Category Archives: FOOD

Japanese Decoded: Nutrition Labels

Japanese Decoded: Nutrition Labels

Have you ever felt like Alice in Wonderland when visiting a Japanese supermarket? Or found yourself spending more time than you have staring at a package, trying to figure out what the heck you’re looking at?

Been there, done that. Don’t feel embarrassed—we’ve all made at least one prayer to the god of labels asking for some secret knowledge. For those of you who shop regularly and are regular label readers—either because of dietary restrictions, allergies, or things you want to avoid for your health—but find yourselves lost in Japan, here’s a quick guide to navigating the supermarket and deciphering nutrition labels and ingredients.

Navigating The Supermarket

Most Japanese supermarkets are not difficult to navigate as they are more or less the same as in other countries. At times, though, it’s easy to get lost when searching for the perfect soba or ingredients for that home-inspired gravy sauce. You can orient yourself by looking at the product category sections, usually separated by green banners hanging from the ceiling. Below are the names of the most common ones.

Japanese Rōmaji English
青果 seika Fruit & vegetables
鮮魚 sengyo Raw fish
食肉 shokuniku Meat
加工肉 kakoniku Processed meat or in other words sausages, ham and other goodies
生肉 namaniku Everything from chicken, pork, and beef to ground meat and the like
菓子 kashi Snacks and cookies
麺類 menrui Instant noodles, soba, udon
デリカ or 惣菜 delika or sozai Appetizers, ready salads, fried bites, finger food and ready meals
パン pan Bread
加工食品 kakoshokuhin Canned and packaged food

Frosted foods
Japanese bits and bites, including tofu, oden, salads
Dairy products: milk, ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, butter
dorai inryo
Juice, canned coffee, mineral water

Product Labels

Now that you’ve found the proper grocery category, let’s look at the product labels!

Below is the back of a bag of rice crackers (senbei) carrying a standard Japanese nutrition label. On the top left, we see the nutritional information (栄養成分表, eiyou seibun you), which contains all the basic nutrition facts about the product, such …continue reading


Shin-Koiwa Ramen – My Mighty Top 3

Shin-Koiwa Ramen - yoshiki

For Shin-Koiwa ramen, these 3 ramen restaurants are a deliciously safe bet. From dinosaur-sized pork ramen to beautiful duck ramen, these 3 don’t disappoint.

#1 Beautiful Duck Ramen at yoshiki

A relatively new shop, yoshiki (鴨出汁中華蕎麦 麺屋yoshiki) is all about DUCK. They’re managed by local ramen powerhouse Menya Itto. yoshiki’s duck tsukemen (dipping ramen) is their top seller. But their duck ramen is equally incredible.

Duck Ramen: ¥800

It has a bold shoyu broth with a beautifully fatty duck taste. Bigger bits of negi chip in, adding crunchy sweetness.

Shin-Koiwa Ramen - yoshiki Closeup

They broil the duck chashu toppings and they’re out of this world. Overall, yoshiki’s duck ramen is simple in presentation but PACKED with flavor.

Shin-Koiwa Ramen - yoshiki Outside

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Thurs)

#2 Punchy Niboshi Ramen at Ibuki

Chukasoba Ibuki (中華そば 一颯) has been open since 2014. But their ramen screams classic. So do their prices. It’s just ¥680 for their basic “chukasoba”.

Shin-Koiwa Ramen - Ibuki
“Ibuki Soba” for ¥880 includes dumplings, chashu

The chukasoba’s shoyu-seasoned broth exhibits a fairly bitter …continue reading


Samurai Mac Burgers at McDonald’s Japan

Samurai Mac Burgers

Growing up in Melbourne as a small boy, I knew Japan for two things. One was ninja, the secret assassins and spies of feudal Japan who were skilled in the use of swords, shuriken and scaling hooks. The other was samurai, the elegant and noble protectors of Japan. Back in April, when McDonald’s Japan announced they were going to introduce two new samurai burgers, you can bet I was excited.

McDonald’s Japan have been teasing our taste buds for many years now with interesting limited-edition and seasonal burgers such as the Tsukimi Burger in fall and the Gratin Croquette Burger in winter.

The new Samurai Mac Burgers were created to capture the spirit of the samurai warrior with their Japanese flavours. They come in two different varieties which are designed to represent different samurai factions.

The “Wild Faction” is represented by the Roasted Soy Sauce Style Double Thick Beef Burger, while the “Self-Indulgent Faction” is represented by the Roasted Soy Sauce Style Bacon Tomato Thick Beef Burger.

The Roasted Soy Sauce Style Double Thick Beef Burger

This is a mouthful to say and it is certainly a mouthful for the actual mouth with two thick and juicy 100-percent beef patties, two slices of rich cheddar cheese, and a crisp sliced onion with a savoury roasted soy sauce style sauce all sandwiched in a poppy seed bun.

The Roasted Soy Sauce Style Double Thick Beef Burger

The Roasted Soy Sauce Style Bacon Tomato Thick Beef Burger

This mouthful also contains a thick 100-percent beef patty with smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, sliced onions, and white cheddar cheese with a savoury roasted soy sauce style sauce all sandwiched in a poppy seed bun.

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Tokyo Where to Drink Before Eating Ramen

Tokyo Where to Drink I

Want to know in Tokyo where to drink before ramen? Look no further!

First of all, when you’re drunk, what is your go-to food to cure the munchies? In most other countries where a lot of restaurants and businesses don’t operate 24 hours, you might have limited options. But in Japan, many places are open either 24 hours or open till late around 4 or 5 am. This means you’ll have loads of options which include—you guessed it!—ramen!

We are FLIP Guide, your local friends in Japan. We have explored every nook and cranny of Japan and have discovered many charming establishments full of personality that oftentimes are overlooked. Let’s get to it!

Rich, filling and delicious, ramen makes for a great drunk food. Beyond that, there are also biological reasons why eating ramen is good for you when you’re drunk. When your liver breaks down alcohol, your body generates harmful substances that cause hangovers or impairs liver functions. But ramen will fix this!

Tokyo Where to Drink - Aka no Ren Ramen
Aka no Ren in Roppongi

Alanine (abundant in pork and pork gelatin often used in ramen) and glutamic acid (in the noodles) help decompose those harmful substances lessen their negative impacts. Who knows, eat enough ramen and you may not even get a hangover. On your nights out in Japan, you should definitely give ramen a try!

To get that drunk ramen experience, you, of course, first have to get drunk. The following are some of the best ways to get drunk …continue reading


Cloud Cafe “Brew Home”

COVID-19 has become a serious thread rapidly expanding around the world.
Many of us stay home by our own accord to prevent the spread of infection.
With isolation and solitude comes uncertainty and, at times, loneliness.

This is exactly where coffee can contribute to your peace of mind.

Let us all brew the coffees we love, and stay connected online to maintain our beloved communities and happiness.
If we all participate together, we can all share the same table, even if that table is a virtual one.
The great thing is that the virtual table is one that can transcend country borders, nationalities, and gender.

…continue reading