Like any red blooded American, I love pizza. In fact back in my school days, I was in the pizza club. So let me tell you, pizza in Japan is… an adventure.
Let me start with the good news. pizza is very popular in Japan. You can find frozen pizza in the supermarket and most cities, even small ones, will have quite a few pizza places. Delivery is very common and many places even offer the option to order online. The bad news? Prices in Japan are insane. The cost of a pizza in Japan, without any deals or coupons will easily be three times what that same pizza would be in America. But, the biggest difference, are the toppings.
The Japanese put insane things on their pizza. Corn, mayonnaise, potatoes, rice balls, egg (soft boiled), squid, pretty much anything that shouldn’t be on a pizza, the Japanese will put on a pizza. Just check out the menu at popular pizza place Aoki’s. In Japan it seems that as soon as they figure out how to make a really good pizza they decide to throw corn on it.
There are three major American pizza places in Japan: Pizza Hut, Dominos and Shakeys pizza.
Pizza Hut has many types of Japanese style pizzas, but they also have quite a few American style pizzas. Best of all the signature Pizza Hut style crust is same in Japan as it is in America, so if you ever want an American style Pizza Hut pizza in Japan, Pizza Hut is the place to go. Sadly, the prices are very high and it is hard to find one once you get out of the major cities, but it is well worth it. If you are able to find one, try the hot dog crust, they have in Japan. It’s… interesting.
Dominos is about the same as Pizza Hut. The taste is about the same as you would have in the US, and they do have a few American style pizzas along with their multiple Japanese style offerings. The best thing about Dominos though, is that not only can you order pizza online, but you can order pizza online and in English. They have a special site for English speakers that offers multiple, and cheap, deals on pizzas. Check it out here.
Most likely, although all American readers have heard of Pizza Hut and Dominos, a lot of you readers have never heard of Shakeys. Shakeys is a California based pizzeria that specializes in a sit down, restaurant experience. In Japan it is famous for it’s cheap all you can eat pizza buffet. The weekday lunch buffet is ?690 and very delicious. Sadly, Shakeys are very rare outside of the Kanto region and aren’t on any of the other islands. If you have chance, you should definitely check it out.
Do you have other pizza recommendations? Please write them in the comments section!