5 Examples of Japanese Fast Food That Keep Me Awake At Night Because I Can't Stop Thinking About Them

In anticipation of my upcoming second trip to Japan, I’ve been reminiscing about all of the wonderful food I ate during my previous stay a few years ago.

Japan has the best food in the world, and I will prove it to you with these five examples of delicious, inexpensive, and convenient Japanese dishes that I, Koji Kojou (novelist extraordinaire), have personally sampled!

5. Onigiri
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I know what you’re thinking: “what could be so good about a ball of plain rice?!” Oh, you poor, poor ignorant uncultured soul! You have no idea what kinds of wonders await you in this vast world!

The humble onigiri is a deceptive snack. It appears far too simple and too plain to be truly satisfying. However, take one bite of one of these fluffy white wonders, and you will find yourself shocked into silence. SHOCKED!

Now only is there a wide variety of fillings available for onigiri, but they’re also the ultimate in eating convenience. Firstly, any convenience store worth its salt (and rice) stocks onigiri for hungry people on the go, and they’re usually very inexpensive (around $1! McDonald's wishes it could compete!).

Second, they’re perfectly formulated for quick and easy consumption. They fit perfectly in one’s hand, and usually come equipped with nori for extra grip and flavor!

4. Omurice
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Step foot into a Japanese Denny’s (デニーズ) and you’ll be surprised at just how different their menu is compared to their Western counterparts. They have hamburger steak, curry, and extravagant desserts! A true standout among their various offerings, however, is the legendary omurice.

Omurice is a western dish augmented with Japanese food engineering, like a human that’s been transformed into a motorcycle-riding badass robot. To create this amazing taste sensation, ketchup-fried rice is wrapped in egg, occasionally topped with an extra layer of melted cheese and/or dark brown demi-glace sauce.

One bite of this and you’ll scream! Literally. It’s gonna taste so good, you’ll start full-voiced screaming in the middle of the restaurant.

3. Katsu Curry
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Imagine if you will, a pork cutlet. Now imagine that this pork cutlet is also deep fried and covered in crispy coating. Now imagine that this fried cutlet is ALSO covered in spicy curry! Now finally (I know I'm probably straining your imagination at this point), imagine that this godly dish is available at your local convenience store.

THAT is katsu curry!

One time, while my brother and I were backpacking across Japan, we had to stop at a coin laundry to wash our clothes. While we were waiting for them to dry, we began feeling hungry… EXCRUCIATINGLY hungry, and needed food as fast as possible!

I stood up and booked it straight to the nearest bento place a block away. That was when I laid eyes upon it: Cripsy, golden, oily goodness, smothered in dark Japanese curry! I purchased two orders and immediately rushed back to eat it.

Once I sank my teeth into that tenderized pork, my soul arose from my body and was transported to another world… a world of spice, salt, and flavor! I was take, for lack of a better phrase, to "Flavortown, Japan!"

Grab up this meal, and I’m sure you won’t regret it!

2. Okonomiyaki
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It’s okonomiyaki.

1. Gyudon
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One morning, early in my first trip to Japan, I wandered around Ikebukuro still worn out and jet lagged, and looking for something to raise my spirits. A few blocks from my hotel was a small chain restaurant that served gyudon.

My jaw dropped when I saw the prices on a sign outside the building! For the equivalent of roughly $4, I could get not only a big bowl of gyudon, but also a cup of miso soup! Shrieking like a starved goblin who had just been dragged up from the netherworld by a cruel sorcerer, I ran inside.

Upon approaching one of the employees, I pointing toward their sign, grunting like a caveman. He politely informed me that I had to order at the kiosk near the entrance, and so, completely embarrassed, I retreated and began mashing buttons on the order screen.

Despite not being able to read kanji, I managed to finally place an order. Once I had received my food, I unhinged my jaw and swallowed the entire bowl as if I were a snake, much to the fear and disgust of my fellow restaurant patrons.

For the uninitiated, gyudon is a dish made with thinly-sliced beef, stewed in various sauces with sliced onion, and placed over white rice. It’s the gold standard of Japanese fast food, and is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and salty. Just like some of the other entries on this list, you can also find it everywhere, and for very little money!

trust me, this stuff makes Subway sandwiches look like inedible overpriced CRAP!

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So, what do you think? Have I convinced you that Japanese food is the greatest in the known universe?...


Well dang… Better luck next time, I guess.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out my other posts here (they’re not as silly as this one). You can also find me on both Twitter and Facebook. If you’re feeling extra spicy, you can check out my novels here on my Amazon author’s page!

As always, thanks for reading!


  1. Your list is missing some Udon, these 'sick' noodle made from flour are sooo good :D


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