We like to think of ourselves as food adventurers, but some strange Japanese food and drink proves that we’re not as open minded as we thought. Check out 12 bizarre Japanese food & drinks… most of which we’re shamed to admit that we’re afraid to try.

Wasabi Beer

A nice cold beer sounds great after a hard day, but wasabi beer sounds less than refreshing.

Octopus Ice Cream

If you thought Japanese red bean ice cream was weird then you should try Octopus ice cream.

Okonomiyaki (Japesene Pancakes)

Okonomiyaki, known as Japanese pancakes or as Japanese pizza isn’t really much like either. Made with batter (hence the pancake reference) and covered with toppings (which may have inspired the pizza connection) Okonomiyaki is usually topped with ingredients like cabbage, vegetables, mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce which tastes sort of like Worcestershire. But really, they can have anything you want since the name literally means “what you want”.

Cubic Watermelons

Square Watermelons were created to save space and become so popular that they cost around 10000 YEN for one (that’s around $100).

Canned Bread

If you thought sliced bread was convenient then get a load of canned bread, available in vending machines across Japan.

BM Coffee

If you thought Pocari Sweat was weird, then you’ve never tried BM coffee. We really don’t want to know what’s in this stuff, says Charles from Cuppabean.

Colon Snacks

Possibly to go with your BM coffee, Colon snacks are unfortunately named, but very tasty snacks.

Placenta 10000 Jelly Drink

Jelly drinks are strange enough to Americans, but Placenta 10000 isn’t just unfortunately named… it contains actual pig placenta. Apparently it’s healthy and tastes like peaches.


A favorite in Japan, but not very popular among foreigners, natto looks like a pile of snot. It’s not much more appealing once you find out what it actually is… fermented soy beans.

Tamagogani – Dried Crabs

In Japan rather than crunching on potato chips, people crunch on dried hermit crabs called Tamagogani which roughly translates to “egg crab” or “baby crab”.

Basil Seed Drink

Generally in the US we like drinks that are refreshing and sweet and don’t look like they’re swarming with tadpoles, but that’s just us.

Wasp Crackers

Sure, the wasps in these crackers are already dead but how can you put something that stings you in your mouth and not be a little freaked out?

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  1. Vic

    Okonomiyaki is delicious!!!! It’s more like a frittata with barbecue sauce(if it’s made correctly). I get this @ every japanese restaurant if it is on the menu!

  2. LP


  3. whatthegeek

    Wasabi beer would be a GREAT prank on St Patrick’s day!

  4. Tsukuyomi

    Mmmm, pig placenta, my fave!

  5. Jaka Sembung

    How much is that cubic watermelon? It looks yummy!

  6. JD

    All of it sounds good! Square watermelons – who would have thought? Now I’m hungry.

  7. slimeyapple

    Five years ago, I found a bottle of the Basil Tea drink in Asian Markets here (California, USA). I had to buy it, and put it in my Mother in Law’s refrigerator for fun.

    I wonder if it is still in there…

  8. Carlos

    The writing on the can of basil seed juice is clearly Spanish.

  9. Ros

    A few years ago I made a trip to Japan… Okonomiyaki is delicious!!! (as Vic says) The one I ate was sold at a street cart, perfect late night dinner…
    I was willing to try everything (you don’t go to Japan often), so I tryed natto, WORST thing I ever tasted, you can’t wash the taste and smell of the scary goo. It´s like very angry smelly cheese gone bad…

  10. Katherine

    Everything is okay, except for the wasp crackers. And cubic watermelon isn’t really “bizarre”. All it is, is a watermelon in a cube-ish form.

  11. Cory

    I spent time in South Korea and saw Pocari Sweat all over the place, but was always afraid to try it. Turns out it’s pretty good…it replaces things you sweat out. Never felt like trying okonamiyaki, tho.

    Japanese canned coffees are incredible, too.

  12. Matthew Neer

    Well, I must say after looking over your enticing menu I would be down to try just about everything once except for the Wasp Crackers. That just can’t be healthy…

  13. jam

    wasps bite.

  14. Dexter Grey

    I used to live there, so lemme correct you:

    – Wasabi beer: novelty item. Unpopular.
    – ditto the octopus ice
    – Okonomiyaki is like an omelette. Get over it.
    – canned bread is not popular.
    – Square Melons are a novelty.
    – ditto placenta
    – Tamago crabs are not NEARLY as popular as potato chips
    – Basil seed drinks and wasp crackers are not even Japanese. Reporting weird news in interesting, but outright lying is inexcusable.

    – collon and natto are as reported. I love natto


  15. Yumi(Japanese


    I think OKONOMIYAKI & NATTO are very delicious.
    OKONOMIYAKI is not dessert,It is staple food.:)

    I don’t know about other foods.
    English is very difficult for me.
    If you can not understand easily , I’m sorry.

  16. TORO


  17. Wine Tasting Ca

    I am amazed to see that Japanese people are able to take all these food and drinks to their stomachs. As many people like me are thinking that they are totally uneatable thing but the Japanese surely love them. Thanks for posting and sharing it.

  18. Krimsonbutterfly

    I would so eat it all…..besides the wasp crackers, but that’s because I’v had insect sweets and they aren’t my thing…octopus ice-cream….hell yeah! Love wasabi the beer must taste a bit like guiness or savoury in that kind of way, gr8 with sushi i’m assuming 😛

  19. Amelia

    the basil seed drink is actually Taiwanese and it is not as gross as it looks. It’s got a nice herby flavor and is sweet with an almost vanilla undertone. I quite like it.

  20. hawkflame

    I’ll eat anything there except the wasp crackers. That’s where I draw the line.

  21. Desiree Clifton

    There’s some stuff I’d try on here like the optipus icecream, wasp crackers, basil seed drink, & dried crabs. But when it comes to eating something with a pig’s placenta or something’s poop in it, I draw the line. While I’ve always had an open mind, I don’t have a SICK one!!!!

  22. KadenMayStalk

    Hehe, sounds interesting, a bit of fun for the braver people amoung us!

  23. Nikoru

    Haha. This made me laugh. I’ve never met a Japanese person that has eaten wasp crackers, or octopus ice cream or wasabi beer. Okonomiyaki on the other hand is AMAZING and I’m not sure it’s in the right place here amongst the weird and wonderful. Natto is also tasty but I guess it’s kind of a marmite thing, even amongst Japanese people

  24. kelly

    Nice list! Crunchy baby crabs from Japan. Mostly, they taste like salt or very spicy (depending on flavours used). They’re not awful but the crunchiness was better than the taste. I remember feeling very thirsty after a few munches. There could be unlabelled aspartame in such foods.

  25. Jules

    Just picking on something here, but MAJOR typo for Okonomiyaki..I’ve never seen Japanese spelt Japesene before. Also, the literal translation for it would be “grill what you want” since Okonomi – “what you want” and yaki (or yaku) is “to grill”

  26. brioche

    The basil seed drink is actually a Thai product, and the cubed watermelons are for decoration only not intended for consumption.

  27. Kirisaki Chitoge

    Really Bizarre. That’s what Japanese foods are. (y) *_________*


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