Restaurants in Tokyo
The accolades for chef Seji Yamamoto's Nihonryori Ryugin are impressive: three Michelin stars and status as one the world's top 50 restaurants as determined by S. Pellegrino's annual awards.
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.
Japan's love affair with the ramen noodle is celebrated at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, an interactive exhibit space that includes a ramen 'theme park' with recreated mid-20th-century ramen shops from around Japan.
A welcome lunch break when shopping in Ginza, this restaurant serves kaiseki, multicourse meals of small, traditional dishes. The emphasis is on presentation, seasonal ingredients, and exquisite service.
Well heeled Ginza shoppers and ladies who lunch converge at the lounge on the 3rd floor of Mikimoto's Ginza 2 Building, also known as "the Swiss Cheese Building" because of its distinticivly shaped, randomly placed windows.
Roughly translated, tsugihagi means something akin to "patchwork" in English, and that's the apporach this contemporary izakaya takes in everything from its atmosphere to its menu.
Known for its steamed Chinese pork buns, noodle bowls, and "hairy crabs" (a delicacy in season during the fall), 50 Ban is a no-frills, street food lunch and dinner spot in the former geisha district of Tokyo (now considered the French neighborhood).
The modern, red-and-black-walled restaurant has the freshest sushi in Tokyo.
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.
Open, airy, and contemporary (floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, wooden floors, and ulphostered banquettes), Union Square brings the success of New York chef Danny Meyer's cafe of the same name to Tokyo, where it's reinterpreted by chefs Michael Romano and Yoshichika Matsuda.
Impressive views of the Tokyo skyline are the backdrop for Japanese fine dining at Kozue, located on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel.
Come here for the beautifully textured chilled udon noodles. The ginjo-style sake called Koku-Ryu has the fragrance of pears and the mellow freshness of springwater.
Tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables) are the specialty at this branch of the Kyoto-based restaurant Kintame.
Surrounding the vast maze of refrigerated stalls in the centrally located Tsukiji fish market are simple spots that cater to off-duty fishmongers, still wearing their indigo overalls and insulated rubber boots. By 7 a.m.
An intimate (22 seats only) tempura house in upscale Roppongi Hills, Tempura Mikawa is found behind an unmarked, sliding wooden door set into a full-wall mural of blue birds on a gold background.