Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
Arts and Crafts
-
Entertainment
-
Etiquette
-
Food
-
History
-
Language
-
Photo Gallery
-
Religion
-
Tradition

Home - Food - Dishes
Gyudon

jump to:   links

Gyudon (beef bowl) is a popular domburi dish consisting of beef and onion served over a bowl of rice. The meat and onion are cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake giving the dish a sweet, salty flavour. Many chain restaurants (gyudon-ya) specialize in gyudon making it an informal, inexpensive dining option frequented by students, and ideally suited to travelers on a budget.

Typically, beni shoga (pickled red ginger) and shichimi (red chili mix) are available at the table and added to taste. Tofu or konnyaku (devil`s tongue) may be cooked along with the beef although these ingredients are more common in home recipes than at restaurants. Common restaurant additions are a beaten raw egg stirred into the finished product, or green onions sprinkled on top of the meat.

From left to right: beni shoga, soup, raw egg

Between 2004 and 2006, a Japanese ban on imported American beef drastically affected the production and sale of gyudon, causing upset among gyudon lovers. However, the ban increased the popularity and frequency of butadon and tondon, which are both pork variations of beef bowl.

Gyudon ya are numerous and often open 24 hours. These restaurants operate in one of two ways. Either a staff member takes one's order as usual, or the meal is paid for in advance at a vending machine located near the restaurant entrance.

A side bowl of miso soup may come with the meal or be offered in a combo set. Other side dishes are salad and kimchi. Tea and water are offered for free with refill jugs available on the table for customers to serve themselves.

Japan's three largest gyudon-ya chains are:

Yoshinoya
1062 outlets in Japan as of March 2008
Yoshinoya's orange sign and logo are almost synonymous with gyudon. It is Japan's largest gyudon chain and has overseas locations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US. A standard size gyudon serving costs 380 yen.
Sukiya
995 outlets in Japan as of March 2008
Sukiya offers are broader range of menu items and markets itself as a "suburban family restaurant". Its restaurants typically have more booth space than the other two large chains. A standard size serving of gyudon is 350 yen.
Matsuya
719 outlets in Japan as of January 2008
Matsuya is the smallest of the three big chains. Their gyudon bowl is called gyumeshi on the menu and is always served with a side bowl of miso soup. A standard size serving of gyumeshi costs 350 yen.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

Advertisement

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Yoshinoya
Official US website.
Zensho Group
Official English website of the Sukiya holding company.
Matsuya
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Yoshinoya
Official website.
Sukiya
Official website.
Matsuya
Official website.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
October 21
Bandai
more reports...

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: April 4, 2008
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising