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I'm planning a trip to Japan in a couple months.

Here in Korea, shops and restaurants often don't open until late morning--even most coffee shops aren't open for breakfast. The main exceptions are places like convenience stores and McDonald's. As much as I enjoy a McMuffin, I don't want to eat one every day that I'm in Japan.

Are there places open for breakfast in Japan? Or should I look into reserving a room in a hotel that includes breakfast?


When I travel, I like to try the local food. And I don't usually eat big breakfasts, but I like to have something to carry me through until I find lunch/my next meal--especially since I may not be on my regular schedule or know when I'll be eating again. It's difficult to enjoy a trip with a growling stomach.

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    Having to get out to get your breakfast is a huge waste of time, you're much better off eating a decent breakfast in a hotel. – Count Iblis Nov 17 '16 at 22:21
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    @CountIblis It depends how you travel. If you don't want a big breakfast, grabbing a quick croissant or danish and coffee at a coffee shop can be much faster and cheaper than a full breakfast at a hotel. I'd say it's a matter of personal preference. – Zach Lipton Nov 18 '16 at 0:00
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    @CountIblis The OP is asking about Japan, where eating yesterday's supermarket bread for 2 of your 3 meals would mean missing out on a whole lot of incredible food. – jpatokal Nov 18 '16 at 3:30
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    You may want to rethink your idea of breakfast at McDonald's in Japan. – fkraiem Nov 18 '16 at 3:36
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    @CountIblis I typically see Hotels charging ridiculous amounts for breakfast, which,if staying in a city, can be gotten much better and cheaper in many nearby cafes, or much quicker buy buying on the move pastries for a tenth or less of the price of the Hotel breakfast. – CMaster Nov 18 '16 at 13:24
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Yes, there are tons of places open for breakfast in any Japanese city. In particular, cafes open early and nearly always offer a Western-style "morning set" (モーニングセット) usually consisting of toast, eggs and coffee. Here's the morning menu at Doutor, one of the larger chains, but local mom-and-pop cafes also have similar offerings.

A "proper" full American/English breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes etc) is harder to find in Japan. Outside large Western hotels where you'll pay through the nose, your best bet is likely family restaurants (ファミレス famiresu), some of which open early and offer this. Denny's, in particular, is ubiquitous and does a reasonable facsimile for 500 yen and up: http://www.dennys.jp/menu/select-morning/

If you're looking for a more local experience, Japanese fast food chains like Yoshinoya also open early and serve Japanese-style breakfasts, typically rice, miso soup and grilled fish (search for 朝食). Just beware the raw egg, which you're supposed to stir into your rice, and the little plastic pack of natto (fermented soybeans), which most non-Japanese find tough going, particularly first thing in the morning. Or if you're an adventurous eater, go to your local market and have raw fish for breakfast with the fishermen!

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    Great suggestion about the fishermen. One friend of mine did it and said it's an awesome experience. – Itai Nov 18 '16 at 5:47
  • Thanks for the suggestions, but I'll skip the fish market. Not a fan of fish in raw or cooked forms. Blech. >.< – miltonaut Nov 18 '16 at 11:59
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    hi @miltonaut, hmm, it's a shame you don't enjoy fish - Japan is the home of fish cuisine and almost everything there is a bit fish based. Perhaps you will learn to enjoy fish, when in Japan. – Fattie Nov 18 '16 at 12:49
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    Interesting, I rarely found anything that looked like a proper western style breakfast in my travels in Japan. Often if I had a hankering for hearty eggs, I had to wait until the afternoon for オムライス omelette places to open. – Paul Nov 19 '16 at 0:23
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    @Paul You should have headed to the nearest famiresu! Added this to my answer. – jpatokal Nov 19 '16 at 4:16
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You can always go to nearest 24x7 "kombini" and buy obento in Japan.

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In the neighborhoods which have a subway or rail stop there are many places which serve breakfast items just outside the stations. I tried everything from pastry filled with egg, cheese, ham and other foods popular to Westerners, as well as fish and sushi. Eggs are very popular.

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