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Is brunch a thing in Japan?

If you’re a brunch lover, you may wonder whether the popular mealtime ritual extends beyond the shores of your own country. Japan, with its rich culinary scene, seems like a promising candidate for indulging in a leisurely mid-morning meal that combines the best of breakfast and lunch. But is brunch actually a thing in Japan? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this concept and explore whether the Japanese have embraced this delicious trend.

Brunch Culture in Japan: A Comprehensive Look

Japan is a country known for its culinary prowess and unique food culture. With a cuisine that has garnered worldwide fame, it is no surprise that food enthusiasts are excited to explore Japan’s culinary offerings. One question that often pops up is, “Is brunch a thing in Japan?” In this article, we’ll delve into Japan’s brunch culture to answer this question and provide a comprehensive look at what Japan has to offer.

Exploring Japan’s Breakfast Scene

Before we answer the question of whether or not brunch is big in Japan, it’s essential to understand Japan’s breakfast scene. In Japan, breakfast is a big deal, and locals take pride in starting their day with a combination of traditional and contemporary dishes. From rice bowls and miso soup to western-inspired meals, you can find it all in Japan’s breakfast scene.

When it comes to traditional breakfast, rice bowls, known as “wazen,” are a popular choice. It is a combination of rice, soup, grilled fish, and pickled vegetables, a hearty meal that provides all the necessary nutrients to kick start the day. Another popular traditional breakfast meal is “Natto,” which is fermented soybeans served with rice. This dish is known for its health benefits and peculiar taste.

If you’re a fan of western-style breakfast, then you’ll be delighted to know that Japan has a wide range of options. From fluffy pancakes and French toast to eggs benedict and bacon, you can find all your favorites in Japan’s breakfast scene. Major cities like Tokyo and Osaka have several cafes and restaurants that cater to the western palate.

The Emergence of Brunch in Japan

While breakfast is a significant deal in Japan, brunch, on the other hand, is a relatively new concept. So, when did brunch emerge in Japan? According to reports, brunch became popular in Japan during the 1980s when foreign expats introduced the concept. Since then, it has gained popularity among Japan’s millennial population, who are always on the lookout for new food experiences.

Popular Brunch Spots in Japan

Popular Brunch Spots in Japan

Now, let’s take a look at some of the popular brunch spots in Japan. One of the most popular brunch spots is the Eggs ‘n Things chain, which was first introduced in Hawaii. They now have several branches in Japan, serving up fluffy pancakes, eggs benedict, and other brunch classics.

Another popular spot is Bills Sydney in Tokyo’s Omotesando neighborhood, which is famous for its scrambled eggs and ricotta pancakes. If you’re looking for a Japanese twist on brunch, head over to Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, which offers a unique brunch experience with floral decorations and Japanese-inspired dishes.

Brunch Influenced by Japanese Cuisine

While brunch in Japan is generally inspired by western cuisine, several Japanese-inspired dishes have also made their way into brunch menus. For instance, you can find a dish known as “Okonomiyaki Eggs Benedict” on the Eggs ‘n Things menu, which is a twist on the classic eggs benedict. Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese savory pancake that is now becoming a brunch staple in Japan.

Another Japanese-inspired brunch dish is the “Matcha Pancakes,” which feature fluffy green tea-infused pancakes served with sweet red bean paste and whipped cream. You can find these pancakes at several cafes across Japan, especially in Kyoto, which is known for its matcha flavor.


So, to answer the question, “Is brunch a thing in Japan?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” While brunch is a relatively new concept in Japan, it is fast becoming a popular trend among locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a classic eggs benedict or a Japanese-inspired breakfast dish, Japan has something to offer in its brunch scene.

With several brunch spots serving up delicious meals and unique experiences, make sure to add brunch to your list of must-try food experiences in Japan.

The Brunch Culture in Japan

Brunch is a popular meal in many countries, and Japan is no exception. Although the traditional Japanese breakfast consisting of rice, miso soup, grilled fish, and other dishes, is still widely popular, the concept of brunch has been gradually gaining popularity in Japan. Let’s delve deeper into the brunch culture in Japan.

What is Brunch?

Brunch is typically a mix of breakfast and lunch, and is usually consumed around mid-morning to early afternoon. It is a meal that is often enjoyed on weekends and holidays, and is popular for being a leisurely affair that allows one to savour the food and create a relaxed atmosphere.

Where to have Brunch in Japan?

There are many places to enjoy brunch in Japan. From trendy cafes to renowned hotels, brunch options are plentiful. Tokyo, being the largest city in Japan, has the most diverse brunch scene, where cafes and restaurants offer a mix of traditional Japanese and Western brunch dishes.

Popular Brunch Dishes in Japan

Brunch in Japan offers a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Some popular brunch dishes you can find in Japan include breakfast bowls, pancakes, French toasts, eggs Benedict, waffles, omelets, sandwiches, and soups. Many of these dishes come with a Japanese twist, often using local ingredients and flavors.

Japanese Brunch Traditions

Japan has a rich culinary tradition, and brunch dishes often incorporate elements of the traditional Japanese cuisine. One example is “Asa Teishoku,” a type of Japanese breakfast set meal that comes with rice, miso soup, grilled fish, pickles, a small salad, and a boiled egg. Another example is “Niku-jaga,” a hearty meal consisting of potatoes, meat, and other vegetables.

The Brunch Scene in Tokyo

Tokyo has a vibrant brunch scene, with many cafes and restaurants offering unique brunch experiences. The city has numerous trendy cafes that offer a mix of Japanese and Western brunch dishes. Some of the popular brunch cafes in Tokyo include Bills, Beacon, and Sunday Brunch.

Brunch Etiquette in Japan

As with any culinary experience in Japan, there are certain etiquette rules to follow when enjoying brunch. It is customary to say “itadakimasu” before the meal and “gochisousama deshita” after the meal. Additionally, it is polite to wait for everyone to be served before starting the meal and to refrain from making loud noises.

Benefits of Brunch in Japan

Brunch in Japan is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. It offers a relaxed atmosphere where one can enjoy a variety of dishes and converse with people. It is also a chance to discover new types of cuisine and ingredients.


It is safe to say that brunch is indeed a thing in Japan. The brunch culture has been gradually gaining popularity, and it is evident in the many cafes and restaurants that now offer brunch options. With its unique blend of traditional Japanese and Western dishes, brunch in Japan offers a unique culinary experience that is definitely worth trying.

Brunch Culture in Japan

Despite being influenced by western culture, Japan has its own unique dining habits. The concept of brunch, as we know it, is not entirely widespread in Japan, but there are a few places where you can enjoy a relaxing late morning meal with friends and family.

Brunch in Tokyo

Tokyo, being the cosmopolitan city that it is, offers a variety of brunch options to its locals and tourists. Many international hotels and cafes in popular areas such as Shibuya and Harajuku feature brunch menus on weekends.

One such cafe is the infamous Bills Tokyo, known for its fluffy pancakes, has become a popular brunch destination for locals. Over the years, Bills have expanded branches across the Tokyo area, emphasizing the Australian brunch experience.

Another notable place is the Claska Hotel, where guests can enjoy a buffet-style brunch with a scenic view overlooking Tokyo.

Brunch in Kyoto

Kyoto is known for its traditional and cultural roots, and brunch options reflect that. Unlike Tokyo, it’s harder to come across brunch options in Kyoto. However, the few brunch places that do exist stand out with their locally sourced ingredients and traditional cultural experience

The Wagyumafia cafe offers a luxurious brunch experience with a Japanese twist. The cafe is known for its signature “Wagyu Katsu Sando”, a sandwich featuring a deep-fried Japanese Wagyu steak cutlet, served between two slices of bread.

An alternative destination, Cafe Bibliotec Hello!, is a charming, cozy space with an extensive brunch menu featuring traditional Japanese breakfast options, such as “Natto” and “Fish rice.”

Local Brunch Culture

Although brunch is not a common term used in Japan, locals still practice a similar type of dining custom. The country is known for a popular meal similar to Brunch called “Asa-gohan,” which translates to “morning meal.”

Asa-gohan consists of traditional Japanese breakfast items such as miso soup, rice, eggs, and grilled fish. The meal usually comprises light portions, making it an ideal brunch substitute for those looking for a healthy alternative.

Japanese Brunch Options Location Price Range (JPY)
Bills Tokyo Shibuya, Harajuku, Yokohama 2000-3000
Claska Hotel Meguro, Tokyo 3500-4500
Wagyumafia cafe Kyoto 3000-4000
Cafe Bibliotec Hello! Kyoto 1500-2000

Social Media Brunch Craze in Japan

Over the years, Brunch has gained popularity in Japan thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram, which features aesthetically pleasing photos of brunch meals in Japan. The Instagram captions that accompany these photos give restaurant recommendations, making it more accessible for locals and tourists to explore the brunch options in Japan.

The brunch offerings in Japan may not be as extensive as they are in western countries, but the dining experiences can be unique and memorable. Brunch in Japan is not just a meal but is also a fusion of traditional Japanese culture and modern western influence.

Tokyo Brunch
Source: https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?q=Tokyo+Brunch&pid=Api

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Brunch, the Fusion of Cultures

Now you know the answer to the question: is brunch a thing in Japan? The truth is that the culture surrounding this meal is relatively new in Japan, but it’s catching on fast. Even though it might not be a traditional Japanese meal, it’s still a great way to enjoy a combination of different flavors from around the world. So, whether you’re in Tokyo, Osaka, or any other city in Japan, don’t hesitate to try out brunch. You won’t regret it! Thanks for reading our article and we hope to see you again soon!

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