What Do Japanese Eat For Breakfast?

What do Japanese eat for breakfast? Where are the best places to try them in Japan? If you are having the two questions in your mind, check out this blog to find out the answers.

We all agree that breakfast plays an important role in all cultures. Western people often choose energy-packed nutrition that is easy and rapid to fix so they can get on with the day’s work. That explains why a filling, warm bowl of oatmeal is a popular breakfast dish in most Western countries. In Japan, there is something different. Japanese people pay more attention to their breakfast, making sure their first meal of the day supplies enough nutrients the body requires.

What Do Japanese Eat For Breakfast?

1. Onigiri

One of the common Japanese breakfast foods is Onigiri. Origiri, known as O-musubi or Japanese rice ball, is a traditional Japanese dish made from white rice formed into cylindrical or triangular shapes and often wrapped in seaweed. It is filled with salted salmon, pickled ume, tarako, kumbo, katsuobushi, or any other sour or salty ingredients as a natural preservative. Therefore, its taste is really nice and it is super easy for you to grab on the go.

what do Japanese eat for breakfast

Onigiri is a very popular breakfast in Japan (Source: ranseltravel.com)

You can buy onigiri in many onigiri-specialized shops and most Japanese convenience stores. An onigiri containing a piece of fish in the center has the price from ¥200-¥300 ($1.8 – $2.8)

Recommended onigiri shops for you to try:

  • Bongo: 2-26-3 Kitaotsuka Toshima Tokyo
  • Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku: 3-9-10 Asakuma Taito Tokyo
  • Risaku: 2-31-6 Sendagi Bunkyo Tokyo
  • Onigiri no Sankaku Yama: 5-29-9 Ogikubo Suginama Tokyo
  • Onigiriya Marutoyo: 4-9-9 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

2. Rice With Natto

Another common breakfast in Japan is rice with natto. Natto is a traditional food in Japan that is made of fermented soybeans. To make natto, Japanese people have to steam soybeans and then ferment them with Bacillus subtilis, a healthy bacteria. Therefore, natto is rich in protein and nutrition. Eating natto with rice for breakfast will not only give to eaters a tasty meal but also give them adequate energy for their morning.

japanese breakfast foods

Many Japanese people often eat Rice with Natto for breakfast. (Source: Japanesecooking101)

Natto can be purchased ready to eat in many Japanese food stores or convenience stores.

3. Misoshiru

Misoshiru is a traditional Japanese soup that many people like to eat in their morning. This soup is made from a mixture of miso, fermented soybeans, and a dashi broth. It includes ingredients such as Japanese mushrooms, wakame seaweed, tofu, chopped green onions and deep fried tofu (aburaage).

Traditionally, most Japanese wives cook miso soup from scratch, starting with the dashi broth and soybeans. But if you want to try the dish, you can by dashi infused soy paste that only needs the addition of water and instant miso soup packets.

Want to learn how to make misoshiru at home? Watch the video below:

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4. Rice With Fish

Rice with teeny tiny fishes is also a favorite breakfast of many Japanese. A bowl of white rice with some grilled or fried baby fishes is perfect for a busy morning in Japan.

what do japanese eat for breakfast

Rice with fish is another common breakfast in Japan

5. Tamago Kake Gohan

Starting your new day with Tamago Kake Gohan will give you both carbohydrate and protein. To make this meal, you put soy sauce and a raw egg on the top of a steamed rice bowl together with salt. By doing this way, the egg gets very slightly cooked and turns into a kind of sauce. It is not only yummy but also easy to cook.

Japanese breakfast foods

Tamago Kake Gohan is usually chopped with Furikake.

6. Rice With Furikake

Some elderly Japanese people often choose a bowl of steamed rice topped with furikake for their breakfast. Furikake is a mixture of many dried ingredients such as sesame seed, dried fish, chopped seaweed, salt, sugar, and monosodium glutamate. Sometimes when eating this dish, you will feel like there is nothing better than the Simple.

Elderly Japanese often choose rice with furikake for their breakfast

7. Toast Or Cereal With Milk

Many young Japanese prefer a quick breakfast so they tend to choose either cereal with milk or toast with a cup of tea or coffee.

what do japanese eat for breakfast

Japanese youngers prefer a quick breakfast like toast with coffee or cereal with milk.

8. Fruits

Another typical breakfast in Japan is a banana or some grapes or a big peach, etc.

what do japanese eat for breakfast

Traditional Japanese fruits for breakfast.


The Japanese breakfast is a well-balanced and delicious meal that provides enough energy for a busy morning. For Japanese people, the goal of their breakfast is not to have a full plate, but rather a healthy and nutritious meal before starting a hard working day.

So now you know the answers for the question “What do Japanese eat for breakfast?” and some recommended places to try them. If you have any questions, feel free to leave it in our comment section and then we will discuss further.

About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.

One Response

  1. Fellani says:

    We have two Japanese students staying with us in Australia what should I serve them for breakfast, they don’t like the muesli and fruit. any Idears please