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What is lunch called in Japan?


Japan is a country that is well-known for its unique culture and traditions. One of the most interesting aspects of Japanese culture is their food, which is both delicious and healthy. In this article, we will explore what lunch is called in Japan and the various types of lunch options available in Japan.

What is lunch called in Japan?

In Japan, lunch is known as “hiru gohan” which literally means “daytime meal.” It is an important meal of the day for most Japanese people and is usually eaten between 12 pm and 1 pm. Unlike in the Western countries where lunch is often a quick meal, lunch in Japan is considered a time to relax and enjoy food with colleagues or friends.

Japanese Snack Box

Types of lunch options in Japan

One of the most popular lunch options in Japan is “bento,” which is a packed lunch box that often contains rice, meat or fish, and vegetables. Bento boxes are widely available at convenience stores, supermarkets, and train stations. Another popular option is “ramen,” which is a noodle soup dish that is usually served with pork, eggs, and vegetables. Other common lunch options include “udon” (thick noodles), “soba” (buckwheat noodles), and “donburi” (rice bowl dishes).

Lunch etiquette in Japan

In Japan, there are certain rules and customs when it comes to eating lunch. One of the most important rules is to say “itadakimasu” before starting to eat, which means “I humbly receive.” This shows gratitude for the food and those who prepared it. It is also important to use chopsticks correctly and not to leave any food on the plate. In addition, slurping noodles loudly is considered polite as it shows that you are enjoying the food.

Lunch culture in Japan

Lunchtime in Japan is often seen as a time to socialize and network with colleagues or friends. It is common for coworkers to go out for lunch together or for friends to meet up at a restaurant. Japanese companies also often provide their employees with a free or subsidized lunch as part of their benefits package.

Healthy eating in Japanese lunches

Japanese cuisine is known for being healthy and balanced, with a focus on fresh ingredients and minimal processing. Lunches in Japan often include a variety of vegetables, fish, and lean meats. Bento boxes are designed to be nutritionally balanced with a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables.

Regional specialties

Japan has many regional specialties when it comes to food, and this extends to lunch as well. For example, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (a savory pancake) is popular for lunch in Hiroshima, while Osaka-style takoyaki (octopus balls) are a common snack food in Osaka.

Vegetarian options

While meat and fish are common ingredients in Japanese cuisine, there are also many vegetarian options available for those who do not eat animal products. Many restaurants offer vegetable-based dishes such as tofu or vegetable tempura. Additionally, bento boxes can be customized to exclude meat or fish.

Fast food options

Fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC are also popular options for lunch in Japan. However, even these chains offer menu items that cater to Japanese tastes such as teriyaki burgers or fried chicken with soy sauce flavoring.

Lunchtime snacks

In addition to full meals, there are also many snacks that are popular during lunchtime in Japan. For example, onigiri (rice balls) are a convenient and portable snack that can be found at convenience stores all over Japan. Other popular snacks include senbei (rice crackers) and umeboshi (pickled plums).

Café culture

Cafés have become increasingly popular in Japan over recent years as places for people to relax during their lunch break. Many cafés offer light meals such as sandwiches or salads as well as coffee or tea.

Closing thoughts

Lunchtime in Japan offers a wide range of options from traditional bento boxes to fast food chains with Japanese twists. It is a time for relaxation, socializing, and enjoying delicious food. Whether you’re looking for something healthy or indulgent, there’s sure to be a lunch option in Japan that suits your tastes.


What do Japanese call dinner?

The word “gohan” in Japanese translates to “rice,” but it is also commonly used to refer to a meal or dinner. “Meshi” is another more informal term for rice.

What is the Japanese word for meal?

Rice is a crucial part of every meal and is commonly referred to as ご飯 (gohan) or 飯 (meshi) when cooked. These words can also be used to mean “meal” or “food”.

What is formal dinner in Japanese?

Kaiseki is a formal Japanese meal consisting of multiple courses, prepared using a set of specific techniques and skills. It is often compared to Western haute cuisine.

What is breakfast in Japanese language?

Asagohan is a Japanese word that refers to the meal eaten in the morning, also known as breakfast. It is composed of two parts: “asa,” which means morning, and “gohan,” which means meal.

What are meal times in Japanese?

While there are no strict meal times in Japan, most Japanese people will consume meals at approximately the following times: Breakfast: 06:00-07:00. Lunch: 12:00-13:00. Dinner: 18:00-20:00.Jan 11, 2022

What is choushoku in Japanese?

On December 19th, 2020, there was a lesson on learning Japanese N3 vocabulary, including the term “朝食” (pronounced “choushoku” in romaji), which means “breakfast” in English.

Seasonal lunches

Japan has a strong tradition of eating seasonally, and this extends to lunch as well. Many restaurants offer seasonal lunch menus that feature ingredients that are at their peak during that time of year. For example, in the spring, cherry blossom-themed lunches are popular, while in the fall, dishes featuring sweet potatoes or mushrooms are common.

Lunchtime at schools

In Japan, lunchtime is an important part of the school day. Unlike in some other countries where students bring their own lunches from home, most Japanese schools provide a hot lunch for students. These lunches are often nutritionally balanced and feature a variety of dishes such as rice, soup, and vegetables. Students take turns serving and cleaning up after lunch as part of their daily routine.

Lunchtime traditions

While lunch in Japan is generally seen as a time to relax and socialize, there are also some unique traditions associated with the meal. For example, some companies have a tradition of having a “bento day” where employees bring in homemade bento boxes to share with their colleagues. In some regions of Japan, it is also common to eat eel on certain days of the year such as the Day of the Ox.

Lunchtime drinks

While water is a common drink choice during lunchtime in Japan, there are also many other options available. Green tea is a popular choice, as it is believed to aid digestion and provide health benefits. Other popular drinks include oolong tea, barley tea, and fruit juice. For those looking for something stronger, beer or sake may also be enjoyed with lunch on occasion.

Lunchtime desserts

No meal in Japan is complete without dessert, and lunch is no exception. Traditional Japanese desserts such as mochi (sticky rice cakes) or wagashi (sweet bean paste confections) may be enjoyed after lunch. Alternatively, Western-style desserts such as cakes or pastries may also be available at cafés or bakeries during lunchtime.

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