Japan

Restaurants in Japan

Just two years after its opening, self-taught chef Carme Ruscellada's first reataurant in the village of San Pol de Mer north of Barcelona earned a Michelin star. In 2004, Ruscellada opened San Pau in Tokyo, and it quickly earned two stars.

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.

The locale has an entire wall of color-coordinated mini sake containers behind its handsome circular bar. Try to order their junmai and daiginjo with bites of pork-cheek yakitori, sautéed sea urchin and watercress, and fugu (blowfish) roe preserved in sake lees.

Blending traditional elements of Japanese design—such as shoji screens and tatami mats—with dramatic contemporary art and lighting, Daidaiya is a popular izakaya (drinking place) where the fashionable after-work crowd gathers to experience creative Asia-fusion "nouvelle

Bright, airy coffee house overlooking the Zenko-ji temple.

Noted architect Kengo Kuma created the striking steel-mesh screen and glass building and design stars Super Potato concieved the modern minimalist interior, but the star of this kappo (cut and simmer) restaurant is chef Hiromitsu Nazaki, whose seasonally informed omakase menu ea

For fans of soba noodles, texture is key, and noodle shop Matsugen is reputed to have perfected it. Located on the third floor of a Ginza office tower, Matsugen attracts a business lunch crowd with its quiet ambience and low-key decor: dark wood furniture with strong lines.

The noodle shop has been dishing up handmade soba, udon, and tempura since 1465.

This brightly lit, open-air space filled with wooden tables dishes up traditional Japanese specialties such as dashi jouyu udon, noodles served cold with lemon, grated daikon (white radish), and sliced leek. Sit at the long counter that stretches along the window for runway views.

An impressive glass doorway marked with modern gold sculptures marks the entrance to this Michelin-starred, westernized teppanyaki (iron griddle) house, where chef Sung Lee chats in English with counter-seated guests as he prepares seasonal specialties such as salted, roasted abalone, gr

The quintessential izakaya (Japanese tapas bar) in the heart of Tokyo’s shitamachi (old downtown) area is a third-generation, six-decades-old restaurant.