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Japanese style restaurant, Wood table center and cushions and 3 lighting

Types of Japanese Restaurants

Japanese cuisine (和食, washoku) presents a wealth of culinary delights, showcasing a diverse array of regional specialties that change with the seasons. Dining establishments in Japan encompass a wide spectrum, from mobile food stalls and traditional ryotei (established over centuries) to atmospheric izakayas, riverside terraces erected seasonally, affordable chain eateries, and quirky theme restaurants featuring robots and even ninjas. While some Japanese  restaurants specialize in specific dishes, others boast a varied menu catering to diverse tastes.

Specialized Japanese restaurants

Many restaurants in Japan specialize in specific types of cuisine such as the following:

Tonkatsu-ya: Serving deep-fried breaded pork cutlets (tonkatsu).

Sushi-ya: Dedicated to sushi, where patrons can sit at tables or at a sushi bar watching the chef prepare sushi.

Soba-ya and Udon-ya: Focused on soba or udon noodles served in hot broth or with dipping sauces, often customizable with various toppings.

The craftsman is grilling yakitori Japanese food skewers chickenYakitori-ya: Grilling chicken skewers (yakitori) over charcoal, a favorite late-night spot for salarymen.

Kaitenzushi: Budget-friendly sushi spots where plates of sushi circulate on a conveyor belt, allowing customers to choose what they like or order directly.

Gyudon-ya: Offering beef bowl dishes (gyudon) at affordable prices, popular across Japan.

Kare-ya: Specializing in Japanese-style curry rice dishes, commonly found in and around major railway stations.

Tepanyaki - japanese grilled beef on pan. chef cooking at the hot tableTeppanyaki restaurants: Where chefs prepare meat, seafood, and vegetables on a large iron griddle (teppan) in front of diners, often featuring premium Japanese beef like Kobe Beef.

Okonomiyaki-ya: Focused on okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) and sometimes monjayaki, where customers may cook their own on a built-in hot plate.

Tempura-ya: Specializing in tempura dishes like tendon (tempura over rice) and assorted tempura.

Japanese Chef making uni nigiri omakase style eating. Omakase style Japanese traditional.Sukiyaki-ya and Shabu Shabu-ya: Known for sukiyaki or shabu shabu hot pot dishes, often found in upscale hotels.

Unagi-ya: Offering freshwater eel dishes such as unajuu and unadon (grilled eel over rice).

Ramen-ya: Known for ramen noodles in soup with assorted toppings, each restaurant boasting its own signature soup recipe.

These specialized eateries showcase the diverse and delicious offerings of Japanese cuisine, catering to various tastes and preferences.

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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!