up. It’s easily found in front of or next to the cash register.


Hotto Motto

ほっともっと 西五反田店, Foursquare.com
The motto of Hotto Motto is “bringing always freshly made meals closer to you, for a vibrant future.” They claim to be very proactive in contributing to your welfare through providing nutritionally balanced meals. Hotto Motto provides very reasonably priced boxed lunches. They are freshly made, which is an advantage over convenience stores, and the prices are quite low.

ほっともっと 北名古屋熊之庄店, Foursquare.com
Starting at 390 yen for a boxed lunch, it won’t break the bank. Some of their meat dishes are very good value, for example only 530 yen or ‘tonteki’ over rice – with a good amount of meat on there.
If you are looking for a boxed lunch, this is the place to choose and have it made while you wait – probably 5 minutes, or up to 10 when they aren’t so busy and don’t have so many ingredients immediately ready.


551 Horai

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Pork shumai, shrimp shumai, ‘nikuman’ steamed pork buns, egg chimaki, fried noodles, fried rice, gyoza and more are available with minimal waiting time.

551蓬莱 関西空港店, Foursquare.com
This place is quite popular and reasonably priced. The bonus with 551 Horai is often location. They are often in and around train stations and even airports. 551 ‘Go go ichi’ is predominantly operating in Kansai. If you are in the region and haven’t tried 551 Horai yet, it’s about time you did.

Basically wherever you are, you are probably not far from getting some convenience or take away food. Unless you are up a mountain or in one of Japan’s most rural areas, you are probably no further than 10 minutes away from somewhere to eat. Most of the big chain convenience stores are open 24 hours, so even if the pizza place, the boxed lunch store and the fast food restaurants are already closed, you’ll be able to get something at a Lawson, Family Mart, Circle K, or 7/11.

James Hamilton

James Hamilton

From Manchester, UK. Lived in Japan almost a decade. Freelancer on sites such as UpWork, with experience in business, translating and education. Passionate about travelling around Japan.