Japanese cuisine places a strong emphasis on quality and seasonality of ingredients. This is especially true for vegetables, which are a fundamental element of Japanese cooking.

Apart from a few native types of vegetables, many vegetables used in Japanese cooking today were originally introduced from the Asian mainland. Later waves of new vegetables reached Japan through the first contacts with Europeans in the 16th century and in more recent decades through a certain Westernization of Japanese eating habits.

See also our separate pages about mushrooms, seaweed, fruits and pickles.

Leaf vegetables


Hakusai (Chinese cabbage)

Horenso (spinach)

Komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach)

Mizuna (Japanese mustard, spider mustard)

Shiso (Perilla leaf)

Root vegetables

Daikon (giant white radish)

Kabu (turnip)

Jagaimo (potato)

Satsumaimo (sweet potato)

Satoimo (taro root)

Nagaimo (yam)

Renkon (lotus root)

Gobo (burdock root)

Ninjin (carrot)

Tamanegi (onion)

Shoga (ginger)

Other vegetables

Takenoko (bamboo shoot)

Negi (leek, green onion)


Kyuri (cucumber)

Nasu (eggplant, aubergine)

Piman (green pepper)

Shishito (small Japanese green pepper)

Kabocha (pumpkin)

Tomorokoshi (corn)

Okura (okra)

Goya (bitter melon)