Ever since Tokyo received its first Michelin guide in 2007, the Japanese capital has led the front as the world’s most Michelin-starred city, coming ahead of international culinary hubs such as Paris, Chicago, London, and New York City. In late November, Michelin unveiled the 2020 edition of its destination-specific fine dining guide, once again marking Tokyo as the city with the most Michelin stars.
Now in its 13th edition, the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2020 includes 226 Michelin-starred restaurants that feature a wide range of cuisines such as French, Italian, Chinese, and Thai, as well as traditional Japanese dishes such as tempura, oden, yakitori, and ramen. This year’s selections include 167 one-star restaurants, which the guides denote as “worth a stop”; 48 at two stars, meaning “worth a detour”; and 11 at three stars, indicating that the establishments are “worth a special journey.” In total, the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2020 includes 20 additions to the one-star field, three newcomers to the two-star ranking, and only one establishment added to Tokyo’s three-star tier.
The kaiseki restaurant Kadowaki, which serves traditional multi-course Japanese dinners, was the only restaurant to move up to the top level this year after more than a decade with two Michelin stars. Meanwhile, Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten, the tiny restaurant made famous in the 2011 Netflix documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Sushi Saito, which the legendary late chef Joël Robuchon onced described as “the best sushi restaurant in the world,” were notably absent from Tokyo’s 2020 guide. The two world-famous sushi spots were removed from Michelin’s three-star collection after the restaurants stopped accepting reservations from the public, making them too exclusive—even for Michelin’s esteemed fine dining list.
The new two-star restaurants to join Tokyo’s Michelin guide in 2020 include kaiseki restaurant Ginza Shinohara, which serves a traditional Japanese menu; the Scandinavian-influenced Inua, helmed by Noma’s former head of R&D Thomas Frebel; and Prisma, which marks the city’s only Italian restaurant with two Michelin stars. The 2020 guide also includes 238 restaurants with Bib Gourmand status, which signifies Michelin’s category for affordably priced establishments.
Additionally, the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2020 features more restaurants led by women than in previous years. In the announcement of the updated Tokyo guide, Michelin CEO Paul Perriniaux noted that 25 restaurants across both categories have female chefs, three of which hold star status.
While Tokyo’s number of Michelin-starred restaurants has decreased since its 2018 peak of 234 stars, the city still holds a more than decade-long standing as the best fine dining destination in the world. As the number of travelers to Japan’s capital is expected to skyrocket when the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo’s mass of Michelin-starred restaurants will give visitors plenty of opportunities to snag a seat at some of the top-rated places to eat in the world.
See the full Michelin Guide Tokyo 2020.
This article originally appeared online in December 2017; it was updated on December 2, 2019, to include current information.
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