“Donburimono” – Japan’s fast food!

“Donburimono” is a simple Japanese dish where rice and ingredients are served in a bowl of about 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) wide called “Donburi”. It is also called “Donmono” for short sometimes. There are a variety of toppings from fish to meat. Many of them are reasonably priced, ranging from 500 yen to 1,000 yen for one, which makes it popular among tourists as well.

Standard Donburimono
Clockwise from top left, gyudon, oyakodon, katsudon and tendon

Especially popular in Japan is “gyudon”, which is thinly sliced beef and onions cooked in a salty-sweet broth on top of rice. Other standard menu items include “oyakodon” (chicken mixed with egg), “katsudon” (pork cutlet mixed with egg) and “tendon” (tempura with sauce).

Takeout service and ticket machines
Takeout gyudon (left) and a ticket machine (right)

These donburimono are readily available all over Japan as Japanese fast food. You can eat them at Japanese diners, restaurants specializing in donburimono as well as noodle restaurants or stands at the station and rest stops on the highway. Some stores of major restaurant chains have a takeout service so you can eat it outside of the restaurant.

Some restaurants take orders using a ticket machine. It is easy to use, but you need cash in Japanese yen. Firstly, insert money and then push the button of the meal you want to order and the meal ticket will come out. You just need to give the ticket to the restaurant staff to complete your order. Some ticket machines do not accept 10,000 yen or 5,000 yen bills, so if this is the case you can ask the restaurant staff to change it for you. Be careful not to forget to get your change.

Donburimono is one of the most popular meals among Japanese people which can be easily enjoyed and is reasonably priced. Try and enjoy a variety of items at different places in Japan.