Breakfast in modern Japanese households comes in two major variations: Japanese style and Western style. Japanese-style breakfasts are eaten widely in Japan, but often only on weekends and non-working days. Younger Japanese couples may prefer Western-style breakfasts because they are generally less time consuming to prepare.

The standard Japanese breakfast consists of steamed white rice, a bowl of miso soup, and Japanese styled pickles . A raw egg and nori are often served; the raw egg is beaten in a small bowl and poured on the hot rice to make golden colored tamago kake gohan, whilst the nori is used to wrap rice. Grilled fish and Japanese green tea are often served as well.

Western-style breakfasts in Japanese households are similar to those in the United States. Japanese children often eat cornflakes and drink milk, hot chocolate or fruit juice. Japanese adults tend to have toast with butter or jam, eggs, and slices of vegetables. They often drink coffee or orange juice.

Traditional Japanese inns serve complete traditional breakfast. Western-style hotels and restaurants in Japan generally offer a mix of the Western and Japanese styles.