Want to get exclusive deals and insider tips on Japan? Click here!

All the different types of yakitori you can get
All the different types of yakitori you can get

Yakitori, Japanese chicken skewers, might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Japanese food, but it is delicious, affordable and can be found basically everywhere with so many different types. There are restaurants that specialise specifically in yakitori, but yakitori can also be found at almost all izakayas on every corner.


Traditionally, yakitori is grilled on charcoal. However, due to the cost and trouble, many restaurants have switched to using electric grills. 

Yakitori is a go-to Japanese food for Japanese people to enjoy with friends, while having a beer or two. It is inexpensive and usually comes in relatively small portions. Usually eaten during dinner-time, go to a nearby yakitori restaurant for a few sticks and drinks with your friends. 

Yakitori collection

There are also restaurants with innovative and unique recipes, where they use original sauces, special complementary ingredients and even unique ways of eating to add that little special something to the dish. 

These dishes are usually great paired by Japanese alcohol and Japanese beer, so definitely give that a try!

It can be very confusing to figure out what meat or what part of the animal is on the stick, even with English menus. That’s why I’m going to break down every type of common yakitori type you can find in different restaurants. Some of these Japanese food might sound a little strange but if you’re up for it, give it a try!



Negima is pieces of chicken thigh or chicken breast strewed with leek in between. This is one of the most popular choices, with nice complementary flavours and textures of the different ingredients


Yakitori Mune

Mune (pronounced “moo-neh”) means chicken breast and is pieces of chicken breast. Chicken breast tends to be a little tougher than chicken thigh.


Yakitori momo

Momo means chicken thigh and it is skewers of pieces of chicken thigh. Chicken thigh is quite soft and juicy.


Sasami Yakitori
Instagrammer News

Sasami is pieces of tenderloin cut of chicken breast. It is supposed to be quite high in protein and the texture is quite soft. It is usually served with mentaiko (cod roe) sauce.


Sasami Yakitori
Ang Sarap

Tsukune is a skewers of chicken meatballs or a long chicken skewer made of minced chicken. Chicken cartilage, vegetables and spices are usually mixed in to create a crunchy and more flavourful taste. Depending on the restaurant, the amount of cartilage, the different ingredients added to the minced chicken is different. 



Tebasaki means chicken wings. Chicken wings that have been spread open and skewered together on the stick. The skin is usually grilled to a golden color, with a crunchy texture.

Rebā (liver)

reba yakitori
Tokyo Memories

Rebā‘ is the Japanese pronunciation of ‘liver’. Understandably, reba yakitori is a few pieces of chicken liver skewered together on a stick. Reba is said to be highly nutritious.


Fun! Japan

Hātsu (The Japanese pronunciation of ‘heart’) means chicken heart. The flavour is quite strong and unique. The texture is very unique and soft, quite similar to the texture of a pudding. 


sunagimo yakitori

Sunagimo skewer is pieces of chicken gizzard. It is quite crunchy, the meat is firm but surprisingly doesn’t have a very strong flavour.


Sunday’s Grocery

Pieces of meat of the chicken tail, or more commonly referred to as the chicken ass. It is similar to the chicken thigh area, although the meat is more firm. It is quite a rare part of the chicken and it has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years.  



Pieces of chicken skin. It is usually cut into small pieces and is a little chewy. Since it’s been grilled lightly, it has a nice, slightly burned, flavour to it. 



This is definitely an interesting one. Nankotsu consists of pieces of cartilage from the chicken breast skewered together. Cartilage might sound strange since you’re literally eating bones, but it’s actually quite soft and easy to chew. 

Yakitori condiments

Besides the different yakitori types, the condiment paired with the yakitori plays a big part in the dish since it adds extra flavour. You can get all the yakitori in this list with either condiments.

Tare (sauce) 

Tare (pronounced “tah-ray”) is a brown sauce, a sweetened and thickened soy sauce. It is probably the most popular choice of sauce, especially for skewers with less-flavourly meat.

Shio (salt)

Shio means salt and this is the simplest one condiment. Salt is sprinkled onto the skewers. It brings out the fresh flavours of the meat without any additional flavours. 

Japanese abbreviated words in temple

Want to find out more about Japan travel and explore the ins and outs of Japan?

Check out the free resources here!

There you have it! What do you think about this Japanese food? Next time you hit up a yakitori restaurant or come across yakitori on the menu, you won’t have to look up each type of yakitori. Although some of them sound strange and might not be something you would usually eat, give it a try! You might just be pleasantly surprised!

you may check How To Prepare For Summer In Japan, Summer foods and clothing  blog here: https://flip-guide.com/blogs/how-to-prepare-for-summer/?

you may check Japanese food and drinks you can make at home blog here: https://flip-guide.com/blogs/what-to-do-at-home-during-lockdown-japanese-food-drinks/?

If you have any questions about Japan travel or Tokyo nightlife, feel free to DM us on Instagram or talk to us on Facebook messenger, we are ready to answer any questions you might have any time!

FLIP Guide Team

Connect: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube

The FLIP Guide team has discovered many hidden places in Japan, and has learned about numerous parts of Japanese society, and we are excited to share our knowledge with you!


Hey friend!

Just like you, we are foreigners from all around the world.

When we first arrived in Tokyo, we all found this city to be overwhelming, not sure where to begin.

During the years that we have lived here in Japan, we have discovered and visited countless famous tourist attractions as well as unique and underground places.

We are now proud to say that we are experts of Japan and would love to share the knowledge with all of you!


What is Otaku? Hikkikomori vs Otaku vs. Weeaboo

We hear the word Otaku thrown around but exactly what is an Otaku? And how is Otaku different from...

How do Japanese people live so long? Longevity in Japan

You may have heard the saying that Japanese people live longer. Indeed, the average Japanese life...

Earthquakes in Japan: Resources and How to Prepare for the “Big One”

It’s no secret that there are a lot of earthquakes in Japan. The island nation is located where...

Are the Japanese two-faced? Navigating honne and tatemae

At some point in time, we’ve all said, “We should hang out more!” to someone when we didn’t mean...

Japan’s Smile Mask Syndrome and omotenashi

If you’ve been to Japan, you may have noticed that Japanese service staff are almost always...

JapanesePod101 Review on this Japanese learning platform

The first time I heard the Japanese language, I thought it was an extremely hard language to...

Preply review: Honest review on this Japanese language platform

If you’ve ever looked up online language classes, you’ll probably have come across Preply, an...

Rocket Languages review on this Japanese learning platform

Rocket Languages is an online language learning course platform. It provides a variety of learning...

Don’t let the rain stop you: Things to do on a rainy day in Tokyo

Despite Tokyo being a city where you can walk virtually anywhere, much of the action happens...

Feelgood Japanese Practices That Can Enhance Your Quality of Life

There are all sorts of different reasons why people become fascinated with Japan, ranging from its...