Collected by Stephanie Johnson
Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1 Chome−1−１１ 陽臨堂ビル 1F
When I took my beautiful wife to Tokyo to celebrate her birthday in March, because we only had three days in town we had to very carefully curate our dining choices. While we did visit an old favourite, most of the restaurants we visited were new...
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, ９丁目7−６ 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake created this experimental design museum, and star Japanese architect Tadao Ando constructed the building. The museum always has great installations by artists such as the industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. —...
2 Chome-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, ３丁目5−８ 銀座らん月地階
I was with friends who wanted to learn about sake. Our biggest challenge was finding someplace open for lunch. Sake no Ana in Ginza was not only a great find, the variety and selection of sake was amazing. The sake sommelier here, Sakamoto-san (no...
Japan, 〒106-0031 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Nishiazabu, 4 Chome−22, 港区西麻布４丁目２２−１０ プレステージ西麻布1F
The chefs put a French twist on classic Japanese-style iron griddle cooking, which makes Ahill a totally unique teppanyaki restaurant. I like that they always give you curry and rice at the end of your meal. —Kashiwa Sato 4-22-10 Nishi-Azabu,...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, 千代田区丸の内１丁目１−１
Michelin-decorated chefs oversee three of the 10 restaurants at this newly rebuilt, 290-room hotel, which overlooks the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. The dark-wood Royal Bar serves classic martinis. From $570. 81/(0) 3-3211-5211. This appeared in the...
1 Chome-1-１ Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
“What a strange thing/to be alive/under cherry blossoms,” wrote the 18th-century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa. When the thousands of cherry trees in Japan burst into bloom each spring, it can feel like much of the country is covered in a pink...
Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, 東京都 渋谷区宇田川町４−３
Noticeable by a bright yellow sign with a pig eating Ramen, Hakata Tenjin offers the best affordable Ramen in Shibuya. Perfect for the day after a late night out in one of the many bars in Shibuya. Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 1-5-4
2 Chome Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Ishi no Hana in Shibuya is one of the most progressive bars in the city. The mixologist, Shinobu Ishigaki, creates forward-thinking, modern concoctions from rare seasonal ingredients such as saffron syrup and lavender brought over from Hokkaido. —...
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区神宮前６−２−４
This restaurant was recommended by the "Tokyo Guide" iPhone app I was using. It looked great, and I love dumplings. When we walked in, we were a bit worried because everything was in Japanese, even the menu. Donna, who knows Chinese, was trying to...
29-3 Sarugakuchō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
My wife’s favorite coffee shop in Daikanyama has an open terrace that’s perfect for people-watching. The space was inspired by 18th-century Italian cafés. —Kashiwa Sato 29-3 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, 81/(0) 3-3770-9517. This appeared in the...
28-17 Sarugakuchō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
Imagine a whole flea market crammed into one small space. That’s Hollywood Ranch, where I’ve shopped since college for jeans, T-shirts, and even incense. —Kashiwa Sato 81/(0) 3-3463-5668. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue. Read more...
1-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-8557, Japan
Meiji Jingu, Ise Jingu, and Atsuta Jingu are the three great Shinto shrines of Japan. Meiji Jingu is located in central Tokyo northwest of Harajuku station. It was built in 1920 in honor of Emperor Meiji, who was largely responsible for Japan's...
3 Chome-2-9 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023, Japan
In the outer market of Tsukiji, I bought a knife at this amazing shop and the experience stuck with me. Any cook knows a great knife makes all the difference, and here they have such a vast variety of knives, at various prices, that anyone can...
3-7-1-2, ３丁目-７ 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist property spreads across the upper floors of the three connecting granite, steel, and glass columns of Shinjuku Park Tower. The 770-foot building rises in a succession of...
I had one free night in Tokyo—only one chance to connect with a Japanese acquaintance from a dive trip on Midway Atoll 10 years earlier. Our mutual friend, Shintaido master Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito, suggested we meet at the Shinjuku rail station and...
2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
From Shinjuku’s bar scene to Roppongi’s polished cigar bars and Shibuya’s all night karaoke, Tokyo nightlife offers something for everyone. Dogenzaka’s Love Hotel Hill is sprinkled with small Love Hotels, Japan’s kitschy themed rent by the hour...
Japan, 〒150-0011 Tokyo, 渋谷区Higashi, ３丁目16−１０ アリティマ 1F
I go here when I want a really good burger or steak. They dry-age their meat, and steaks are charcoal grilled. —Kashiwa Sato 3-16-10 J Park, Ebisu Biru, Higashi, Shibuya-ku, 81/(0) 3-5447-0536. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue....
17-5 Sarugakucho, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0033, Japan
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 7 Chome−13−１２ 南青山森ビル 2F
Owner Nobiyuki Nakamura’s whiskey obsession is on display at his scotch bar. He has a full collection of traditional Irish whiskeys and Scottish single malts. The whole place is obsessive, right down to the hand-carved ice cubes that go into the...
7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-8558, Japan
The glass waves on the exterior of The National Art Center of Tokyo are a hint of the towering, clean glass and concrete interior architecture. The museum has a welcoming interior filled with natural light, lounge chairs, and cafes. The building...
1 Chome-4-15 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0031, Japan
Much is made of Tokyo’s Michelin stars, particularly the sushi kind—thanks to mass media reviews and documentaries such as “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Just about every raw fish fan around the globe is familiar with such big-name sushi eateries as Jiro...
Japan, 〒107-6301 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 5 Chome−3, 赤坂5-3-1 105-1 赤坂サカス内Bizタワー1F
Spanish cuisine, particularly tapas, is very popular in Tokyo, perhaps because of its similarities to Japanese culinary culture—a focus on fresh ingredients, simple but elegant presentation, and small portion sizes that allow diners to sample many...
Japan, 〒105-0013 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsuchō, 2 Chome−13−１２ ライズウェルビル １F
While the craft beer revolution was busy sweeping the US, Japan was getting left behind, content with admittedly tasty but decidedly stodgy national brew brands like Asahi and Kirin. Thanks to strict tax laws prohibiting brewers from producing...
Japan, 〒102-0094 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kioichō, 4−１ 新紀尾井町ビル １F
The Japanese have a love affair with the French; you can see it all over Tokyo and it is reflected in restaurants such as Aux Bacchanales, a bistro serving classic brasserie food as well as patisserie desserts.
Japan, 〒105-0014 Tokyo, Minato, Shiba, ２丁目26−１ I・SMARTビル 1F・2F
When the Japanese set their sights on something, they almost always end up producing superior copies of whatever the original in question was. The same is true of food—the world’s best Italian and French can be found in Tokyo, trumping almost...
Japan, 〒150-0022 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisuminami, 2 Chome−1−１１ エーエムビル 2F
Billy Barew’s (yes, that Billy Barew—Judge Smails' putter from the movie Caddyshack) is one of several bars specializing in imported beers. What sets its apart is the number available in both cans and bottles, roughly 120 at last count. With...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 2 Chome−6, 銀座２丁目６−５ 銀座トレシャス9F
Hidden away on the 9th floor of an unassuming building near the Apple Store in Ginza is one of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets of the Italian osteria variety—even the name is hard to remember (at least for me, but that’s not unusual). Upon disembarking...
1 Chome-11-1 Kamimeguro, 目黒区 Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0051, Japan
Great little, and I mean little, bar for drinks in a intimate atmosphere with friends or a special someone. Great drink specials and absolutely try one of the Japanese whiskey. It's on the second floor above as gallery/bookstore, Ofr.TOKYO.
1 Chome-1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
Eating at Mutsumiya is like taking a trip to Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. The place serves the classic Hokkaido miso-based ramen, created with water brought over from Hokkaido. The shop is located on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−1−９−１ 東京駅一番街 東京ラーメンストリート内 B1
Rokurinsha’s original shop was in the suburbs of Tokyo, a considerable hike from the nearest train station, and still patrons waited for over three hours for a bowl of soup. Neighbors complained, and when the store was given a chance to open up on...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−１ 東京駅一番街地下１階東京ラーメンストリート
The soup at Ikaruga is so thick and creamy that you might believe it contains milk or butter. In reality, the wonderful texture of the tonkotsu broth is the result of pork bones simmered for hours upon hours. Among the restaurants on the Tokyo...
1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
This shop on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a set of ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo Station, is one of the best in the stretch, and the short lines outside make it a great stop before you catch a train. Shichisai serves a clean delicious shoyu, or...
2 Chome-1-1 Shibadaimon, 港区 Tokyo 105-0012, Japan
Craving a bowl of killer ramen but put off by the prospect of waiting in line for hours to do so? Well, look no further than Fukki, a brilliant noodle shop in between Shiba Park and Hamamatsucho Station specializing in Hakata-style tonkotsu (pig...
6 Chome-9-5 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
Uniqlo is the affordable and stylish brand of Japan. They sell men's and women's clothing and they excel at the basics: cotton tees, plaid shirts, underwear, sundresses, and jeans. The Uniqlo flagship store is located on Ginza's Chuo Dori amidst...
7 Chome-14-１８ Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Honmura An in Roppongi is famous for its housemade soba (chewy buckwheat noodles). Owner Koichi Kobari uses a sobabocho (soba knife) to cut the noodles each day. I always get the soba with tororo, which is grated mountain yam, and a cold beer. —...
2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0052, Japan
Last November my wife and I had an 11-hour layover at Narita Airport, and so we took the Narita Express and then the Yamanote line into Shibuya. After Shibuya, we walked to Yoyogi Park. It was a Sunday morning, and the dry cold air made us feel...
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