Japanese Pizza

19 01 2012

Japan isn’t just a different place than America, it’s a different world.  Nowhere does that become clearer than when ordering pizza.  While in America we expect a saucy pie dripping in cheese and covered with meats and/ or veggies, Japanese pizza is the exact polar opposite.  Most Japanese pizzas have no sauce whatsoever.  The pizza pictured above has sauce on one side of it, a meat sauce.  That’s because half of it is beef stew pizza.  The other half is shrimp and asparagus.  Cheese is also an issue.  Ordering a pizza in Japan would make one assume there was massive cheese rationing going on.  Maybe they’re saving it all for a special occasion, like the Emperor’s Cheese Festival or something.  They’re certainly not using it for pizza.  Toppings are interesting as well.  Asparagus is very popular, as is thickly sliced garlic cloves.  It’s not uncommon to find tentacles on pizza, as  well as mayonnaise, and fried eggs.

In Japan, pizza is also very expensive.  Two sizes are usually available, medium and large.  Only, a Japanese medium pizza is the size of an American small, and large is the equivalent of an American medium.  Prices range from $26.00 for the medium (small) and up to $52.00 for a large (medium).  You have to really love pizza.

The main go to places for Pizza in the Tokyo area are Pizza-la, Pizza Hut, and Dominos; although there are smaller mom-and-pop style establishments.  There’s also a Shakey’s Pizza in Ikebukuro.  When I lived in Minnesota, my friends used to talk about going to Shakey’s pizza down by the University of Minnesota’s Dinkey Town area.  I never went.  I have, however, been to the Ikebukuro location and I highly recommend it.

There must be quite the western demand for pizza in Japan, because Domino’s has opened Japan’s first ever English language pizza website.  It’s quite the eye-opener.  I suggest to stop by for a look… but please, no prank deliveries to my house.  At $50 a pop, I can only afford to eat pizza once a month.



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