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Japan, 〒542-0086 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nishishinsaibashi, 2 Chome−9−5 日宝三ッ寺会館 2階
Something that can be frustrating if you're living in or travelling around Japan as a non-native speaker is the absence of English or picture menus. It can sometimes feel like the busiest and most popular restaurants with the locals are...
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Japan, 〒534-0025 大阪府大阪市都島区Miyakojima-ku, Katamachi, 2 Chome−7, 片町2−7−54
I stumbled into Don Quijote by accident. I had just gone for a long run in nearby Osaka Castle, then showered at a runner's facility, and as is typical for me during my year in Japan, was searching for a place at which to overeat. Located on the...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
The colorful Asakusa district is a laid-back, fun, colorful neighborhood where you can buy crappy kitsch and kitschy crap (there are a lot of kitchenware shops, for some reason). Asakusa is also home to Tokyo's most well-known temples and 45...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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1 Chome-9-1 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7337, Japan
Climbing above Shiodome Station and connected to Shimbashi Station, the Conrad reflects contemporary Japanese design. Traditional symbols and motifs like the gate and Japanese brush painting feature throughout the property. Each high-ceilinged...
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2-1-1, 2丁目-1 日本橋室町 中央区 東京都 103-8328, Japan
Filling the top nine floors of the Cesar Pelli–designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the Mandarin Oriental explores the themes of woods and water. It’s designed as a large, living tree, with the entrance at the bottom of the tower...
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2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-8588, Japan
Along with the Great Buddha (Kamakura Daibutsu), the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Shinto shrine attracts hundreds of visitors each day in Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan). The rituals for seeking good fortune are many. These ema—wooden votive...
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Japan, 〒110-0005 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Ueno, 4 Chome−7−8 アメ横センタービル3F
Here is tako (octopus) for sale at one of the many merchant stalls dotting the Ame-yoko shopping street in Ueno, Tokyo. Ameyoko (アメ横) is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The name "Ameyoko"...
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Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
What do you do with a nine-hour layover in Japan? Take the train one stop to downtown Narita, and eat your way around town. I was surprised by how lovely this city was, especially for being so close to the airport. The little cobblestone streets...
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1 Chome Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Japan has some of the fastest, most reliable trains in the world. One measure of how much locals appreciate them is the glee in kids' faces when a Shinkansen glides past their commuter train. Or they line up in front of the sloped nose of a parked...
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Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Ueno is a great spot for a walkabout in Tokyo. It has almost everything that someone looking for an urban getaway could want—good food from countless cafes, restaurants, and food kiosks; a park (Ueno Park) to walk around; and even a children's...
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Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 3 Chome−5−8 銀座らん月BF1
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...
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2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
If Manhattan’s famous music club CBGB were reimagined by a Japanese food fiend, the result would be Tatemichiya. The izakaya, or Japanese-style tapas bar, in Tokyo’s Daikanyama neighborhood, is the brainchild of punk-music fanatic Yoshiyuki Okada....
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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. —...
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Japan, 〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−5−8 DISビル 102
According to the laws of physics, time travel in the real world is impossible, but the physicists who say so obviously have never been to a certain bar in trendy Ebisu. The moment you step through the door, you are instantly transported to an...
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4 Chome-6 Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
For the best yakitori I go to Toritama in Ebisu. They specialize in rarely served, unique parts of the chicken. There’s one dish in particular, a premature egg that’s still connected to ovaries, which they grill. —David Myers This appeared in the...
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Japan, 東京都新宿区新宿3丁目
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...
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1-1-8 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0004, Japan
You can find this place by looking for a giant line outside a Kichijoji butcher shop that usually snakes across the street, around the bend, and requires multiple employees to manage. The line is for deep-fried beef balls: breaded lard bombs...
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8 Chome-6-8 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
I’m going to drop all pretenses and just come out and say this—this is the best steak in the world. Hands-down. Seriously, nothing else even comes close. Even Wagyu (as in true Japanese beef—not that horrible simulacrum pawned off on ignorant...
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1 Chome-9-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
This is an absolute gem of a restaurant with two branches in Nishi-azabu and in Roppongi-ichome in the Mori Sengokuyama Hills complex next to the Swedish Embassy. While the eclectic cuisine, expertly prepared by ex-Roy’s executive chef...
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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...
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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...
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Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 3 Chome−10−9 三経28ビル 1階
If you’re out partying until the wee hours of the morning, chances are that sooner or later your appetite is bound to catch up with your thirst for excitement and you’ll find yourself jonesing for some grub. Depending upon where you live back...
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Japan, 〒100-0014 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Nagatachō, 2 Chome−14, 永田町2丁目14−3 赤坂東急プラザ1階
Ninja Akasaka is a ninja-themed restaurant in Tokyo. Upon arrival, a ninja will guide you through almost pitch-black corridors, secret passages, and a drawbridge. The menu offers a variety of set courses that also cater to vegetarians and...
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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...
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Japan, 〒150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 3 Chome−15−8 シャンブル15 1F
Tokyo is replete with tiny, cool boutiques specializing in everything from rare toys to carved owl figurines (to be honest, I still haven’t quite figured out how the latter stays in business, but it must have an established customer base since the...
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Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−15−1 六本木ヒルズけやき坂テラス 1F
Having just returned from a fairly lengthy sojourn to France, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on croissants. (That, and I’ve also been eating them since I could put food in my mouth of my volition.) And I will admit that the iconic...