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.

One of the last vestiges of pre-war architecture in Shinjuku, the building housing the flagship Tsunahachi tempura restaurant (there are now dozens of them all over Japan) stands out amid the nearby skyscrapers.

The brilliant fortysomething chef Yoshihiro Narisawa weds French finesse and Spanish avant-garde savvy with kaiseki aesthetics and a passion for local ingredients.

Thirty-seven floors up in the Mandrin Oriental Hotel, Michelin-starred Signature serves refined French cuisine in a rarefied atmosphere with contempoary glass lighting, old-world carved screens, and astonishing views over Tokyo from a plush, pillow-strewn upholstered banquette in front of a wall

Sequestered on a side street between the edgy fashion districts of Harajuku and Aoyama, this tiny, cheerful yakitori restaurant provides welcome relief for famished shoppers roaming nearby Omotesando Hills. Free-range Nagoya Cochin chicken, a tender breed, is the specialty here.