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Traditional Japanese Dishes: 47 Prefectures, 47 Local Specialties

By Ashley Owen
June 16, 2021
Updated: November 4, 2021

Japanese cuisine is famous for showcasing local and seasonal ingredients, and as a result, each region has its own distinctive culinary style and regional dishes. So take a foodie tour of the country by sampling each one of these traditional Japanese dishes from all 47 prefectures of Japan!

Wondering what regional souvenirs to bring back from your trip to Japan? Check out our article 47 Prefectures, 47 Food Souvenirs: Japanese Regional Omiyage!

Traditional Japanese Dishes: 47 Prefectures and Their Specialty Foods 

Here's every Japanese prefecture and one of the most popular traditional dishes to try when you visit each!

  1. Hokkaido – Jingisukan
  2. Aomori – Senbei-jiru
  3. Akita – Kiritanpo
  4. Iwate – Wanko Soba
  5. Yamagata – Imoni
  6. Miyagi – Gyutan
  7. Fukushima – Negi Soba
  8. Tochigi – Utsunomiya Gyoza
  9. Gunma – Mizusawa Udon
  10. Ibaraki – Anko Nabe
  11. Saitama – Hiyajiru Udon
  12. Tokyo – Monjayaki
  13. Chiba – Namerou
  14. Kanagawa – Shirasu Donburi
  15. Niigata – Hegi Soba
  16. Ishikawa – Kanazawa Curry
  17. Toyama – Black Ramen
  18. Nagano – Shinshu Soba
  19. Fukui – Echizen Oroshi Soba
  20. Gifu – Keichan
  21. Yamanashi – Hoto
  22. Aichi – Hitsumabushi
  23. Shizuoka – Sakura Ebi
  24. Hyogo – Kobe Beef
  25. Kyoto – Kaiseki Ryori
  26. Shiga – Funazushi
  27. Osaka – Takoyaki
  28. Nara – Miwa Somen
  29. Mie – Ise Udon
  30. Wakayama – Wakayama Ramen
  31. Tottori – Kanimeshi
  32. Shimane – Izumo Soba
  33. Okayama – Barazushi
  34. Hiroshima – Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki
  35. Yamaguchi – Fugu
  36. Kagawa – Sanuki Udon
  37. Ehime – Taimeshi
  38. Tokushima – Tokushima Ramen
  39. Kochi – Katsuo no Tataki
  40. Fukuoka – Hakata Ramen
  41. Saga – Onsen Yudofu
  42. Nagasaki – Chanpon
  43. Kumamoto – Basashi
  44. Oita – Toriten
  45. Miyazaki – Jidori no Sumibiyaki
  46. Kagoshima – Satsuma-age
  47. Okinawa – Goya Champuru

1. Hokkaido – Jingisukan

Jingisukan, a Hokkaido specialty dish that's packed with grilled lamb

Hokkaido’s version of the traditional Japanese food yakiniku, jingisukan is a meaty dish that's packed with juicy grilled lamb and served with assorted vegetables such as kabocha and cabbage. 

Find out what else to eat in Hokkaido >>

2. Aomori – Senbei-jiru

An iron pot of Senbei-jiru, rice cake soup from Aomori prefecture

Aomori Prefecture's specialty is senbei-jiru (literally "rice cracker soup"). This hearty stew is unique for adding rice crackers, which are broken up and added to a soy-based broth alongside mushrooms, root vegetables, and fish or meat.

Find out what else to eat in Aomori >>

3. Akita – Kiritanpo

Kiritanpo - rice cakes from Akita grilling over coals

Akita's distinctive rice cakes, kirtanpo, are made by shaping pounded Japanese rice into tubes around wooden skewers. These are grilled over hot coals and flavored with miso, before being added to hot pot dishes. Sometimes they are served on the skewer, freshly grilled and glazed with miso sauce.

4. Iwate – Wanko Soba

Wanko Soba, several small bowls of soba lined up on a tray, an Iwate prefecture culinary challenge to see how much soba you can eat

Iwate's wanko soba is an all-you-can-eat food challenge! Soba noodles are served fresh in tiny bowls, with each one instantly replaced as soon as it’s empty. Put a lid on your bowl to indicate you’ve finished, and count up your bowls!

5. Yamagata – Imoni

An iron pot dish full of thinly sliced meat and vegetables in soup, a Yamagata specialty dish

One of many hot pot dishes in Japan's cuisine, imoni is so popular it has its own festival in Yamagata. Imoni is made with taro, konnyaku, thinly-sliced meat, and vegetables all simmered in a large pot full of soy sauce or miso soup style broth.

6. Miyagi – Gyutan-yaki

Gyutan, grilled beef tongue, a specialty dish in Miyagi

Gyutan-yaki, Miyagi Prefecture's specialty, consists of thinly-sliced beef tongue grilled over charcoal. The meat is aged beforehand to give it a richer flavor and soft texture.

Find out what else to eat in Miyagi >>

7. Fukushima – Negi Soba

Negi Soba, a bowl of soba noodles with a long green onion as an eating utensil, a specialty from Fukushima prefecture

In Fukushima, negi soba is served with a long green onion that diners use as a utensil instead of chopsticks. Trying to scoop up noodles with it is definitely a unique experience!

8. Tochigi – Utsunomiya Gyoza

Utsunomiya gyoza, three pan-fried dumplings on a plate

The bite-size Utsunomiya gyoza in Tochigi can be enjoyed freshly grilled, fried, or boiled with various fillings including minced meat, vegetables, and garlic chives. Ease off the condiments to let the dumplings shine!

9. Gunma – Mizusawa Udon

Mizusawa Udon, a specialty of Gunma prefecture, with chilled udon noodles served on a bamboo plate and sesame dipping sauce

One of the highest quality noodles in Japanese regional cuisine, Mizusawa udon noodles from Gunma have a smooth, firm texture and translucent appearance. Try this chewy noodle dish served cold on a bamboo plate with a sesame dipping sauce.

10. Ibaraki – Anko Nabe

Anko nabe, a hotpot dish from Ibaraki made with anglerfish

Anglerfish is one of Ibaraki’s delicacies, and the traditional winter hotpot dish anko nabe mixes chunks of the fish with vegetables in a miso or soy sauce broth.

11. Saitama – Hiyajiru Udon

Hiyajiru udon, a dipping sauce with cold cucumbers and a plate of udon noodles in the background

These chilled noodles from Saitama are perfect for summer. Dip your thick Hiyajiru udon into the accompanying sesame, miso, and dashi soup, that’s topped with cucumber for ultimate refreshment.

12. Tokyo – Monjayaki

Monjayaki, pan-fried batter with fillings like seafood and corn grilling on a teppan

This liquidy, savory pancake is made from a flour-and-water base mixed with ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and cheese. Tokyo's monjayaki is best enjoyed fresh off the grill with a tiny spatula.

13. Chiba – Namerou

Namerou, minced fish plated on a dish with wasabi, shiso, and a fish head

This fresh minced fish dish is made using horse mackerel and sardine, combined with miso, shiso herbs, green onion, and ginger. Give namerou a try when you're in Chiba!

Find out what else to eat in Chiba >>

14. Kanagawa – Shirasu Donburi

Shirasu Donburi, a Kanagawa Prefecture specialty, topped with 3 kinds of shirasu

For Kanagawa's specialty, shirasu donburi, freshly-caught whitebait fish are served either raw or lightly boiled on top of a bed of white rice for a simple but tasty meal.

15. Niigata – Hegi Soba

A Niigata food specialty, hegi soba on a tray with nori sprinkled on top

Niigata's hegi soba noodles are made using local funori seaweed for a green hue and slippery texture. Served in bite-size bundles on a wooden tray, the dish is visually appealing and delicious.

Find out what else to eat in Niigata >>

16. Ishikawa – Kanazawa Curry

Kanazawa curry, a specialty dish of Ishikawa with a deep-fried pork cutlet on top of the curry

Characterized by a thick brown sauce that completely covers the rice, Kanazawa curry from Ishikawa is sweet, rich, and served with shredded cabbage and a deep-fried pork cutlet.

17. Toyama – Black Ramen

Bowl of Toyama Black Ramen with a generous helping of scallions on top and a deep, rich broth

This award-winning ramen is named for the dark color of its soy sauce broth. Toyama's Black Ramen comes with slices of pork, shredded green onion, bamboo shoots, and plenty of pepper.

18. Nagano – Shinshu Soba

Soba noodles on a bamboo tray

Nagano’s soil is great for growing buckwheat, producing soba noodles with a rich and earthy flavor. Shinshu soba is served in a simple broth, topped with grated daikon and green onion.

19. Fukui – Echizen Oroshi Soba

Echizen Oroshi Soba, soba topped with grated daikon radish

This popular rural dish features buckwheat noodles in a dashi soup, topped liberally with grated daikon radish to add a hint of sharpness. Try Echizen oroshi soba if you're in Fukui.

20. Gifu – Keichan

A close up image of grilled chicken with onion and cabbage, on silver foil in a black pan

For the Gifu comfort dish keichan chicken is marinated in local miso and then grilled with cabbage, onions, and other vegetables.

21. Yamanashi – Hoto

Hoto noodles cooking in an iron pot with carrots and other veggies

Made with thick, flat noodles prepared in a similar way to dumplings and served in a miso-based soup loaded with seasonal vegetables, Yamanashi's hoto is deliciously filling.

22. Aichi – Hitsumabushi

Hitsumabushi, a local unagi dish which is a specialty of Aichi prefecture

One of the best traditional Japanese dishes for summertime, hitsumabushi has a layer of grilled eel (unagi) served over a bed of white rice in a special wooden bowl. Hitsumabushi from Aichi is similar to unagidon (an unagi dish that's served simply in a bowl of Japanese rice), but it is eaten in a few different steps. First, try the eel on its own with the eel glaze, then try it with condiments, before finally enjoying it ochazuke-style, pouring a broth made of dashi and tea over the remaining rice and eel.

Find out what to eat in Nagoya, the capital of Aichi >>

23. Shizuoka – Sakura Ebi

A small bowl of bright orange sakura ebi, tiny shrimp from Shizuoka


These little shrimp can only be caught in Shizuoka. After sakura ebi have been dried in the sun, you can enjoy them pickled, boiled, fried in batter, or prepared as sashimi (raw food).

Find out what else to eat in Shizuoka >>

24. Hyogo – Kobe Beef

Thick cuts of Kobe beef

Kobe’s legendary melt-in-your-mouth beef may be expensive, but it’s worth every yen. Splash out on a tender Kobe beef steak in Hyogo – you won’t regret it!

Find out what else to eat in Kobe, Hyogo >>

25. Kyoto – Kaiseki Ryori

Colorful Japanese kaiseki ryori dishes laid out on a gray table

Kyoto’s refined multi-course extravaganza is as much a work of art as a meal. Made with strictly seasonal ingredients, a wealth of dishes are beautifully presented and perfectly balanced in a kaiseki ryori meal.

Find out what else to eat in Kyoto >>

26. Shiga – Funazushi

Funazushi, a local specialty of Lake Biwa

Shiga's funazushi is a special type of sushi that's made with fish from Lake Biwa, which is salted, aged, and fermented to give it a distinctive strong flavor and tangy scent. It is one of the most traditional foods of Japan, the precursor to what we know of as sushi in Japanese cuisine today.

Find out what else to eat in Shiga >>

27. Osaka – Takoyaki

Takoyaki from Gindaco on little trays topped with green onion

A perennially popular street food in Japanese cuisine, the gooey grilled takoyaki octopus balls from Osaka are flavored with pickled ginger and green onion, then served piping hot slathered in brown sauce and mayonnaise.

Find out what else to eat in Osaka >>

28. Nara – Miwa Somen

Miwa Somen from Nara prefecture, a plate of thin, delicately bundled rice noodles

Somen is among the most popular Japanese dishes eaten during the humid summers in Japan. These extra thin, delicate noodles from Nara have a subtle flavor suited to Japanese tastes and are renowned due to the purity of the water they’re made with. Enjoy chilled Miwa somen noodles paired with local narazuke pickles or sweet sake.

29. Mie – Ise Udon

Ise udon, a specialty dish of Mie prefecure consisting of glossy noodles in a soy sauce broth

Mie's Ise udon noodles are thicker and softer than normal udon, while the concentrated soy sauce broth is slightly sweet and acts as more of a dipping sauce.

Find out what else to eat in Mie >>

30. Wakayama – Wakayama Ramen

Bowl of Wakayama Ramen with a thick, concentrated broth and kamaboko on top

Wakayama ramen comes with a rich, thick soup made using pork broth, often topped with freshly-caught seafood from the waters surrounding the prefecture.

Find out what else to eat in Wakayama >>

31. Tottori – Kanimeshi

A close up image of crab meat mixed with rice and topped with dried seaweed

Tottori is famous for snow crab, so their local specialty kanimeshi features chunks of crab meat flavored with sake, soy sauce, and mirin, and mixed with steamed rice.

32. Shimane – Izumo Soba

Bowl of Izumo Soba Noodles in the foreground, with various colorful toppings

The dark and earthy Izumo soba noodles from Shimane are made using the entire buckwheat grain, and served with the sauce poured on top rather than on the side.

33. Okayama – Barazushi

Barazushi, an Okayama specialty dish, with a bed of white rice topped with veggies and fresh fish

Barazushi translates as "scattered sushi," and consists of a whole mix of different vegetables and seafood heaped on top of a plate of sushi rice (Japanese short-grain rice seasoned with a sweet vinegar mixture). Be sure to try it when you're in Okayama.

Find out what else to eat in Okayama >>

34. Hiroshima – Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima okonomiyaki being made on a teppan griddle

Hiroshima's unique take on iconic okonomiyaki savory pancakes sees the ingredients – including everything from noodles and cabbage to local oysters – layered rather than mixed together.

Find out what else to eat in Hiroshima >>

35. Yamaguchi – Fugu

Delicate, transparent fugu sashimi laid out on a platter

This mild-tasting pufferfish is famously poisonous, but rest assured the fugu chefs here know what they’re doing. Try it thinly-sliced as beautifully arranged sashimi in Yamaguchi.

36. Kagawa – Sanuki Udon

Sanuki udon with kakiage tempura

Made from local Kagawa wheat and characterized by a firm, chewy texture, Sanuki udon noodles can be enjoyed in an unbelievable variety of styles in the area’s 700+ udon joints.

37. Ehime – Taimeshi

A small nabe pot filled with rice and topped with a sea bream

Ehime is famous for tai sea bream, and taimeishi sees the fish either cooked whole with the rice in an earthenware pot, or served raw on top as delicate (sashimi).

38. Tokushima – Tokushima Ramen

Tokushima Ramen with a thick concentrated broth, topped with an egg yolk and scallions

There are three varieties of Tokushima ramen – brown, yellow, and white – distinguished by the color and richness of the soup. It comes topped with a raw egg for extra creaminess.

39. Kochi – Katsuo no Tataki

Glistening Katsuo no Tataki beautifully plated on a dish

Katsuo no tataki is Kochi's specialty dish. Bonito tuna is grilled over a straw fire for an extra smoky flavor, then the seared meat is cut into thick, juicy slices and coated in a soy sauce and citrus dressing.

40. Fukuoka – Hakata Ramen

Hakata ramen with a thick, potent broth, topped with scallions

The indulgent Hakata ramen has a milky broth thanks to the collagen-rich pork bones used, and thin straight noodles with an extra firm texture. It is a type of tonkotsu ramen that originated in Fukuoka.

Find out what else to eat in Fukuoka >>

41. Saga – Onsen Yudofu

An image of a pot of onsen yudofu, with a chunk of white tofu on a big spoon

Tofu made from local soybeans is cooked in Saga Prefecture's hot spring water, making it so soft it turns the broth milky white. Onsen yudofu literally melts in your mouth.

Find out what else to eat in Saga >>

42. Nagasaki – Chanpon

Nagasaki Chanpon, a local specialty dish with a thick broth topped with veggies

Chanpon is an eclectic dish from Nagasaki, consisting of ramen noodles topped with pork slices, vegetables, and seafood, in a rich and creamy broth made with pork and chicken bones.

43. Kumamoto – Basashi

Basashi, raw horse, on a plate served as sashimi

One for adventurous diners not afraid of raw food, Kumamoto’s signature dish basashi is thinly-sliced raw horse meat served in a similar style to sashimi and popular for being low in fat.

Find out what else to eat in Kumamoto >>

44. Oita – Toriten

Toriten, chicken tempura that's a famous traditional Japanese food in Oita prefecture

Chicken is widely consumed in Oita, and toriten (chicken tempura) is particularly popular. This regional Japanese food is made from bite-sized pieces of chicken seasoned with sake, garlic, and ginger, then deep-fried. It’s wonderfully moreish. 

45. Miyazaki – Jidori no Sumibiyaki

Jidori-yaki from Miyazaki prefecture, high-quality chicken grilled over a charcoal fire

Miyazaki's specialty is jidori no sumibiyaki. Top-quality chicken is grilled at a high heat over a charcoal fire, giving the meat a smoky flavor, juicy texture, and distinctive blackened exterior.

Find out what else to eat in Miyazaki >>

46. Kagoshima – Satsuma-age

Satsuma-age, a local specialty fish cake from Kagoshima

Kagoshima’s famous satsuma-age fish cakes are made from a minced fresh fish paste sometimes mixed with vegetables and other seafood, and fried until a rich golden-brown.

Find out what else to eat in Kagoshima >>

47. Okinawa – Goya Champuru

Goya chanpuru, an Okinawan specialty with bitter melon and egg

Okinawa's goya champuru is a stir-fried dish that mixes goya (bitter melon) with tofu, eggs, pork, noodles, and all sorts of other ingredients from different cultures to create something uniquely Okinawan.

Find out what else to eat in Okinawa >>

The sheer variety of traditional Japanese foods is impossible to cover here. This is only a small selection of the wealth of regional Japanese foods, so get out there and find your own favorite traditional Japanese dishes – there’s no better way of exploring this fantastic country!

Browse food experiences in Japan, and for more food and travel inspiration, subscribe to Japan by Food on YouTube!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan’s food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ashley Owen
Ashley is a freelance travel writer from the UK who spent the last two years living in Japan, and is about to embark on her next adventure to New Zealand. She's always on the lookout for exciting new vegan treats wherever she goes!
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