We recently travelled to Tokyo, Japan and we were a little concerned about how we were going to maintain keto in Japan. We did have some struggles, but we also found some excellent keto options. During our travels in Tokyo, we spent 2 days at Disney and visited both Disneyland and DisneySea. We also did a day trip to Hakone and spent a few days exploring Tokyo. We really enjoyed seeking out the best keto in Japan options.
Tips for keto in Japan
- The convenience stores will become your best friend.
- Take lots of your favourite keto snacks. We took nut butters, nuts, chocolate and even some olives.
- Be prepared to order meals that have carbs like rice and noodles and just leave them on the plate. With the language barrier, we decided it was much easier and less offensive to order a meal as is and leave any of the carbs on the plate.
- Breakfast options seem to be very carb heavy. Lots of bakeries and on the go type breakfasts that you grab with your coffee. I would consider adding a western buffet breakfast to your accommodation so you can fill up on bacon and eggs before you head off exploring for the day.
As mentioned above, the Japanese convenience store will become your best friend. We went into most of them and they all had varying good keto options.
You will want to look out for the following stores:
- Natural Lawsons (Which was a more health food based version of Lawsons)
- Family Mart
We found some excellent keto friendly options in all of these convenience stores. We found it really helpful to grab some boiled eggs and have these for breakfast with some deli meats. We found ham and salami and lots of different varieties of cheeses and enjoyed these with our boiled eggs each morning.
We also discovered lots of ready made salads in many of the convenience stores we went into. So if you needed a quick and easy keto lunch in Tokyo, I would recommend grabbing a ready made salad from these stores and enjoying one of the many parks within Tokyo. We went to Yoyogi and it was so peaceful in the middle of busy Tokyo.
Other great keto options we found in convenience stores included:
- Boiled eggs
- Ready made salads
- Kim chi
- Lindt 85% and 99% chocolate
- Bulletproof coffee
- Unsweetened iced tea
- Cold brew coffee
- Sparkling mineral water
We also loved the variety of keto friendly drinks in the convenience stores. I absolutely fell in the love with unsweetened iced teas. They had so many different varieties. I tried green tea, jasmine tea, rooibos, oolong, and a rooibos with chai. I have been inspired to make my own version of some of these iced teas since coming home.
There was also some great flavoured sparkling mineral waters. We tried grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange.
Tsukiji Outer markets – Tokyo
The Tsukiji outer markets were originally part of the fish markets where the famous tuna auctions happen. The fish markets have since moved to a new location. There was some concerns that the Tsukiji outer markets may not be able to survive when the fish market moved. This is definitely no longer a concern. These street food markets are a tourist attraction in their own right.
We headed there around 9am. We were easily able to navigate the subway system from Shinjuku and by the time we arrived the market was in full swing. Tsukiji outer market was the place we saw the most tourists. Even more so than Disneyland.
It was also the place we found the best keto friendly options. We wandered around the market for over an hour, trying all the wonderful keto food we could find.
We tried some of the following:
- Oysters. The one I had was so big I was worried I wouldn’t be able to have it all in one bite.
- Baby octopus on a stick
- Scallops on a stick
- Egg Omelette
- Iced matcha (unsweetened)
- Grilled tuna skewers
We also saw some other great keto options but we just could not possibly fit in any more. These are other things we found at the market:
- Chicken on a stick (Yakitori)
- Grilled steaks (Wagyu and Kobe)
- Shrimps and prawns
- Berries. The white strawberries are famous here. Be aware you will definitely be paying a premium. The ones we saw were $20AUD
If you want to check out us trying some of the amazing food we found at Tsujiki outer market, check out the video below.
We were lucky enough on this trip to spend 2 days at Disney in Tokyo Bay. We stayed at the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay. It was conveniently located close to the 2 parks and allowed us to get to the park early and come back for a break when needed.
We spent one day at Disneyland and one day at DisneySea. I would say DisneySea was my favourite of the two parks. As we were there for 2 days, we hoped we would be able to find some keto friendly options.
Inside the 2 parks we found:
- Smoked turkey legs
- Smoked spicy chicken legs
- Sausage on a “bone”. It was really just a cheese kransky style sausage on a stick
The saviour for us was the shopping centre, Ikspiari, located near the train station. We found a wonderful supermarket that we were able to grab breakfast supplies from each day. There was also lots of restaurants in that shopping centre.
You may find it better to structure your day around having dinner at the shopping centre if possible.
Best Keto Restaurant Options
As we spent 3 nights of our 8 nights in Japan in the Disneyland area we didn’t have a lot of opportunities to sample keto meals in Tokyo. We did get to try sukiyaki, sashimi and yakitori.
One of the meals we definitely wanted to try whilst in Tokyo was sukiyaki. We did some research to find the best place near our accommodation in Shinjuku and we came up with Sukiyaki Ibuki. It was a tiny place, run by an older Japanese lady. We absolutely loved this place and it was the highlight of our trip.
We arrived around 5:30pm, without a booking. We were REALLY lucky that they were able to fit us in. We were told we only had an hour, which was fine with us.
if you aren’t aware, sukiyaki is generally, wagyu beef, a broth and some vegetables all cooked in the pan right at your table. It really is all part of the experience, having it cooked in front of you. Once it is ready, you then dip it in some beaten raw egg and eat.
We are aware that the broth was likely to have some sugar and sweetness. When travelling we tend to not sweat sauces and marinades too much and enjoy the experience. This dish was also served with noodles, we just left them in the pan.
Another great keto friendly option is Yakitori. This is usually protein on a stick. Traditionally, I think it is chicken. We tried some from one of the department stores.
We also found a wonderful place on our last night, Yakitori alley. Unfortunately, we had already eaten, but we would definitely have had yakitori here if we found it sooner. We walked through on a Saturday night and it was definitely a lively place to be.
Some of the keto friendly options that I wish we had the chance to try are a good wagyu steak, Japanese BBQ and sashimi that wasn’t from the supermarket. We also saw Korean BBQ, which would be another great keto choice.
If you are planning a trip to Japan, we hope you found some great keto friendly options to help you navigate keto in Japan. let us know in the comments below, what your favourite Japanese keto friendly options are.