Yakiniku (焼肉) is the Japanese equivalent to Western barbecues. Due to the increasing popularity of Buddhism in feudal Japan, eating meat became obsolete and was forbidden until the end of the Edo Period. During the following Meiji Period, meat resurfaced among the Japanese population, which might have been influenced by Japan’s neighbor Korea and its already developed barbecue culture.
The difference between a Western-style barbecue and the Japanese Yakiniku is that Yakiniku meat is served in raw, bite-sized pieces you can grill yourself at your table. You order in courses meaning you’ll receive a plate full of raw meat and vegetables, which you can arrange on your grill.
Yakiniku restaurants serve a variety of beef such as shoulder, belly, liver and even tail or tongue. You can choose pork or chicken as well. The meat is eaten together with rice and grilled vegetables like onions.
Right now it’s getting cold in Japan, so you might want to try a hot and delicious Japanese barbecue!