Tokyo has earned a reputation as one of the world's top dining destinations, thanks to its traditional cuisine, modern Japanese fare, and international flavors. The city's restaurants have more Michelin stars than Paris and New York combined, yet amazing meals can be found at street stalls and hole-in-the-wall joints too. Here are a few dishes and activities you won’t want to miss.
Local Tokyo specialties, often called Edo-mae, have become so globally popular that they're often synonymous with standard Japanese cuisine as a whole. Soba noodles, made from buckwheat, gained popularity during the Edo period and are now eaten across Japan, while nigiri, a popular type of sushi, started as a fast food dish in Tokyo before blasting into worldwide popularity.
A savory pancake made of chopped seafood, cabbage and a flour-and-water batter, monjayaki has also made its mark—there’s even a street nicknamed after the dish in Tsukishima. Hot pots are popular in Tokyo too, with varieties including sukiyaki, shabu-shabu and chankonabe, a chicken-and-vegetable hot pot originally cooked for sumo wrestlers. One of Tokyo's most popular wagashi, or traditional sweets is a small, waffle-like cake filled with sweet red bean paste.
- Sit down next to a local salaryman after a long day of work for a drink and bar fare at a local izakaya bar.
- Eat your fill of yakitori skewers in the city's famed Yakitori Alley.
- Take in the Tsukiji Fish Market's rowdy tuna auctions and diverse offerings on a guided tour that can be combined with a sushi-making class, where you'll learn how to prepare nigiri from a master chef.
- Taste a variety of Tokyo's iconic dishes on a food walking tour that hops from street food vendor to traditional izakaya bar to restaurant.
- Sample some green tea or sake on a guided tasting.
Sponsored by the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau