What Do Japanese People Eat for Lunch?

The Japanese tend to eat lunch in the form of rice, noodles, seafood and beef served in bowls or bento boxes. While food is served in bowls at home or in restaurants, school children and adults taking their lunch to work dine from bento boxes. Those who are on the go and do not have time to pack lunch often purchase snacks, such as dried squid, at convenience stores.

Typical Japanese lunch fare includes curry rice, pressed rice cakes stuffed with seafood, sushi, sashimi, soba, ramen, steamed pork buns, fish cakes, seaweed and clams.

Another favorite is onigiri, or rice balls shaped as triangles and filled with Japanese plums, salmon and other treats. Many Japanese lunches feature oden, a mixture of hard-boiled eggs, fish cakes, octopus and vegetables.

When going to a restaurant or eating at home, many Japanese people dine on yakitori for lunch. These meat skewers are grilled after marinating in barbecue sauce. They are generally made of pork, chicken hearts and beef liver, often layered with spring onion.

A favorite Japanese lunch soup is nabe, a hearty dish that includes various meats, seafoods, vegetables and noodles.

Common lunch condiments and seasonings include mirin, miso and soy sauce.