“Ewww! I don’t want to eat that!” One of the best things about traveling in Japan is the opportunity to try the local cuisine. But if you intend to travel with children, you might be worried that every meal will turn into a struggle. No problem! There are plenty of dishes in Japan that are familiar enough for picky eaters. No need to cancel your dinner plans, just ask for the kid’s menu and order some—
Convenience stores, or conbini, are everywhere in Japan—most people visit at least one every day for a drink or a light snack. So if your kids get hungry, just duck into the conbini and find something!
These are perfect for picky eaters, as they have pretty much everything - white bread sandwiches, ice cream, soda... or if you want to keep it healthy, they even have yogurts and fresh fruit!
It’s "pasghetti!" Spaghetti Napolitan was invented in Japan. This dish consists of the familiar noodles and tomato sauce, and adds onions, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, and green peppers (you can ask to leave some toppings off). Spaghetti Napolitan is a real kid-pleaser and is served in most restaurants.
Particularly in Tokyo, you'll find a number of Italian restaurants, which are a great go-to for simple pasta dishes or even pizza. If you're trying to get a taste of Japan, they often have dishes with a Japanese twist, such as mentaiko pasta or this ketchup Napolitan delight.
Cool beans! Although once unfamiliar to Westerners, this humble soybean has won the hearts of people outside of Japan (not to mention winning a place at their table). Even though they are vegetables, children like the fact that they are firm, unlike the mushy greens that their parents make them eat back home. Also, it’s fun to pop them into your mouth straight from the pod!
These tend to come with a dash of salt, so they're weirdly easy to just keep snacking on, and great for a healthy bite!
Not so healthy, but definitely popular among kids is Karaage - fried chicken without the bones. Easy enough for a fork or tiny fingers, but be careful, it’s hot! Try it with ketchup or mayonnaise. As a bonus for kids, places that serve karaage usually have French fries as well.
Served hot or cold, plain or with a variety of toppings, these thick wheat noodles can serve as the next step up from spaghetti for curious eaters. Japanese people eat them with chopsticks, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for a fork. See if you can imitate the slurping noises of the udon-eating locals!
A "savory pancake", but hold off on the syrup! Okonomiyaki starts with the batter pancake, but from there anything goes. Okonomiyaki could have any combination of meats, vegetables, condiments, and even octopus or squid! Some restaurants even offer a do-it-yourself okonomiyaki, so your picky eaters can have fun making their own food while ensuring nothing “yucky” gets added.
Another multi-functional dish, curry rice is easy to find and satisfying to the stomach. It’s fun, too--kids can use a spoon to dip the rice into the curry, mix it all up, or however else they might like it. Curry rice usually comes with toppings such as fried cutlets (pork or chicken), making it appealing to children wary of unfamiliar foods.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
Share this article.
Limited time offer: 10% discount coupons available now!
Recommended places for you
Zoos, Aquariums & Botanical Gardens
Sapporo Clock Tower
Sapporo / Chitose
Shiroi Koibito Park
Sapporo / Chitose
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
Shirogane Blue Pond (Aoiike)
Rivers, Lakes & Canyons
Furano / Biei / Sounkyo
Rukku and Uohei
Sapporo / Chitose
Explore with Guide Lan! 3-Day Shiretoko Itinerary for a Summer Adventure & and Must-Know Travel Tips
Enjoy Hokkaido's Winter Wonderland: 5 Recommended Bus Passes by Area
1-Day Winter Adventure in Sapporo (Hokkaido): Enjoy Snow by Day, Food by Night!
11 Fun Sapporo Tours: Enjoy a Deep Dive With Locals - Famous Landmarks, Food, Excursions & More
Daisetsuzan National Park (Hokkaido) - Seasonal Guide to the Playground of the Gods
Enjoying a Day in Otaru (Hokkaido) in Winter: Itinerary Advice from a Local Travel Expert
Visiting Hokkaido Japan: 14 Things to Know Before Traveling to Japan's Wild North
JR Edition: Visit all of Tokyo in one Day with the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass!
Noboribetsu Onsen: 5 Best Things to Do in Japan's Famous Hot Springs Town!
Tokyo Train Map: The Complete Guide to Tokyo Subways & Railways
12 Fun Things to Do Near Otaru Canal: Art, History & More
Secrets to Shopping in Japan: Guide to Annual Sales in Japan & Where to Shop
- #best sushi hokkaido
- #things to do hokkaido
- #best ramen sapporo
- #what to bring to japan
- #new years in tokyo
- #what to buy in ameyoko
- #japanese nail trends
- #what to do in odaiba
- #onsen tattoo friendly tokyo
- #best sweets otaru
- #japanese fashion culture
- #best nature furano
- #japanese convenience store snacks
- #best japanese soft drinks