Japan is identified as one of Asia’s most dynamic country where discipline, tradition, food, technological advancements are all strongly tied together. This infusion of traditional and modern can be seen in every nook and corner of the streets in form of their food, be it in a swanky restaurant or street food stalls. Sushi with all its variations and Sake, an alcoholic beverage are Japan’s signature culinary gifts. The uniqueness and passion for food here becomes quite evident from the fact that most restaurants have spent generations to create their one special dish and each of the food joints is known by the specific speciality dish. Other than Sushi the hotpots are famed but are seasonal. So, you see by no means can Japanese cuisine bore you as it can tingle your taste buds differently in different seasons and even different eating joints! In this article we will explore Tokyo's places to eat, there are many and actually, the selection was difficult. But well, here it is and we hope you enjoy and get inspired! And we also have a restaurant which is actually not a restaurant or for that matter serves anything worth a mention!
Yakitori Alley Ginza…Follow the Aroma of Grill Smoke
Just step out of the Yurakucho Station's Central Exit and make your way to the bustling food scene here. The Yakitori Alley is huge when one thinks of the well-famed eateries in Japan. This alley is identified as the hub of bar-style diners & restaurants that wait for you to indulge into casual yet extravagant gastronomical affair. Start off with the appetizer of grilled chicken skewers (yakitori) that will leave you hungry for more. The old and rustic ambiance of the open air food joints are now accompanied by enclosed restaurants as well. It earlier used to be only known to local businessmen but is gradually drawing the eyes of tourists too. The Ginza, on the other hand, will tickle your sweet tooth with the varied confectionary shops.
Monja Street…the land of Monjayaki
Reminding of the famous Okonomiyaki pancake, the Monjayaki is also a similar delicacy prepared in pan-fried style. The best place to find restaurants that serve Monjayaki is to visit Monjya Street. This street is the favorite food hub of Tsukishima which is a man-made island. Over 70 monjayaki restaurants here serve uniquely flavored forms of this dish. Tsukishima never fails to entertain you with its blend of modern and ancient as well as the scenic beauty. Apart from this crispy pancake many restaurants also serve dishes like Yakisoba. It's basically one island, packing the punch of many!
Remember we told you about this one place which is not really about food! Well it is the Robot restaurantwell known for the daily shows that it hosts. Located at the heart of Japan’s red light district, Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, this is a one of a kind Sci-Fi Japanese Cabaret. This one time experience is a highly recommended one. Forget about all your worries amidst the loud 90 minute shows of techno music, flashing neon lights, taiko drum beats etc. The multiple mirrors in the interior make the lights reflect beautifully creating a visual treat. The cabaret is performed by dazzling costume-clad dancers alongside the giant robots. You can either book or buy tickets for specific show slots or get a clubbed ticket that comes with a dinner package. When you see the neo-tanks that initiate a battle between ninja’s and samurai’s, you will know what surreal means.
Tsukiji Fish market
Think of the biggest global wholesale fish market, here it is, right here in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. It is called the Tsukiji Fish market. The per-day handling of fish and all sorts of sea products in this market sums up to over 2000 tons. In this marketyou will get to see some rare and large species of fish and throngs of tourists! The famous tuna auction is hosted in this fish market. The enthusiasm with which the buyers as well as sellers shout out for the best deals is really fun and amusing to watch. However, since the Japanese are very particular and strict when it comes to business, visitors can only witness the auction between 5-6:15 in the morning. In this morning tour you can have fun trying your hand at Sushi making.
Ichiran in Shibuya
Discover the local and authentic Jap cuisine at the eateries in the back alley of Shibuya. It is often tagged as Tokyo’s ‘local only’ food space. Shibuya is Tokyo’s entertainment and shopping hub. This locale is famous for its eccentric Hrajuku fashion trend, museums, boutiques, dynamic neon building-ads and bustling streets. But, what form the magnetic field for tourists are the back alleys and its flavorsome food. Shibuya is also known for the memoir of Hachiko, the legendary dog whose statue stands beside the Shibuya train station. You must have seen the Richard Gere starred film based on the same story. Ichiran is the most sought after Ramen serving restaurant that has been in the business for 39 years now. They are very flexible and allow the customers to customize the ingredients and spice to be put into the Ramen. They also have is forms for English speakers to fill out their customization details.
Shimbashi....the Food Maze
The streets of Tokyo’s very own Shimbashi are flocked with innumerable food halts. The maze of eateries here in Shimbashi will leave you appalled in thirst of more culinary adventure. You’ll have an opportunity to slurp the yummy food and sip on local beer with the locals of the place giving you a sneak-peak into their culture and lifestyle. You can opt for evening walking food tour of Shimbashi if confused by the abundance of food outlets. The local guide will take you to the best places to get your taste buds dancing. The tour is of two and half hours and you are guaranteed to enjoy every bit of it. Witness the local working class enjoying a hearty snack with chilled beer after the long day’s work before they set back home. The twists and turns of the food alley are famous for dishes like Okonomiyaki (the savory pancake), Flavors of South Japan (where every ingredient is farm fresh) and also relish the famous fish shaped Taiyaki which is a Tokyo’s all-time favorite dessert.
Shinjuku Golden Gai
Situated at the centre of Tokyo this is a small neighborhood that has above 200 food stall, bars and clubs that are informal and are lined up in the narrow passageways. When you enter this neighborhood of Shinjuku Golden Gai, be sure to feel that you have landed on a different planet altogether where you cannot even walk in double line because of the narrow streets. The best of pubs here have seating arrangements for a maximum of 6-7 people. One of the very popular among these crammed quarters is the Golden Gai, which has world's biggest concentration of bars that are regularly flocked by local writers, artists and musicians. Be here to take away some flavor of the famous Tokyo nightlife.
Amanogawa Bar in Keio Plaza Hotel
It is a Sake sommelier that hand picks some of the best Sake brands to be served to the customers of the Amanogawa Bar. The premium Sake can also be accompanied with compatible cuisine and finger food that comes to the table on request to the sommelier. This goes irrespective of whether you have chosen a meat or a sea food dish. If crowded streets and city hustle is not your thing thenthis bar inKieo plaza's is the best place.
Rikishi Ryori Kotogaume Kinshicho
Enjoy a hot bowl of Chanko Nabe over the hearty story of the life of an actual sumo wrestler. Sumo is Japan’s national and traditional sport. One of the famed restaurants is Rikishi Ryori Kotogaume Kinshicho with its owners name in it i.e. Kotogaume, a former sumo wrestler. Their specialty is a stuffing Chanko Nabe that is filled with varied ingredients that floats in a transparent soup base. It is definitely once in a lifetime kind of an experience.
So folks, these were our top picks for tantalizing your taste buds in Tokyo. If we have helped you with this article, let us know. If you have been to one of these places, shout out loud and share your experience. And if we have missed any of the more amazing food places in Tokyo, do come knocking in the comments below!!
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