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.
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!
And if you find that you really like takoyaki when you try it, you can even find cooking classes in Japan that will teach you how to make takoyaki!
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!
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More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)
Food in JapanIf you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)
And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.
When the JR pass is worth itIn 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. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
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