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.

Said to be the inspiration for the Japanese restaurant scene in Quentin Tarintino's Kill Bill Voume 1, Gonpachi is a warehouse-sized, multi-level traditional restaurant which attracts both tourists and celebrity diners such as Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, and President Bush.

A modern, dimly-lit space with seating at a wooden counter or at tables with views over Tokyo (lncluding an impressive angle on Tokyo Tower), this robatayaki (charcoal grill) restaurant cultivates an upbeat atmosphere with drum-based Japanese festival music playing in the background.

Amid a cluster of skyscrapers, a reproduction of a Loire Valley chateau houses French culinary star Joel Robuchon's Tokyo outpost.

Offers an excellent maiko show and dinner (in which apprentice geishas perform and serve) for intimate groups.

Recommended by Noriko Townsend, one of T+L's 2010 A-List travel agents.