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20 mouth-watering reasons to check in early for your flight.

Ask anyone who’s taken a trip to or in Japan, and they’ll tell you that one of the best things about travelling in the country is the food. As a matter of fact, for many people Japan’s culinary landscape is as memorable as its natural or urban one.

But while you’ll have to say good-bye to Mt. Fuji and the Tokyo Skytree when you head to the airport for your flight home, you’ve still got time to squeeze in one final, and delicious, meal. Following is a list of the 20 best airport restaurants in Japan, as chosen by the users of travel website TripAdvisor.

20. Fugetsu (Naha Airport domestic terminal)

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In addition to the tempura, sushi, and green tea soba noodles seen here, Fugetsu also serves up local Okinawan specialties like bitter melon and umibudo (sea grapes).

19. Tenryu (Naha Airport domestic terminal)

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Tenryu specializes in soki soba, Okinawa’s famed ramen-like noodle dish with thick slices of pork.

18. Tochotoshomen (Narita Airport Terminal 1)

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More ramen, this time Chinese-style and packed with spices.

17. Takopon (Itami Airport central block)

Itami is located in Osaka, which is famous for its okonomiyaki, the thin pancakes with vegetables and meat mixed in that Takopon specializes in.

16. Lavi (New Chitose Airport domestic terminal)

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Curry is popular all over Japan, but Sapporo, the closest major city to New Chitose, likes its version of the spicy dish with a thin texture that’s earned it the name “soup curry.”

15. Tsurutonton (Haneda Airport international terminal)

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Most udon restaurant have humble interiors, but at Tsurutonton customers dine in surroundings as elegant as the faux samurai street it’s situated on inside Haneda’s modern terminal.

14. Sojibou (Kansai Airport Terminal 1)

Noodles make for a consistently tasty, quick, hot meal, which is why they show up again with this soba eatery.

13. Asaichi Shokudo (New Chitose Airport domestic terminal)

Literally meaning “morning market cafeteria,” Asaichi Shokudo’s offering run from luxurious salmon roe to simple rice balls.

12. Matakoiya (Haneda Airport Terminal 2)

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This counter-only sushi establishment has no chairs, but it does have fish shipped directly from Tokyo’s world-famous Tsukiji seafood market. And besides, there’ll be plenty of time to sit down once you’re on the plane.

11. Ebisoba Ichigen (New Chitose Airport domestic terminal)

Ichigen sets its ramen apart fro other restaurant’s by topping it with minced shrimp.

10. Flyer’s Table (Haneda Airport Terminal 2)

Technically, Flyer’s Table isn’t in the airport, since it’s part of the Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu. The hotel lobby is directly connected to the departure terminal, though, so it still makes the cut.

9. Air Terminal Grill Kihachi (Haneda Airport Terminal 1)

The Kihachi chain has a number of different locations, each specializing in different types of cuisine. The Haneda branch serves Western-style entrees and desserts, as well as curry and light sandwiches.

8. Maruha Shokudo (Chubu Airport)

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Chubu serves Nagoya, an often overlooked center of gastronomic delights. Maruha Shokudo’s biggest hit appears to be its fried shrimp.

7. Sushi Den (Narita Airport Terminal 2)

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No time to swing by Sushi Den’s original location in Ginza? No problem, because they’ve also got a branch at Narita.

6. 551 Horai (Kansai Airport Terminal 1)

An Osaka institution, the 551 Chinese restaurant chain’s pork buns and dumplings are so delicious that they’re a highly coveted souvenir brought back by business and pleasure travelers alike.

5. Kineya (Narita Airport Terminal 1)

Kansai-style udon, with lighter flavoring than its Kanto counterpart, seems like just the sort of thing to fill you up before a flight without leaving you bloated.

4. Katsukura (Itami Airport)

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On the other hand, if you want to load up on calories before a long journey, there’s this pork cutler specialist in Itami.

3. Dashi Chatzuke En (Narita Airport Terminal 1)

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Back to light fare, En is the place to go for a bowl of ochatzuke, rice with green tea poured over it.

2. Hitoshinaya (Haneda Airport Terminal 1)

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Hitoshinaya serves rice bowls, ramen, and Japanese-style breakfasts, with the last being available all day long.

1. Sushi Kyotatsu (Narita Airport Terminal 1)

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Japan’s most famous culinary contribution combined with its premiere air hub? It’s no wonder TripAdvisor’s users chose Sushi Kyotatsu as their favorite airport restaurant. Really, with the maguro and tekkamaki looking as mouth-watering as it does in the photo above, who wouldn’t want to have a piece for the road…or the sky, in this case.

Source: TripAdvisor
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Insert images: Tabelog (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)