So if you’re looking for some Japanese food to try when you’re in Japan, you may give a taste to takoyaki.
The “base” of this is octopus, and these are also called octopus balls in English.
While you can find takoyaki across Japan, including in Tokyo and Kyoto, it is especially famous in Osaka.
Japanese language tip: OCTOPUS and GRILLED
Tako means octopus.
Yaki basically means grilled.
You might see yaki as a part of some foods.
For example, okonomiyaki (another street food to try!), yakisoba… and takoyaki.
You wouldn’t use yaki on its own, but in the case that it’s attached to these words, it refers to the food being grilled in some form.
So quite literally, takoyaki is grilled octopus.
Although with takoyaki, the octopus itself is not being grilled. The octopus is basically the filling.
You may also be able to find takoyaki at grocery stores in the fresh food section for 200-300 yen (US$2-3). It’s packaged but it would have been made pretty recently. (aka cheap meal idea!)
Takoyaki made right in front of you
If you go to a shop or a restaurant, there are places that you can watch the takoyaki being prepared!
Takoyaki shop menu
And how much does it cost?
The prices at this takoyaki shop near a train station in Osaka start at 300 yen (US$3) for 6 pieces.
You can take your pick as to how many octopus balls you want!
And this particular shop has a few other things you can buy here too, like okonomiyaki and yakisoba.
And in Kyoto…
The prices at this takoyaki shop near a major tourist attraction in Kyoto start at 500 yen (US$5) for 6 pieces.
This shop is located right near the Fushimi Inari shrine. (That’s where you can walk through 1,000 torii gates.)
Eat takoyaki as your last snack in Japan!
If you’ll be flying out of Kansai airport in Osaka, some of the pictures above are from a food stand right in front of the Izumisano train station.
This is a train station right before the bridge to Kansai airport.
So if you have a flight that will be departing later in the day, you can make a slight detour for a stop at this train station!
Then once you arrive at Izumisano, you can step outside the train station…
Head over to the takoyaki shop…
And buy the takoyaki! (You can buy okonomiyaki too.)
Then back to the train station you go to head the rest of the way to the airport!
You’ll be getting it to-go, so you can even wait to eat it until you’re at the airport.
If this plan sounds good to you, see the map for the visual.
As you’re walking out of the train station, the shop will be on the right side.
HAPPY EATING TAKOYAKI IN JAPAN!
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Shoes for JapanFor summer travel, hiking sandals can be perfect for walking around cities and for many of the short day hikes! See travel sandals like these for women and these for men.
Japan is a mountain country so be sure to get in some hikes!
See trail running shoes too (for women - for men) for other solid hikes including climbing Mt Fuji.
Speaking of hiking, I love this daypack.
The super fast train in JapanIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure.
See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.
See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.
Cheap(er) flights to JapanI used this website to find the cheapest flight and to book my recent flight to Japan.
Sometimes it makes sense to book direct - my preferred way!
But this booking site will search a combination of airlines, including those who aren't partner airlines, which means that they can help you find cheaper flights by booking individual flights for you as part of one flight itinerary. This can be especially helpful if you're not flying out of a major hub with direct flights to Japan.
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See more tips for finding cheap flights to Japan.