Tickle your tastebuds in Tokyo — Part II

You’ve certainly heard how tasty and healthful Japanese food is — the secret to the Japanese people living longer than the rest of the world. In a day or simply a meal, a healthy Japanese diet can comprise modest servings of more than 15 different foods.

Shojin ryori.

I always advise my athletes to carry their own food and equipment. The best practice is to interact with the same kind of foods that you were consuming while training and practising. Trying with new cuisines without proper guidance can sometimes prove to be detrimental to an athlete’s performance. That said, you’ve certainly heard how tasty and healthful Japanese food is – the secret to the Japanese people living longer than the rest of the world. According to research, the average Japanese life expectancy is over 80 years, and Japanese people have the world’s lowest obesity rate. In a day or simply a meal, a healthy Japanese diet may comprise modest servings of more than 15 different foods. Noodles, fish, legumes, shellfish and meat may be included, along with a small amount of rice and vegetables.

Athletes while travelling for the Olympics can look to add the following dishes to their diet.

Please keep in mind that some of these recipes may not appeal to you because they need an acquired taste, but they are worth trying for their incredible health advantages.

Shojin ryori

Shojin ryori is a customary lunch served to Buddhist monks that is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly since it does not contain fish, meat or other animal products. Shojin ryori adheres to the “rule of five,” providing the five colours (white, black, red, yellow and green) as well as the five flavours (umami, bitter, salty, sour, sweet), which makes it a really flavourful dish.


Sukiyaki (Japanese hot pot) is a traditional Japanese cuisine served throughout the fall and winter seasons. It is a popular home-cooked meal that may also be seen on the menus of local Japanese restaurants. A variety of ingredients are cooked together in an old-fashioned way in sukiyaki pot. Beef, tofu, noodles, mushroom and green onion are among the ingredients.

Light ramen.


Light ramen

Many people are probably unaware of this notion, but there are ramen alternatives that aren’t your standard heavy, fatty, tonkotsu-based bowls of deliciousness. Ramen may be prepared in a lighter broth with less oil and may contain more vegetables than a traditional bowl.

Soba noodles

Noodles are a mainstay in Japan, and there are several types to choose from, including ramen and udon. Instead, go for soba noodles if you want to eat healthy. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and resemble spaghetti. They’re not only more flavourful, but also higher in vitamins, minerals and proteins. They also contain rutin, which is known to aid in anti-ageing and blood pressure reduction. Soba noodles can be eaten either hot or cold, with a dipping sauce to complement the flavour. They can sometimes be added to your soup to make it more filling.




If you are a vegan, you must try this dish of baby soyabeans roasted and served in their pods. Edamame offers more protein than lentils, black beans or chickpeas in a one-cup meal. It’s also high in amino acids and fibre, making it helpful for weight loss. Boiled edamame can be served as a small snack or appetiser before the main entrée.


This Japanese meal bursts with a variety of tastes and fragrances. It is a delicious broth of veggies, fish and pork. Carrots, radish, boiled eggs and potatoes, salmon, tofu and other softly flavoured vegetables are common ingredients in oden. Oden is free of fats and has a variety of nutrients that keep blood pressure and cholesterol in balance.

Sweet potatoes.


Sweet potatoes

Packaged, dried, soft sweet potato strips can be found at supermarkets and convenience stores. As a packaged snack, crunchy, round chips are also available. However, sugar is frequently added to these packaged versions, so check the ingredients list. If you’re cooking sweet potatoes yourself, keep the temperature low to bring out the sweetness.


Konnyaku has a rubbery texture and no flavour. It is frequently cooked with broth or formed into soft noodles because of its bland flavour. This superfood is reported to have zero calories, making it ideal for those trying to lose weight. Konnyaku is commonly used to relieve constipation and decrease cholesterol levels since it is high in dietary fibre.

READ | Tickle your tastebuds in Tokyo — Part I


Tofu is a mainstay of traditional as well as modern Japanese cuisine. It is high in protein, which makes it an excellent alternative to meat. From silky to fried pieces, tofu comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame is a common ingredient in Japan and one of the oldest cooking condiments. It is well-known for its anti-ageing properties and also helps in preventing cancer, regulating blood pressure and constipation.