In my humble opinion, some of the tastiest food in Japan (and possibly any Asian country) can be found at food stands. Cheap, simple, down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness and tasty. I do not ask for much more than that and food stands provide it all. Okay, so it’s not exactly healthy nor is it the cleanest type of food but who cares? It’s only once in awhile and it’s delicious! Let’s check out what some of the stalls have to offer…
This particular line of stalls were in Kobe but you can find them practically anywhere especially near temples, shrines, or anywhere that has a special event taking place. If there’s a crowd, there are food stands. You can find just about anything too. Ramen, udon, oden, grilled meat, sweets, whatever!
Takoyaki is obviously a top favorite.
Baby castella. Sweet cake version of takoyaki minus the octopus. This particular one has chocolate chips inside.
Freshly fried tori no karaage! Japanese fried chicken. The light batter is a mix of flour, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
Grilled stuff on skewers galore! Wanted to try those giant snails but they look problematic to eat while standing in a crowded place in the cold while holding two cameras.
I would love to try this roasted meat stuff too. I see them quite often too.
Hiroshimayaki. Okonomiyaki Hiroshima-style.
I got my first Kobe beef skewer! It was a pretty hearty and tender skewer for only 600 yen or so. For being a cheap college student, this is the best Kobe beef I can afford; a top-grade Kobe steak cut ranges in the 9000+ yen.
This is what they meant by “Stir-fried Hormone” aka horumonyaki aka grilled beef/pig intestines/entrails/whatever you want to call that stuff. And this stuff is AMAZINGLY GOOD. I kid you not. The texture (sort of like chewing on fat) might be off-putting to some but I totally didn’t mind it. Best pick and find of the night.
While each individual item is cheap (200-500 yen), it certainly all adds up when you want to try a little of everything ^^;. I say 1500-2000 yen is a good amount to blow on food stands to get a decent variety. If you’re ever in Japan and decide to do a food stand run somewhere, I suggest you take a long hard look at all the stands first (they can sometimes stretch out for a couple of blocks) and then narrow down to what you want to try as there are many repetitive stands (like takoyaki) and some might have a better variation that suits your taste more than the other.