Japanese Pizza Looks Absolutely Delicious

Japanese style is a wide-ranging aesthetic that encompasses everything from delicate calligraphy to monstrous kaiju to Jushin Thunder Liger, a masked wrestler with the most stylin' ring gear of all time. It's only to be expected, then, that much of its food is pretty visually stunning, as well. Here in the U.S. we've long embraced colorful assortments of sushi and sashimi along with almost painfully cute bento boxes, and in recent years we've learned to love jiggly cheesecakes and super-fluffy souffle pancakes, as well. Less well known, however, is Japanese pizza, which is a shame since it's certainly a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

A look at the menu of the popular Japanese chain Pizza-La reveals such visually appealing toppings as a pretty-in-pink mixture of crab meat and potato in mayonnaise, honey-drizzled cheese, chicken with mayonnaise (Kewpie, we presume), and a squiggle of teriyaki sauce. There's also a pizza with sunny yellow Setouchi lemon sauce sprinkled with bits of crispy pancetta. Other intriguing items include garlic shrimp with sliced zucchini and lemon quarters, bulgogi with corn and spinach, and the mysterious mochi mentaiko, with the latter being a dish of chile-sauced fish roe. For an even more striking-looking 'za, you can order a pizza where each quarter has a different topping.

It's not just the toppings that make Japan's pizza special

So underneath all the pulchritudinous pizza toppings, is the Japanese version pretty much the same as your standard American pie? Well, yes and no. Yes in that you've got your basic crust, sauce, and cheese combo under the toppings, but no in that the sauces, crust, and cheese may all be slightly different than the ones we know. While hand-tossed, pan, and thin-(aka extra crispy) crusts are all available in Japan, other varieties include one flavored with garlic and sesame and another made out of rice. As for pizza sauces, the Pizza-La menu shows mayonnaise-based ones to be pretty widespread. Cheeses, too, tend to differ to an extent as it seems camembert may be even more popular than mozzarella.

Yet another thing about Japanese pizza is that the standard sizes tend to be slightly smaller than their American counterparts. [Insert your own "Super Size Me" smart remark if you must; we won't be plucking that low-hanging fruit.] A small is typically just 9 inches as compared to a U.S. 10, while a medium is 10.6 inches instead of 12 and a large is 12.6 inches rather than the full 14 inches we get when we order this size. What's more, Japanese pizzas, while pretty, can also be pricey, as well. A medium pizza may cost the equivalent of $20 to $25, while large ones often run upwards of $35 and might even set you back more than $40.