This Is What a Typical Japanese Breakfast Looks Like
Most come in the form of teishoku or set meals.
Have you ever wondered what breakfast in Japan is like? If you are going to live in Japan, general living habits and eating habits will inevitably change. As breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we will explore the different types of breakfasts available in Japan, and mix in what most of us working in Tokyo have for breakfast. Read on to know if there is a difference!
Breakfast Options Available in Japan
Breakfast options in cafes and restaurants can generally be separated into two types: Western and Japanese.
Western-style breakfasts, often called Morning Set, are often found in cafes and family-style restaurants (famiresu in Japanese). Morning sets, essentially, are simply toast and coffee. Some cafes and restaurants offer more substantial options such as eggs, cured meats, and even rice options. These are quick, cheap, and cost around “one coin” or ¥500.
Japanese-style breakfasts come in the form of teishoku, or set meals. These are also found in family-style restaurants and curiously, gyudon (beef bowl) chain restaurants. These often include a main dish—often fish, sometimes meat—a pickled side dish, a bowl of rice, and a bowl of miso soup. Slightly more expensive than the morning set, these still cost a fraction of the regular meals that you might find at a restaurant. On a side note: lunch options in Japan, similar to their breakfast counterparts, are cheaper compared to dinner prices as well.
Of course, for those who don’t have time, the convenience store with its variety of onigiri and sandwiches are always an option. Although there are many breakfast places that serve good options, for most people, breakfast is a meal eaten at home.
So we asked employees working in a Japanese company—both Japanese and non-Japanese—and see what they have for breakfast.
What some of our teammates actually eat for breakfast.
Natto, or fermented soybeans, are a quintessential Japanese food.
Hikari, Japanese, female: “I make sure to eat fruits, salad, natto (fermented soybeans) with rice and avocado for breakfast. Sometimes I might add miso soup. I prepare my own breakfast.”
Nagisa, Indonesian, female: “Sometimes I just buy bread and eat that with butter, or buy food the day before. When I lived in Bali, my mom always made me food, but now when I oversleep, I just drink a glass of milk at times.”
Ru, Chinese, female: “I used to eat a lot before, and it was a Chinese-style breakfast—congee, steamed buns, those kinds of stuff. Once I started working [in Japan], I just buy bread from the convenience store or sometimes an onigiri. I eat a boiled egg with that sometimes, too.”
TKG, or tamago-kake-gohan, is simply raw egg over rice mixed with a bit of soy sauce. It is also one of the main breakfast foods in Japan.
Yuki, Japanese, male: “I don’t eat breakfast on weekdays as sleep is more important for me. On weekends I usually eat TKG for breakfast, or last night’s leftovers.”
Kyle, Filipino, male: “Granola or bread, usually. When I was in the Philippines, there was someone who made food for me, but now I just make easy-to-prepare meals.”
Ben, Thai, female: “I sometimes make breakfast for myself but it is usually bread and butter. When I oversleep, I sometimes just make do with a cup of coffee.”
Tomoyo, Japanese, female: “Bread and coffee, the occasional leftovers, and sometimes I cook egg dishes. Sometimes cereal and milk too.”
All in all, eating breakfast is a very important part of the day, and one that you should not miss. Have your eating habits changed once you started working? Let us know in the comments!
(23 August 2019)