23 Traditional Japanese Breakfast

Traditional Japanese Breakfast
Image credit: ny.eater.com

The traditional Japanese breakfast is not just about eating rice. —It’s about enjoying an array of delicious foods that can start your day with the fuel and energy you need to succeed throughout the rest! 

Here are the top traditional Japanese breakfast items you should try as soon as possible. You’ll enjoy them so much and might have them again tomorrow!

1. Breakfast Bento Box

The bento box is the way to go if you’re looking for a traditional Japanese breakfast dish. These boxes are specifically packed with nutritious and delicious morning meal ideas.

You can find these boxes in most grocery stores or specialty food shops. However, some dishes should be in every bento box.

2. Tamagoyaki & Miso Soup

Tamagoyaki is a popular traditional Japanese breakfast dish. It consists of an egg omelet made from eggs, sugar, salt, and soy sauce.

These are rolled into a cylindrical shape with nori seaweed and cut into bite-sized pieces. A traditional bowl of miso soup usually accompanies tamagoyaki. 

Tamagoyaki is typically served with rice at breakfast time but can also be eaten as a snack or side dish at any time of the day.

This dish has many variations, including ingredients such as bacon or cheese, which may be added before rolling it up and cooking it in a frying pan.

3. Matcha Green Tea Rejuvenating Smoothie

A Matcha Green Tea Rejuvenating Smoothie is a delicious and healthy way to start your day. It’s full of antioxidants and will give you the boost you need. 

Plus, this recipe is so easy; it only has four ingredients! They are water, matcha green tea powder, honey or sugar, and ice cubes. If you are looking for varieties of traditional Japanese breakfasts to try, here’s one.

4. Tamago Kake Gohan

Traditional Japanese breakfast typically consists of rice, miso soup, pickles, and fish. Tamago Kake Gohan is a rice dish made by mixing a raw egg with cooked rice and seasoning it with soy sauce. 

This dish is usually served at breakfast time because it’s a very filling meal. There are many variations of Tamago Kake Gohan, including some that include vegetables like carrots or spinach. However, the traditional style is just eggs mixed in with the rice.

5. Miso Soup with Tofu, Wakame Seaweed, Rice & Egg

Miso soup is the quintessential dish in traditional Japanese breakfast. It is warm and hearty, with a distinct flavor that will awaken your senses and fill you up. Add some tofu, wakame seaweed, rice, and an egg for a complete meal. 

Another popular dish is omurice, an omelet filled with ketchup-flavored rice wrapped in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried.

It’s a quick meal that is perfect for when you’re on the go or need something filling before work. If you prefer more of a savory breakfast, this dish may be your new favorite! In Japan, it’s common to have miso soup and fish (usually grilled) for breakfast.

6. Porridge Bowl

A bowl of rice porridge, or ‘okayu’ in Japanese, is the quintessential breakfast food in Japan. It is traditionally made with white rice and a sweetened red bean paste called anko on top. 

Further, it’s served as a stand-alone meal or as part of a larger breakfast spread. It is also topped with salmon roe (ikura) or ikura and seaweed (kombu).

Today, most people buy the instant version for breakfast because it’s faster to make than cooking rice from scratch.

7. Shio Koji Salmon

A traditional Japanese breakfast usually consists of rice, miso soup, and shio koji salmon. Rice is the staple food for breakfast in Japan and is often served with a side of miso soup.

Shio koji salmon is a popular dish that can be enjoyed by itself or with a rice and soup combination. 

The cured fish is marinated in salt, water, rice malt syrup, ginger root, soy sauce, and Mirin (a sweet cooking wine). This recipe for shio koji salmon has a sweet flavor that complements the savory taste of miso soup.

8. Japanese Broth

The classic dish of miso soup is a must-have for any traditional Japanese breakfast. Miso is often made with the main ingredients of fermented soybeans, rice or barley, and seaweed.

This hearty soup can be paired with tofu or egg dishes to make a complete meal. Some people also enjoy their miso soup with a side of pickled vegetables such as kimchi or cucumbers.

Another popular dish at breakfast is egg sushi, which features raw eggs wrapped in sushi rice and seaweed.

A popular way to eat this dish is by dipping the whole piece in soy sauce and then eating it like you would an American omelet with toast on the side.

9. Yaki Onigiri Japanese Rice Balls

Yaki Onigiri, or rice balls, are a popular staple in a traditional Japanese breakfast. They are typically formed into triangle shapes and brushed with soy sauce or teriyaki before being grilled. 

Rice balls can be stuffed with different fillings, such as tuna and mayo, umeboshi (pickled plum), or ikura (salmon roe).

They are wrapped in seaweed for added texture and flavor. Yaki Onigiri is very easy to make at home for a quick breakfast on the go!

10. Japanese Salmon Breakfast Soup – Ochazuke

The Japanese love salty and savory foods, and ochazuke are one of the most well-known dishes. Ochazuke is usually made with rice, tea, water, and seaweed.

This dish has been eaten in Japan for centuries and is believed to have been around since the Heian period. 

Besides, the dish may be eaten cold or hot, depending on the season. It can also be served as part of a traditional set meal or a more elaborate dish.

For those who enjoy this traditional Japanese breakfast hot, we recommend topping it off with soy sauce or adding some chili peppers if you like spicy food!

11. Taiyaki

Taiyaki is a type of fish-shaped waffle that is filled with any number of sweet or savory ingredients. It’s one of the most popular street snacks in Japan, as it’s typically sold by vendors carrying a hot griddle around on their backs. 

Unlike Western breakfasts, which typically consist of toast and cereal, traditional Japanese breakfast comprises rice, miso soup, teriyaki, or okonomiyaki. We’ve already spoken about those other two dishes; now this is about taiyaki.

12. Japanese Souffle Pancakes

This traditional Japanese breakfast is easy to prepare, and you can enjoy it anytime. It’s eggy, fluffy, and just a little bit sweet.

A traditional way of serving this dish is in soufflé form, though you can also make it into pancakes for breakfast or serve them like French toast. 

This dish has so many ways of being served that you’ll never get bored with it! Start by beating two eggs with a whisk until they are frothy and lighter in color.

In a separate bowl, mix one cup of flour with one cup of milk until the mixture is smooth, then slowly pour this mixture into the eggs while whisking vigorously to create a creamy consistency. Add sugar and vanilla extract (or other desired flavors) and whisk together well.

13. Vegan Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a popular dish that is typically eaten for breakfast but can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

This traditional Japanese breakfast is made with cabbage, noodles, protein, and a sweet brown sauce.

This savory pancake-like dish originates from Hiroshima and was later popularized by Tokyoites. Okonomiyaki means to your liking, so you can cook it however you like.

Some people like their okonomiyaki without meat, while others may choose to add bacon or seafood.

Different types of noodles could be used in this dish, such as udon or soba noodles. Instead of the typical yakisoba-style ones used in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.

14. California Roll Avocado Toast

Traditional Japanese breakfast is a hugely important part of the culture. This type of meal is meant to get you going and provide you with enough fuel for the day ahead.

It’s typically eaten from around 7 am until 10 am and consists of a rice bowl with various toppings. 

One of the popular dishes that are eaten for breakfast in Japan and is so popular is  California Roll Avocado Toast.

You’ll love this dish if you love sushi and avocado toast as much as I do! You can’t go wrong with combining these two delicious foods into one perfect package.

15. Japanese Red Bean Buns

If you’re new to the world of traditional Japanese breakfast, it can be intimidating. What do you do with all these different dishes? Well, don’t worry! 

Here’s a list of some of the most popular items in a typical breakfast set and what they are traditionally eaten with.

And now we’re going to get into some more fun stuff- like red bean buns! These are not only very tasty but also very nutritious!

16. Matcha Overnight Oats

For a quick and easy breakfast, matcha overnight oats can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to one week.

You can customize the oatmeal with toppings such as chia seeds, goji berries, or almonds. This is a great way to spice up your morning without having to think of what else you should eat. 

The ingredients to make this particular traditional Japanese breakfast are:

  • Rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary).
  • Matcha powder (or green tea powder).
  • Maple syrup (or honey).
  • Milk of choice (almond or soy milk works well too).

17. Fruit Sando – Japanese Fruit Sandwich

Fruit sando is a popular traditional Japanese breakfast. It’s a sweet and healthy alternative to traditional sandwiches that are full of unhealthy fats.

You can enjoy fruit sando at your favorite bakery, convenience store, or grocery store.

Here’s how to make it at home! 

  • Take two pieces of bread.
  • Spread whipped cream or butter on both pieces. 
  • Layer your fruit on one piece of bread, including apple, strawberry, banana, pineapple, and peach slices.
  • Add the second piece of bread on top and press down gently.
  • Slice into four quarters.

18. Japanese Crepe Cone with Vanilla Ice Cream

Japanese crepe cones with vanilla ice cream are by far the most popular flavor in Japan. These traditional Japanese breakfast cones are often served at street food stalls and convenience stores. This is because they’re easy to eat on the go and taste amazing! 

Meanwhile, the cone is made of thin, crepe-like batter that is shaped into a cylindrical shape before it’s filled with the ice cream of your choice and rolled up.

Then, you enjoy it by peeling off the wrapper from one end. If you’re looking for a sweet dessert or snack that’s easy to carry, these traditional Japanese crepe cones with vanilla ice cream are perfect!

19. Anko Butter Toast

Some people believe that certain foods should be eaten for breakfast, and others should be eaten only at other times of the day.

For example, fish is often eaten in Japan for dinner, not breakfast. Consequently, traditional Japanese breakfast is different from dinner. 

Regarding traditional Japanese food, Anko butter toast is usually eaten first thing in the morning. This is because it’s made up of a few ingredients and is easy to prepare.

Anko butter toast is a simple dish, but many people love this type of breakfast because it’s delicious and has many great health benefits.

20. Red Bean Pancake (Dorayaki)

Dorayaki is a type of pancake sandwich that is most commonly filled with sweet red bean paste. In the Kansai area, it’s called Doraemon (どらえもん) because of its resemblance to the popular cartoon character Doraemon. 

These pancakes are made from wheat flour, sugar, and eggs and are cooked in oil or butter on a hot griddle until they’re browned on both sides.

This traditional Japanese breakfast is served hot with powdered sugar on top. Pancakes are an integral part of many cultures across the world.

21. Rice

Rice is the cornerstone of any traditional Japanese breakfast. It can be used in a number of ways, from plain white rice with miso soup to rice balls wrapped in seaweed or even as sushi. There are many different types of rice, each used differently. 

For example, short-grain rice is used for sushi, while long-grain white rice is often served plain with a bowl of miso soup on the side. Sushi may also include other ingredients such as egg, avocado, and cucumber.

22. Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese breakfast food for many. It’s made from soybeans, boiled, and fermented with a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis or B. subtilis var natto. Natto has been eaten in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1867). 

It is believed that natto is a healthy food because it contains vitamin K2, which helps calcium get into the bone, and vitamin B12, which helps make red blood cells.

Natto is quite sticky because it contains polysaccharides called levan gums. This stickiness makes eating difficult if you’re not used to it.

23. Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a type of rolled omelet from Japan. It is made by rolling a thin, round egg and then cooking it in an oiled skillet. The egg is seasoned with soy sauce, dashi, mirin, sugar, and salt. 

As the egg cooks in the pan, it is continuously flipped over so that the uncooked eggs do not run out of the pan.

After cooking for about two minutes on each side, water may be added, and the tamagoyaki will cook for another minute or two. All in all, it ends this list of traditional Japanese breakfasts.


Japan is a country that has plenty of traditional dishes. This list has the top traditional Japanese breakfast dishes you will find in the country.

These are great for getting your day started on the right foot and include everything from noodles to rice balls, so there is something for everyone. 

Whether you’re looking for a filling meal or something light, this list of traditional Japanese breakfasts has it all. So go ahead and try out one of these options and let us know what you think!

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