Ramen – Japanese ramen comes in different flavors in different regions. There are four main styles -- shoyu, shio, tonkotsu and miso.
Okonomiyaki – Translating loosely as "as you like it," okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made with any number of ingredients -- thin slices of pork belly, octopus, shrimp and even cheese.
Unagi no kabayaki – Marinated in a sweet soy-based kabayaki sauce then grilled, unagi (eel) has an intense, smoky-sweet flavour. It's best when eaten with some plain rice.
Yakitori – Traditionally, yakitori refers only to barbecued poultry skewers -- be it meat, offal or skin. However, the meaning of the term has widened to include vegetables and other meats.
Sushi – One of Japan's greatest gastronomical gifts to the world, good sushi relies on two things: the freshness of the ingredients and the knife skills of the chef.
Sanuki udon – What makes Sanuki udon special is its chewy and silky texture. Slick, slurpable, and immensely satisfying, Sanuki udon noodles offers the firm bite of al dente pasta and the pliant density of mochi rice cakes.
Tonkatsu – Breaded, deep-fried until crisp and golden brown, then drizzled with a sweet and piquant sauce -- meat doesn't get any better than tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet.
Beef tongue – Sendai is said to be the capital and birthplace of gyutan -- grilled slices of beef tongue. It's best served fragrant with buttery grease and has a slightly chewy texture.
Natto – The steamed fermented soybeans have a pungent aroma, slimy texture and unique taste that people either love or hate.
Gyoza – Bite-sized and rich, gyoza originated in China. It's normally filled with a mix of pork, cabbage and nira chives, then dipped into a tangy blend of soy sauce and vinegar.
Wagyu – Wagyu is known for its even and pervasive marbling. When cooked, it's buttery, meltingly tender and contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (aka "the good fats").
Nabe – The best way to warm up in winter in Japan: sharing a nabe (hot pot) night with family and friends.
Tempura – Thin, crispy and golden, Japan's tempura turns deep-frying into an art form.
Chirashi-don – Combining the simple elegance of fresh raw fish with the laid back informality of donburi, a chirashi-don is as visually appealing as it is hunger-quashing.
Miso – Japanese cuisine wouldn't be the same without miso. The salty fermented bean paste forms the base of this popular Japanese soup.
Soba – Soba is Japanese buckwheat noodles. It can be served cold as zaru-soba or hot in a dashi broth. Te-uchi (hand-beaten) soba offers the best firm-to-the-bite texture.
Tamagoyaki/dashimaki tamago – Tamagoyaki is made by rolling an egg mix -- with dashi -- into layers, then cutting into slices.
Taiyaki – Taiyaki is a sea bream-shaped waffle with a sweet filling -- azuki bean paste is most traditional.
Onigiri – The ultimate cheap eat in Japan, Onigiri is usually a triangular rice ball wrapped in nori. It comes with various fillings, from cod roe to grilled chicken.
Matcha sundae – In a matcha sundae, the slight hint of bitterness from the ice cream is balanced by the sweet red bean paste. This one from a Tsujiri store comes with chewy mochi and some crunchy toasted rice.
Takoyaki – Takoyaki, or octopus balls, feature a crisp exterior and a gooey center filed with octopus, pickled ginger and scallions. The balls are brushed with a sweet sauce and Japanese mayo before being sprinkled with bonito flakes and nori.