Bizarre Japanese pizzas

You come to Japan, either to live or to visit. You try different Japanese foods for days, and think to yourself “today, I want something traditional, something comforting. Perhaps some junk food, even”. You decide to get some pizza, the default food for many who don’t want to think about what to eat. You go to a pizza shop or perhaps you visit Domino’s Pizza’s website or Pizza-la’s, a local chain. And there, finally ready to order, you see… potato pizza? Mayonnaise? Fish eggs? Squid? Seaweed? Avocado? Shrimp?

Japan loves putting its own unique spin on foreign dishes, to the point where the original dish becomes somewhat unrecognizable. And this is definitely most apparent with pizzas. They first became popular in the country in the 1950s, probably imported from the US and not Italy. Since then, pizzas are as popular here as anywhere else. However, Japan’s understanding of what constitutes a pizza seems to be “dough with absolutely anything on top”. So while people all around the world debate whether pineapple belongs on pizza or not, in Japan they are happily putting fish eggs and seaweed on them.

It’s certainly commendable to go out of your comfort zone and try out new things, all dished must have been discovered this way, after all. In Japan people seem very willing to experiment with pizzas. Sometimes it will work, and sometimes it won’t. I have to say though, one of the most disappointing things to ever happen to me in Japan is accidentally buying an Indian curry pizza that was on the Margherita pizza shelf by mistake. It took me three days to finish!

I consider myself to be quite open minded about foods and like to eat almost anything. However, I tend to like my pizzas more traditional. I have nothing against Japanese style pizzas, but it can be a bit disappointing when 90% of what’s available has toppings most people for overseas would consider… exotic. Or when you’re invited to a pizza party and there is no traditional pizzas (true story). Margheritas are still very popular, so those are your best bet if you’re not in the mood for Japanese style ones. Or you can always choose your own toppings. If you’re the type to who likes to try out new things, you will certainly never run out of new Japanese pizzas to munch out on.


Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” “, by all means contact me about anything!


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