What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (12/17 - 12/21, 2018)

Are you sick of getting late news on the newest hot topics in Japan? Here's a quick and easy weekly digest that'll give you the scoop on the top 3 trends making waves on Japan's social media platforms! Japan is all about ridiculously long and thick things these days, with super long pancake and sushi skewers, as well as udon noodles that are so wide, they look like paper. Read more to see the craziness for yourself!

Check out our writers’ top Japan travel ideas!

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The Newest Street Food Trend in Osaka: Pancake Skewers

As the birthplace of famous Japanese street foods like okonomiyaki and takoyaki, Osaka is known as not only the "kitchen" of Japan, but also the street food capital of the country. The latest food craze in this glamorous city is, to no one's surprise, a kind of street food: pancake skewers.

Specifically, the ones shown above and below from a tiny street store called "Panbo".

While pancakes in general are popular in Japan, the secret behind this store's popularity is actually the length of their skewers. They go from a regular 20cm in length to a ridiculous 80cm! For reference, that's almost twice as long as most computer keyboards!

If you're planning a trip to Osaka, you definitely can't miss out on trying this new food trend.

If you're in Osaka and looking for more pancake goodness, maybe the following cafes will help?

Noodles So Wide, They Might as Well be Paper

You may be able to find regular udon noodles overseas, but you certainly won't find these super wide noodles! Called "Himokawa", they are a specialty of Gunma Prefecture that is now taking Japan's gourmet world by storm.

People love these noodles for their incredibly smooth mouthfeel, which is said to be even better than regular udon noodles, and how little time you need to cook them thanks to their width and thinness. Of course, they're also super Instagrammable!

People all over Japan are currently embroiled in a fierce online competition to discover the widest and thinnest Himokawa udon noodles out there. No one particular store has won yet, but if you're planning to visit Japan anyway, why not try these noodles at several restaurants to taste and compare?

Gunma is filled with a lot of other amazing foods that most foreign tourists don't know about. Here's a couple of them - if you're interested, why not try them out?

All Aboard the Meat Sushi Train

Yukhoe is a Korean dish consisting of raw meat that's been seasoned with several spices and condiments, and one particular restaurant in Tokyo called "PALLET46" has taken it to a new level by arranging it into 50cm long sushi!

Cue the mouthwateringly delicious-looking slice of this sushi.

For 2,780 yen, you can get one of four varieties of this super long sushi: Wagyu yukhoe, Wagyu negitoro (minced Wagyu meat with scallions mixed into it), Wagyu Texas Parisa, and Wagyu Philadelphia. Not a bad deal considering its length and the fact that you get to eat premium Wagyu beef!

Speaking of sushi, if you're looking to try more varieties of sushi but aren't sure where to start, maybe the following sushi topping guide will come in useful!

Check out our writers’ top Japan travel ideas!

Bonus: Get a List of the Top Budget-Friendly Hotels in Tokyo!

Are you planning to visit Japan? If so, you'll surely stop by Tokyo. But it might be difficult to find accommodation in Tokyo because of how expensive and packed hotels are. That's where this list is sure to come in handy! As an extra bonus, not all of them are capsule hotels or hostels - great for families looking for somewhere cheap to stay!

And that's that! The trends are always quickly changing, so there will always be something new from week to week. Check back in once a week and see if anything catches your eye!



Check out the weekly trends from the past 5 weeks!

What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (12/10 - 12/14, 2018)

What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (12/3 - 12/7, 2018)

What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (11/26 - 11/30, 2018)

What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (11/19 - 11/23, 2018)

What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (11/12 - 11/16, 2018)


Also, if you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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About the author

Yuri I.
A third culture kid who spent her childhood studying the Canadian curriculum in a country that's not Canada, then went off to university in Australia. Today Yuri lives in Tokyo, reconnecting with her Japanese roots through writing, music, and cooking.
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