Japan

Restaurants in Japan

Most restaurants in Japan serve local dishes, which consists mainly of rice, miso, fish, noodles, and seasonal vegetables. The local diet is relatively healthy, which is why Japan has a much lower obesity rate than other developed nations. However, in recent years international cuisine has become incredibly popular; it’s now possible to find Japanese restaurants that serve anything from American food to Italian to French cuisine.

However, when in Japan, eat as the Japanese do. Tokyo in particular – which boasts some of the best restaurants in Japan -- is a food lover’s paradise. It contains more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world. Don’t leave without stopping at Daiwa Sushi. Wait times can easily exceed one hour, but it’s worth it: the sashimi melts in your mouth. Japanese restaurants are also known for their noodle dishes, and it would be a crime to leave the country without sampling at least one bowl of ramen and udon.

Chef Kimio Nonaga gained acclaim as the winner of the 2002 Iron Chef competition and has catered meals for the Imperial household, but his traditional kaiseki (multi-course) restaurant, located just a few minutes from Tokyo Station, is affordable and friendly.

Housed in a 19th-century sake brewery that was relocated from the countryside, Tofuya Ukai sits at the base of Tokyo Tower amidst zen gardens (complete with a stream and water wheel) visible from each of the restaurant's 55 private tatami dining rooms.

In 1834, a samurai made his claim to fame with his fruit and vegetables shop, introducing the then-isolated Japan to imported produce. More than 150 years later, the fruit parlor and its reputation are still intact.

Billed as "Tokyo-style French cuisine," Sens et Saveurs is the Tokyo outpost of identical twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, whose Montpelier Les Jardin des Sens has earned three Michelin stars.