Pizza is very popular in Japan and is enjoyed in different forms with all kinds of different toppings
Domino’s Japan offers 42 different pizza options with flavors and toppings unique to Japan
Domino’s Japan made a flavor map of their popular pizzas to make it easier for customers to choose from all their options
Cheese, sauce, and crust, the holy trinity. These three things form the basis of one of the most beloved types of food in the world. We’re talking, of course, about pizza. From the Italian Margherita to New York-style thin crust to a Chicago-style deep dish, pizza comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes, with different toppings, sauces, and cheeses.
It’s said that in the United States, 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second, and 5 billion pizzas are sold throughout the world each year. So many pizzas are consumed because of the wide range of ways to consume them. You could be at a nice Italian restaurant and have a pizza, or you could grab a slice on the side of the street late at night, or as many do, you could have a pizza show up right at your door.
Pizza in Japan
Japan is no exception when it comes to pizza. In fact, pizza can be found in and around Japan at various places from restaurants, to supermarkets, to delivery chains like Domino’s or Pizza Hut.
What sets Japan apart from the world in terms of pizza is the toppings. If you haven’t noticed by now, Japan takes food, and especially seafood, pretty seriously. While you may be imagining a pepperoni pizza, some of the most common pizza toppings in Japan are actually things like shrimp, squid, mayonnaise, potato, and sometimes even eel.
Worldwide chains like Domino’s have grown ever more popular in Japan. They, too, offer many flavors unique to Japan on their menu of 42 different pizzas and even more side menu options.
The Domino’s Flavor Map
Recently, Domino’s Japan took to Twitter to release a flavor map of their popular pizzas. The map was created after receiving comments about how it was hard to choose what to order with so many options on the menu.
Making a literal graph mapping all pizza flavor profiles may be the most Japanese way to solve this problem. Still, like many other things Japanese, the solution they found is really efficient and truly does solve the problem. Check out the original Tweet and flavor map below.
The flavor graph allows you to choose a general category rather than a specific taste, topping, or flavor. This means that you don’t have to think about wanting to eat something with pepperoni or with sausage. You can now decide on whether you want something rich, or simple, and so on.
To break down the flavor map, at the top is the “guilty” category referring to the pizzas that are higher in calories and price. Next, on the right is the “rich” category referring to the flavor profile of the pizzas in this category. Following on the bottom is the “okigaru” or “easy” category referring to those pizzas that are easier to eat and easier on the wallet. Lastly, on the left is the “simple” section that includes the more classic and simple pizzas like the plain cheese, veggie, or pepperoni pizzas.
The “guilty” pizzas at the top include the “Garlic Master” which includes double garlic, pork sausage, pancetta, black pepper and tomato sauce, and the “Mayo-Jaga” pizza, meaning mayonnaise and potato pizza, which is topped with scalloped potatoes, pork sausage, mayonnaise, and parsley flakes. I think you can see why these would be in the “guilty” category.
Pizzas in the “rich” category include the “Ultra Cheese” pizza, “Giga Meat” or meat-lovers, and the “Grilled Teriyaki Chicken” pizzas. As the “Ultra Cheese” is located on the top right of the graph, it is classified as the guiltiest and most rich flavored pizza on the menu.
Simple and Easy
Down at the bottom in the “easy” category sit pizzas like the pepperoni pizza, mushroom and ham pizza, and the “California style chicken and bacon” pizza. The “simple” pizzas also include the Hawaiian, known as “tropical” in Japan, and the maybe not-so-simple seafood special topped with shrimp, octopus, mussels, littleneck clam, mactra clam, green pepper, cherry tomato, and parmesan.
Of course, there are combinations of flavor profiles. For example, the “Spicy” pizza with jalapeno, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and onion is “simple” but “guilty” towards the top left. At the bottom right, the “Ebi-Mayo” or “Shrimp Mayonnaise” pizza topped with shrimp, mayonnaise, green pepper, and corn is “easy” and “rich.”
Lastly, a notable mention would be the almighty “Domino Deluxe” that sits right in the middle of the graph, making it the perfect mix of all categories. The “Domino Deluxe” comes with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, green pepper, and onion. Another thing to add is that being in the middle doesn’t only cover the taste but also likely cost, meaning that it is the best bang-for-your-buck pizza.
As I’m sure some of you have already stopped reading to order a pizza, we’ll leave it at that for today. Check out Domino’s Japan’s menu in English to see the flavors they offer! Enjoy!
Kevin Murasaki grew up moving back and forth between Chicago and Yokohama, Japan. Known as a "hafu", Kevin is half Japanese, and half American. Now a videographer and drone operator based in Fukuoka, Japan, Kevin enjoys playing basketball, driving on mountain or "touge" roads, and fishing in his free time. Kevin is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia.