Hello, everyone! I’m Ayumi, your favorite otaku writer here on MANGA.TOKYO, and in case you didn’t know it, I LOVE anime food! I have been drooling over our very own Anime Recipes for a long time and I always try to find the dishes I see in my favorite series.
You can enjoy a lot of these foods at convenience stores but sometimes you want to have the same experience as the characters in the anime. That’s why I decided to write these guide articles about anime and food. We already have Otaku Travel, but I will try to focus on where you can find the most famous dishes you see in anime when you visit Japan.
My first article is about the famous katsudon from Yuri!!! on ICE, one of the most popular anime of the Fall 2016 season.
Soft eggs, browned onions, thick tonkatsu, rice soaked in soup stock… It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Where in Japan can you enjoy katsudon? Let’s see!
Katsudon at Convenience Stores
Katsudon is a very popular food in Japan, so you can find it in every convenience store. You must reheat it in the microwave and for a convenience store meal it is very tasty. The eggs and meats get a little hard, but you get what you paid for.
Convenience store katsudon is a temporary solution that works well for certain occasions, like when you just need to have it at midnight. But I have to say this: the katsudon that Yuri and Victor eat is not even close. In that katsudon the eggs are melting and the meat is juicy.
Katsudon at a Chain Store
This chain store specializes in katsu. You can find it everywhere from Hokkaido in the north to Kagoshima in the south, and it even has overseas branches. The dishes here are around the same price as at a convenience store for about 490 yen, but the katsudon is fresh. Since it specializes in katsu, the meat is thick and yummy! Some places are open until midnight. There are branches in Asia such as in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea too, so it’s good that you can eat it outside Japan.
This place mainly serves udon and beef bowls but they have katsudon too. It’s famous for having voice actress Nana Mizuki as their poster girl. You can eat katsudon for about 590 yen and you can also hear Mizuki-san’s advertisement voice inside the shop so you get two-for-one [laugh] The katsudon here has soft eggs. The meat might be a little thin, but I didn’t mind since it was fried crisply.
Nakau is a cheap chain shop whose katsudon is a little better that the one you’ll find in a convenience store. You can usually find their stores near hotels!
Katsudon at a Diner and Soba Noodle Shop
This katsudon is the second best you can possibly eat. If you go to a shop that mainly deals in soba (In the Kanto region) or udon (in the Kansai region) they will probably have katsudon on the menu. Katsudon is a national food and you almost never have to wonder if the menu of a Japanese restaurant will have it or not.
I’m sure you have seen soba and udon shops in the anime you watch. They are these restaurants with the weird half curtain that hang from the top. It may seem difficult to go inside at first, but they will welcome you happily most of the time so go in with courage! If it has a shop curtain like this, it means that they are open.
Katsudon in Karatsu Where Yuri ON ICE Takes Place
Yuri!!! on ICE took place in a city called Karatsu located in Saga prefecture. To get there from Tokyo or Osaka, you can fly to Fukuoka airport, then catch a train or bus for about an hour and a half.
‘Kagamiyama Onsen Chaya Bijin no Yu’ was the model for Yuri’s home, and the katsudon they serve is also the original katsudon that Yuri and Victor were eating!
Details here→ http://www.karatsu-kankou.jp/spots/detail/11 （Karatsu city sightseeing website）
You can’t exactly say that ‘just an hour and a half from Fukuoka airport’ is close enough just to have some katsudon, but it’s a holy place for fans where you can see the coast and the Karatsu castle that was in the anime, so it’s worth visiting. (I wanna go too!) You can have katsudon, experience Karatsu-Yaki and get to know about Japanese culture!
The website is available in English too, so you can use it to make plans for your travel.
Official site→ http://www.karatsu-kankou.jp/en/
Katsudon Recipe to Try at Home
Difficulty: depends on how well you can cook
For those of you who have no plans to go to Japan, but want to eat katsudon, let’s make it!
This article from our Anime Recipes column will take you step by step in creating an amazing katsudon!
How to Make Devilish Katsu-Don | Yuri!!! on ICE
If you can’t eat pork, you can use chicken instead and it will still be delicious!I like chicken better personally since it has less fat. It might be difficult to fry the katsu but it might be easier to understand by thinking of it like frying chicken.
This recipe was made so that even people who are living alone can easily whip it up. You can do it right away if you prepare the ingredients! Share your pictures of your katsudon in the comments below!
I want you to try Yuri’s favourite food whether or not you plan on visiting Japan. Yurio’s grandpa even made a katsudon piroshki! I got very hungry while writing this article, so maybe I will seize the chance and cook some katsudon tonight. I’m going to be back with more anime food articles, so keep an eye on MANGA.TOKYO’s homepage!