Boasting more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, Tokyo is a giant of foodie destinations. And its colossal reputation is well deserved: few countries claim a culinary tradition as rich, distinct, intricate, and varied as Japan, and Tokyo is the place to see that tradition on full display, in all its umami-drenched, neon-lit glory. Yet Tokyo’s food culture is far from etched in stone, with the new, the innovative, the avant-garde taking its equal place alongside tradition.
Don’t think for a minute that the world’s best sushi is all Tokyo has on offer—Japan has at least 30 different types of restaurant, each with their own distinct dishes, from ramen to udon to yakitori and
izakaya. To experience Tokyo’s top restaurants like the 3-starred RyuGin, be sure to reserve—small capacities and high demand often means waiting lists of a month or more.
The attention to detail and perfectionism that permeate Japanese culture and cuisine can also be found in Tokyo’s skyscraper-perched cocktail bars, as well as the more hidden bars tucked away in small alleyways or in unassuming office buildings. Award-winning whiskeys share counter space with obscure craft brews and cocktails made with ritualistic precision.
Respect and etiquette are at the center of Japanese culture. As you taste your way around Tokyo’s exquisite culinary landscape, mind your konnichi-was, your arigatos and your bows. Study proper
restaurant etiquette, especially before visiting one of the city’s top fine dining locations.