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Japan Travel Tips: Tokyo Restaurants

Tokyo has the most Michelin stars of any city on the planet. It is a hotbed for culinary tourism and one of the main reasons we originally visited Japan in 2016.

In the almost three weeks I have spent in Tokyo I have ate at dozens of different restaurants and this list constitutes my absolute favorites. I have also created a Foursquare list that contains all the good restaurants that we ate at which may not have made this list.

Harajuku Gyozaro (原宿餃子樓)

If I was only allowed to eat at one place in all of Tokyo it would be Harajuku Gyozaro. They served the most delicious gyozas I have ever eaten. We loved this place so much that we ended up going to it twice during our original seven day stay in Tokyo. It was so good that we blew off going to Odaiba so we could come back here and then go to an arcade.

Seriously, if you have any interest in dumplings at all you must go eat at Harajuku Gyozaro.

Sushi Dai or most other restaurants at the Tsukiji Fish Market

Sushi Dai served the best sushi I have ever had in my entire life. Period. You can read my full account here but the tl;dr is mind blowing sushi, really long ass wait. If you don't feel like waiting three and a half hours in the morning for sushi I still highly recommend you go to the Tsukiji Fish Market and pick any of the number of sushi parlors that are right beside it. You will essentially be guaranteeing the freshest sushi you'll have ever tried in your entire life and from everything I have read all the other restaurants after Sushi Dai are still fantastic.

Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511

Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 truly stands in a league of its own. We got served a fixed price, eight course meal where every course featured kobe beef in some manner. From ground kobe stuffed into a shiitake mushroom to kobe sushi to the kobe sirloin steak that just melted in your mouth. We even got a little gift bag after the meal that contained a kobe beef flavored ramen broth. It was around $200 USD per person so it is on the expensive side but it was worth every penny in my mind.

Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo

If you have even a passing interest in ramen you absolutely must try Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo. It is undoubtedly one of the best ramen bowls I have eaten in my entire life. The whole restaurant has an oni theme to highlight that their specialty is spicy ramen. For every bowl you get to choose between five levels of spice for both the chili and sichuan peppers that are used. The first four levels come with the price of the bowl but the fifth level, the oni level, you have to pay ¥100 extra. So if you are feeling lucky and want a super spicy bowl of ramen definitely head down to Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo.

Numazuko

If you are looking for a genuine kaiten sushi restaurant I highly recommend Numazuko. Even when we went at 7pm the fish was still extremely fresh and plentiful. I probably ate five plates of chūtoro before my wallet started yelling at me to stop.

Uogashi Nihon-ichi

If you are hungry after checking out Shibuya Crossing (and it is absolutely something you should check out) I would recommend stopping by Uogashi Nihon-ichi for some sushi. It is small standing sushi bar with fast service and excellent sushi. It was perfect for a quick bite after we had been through Shibuya Crossing and it is in Center Gai so when you're finished you will be right in the middle of another tourist attraction worth exploring.

Sora

If you are looking for spicy miso ramen look no further than Sora. Located in the Minato district it is home to some of the spiciest ramen that I have ever eaten which warmed us to the core on a cold rainy day. You purchase tickets from a vending machine and then give them to a waiter to place your order. With only a dozen or so seats it is an incredibly cozy place to take a load off and recharge after a long tiring day of sightseeing.

Mansei

The tower of meat, Mansei, is 10 floors of pure wagyu goodness. They have everything from standard western dishes on the 3rd floor to yakiniku on the 5th (my favorite). Shabu-shabu on the 7th and perfectly prepared teppanyaki on the 10th. If you have any interest in Japanese beef than you must find your way to Mansei.

8th floor of Yodobashi Akiba

This is a weird thing to mention but as someone who spent a lot of time in and around Akihabara the restaurants on the 8th floor of Yodobashi Akiba were a godsend. Yes since it is a restaurant floor on in one of the largest electronics mall in Tokyo it is not going to be the greatest but they are still of surprisingly high quality. We had a delicious breakfast at The French Toast Factory and some excellent wagyu at Steak & Wine Block. With almost 30 restaurants I am sure you will be able to find something that tickles your fancy after a long day in Akihabara (which you should totally do).

#Japan#JapanTravelTips

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