8 Food Challenges to Try in Japan

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For those who don’t know yet, Japanese cuisine is among the best in the world. You can never have enough, can you? Yes, today we are talking about food challenges. A quick introduction to what a food challenge is, a food challenge is a challenge where it’s all about food. It can be eating the spiciest noodles that will melt your taste buds, or eating large amounts of delicacies that will make your stomach explode. Food challenges are very popular these days as they can be found all over YouTube. In this article, we will share with you some places in Japan where you can also test your limits with a food challenge.

1. Kagurazaka Hanten (gyoza)

The Giant Gyoza Challenge is one of the most famous food challenges in Japan, as many YouTubers and influencers tried to complete this Giant Gyoza Monster. These challenges were first proposed over 40 years ago in an effort to attract more students to the restaurant and it worked very well. Many students gathered to try to eat the enormous Gyoza or other gastronomic challenges that the restaurant offers. However, the main attraction remains the giant gyoza challenge.

The challenge is this; You have 60 minutes to eat the 2.5 kg Giant Gyoza. If you succeed, well, congratulations! You’ll get your photo on the restaurant’s wall of fame and receive a free dinner. However, if you fail, you will have to pay for the Gyoza, which costs 9,600 yen.


2. Kayabashi ramen (ramen)

If you love ramen, let me introduce you to Kayabashi Ramen restaurant in Chiba. Their menu consists of a variety of items. But we’re into your gastronomic challenge, and it doesn’t disappoint. You can try it yourself or have a friend go into a food coma.

The food challenge is as follows, you have 45 minutes to eat 6 servings of ramen and only 15 minutes if you try it with your friend. However, if you’re confident and want a bigger challenge, they also have a 10-serving ramen challenge where you get 1 hour if you try it alone and 30 minutes with a friend. If you manage to eat them all, you’re rewarded with a cash prize ranging from 10,000 yen to 50,000 yen, depending on the number of servings and whether you try it alone or with a friend. Good luck!


3. Honmachi Tonteki Minamisenba (steak)

This challenge may seem more manageable, but it’s still a challenge. At this restaurant, you can expect to take on their 2.1kg Donburi called “Dynamite Donburi”. It’s a huge bowl of Donburi served with grilled pork steak, 2 boiled eggs, lots of garlic and cabbage and tons of rice. The dish costs 2,750 yen including taxes. However, if you manage to complete it, you will get it for free and receive an additional 1000 yen coupon for your next visit.


4. Gomaryuu (spicy ramen)

If you like spicy, Gomaryuu will give you spicy. Are you ready for the spiciest dish you’ve ever tasted? Their Special Ramen from Hell is aptly named as it is probably the spiciest ramen you will find in Tokyo or even all of Japan. There is no more reward than having your tongue burned for the next 3 weeks and the satisfaction of being able to finish such a crazy dish, but you did it!


5. Maneki Koyama (Katsudon)

Maneki Koyama is a paradise for katsudon lovers, its bakatsudon is very popular with the locals. Of course, here they also offer you a tummy-busting challenge to try. Their very large katsudon, which is 5 times the size of a normal serving, should be consumed within 30 minutes. If you are successful, you will receive the free meal and a cash prize of 10,000 yen! But if you fail, you will have to pay 2,500 yen for the dish. Will you be able to finish it all?


6. Main branch of Kanazawa Gold Curry (curry)

The main Kanazawa Gold Curry branch offers 5 different food challenges, ranging from a 2kg bowl of curry to a massive 10kg bowl of curry, with each challenge being 2kg heavier than the other. These challenges come with a reward based on the portion you ate. For the 4 kg challenge, you get lifetime golden curry, and for the 6, 8 and 10 kg, you get a cash reward of up to 100,000 yen for the 10 kg! But these challenges aren’t something everyone can do, as even some of the world’s best eaters have failed the massive 10kg plate.


7. Kikanbo (spicy ramen)

Kikanbo offers a delicious yet spicy dining experience that will delight any sadistic eater. You will be received in an “Oni” themed restaurant, which already sets the mood for the dish to come. They use three different types of noodles that have been carefully crafted, and each one has a consistent flavor and texture from the first bite to the last. Will you be able to enjoy your dish, or will your tongue go numb from the burning, allowing you to feel the joy of eating delicious food? Let’s find out!


Probably the most fun way to complete a food challenge! During this challenge, you will be served small amounts of soba that can be consumed with a full mouth. About 15 bowls is roughly equivalent to a normal serving of soba. The present server will refill your bowls each time you finish them and encourage you to eat more with chants like “Hai Jan Jan, Hai Don Don.” There is no reward for eating a certain number, but it is a really fun challenge to complete with friends or family. But for giving you a number to beat. A man in Osaka ate 500 bowls, which is pretty impressive. However, one Morioka woman ate a colossal 570 bowls of soba! How many bowls of soba can you eat?


With all these food challenges, you will be thirsty. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our best drink tours article, which I’m sure will come in handy after one of those food challenges. Enjoy!

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