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Keto Diet While Traveling in Japan

Fuji Mountain near sight.

Table of Contents

Keto Traveling in Japan 

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan with my parents and siblings. It was a great but challenging experience for me as a keto dieter. Japan has a lot of delicious food suitable for keto, especially if you love meat as much as I do. But this trip was unlike my usual solo travels, where I had more freedom and flexibility.

My dad is a big fan of joining tours organized by agencies with everything planned for you. That means we had to follow their schedule and destinations and eat their arranged food. The program was very tight and hectic. My main challenge on this tour was to stick to my keto diet. This is how I survived on keto while traveling on a bus tour in Japan. Read on to learn more about my adventure.


Supplement I bring over to Japan while traveling

  • Salts

  • Magnesium

    Whey Protein in travel pack.

  • Whey Protein in a travel pack. Very convenient. 

How I do the keto diet while traveling with the bus tour

Before anything else, I told my tour guide that I would like to have my meal with salt only, mainly meat and no rice. Most of the time, they replaced the rice with vegetables or a few more pieces of meat. They usually tried their best to accommodate me, but sometimes it didn’t work out well. That’s when whey protein or convenience stores came in handy.


Hotel Buffet

Hotel buffet might not impress you. Since I was following a tour agency, I stayed in a hotel with a complimentary breakfast. Out of 7 days, only one day was not a buffet. Since it didn’t suit my diet, I easily skipped breakfast. In the hotel restaurant, keto-friendly foods included eggs and salad. Sometimes, I had mackerel saba fish.


The eggs were the best—scrambled, hard-boiled, and Japanese-style hot spring “onsen” eggs. Easy peasy, I always took at least ten eggs in the morning. I ate as much as possible for breakfast, so I could skip meals easily if needed.


crabs in buffet restaurant in japan
Big steamed crabs in buffet restaurant.

There were two nights when I stayed in an Onsen (hot spring) resort. We had a Japanese style buffet dinner at the hotel. Check out the photo above; there was a night; not only did we have a buffet, but we also had complimentary big crab legs. See how many crabs we had for a table of 4 people.


Convenience stores investigation

Salad and proteins are arranged in one section at Japanese convenience store.
Protein and salad section in Japan convenience store.

Most stores were family mart, 7-11, or Lawson. Convenience stores were everywhere; I even found one inside a hotel. Before going to Japan, I checked the internet about traveling to Japan. However, some info presented might not be 100% correct. Yes, these were keto-friendly, and carbs were very low. However, you had to dig hard for a 100% keto-friendly ingredient.


Based on other bloggers’ recommendations, which were chicken breast, nuts, cheese, jerky, and chocolate. Let me break down what I found; please read carefully. Luckily, I can read some katakana, hiragana, and kanji. 


Nutrition facts of chicken breast bought in convenience store.
Chicken Breast from Family Mart
I am holding a packaged Chicken Breast bought from the Family Mart Japan
Chicken Breast in Family Mart Japan
  • Chicken Breast

For your info, the package said it contained egg, dairy, wheat, bean, and chicken breast. I am usually very sensitive to food. However, I tried the chicken breast. It was 100% fine for me.


  • Beef Jerky


Some bloggers mentioned that beef jerky in stores was keto-friendly; I found it contained sugar. So, I skipped it.


  • Yakitori
    Meat section in Convenience store. Mostly empty.
    Meat section in Convenience store. Mostly empty.

This was very keto-friendly. Yakitori was made of chicken on a skewer. Many bloggers mentioned Yakitori. Okay. Most stores I visited were either unavailable or entirely out of stock. May be wrong timing? I didn’t have a chance to try this.

  • Cheese

Cheese from the Seven Eleven in Japan
Cheese from the Seven Eleven in Japan
Cheese bought at the convenience store japan
Cheese bought at the convenience store japan

There are variety of cheese. The cheeses taste good.

  • Chocolate


I found no keto-friendly chocolate, as mentioned by other sources. 


Stone grill meal set

Lunch Set. Stone grilling with the egg, meat and vegetables.
Meal 1: Stone grilling with the egg, meat and vegetables.
Stone bbq set in Japan Restaurant
Meal 2: Stone BBQ set Japan
stone bbq with meat in japan
Meal 2: Stone BBQ with meat in japan

Set meal comes with a mini BBQ on the tabletop, using stones as the grill. The green thing you see is Konjac.  I didn’t eat the fish on the table. The fish seems coated with sweet sauce and sugar. But don’t worry; my family finished it for me.  


Shabu-shabu or Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki, similar to Shabu-shabu. Free flow meat.

 I went to an all-you-can-eat place where I had one hour to enjoy as much japan beef and pork belly slices as I wanted. I ate more meat than anyone else in the group. I like this type of food because it fits my keto diet. Shabu-shabu and sukiyaki are similar dishes where you cook thin slices of meat and vegetables in broth. If you want to try them, ask for a keto-friendly broth or plain water. I shared this pot with my nephew. 


Yakiniku (The Japanese BBQ)

Grilling beef and pork at Yakiniku buffet restaurant.

I thought I was taking a break from cooking. We went to Yakiniku in the Gifu area. Yaki means roasted, and Niku means meat. It is a Japanese-style barbecue where you grill your meat and vegetables on a tabletop. You can grill octopus, chicken, pork, and beef.


Everything you get is in its purest form; most of them are not marinated. I mostly ate beef, especially the Hida Beef famous in Gifu. I also tried the beef marinated with miso, and it was delicious. I ate a lot of beef and some pork belly. I skipped the veggie.


Yakitori (Grilled Chicken skewers)

Yakitori is grilled chicken skewers usually seasoned with salt or sauce, which you can find on street stalls. If you go to Japan, choose the salt-seasoned Yakitori over the sauce-coated one. Sorry guys, I forgot to take photos. Yakitori is very easy to find.


What other keto-friendly foods have I tried? 

 Sashimi, Miso soup, salad, and finally just a couple of sushi (yes, I just ate two for the whole trip).



Japan is one of my favorite countries for keto food. Japanese dishes are straightforward and tasty to me. Most of the meat in the BBQ and hot pot is not marinated. It is even easier to eat keto in Japan than in my home country. Well, here are some of my keto choices in Japan: salt-seasoned Yakitori, convenience store food, sukiyaki, Japanese buffet, shabu-shabu, sashimi, and yakiniku. 


This article is based on my experience rather than professional advice. There might be more foods out there that are keto-friendly for others. If you tried eating keto in Japan or any other diet, let me know below how you managed to eat what suits you best. Tell me your experience following a tour guide trip too. 


Japan is very awesome place to travel. I want to do it again next time, traveling to Japan without the tour agency. Yeah, unless I travel with my dad again. 


In the future, I will talk about how to eat keto while traveling in my hometown, Malaysia, soon from my perspective. Stay tuned.



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