Western Breakfast in Japan

While visiting Japan, I enjoy both Japanese and “Western” breakfast options.

I tend to switch off between them fairly regularly. I’ve blogged about Japanese breakfasts–like the one above–in the past (and will do so again) but today, I thought I’d share a couple of typical Japanese “Western” breakfasts.

The first comes courtesy of Doutour – a coffee house chain with stores all over Japan (and I do mean ‘all over’ – you see them everywhere). Doutour has hot and cold breakfast options, including one of my favorites–a “curry sausage” that’s basically a hot dog in a naan-style “bun” with a slender stream of Japanese curry poured across the top. Before discovering the joy that is curry sausage, however, I often went for a cup of coffee and a pair of “choco donut sticks” in a package with a friendly bear. (You can see him waving at the top of the photo.)

On mornings when I want more than a donut, but don’t feel like opting for Japanese breakfast, I usually look for a bakery or bakery-restaurant featuring a Western breakfast set. In the USA, a “full breakfast” often means bacon and eggs, pancakes, and potatoes or hash browns of some kind. In Japan, “Western breakfast” often looks more like this:

Clockwise, from top left: corn soup with croutons, thick-cut toast and rosemary roll, strawberry jam and olive oil, a package of butter, and a cup of strong, delicious coffee. (Creamer on the side, as is usual in Japan unless you order cafe latte).

Corn soup is extremely popular in Japan – and every bowl I’ve eaten has been delicious. While it might seem like an unusual breakfast choice, it actually goes quite well with toast and coffee.

Many Japanese restaurants also offer a “Western breakfast” that includes eggs, sausage or bacon, and yogurt – either together or mix-and-matched with the components you see above. I’ve yet to see pancakes on the breakfast menus (they exist, just not in the places I’ve been to). Crepes and waffles are also easy to find in Japan – but not as part of breakfast. They’re normally eaten as desserts or snacks, and purchased from shops or restaurants that make crepes or waffles exclusively. (My favorite waffle shop in Japan is Manneken, and I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in Japan.)

And there you have it. Western breakfast in Japan!

Which of the options above appeals most to you?