7 Best Places to Eat in Tokyo

7 Best Places to Eat in Tokyo

Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolis, is also known as the world’s most exciting dining destinations. There are more than 150,000 restaurants in Tokyo, and you will probably wonder where is the best places to eat in Tokyo… But don’t worry! Even if you feel lost in the massive city, I picked the best accessible places to eat in Tokyo. There is so much more to eat than just sushi and ramen. 🙂


Reissure

best places to eat in Tokyo

If you come to this place, you must try their 3D latte art!  You need to pay extra for the 3D latte art (I had a cup of cappuccino (650yen) + 3D latte art (additional 500yen)), but it is definitely worth it.  If you want customized latte art, be prepared to show a picture to the server.  They will make your latte, based on the picture you have!  You can also have lunch there as well! Their food was good but the portion was a bit small.

Note:

  • They accept CASH ONLY!
  • They don’t take reservations.
  • Each person must order 1 drink.
  • Cost: ¥1,000 – ¥2,000

Address:

3-25-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo


Luke’s Lobster

best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo

It was cold and snowing when I went to Luke’s Lobster, but their lobster rolls made my day better!  Although it was not very crowded when I visited, my friend told me that you have to be in line for more than an hour sometimes…  It is a bit overpriced in my opinion, but the amount of lobster meat is generous.  The bun itself is pretty delicious with a warm, crispy outer layer.

Note:

  • Buy it over the counter.
  • There are a few seats outside, but most seem to stand and eat as quick meal.
  • If you are there at popular times, be prepared to wait in line.
  • Cost: ¥950 – ¥2,000

Address:

6-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo


SahSya

best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo

Although this place is not really known by tourists, this place is popular for Japanese people.  If you want to escape from Tokyo’s craziness and relax, this place might be a good choice for your lunch spot, and the atmosphere might remind you of Kyoto.  Their interior is also amazing with 2 long commuter table facing a small Zen garden.  I had ¥2,800 course lunch, and that includes appetizers, 2 main dishes, and dessert.

Note:

  • The lunch time is between 11:30am – 2:00pm.
  • Besides the lunch course, they have 2 courses; 5,000yen or 8,000yen.
  • They accept reservations and credit cards
  • Cost: ¥2,800 – ¥8,000

Address:

Oak Omotesando 2F, 3-6-1 Kitaaoyama, Minato, Tokyo


Eddy’s Ice Cream

best places to eat in Tokyo

Eddy’s Ice Cream, located in Harajuku is the cutest ice cream I ever found in my life!  The shop is all decorated in pink color, so everywhere is literally a photo spot!  No matter what spot you choose to take your photos, it will look amazing in Eddy’s Ice Cream.  The ice cream is also creamy and delicious. There are two flavors; vanilla and strawberry. I had vanilla, and it was so milky! For your ice cream, you can choose between vanilla, strawberry, or mix, and you can put any toppings you want!

Note:

  • The shop gets super crowded in the afternoon, so I recommend you to visit for the morning or just before closing time, especially if you want to take some photos.
  • They accept CASH ONLY.
  • Cost: ¥900 – ¥1,400

Address:

4-26-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo


CRAFTALE

best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo

There are about 234 Michelin Stars restaurants in Tokyo, and Craftale is one of them. However, what differentiates this restaurant is their creativity and cost performance.  Each dish was presented with the beauty of the plating or the surprising combinations of flavors.  Every plate was phenomenal, but my absolute favorite was the steak! They cooked the beef perfectly. Also the atmosphere is very relaxing and comfortable… you can even see beautiful cherry blossoms from the window in spring. I definitely recommend here for the best places to eat in Tokyo 🙂

Note:

  • They’re closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • They serve lunch only in the weekends.
  • Reservation is recommended.
  • They take credit cards.
  • Cost: lunch ¥7,000; dinner ¥10,000

Address:

1-16-11 2F, Aobadai,Meguro, Tokyo


Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo

If you’re planning on having afternoon tea in Tokyo, this is the place!  The atmosphere is amazing, and the food is also fresh and delicious.  The interior is nicely decorated with seasonal flowers as if you’re sitting in a beautiful garden.  We ate warm salad, and it was amazing! It perfectly matched with beautiful floral theme.  I am usually a coffee person, but I highly recommended if you love flowers.

Note:

  • You may have to be in line for 20 – 90mins, depending on how crowded it is.
  • Lunch is served between 11:00AM and 3:00pm.
  • They do not serve coffee.
  • They take credit cards.
  • Cost: ¥2,000 yen – ¥3,000yen

Address:

5-1-2 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo


Shinjuku Omoide Yokochō

best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo
best places to eat in Tokyo

Omoide Yokocho is a short alley full of amazing food and drinks. It’s one of the best places to eat and drink in Tokyo.  The street gives you a glimpse of old Tokyo culture that’s a bit raw and off the tourist track.  The restaurants serve mostly yakitoris and other grilled items along with local beers and drinks.  I definitely recommend you stop in and grab some Yakitori at one of the restaurants there.  The food is excellent and the ambiance is also not to be missed.  We ordered a couple of Yakitoris and beers.  All yakitoris are freshly grilled right in front of you, and they are one of the BEST yakitoris I ever had!  Even if you don’t plan to eat here, check it out for the aesthetics.  It is very photogenic 🙂

Note:

  • Most of the restaurants accept CASH ONLY.
  • It will be hard to find this place, but if you follow a map or directions from staff in the train station, you’ll get there.
  • For photo opportunities, I recommend you visit in the morning.
  • Cost: ¥2,000 – ¥4,000

Address:

Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Have you been to any of the places I mentioned? If you have any other suggestions, let me know on the comments below! I’m always looking for best places to eat in Tokyo. You can never get bored of Tokyo, and that’s why I love that city.

If you are planning to go to Tokyo soon, make sure to check out my Tokyo Ultimate Guide as well. I hope you will enjoy it! Safe travels xx


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Winter Wonderland in Japan

Winter Wonderland in Japan

If you want to experience amazing winter scenery, you need to visit Takayama, Gifu.  Takayama is a city in Japan’s mountainous Gifu Prefecture.  It is about 5 hours away from Tokyo and 4 hours away from Osaka, but It is worth a visit!  There are two places you must go while you are around the area.

 

 Sanmachi Street

The first place is called Sanmachi Street.  The street reminds me of Gion, Kyoto but I like Sanmachi Street more because many shops had been running its business for hundred of years, and it makes you feel you were back in their older times.  Plus it is less crowded than Kyoto.  The village is well preserved, and the buildings here are like the ones you see in old Japanese dynasty movies.  It’s like heaven for people who are big history buffs or simply love to take pictures.   While admiring the old wooden architecture and historical streets, you will encounter lots of nice restaurants, which serve grilled Hida beef, ramen, sushi, ice cream, and many more!!  There are many gift shops for souvenirs as well.  It is a beautiful street to stroll while you eat delicious local foods.

Tips and Recommendations
– most of the shops close before 5:00 pm and some restaurants are closed on Tuesdays.
– try the street foods, such as mitarashi-dango (made of warm soft grilled mochi ball covered in a sweet soy sauce), Hida beef sushi, and rice crackers.
– go to one of the sake breweries; with about 1 USD, you’ll get to taste different kinds of sake.

 

”Teyaki Sembei Dou”

Address: 85 Kamisannomachi Takayama Gifu

Open from 9am to 5pm

 


“Sangawaya”

Address: 43 Kamisannomachi Takayama Gifu

Open from 9am to 5:30pm

 

 Shirakawa-go

The second place is called Shirakawa-gō. Shirakawa-go is a beautiful historic villages in snowy winter, and it is actually one of the UNESCO world heritage sites! They are famous for their traditional farmhouses, and some of them are more than 250 years old. It is about 50 mins trip from Takayama, and I highly recommend you to take a bus. The place is out of a fairytale, and every photo you take will be a piece of art. There are many souvenir shops with wide varieties of products, and you must try some of the local foods like Hida beef skewers.

Tips and Recommendations

– dress warm and take care of your steps during the snowy day.
– if you are willing to take photo on the observation point, you need to wait in line for 2 hours to get the ticket (500Yen/person).
– don’t miss their local food like Hida beef skewers and sake called, “amazake” a sweet fermented rice.

 

What do you think? If you want to know more about this place, let me know!! I’m happy to answer any questions you have.

Hope this inspired you to visit soon 🙂

 

XOXO,

♥♥Yoki♥♥

 

Kyoto Guide: Explore Gion

Kyoto Guide: Explore Gion

Kyoto is my absolute favorite city to explore in Japan.  There are about 800 shrines and 1,700 temples in Kyoto.  It is impossible to explore every single spot, so I pic
ked the best way to fully enjoy Kyoto for you!  There are 2 things you have to do if you are planning to go to Kyoto.  The first thing is to visit Gion.  Gion is one of the most famous and traditional districts in Kyoto.  Gion attracts tourists with its high concentration of traditional wooden buildings, and there are variety of restaurants, teahouses, and bars.  It is not uncommon to see geisha hurrying to their appointments in the evening as well.   The easiest way to go to Gion is to take a bus from Kyoto Station.  Take Kyoto City Bus service 100 from bus stop D1, or Kyoto City Bus service 206 from bus stop D2.  It will take 20 minutes to get there, and the price will be 230yen per person.

The second thing is to rent a Kimono.  There are several places you can rent a kimono in Gion which I listed below.  You will be dressed by professional stylists, and each shop has plenty of kimono to choose from for both men and women.  Full set rental + kimono dressing usually starts from 3,000yen, and the hair styling starts from an additional 500yen.

So now you are ready to go explore Gion, and here are 8 spots you don’t want to miss while you are there.

 

  1.  Kennin-ji (建仁寺)

Kennin-ji is famous for its simple and refined zen garden, and it is one of the oldest temples in Japan.  What I like the most about Kennin-ji is that there are usually less people, compared to other sights, so it is always very quiet and peaceful.  You can easily transport yourself to a time where you could imagine that life was just simple and beautiful.  Kennin-ji is also famous for its artworks.  My favorite artwork is the Twin Dragon, painted on the ceiling by Koizume Junsaku.

 

  2.  Tea and Sake Tasuki

You can walk to the cafe “Tasuki” which is located about 10 minutes away from Kennin-ji.

Tasuki is a Japanese-style retail, cafe, and sake bar.  I stumbled upon its lovely bridge and you can see the gentle Shirakawa river from the window.  Their shaved ice is to die for, but we had Japanese sweets with matcha (1,400yen) this time.  What makes this cafe unique is their tableware and atmosphere.  You can even see cherry blossoms from the window in the spring.

 

 

 

  3.  Tatsumi Daimyōjin

If you are looking for less crowded photo spots, this is the place for you!  This shrine is small yet beautiful in its simplicity.  It is located near Tasuki, so you can come after enjoying a cup of tea.  It is an amazing place to visit in cherry blossom season, but otherwise the willow trees and the street lights still make going for a regular evening walk here pretty magical.  The surrounding area is absolutely beautiful as well.  Right across Tatsumi Daimyojin, you will encounter a street filled with traditional Japanese wooden houses.

 

  4.  Yasaka-no-to Pagoda

Walking the streets between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu-Dera, you will encounter this beautiful pagoda called “Yasaka-no-to”.  It is a popular photo spot, so you may want to visit early in the morning if you wish to fully enjoy the view!  It is a great photo opportunity to capture beautiful traditional Japanese vibes.

 

5.  Yasaka Kōshin-dō

Right next to Yasaka-no-to Pagoda, there is a tiny temple called Yasaka Koshin-do.  If you are around the area, it’s worth a stop!  The visitors often write their wish on a colorful ball called “kukurizaru” and hang them at the site.   It is one of the most colorful and photogenic temples in Kyoto, and it is a popular spot for young Japanese girls.

 

  6.  Jeremy & Jemimah

About 5 minutes walk from Yasaka Koshin-do, there is a cotton candy shop called Jeremy & Jemimah.  Their flavor is very unique and Japanese, such as matcha, cherry blossom, and yuzu (Japanese citron).  The cotton candy is huge (I mean… bigger than my face!), but extremely fluffy.  Once you bite into it, it just melts away in your mouth leaving a pleasant taste of the flavor.  It was something you wouldn’t have in any other place!

 

  7.  Kōdai-ji

Right across the main shopping areas of Gion, Kodai-ji is located. It is not very touristy, yet the temple has such a peaceful garden with a little bamboo grove which is reminiscent of Arashiyama.  Also, there is a little museum, which has paintings of Buddha Nirvana (Nehan-zu) at Rishodo hall.  Normally, last entry to the temple is 5:00 pm. However, during special periods the temple and its environment are illuminated at nighttime and the temple reopens from sunset to 9:30 pm.  In spring the cherry blossoms are illuminated, while in autumn the trees planted around the pond of the temple are illuminated.  It is highly recommended to experience the night view!

 

  8.  Ninenzaka Street

Ninenzaka is the street which makes you feel like as if you are back in ancient Japan.  It is nice to just stroll around and have a feel of the place, but there are also plenty of restaurants and tea houses to refresh yourself as you explore.  The Starbucks in Ninenzaka is one of them, and I absolutely recommend you to visit if you are around the area.  It is world’s first tatami-style Starbucks, and the atmosphere is just beautiful.

 

I hope you will visit Kyoto soon, and if you do make sure to explore Gion wearing a kimono!! <3

 

XOXO,

❤︎❤︎Yoki❤︎❤︎

 

 

Luxury in Japan: Minami-kan

Minami-kan, well known for this beautiful garden is a traditional hotel located in Shimane Prefecture. This ryokan has a 130 year history, and it is an absolutely beautiful place to stay.

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Rooms

There are 14 different kinds of rooms, and each room maintains Japanese tradition while incorporating the essence of modernity. We were welcomed by matcha with traditional Japanese sweets. Our room was spacious and stylish, and the view over their beautiful sand garden was excellent.

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Dining

The menu is traditional Japanese food. Each meal was beautifully presented, and the entire dinner was a feast for all senses. The choice of ingredients, the cooking, and the presentation were just phenomenal for dinner and breakfast.

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Attractions

Around the hotel

Minami-kan is located in Matue City, the capital city of Shimane Prefecture.  Matsue is often called “City of Water” due to the prominence of the lakes, the river and canals in the city-scape and scenery. Although it remains the smallest capital city of all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the city offers a number of attractions that retain traditional Japanese charm and culture.

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Izumo-Taisha

Izumo-Taisha is located in Izumo city, one and half hours train ride from Matsue. You can also rent a car and drive for an hour to get there. Izumo-Taisha is known as one of Japan’s most important shrines. Is is believed to be one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, and you might encounter a Japanese couple having a wedding ceremony.

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Adachi-Museum of Art

Adachi-Museum of Art is well known for their beautiful traditional Japanese garden. It was voted the best garden in Japan for 14 consecutive years so we had high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The museum is accessible by a free shuttle bus from JR Yasugi Station. You will find the timetable on their official website. Don’t forget to take a ticket for the return bus on entering the museum! It is about a 40 minute drive away from Matsue city. If you’re in Shimane prefecture, you must give it a visit.

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Overall, Minami-kan was a wonderful place to stay. Their traditional garden, rooms, food, and service were remarkable. Shimane Prefecture is usually not on the regular tourist map for Japan, but it is less crowded compared to Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto.  If you want to experience the real Japan, I recommend you visit Shimane Prefecture and stay in Minami-kan. You will not regret it!

 

XOXO,

❤︎❤︎Yoki❤︎❤︎

Modern Japanese Hotel: Arcana Izu

Arcana Izu is a perfect place to unwind yourself – you will enjoy the comfort of Arcana with a private bath and some wonderful meals. To completely relax, the hotel does not have a lobby, public bath, and even television. You will be surrounded by the expansive view of the forests as the songs of birds fill your ears all day long.

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Suites

There are 4 different kinds of suites at Arcana. We chose River View Suites, and it was absolutely amazing. The room was modern and spacious, and it had huge panoramic window. My room was facing the river and trees, so you could see the stream running quietly just a few feet below. All rooms have private onsen (hot springs) on the veranda, and it was just impossible not to relax and enjoy.

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Dining

Everyone says highlight of Arcana is the food, and they are not wrong. Arcana serves a Michelin quality French cuisine in such beautiful environment. One of the walls is a window looking into the forest. I strongly recommend you to sit at the counter, so you can watch the chef and staff preparing the food against the backdrop of the greenery outdoor scenes. I have to say the course was one of the best presented food I have ever had.

Dinner

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Breakfast

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Attractions

Although there is nothing much to do around the area, you will love the nice countryside of Japan.

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Overall, our stay at Arcana was one of the BEST experiences we ever had, and I can thoroughly recommend a stay there without hesitation. Beautiful rooms, amazing meals, and first class service by the staff… what else can we ask for? If you are looking for an escape from crowds and want something different from traditional Japanese ryokan, Arcana is the place for you!

 

XOXO,

♥♥Yoki♥♥

Traditional Japanese Hotel: Yagyu-No-Sho

When you think about Japan, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto are easily on your mind to visit, but today I would like to introduce one of my favorite hotels, located in my hometown Shizuoka.  The hotel is called Yaghu-no-sho.

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When we walked in, we were welcomed by their warm lights and Koi fish. Their welcome-drink was matcha with Japanese sweets (my favorites).

 

 

 

Suites:

The hotel has only 15 suites available. We chose the one with an outdoor bath. The room was very comfortable and quiet. I loved their traditional Japanese style. It even has a beautiful individual garden, and the view from the window was outstanding.

 

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Bath:

Even if you don’t choose the room with a private outdoor bath, don’t worry! There are outdoor baths available for everyone who stays at the hotel. The bath was surrounded by the beautiful garden.

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Dining:

The meals were traditional Japanese cuisine, and they were absolutely delightful. We had multi-course meals with gorgeous presentation and flavor. Each course was light enough so that we weren’t stuffed early.  My favorite dishes were sashimi, kobe beef cooked on hot rocks, and grilled and salted fish. The entire meal took about 2 hours and the drinks were flowing nicely.

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Attractions:

The check-in time is 2pm so arriving early allows you to walk to the town and see their small bamboo forest and beautiful temple.

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Overall, this hotel was OUTSTANDING! If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Japan, 柳生の庄 Yaghu-no-sho is the best place to stay. It’s in a great location halfway between Tokyo and Kyoto (very easy to access to both locations).

Hope you will visit there soon!

 

♥♥Yoki♥♥