Gyudon – Japan’s essential budget meal


Gyudon is to Japanese people what the burger is to Americans. Or what a fish and chips are to the British. Cheap, fatty and quick, they make for great food for those on the go who don’t want to spend too much. Gyudon, sometimes known in English as beef bowl, is a simple Japanese bowl of rice topped with beef and onion that has been simmered in a mildly sweet sauce.

Price: From 240 yen (about $2)

Name in Japanese: Gyudon/ぎゅうどん/牛丼

Where can I buy it?

Gyudon restaurants are everywhere and are very easy to find. The cheapest chains are Matsuya (松屋), Yoshinoya (吉野屋) and Sukiya (すき屋). Matsuya is the cheapest, but most people say Yoshinoya and Sukiya taste better. Here are the what the shops look like:


Just have a look for these, or ask someone where gyudon is, and it’s probably a 10 second walk away!

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict