How to Order Food in Japan?

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Ordering food in Japan might be a bit confusing to some people who never go to Japan. Read this to avoid any conveniences and to order your food with peace!

Typical Japanese Set Food

In some places ordering food can be done normally. Either with order & pay in front or to order & pay later. But the common method to order food in Japan is to order food via Vending Machine

This can be confusing for the first time, but don’t fret. Once you’ve tried it, it’s actually as easy as how you buy drinks from a vending machine.


The hard part is to recognize which button is what. To do this you will need at least some knowledge about Japanese language… Yes, you need to be able to read Katakana and Hiragana. Don’t fret. They are actually quite easy to learn. You can use this link to help you learn Hiragana ASAP.

You can also use this free travel phrasebook app to help you with learning practical phrase. The food part will especially help you with ordering food in Japan! If it’s too hard to memorize, you can just bookmarked/search for phrases you need and show it up every time you need it.

These are the basic food kanji that will help you a lot if you can memorize them
• ラーメン : ramen (Chinese noodle)
• うどん : udon (thick noodle)
• everything ends with 丼 is usually rice with topping on top of it
• 肉 : meat
• 魚 : fish
• 豚肉 : pork
• 鶏肉 : 鳥肉 or チキン : chicken
• 牛 : beef
• 野菜 : vegetables
• ご飯 : rice
• 茶 : tea
• 水 : water

Once you know what you want to order. Simply insert money into the machine and press a button. A change and coupon will come out. Give the coupon to the person in charge and you’ll get your food in no time.

Hope it helps & happy traveling! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°