Discover Tokyo’s Diverse Culinary Culture

The most enjoyable way to understand Japanese culture is through their cuisine. Japanese cuisine offers a variety of regional and seasonal dishes. Since it’s a world-leading destination for both business and leisure, Tokyo offers quality international cuisine from French, Italian, Chinese and much more. Here we introduce some “must try" Tokyo favourites, and where to find them to get more out of your Tokyo dining experiences.

Must Try Local Cuisine In Tokyo


A trip to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without savouring ramen. Ramen is Japan’s typical noodle dish and can take days to prepare. It is a popular choice for quick meals after a busy day. If you walk around, you’re likely to find a ramen restaurant in almost every corner of the city.

One of Tokyo’s most famous ramen restaurants is Ichiran. It allows their customers to customise their dishes any way they want whether it’s texture, the strength of the seasoning stock, richness, and even the spiciness of the special red sauce.

Ichiran does a wonderful job of providing a set of recommendations on how you could order your ramen for the perfect balance of flavours and spices. You order via a vending machine which includes English instructions. Once you select your ramen preferences, you can press the button which will notify the chef on the other side of the stall that you’re ready to order. The meals and service here are fantastic with Ichiran staff on standby for diners who need assistance.


Tokyo is said to be the birthplace of sushi and has its very own style. One of the top restaurants in Tokyo is Sukiyabashi Jiro. The restaurant is in Ginza and was awarded 3-Star by the Michelin guide. Sushi comes in a variety of styles, such as Nigirizushi, Makizushi and Temakizushi.


Soba is buckwheat noodles that became a popular “fast food" dish in Edo by the mid-1700s, and is now popular all over Japan. In Tokyo’s older neighbourhoods it is common to find Soba restaurants run by families for many generations. 

A long-running restaurant that has been around for over 100 years is Kanda Yabu Soba and has still retained a traditional feel. 

The menu in Soba restaurants commonly follows a fixed range of popular noodle dishes with some variations or house/seasonal specialties. 


Tempura, another popular Tokyo dish is lightly battered and deep-fried fish, seafood, and 

vegetables. And whilst deep frying sounds heavy, Tempura is delicate, fluffy and has a special crunch, served with a dipping broth it is popular with rice or noodles. Tempura Miyashiro serves one of the best tempura in the city. This restaurant is housed in high-end hotels, displaying the chefs expansive culinary skills.

Experience The Simplicity And Sincerity Of Shojin Ryori

There are more than 100,000 restaurants in the city with a huge number of appetizing options that go beyond the famous sushi and ramen. But one traditional dining style that you must experience is Shojin Ryori. Shojin Ryori is a style of the Buddhist monks in Japan which grew popular after it was introduced in the 13th century with the rise of Zen Buddhism. The term Shojin Ryori means “devotion cuisine" and is based around the principle of Ahimsa (non-violence against living things).

Shojin ryori is the art of sophisticated Japanese vegetarian cuisine that originated from the Japanese Zen temples, but is widely popular all over the world for its healthful and well-balanced meals. The menu relies on seasonal vegetables, avoiding animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy. 

You can experience a much more elevated style of Shojin Ryori in Daigo, a two-star Michelin restaurant located on the foot of Mount Atago. Dining in Daigo feels more like a ceremony than a dinner, especially at a temple. Guests are welcomed at the entrance, and depending on the group size, they are escorted into private, minimalist styled rooms with views of the lush gardens and calming sounds of nature.

Fresh produce and vegetables are carefully selected, prepared and presented in Kaiseki style with three set menus. You can enjoy the simplicity of ingredients used in their recipes which is quite remarkable and so is the level of service.

Whether you’re vegetarian or not, you will appreciate a meal of traditional shojin ryori as every dish presented is a gem of nature taken from deliciously fresh seasonal ingredients. The Japanese Zen garden is also quite a peaceful idyll and is the perfect setting to calm yourself after a busy day.

Enjoy A Drink With A View

Not only is it known for its sophisticated cuisine, but Tokyo’s also known for its diverse nightlife which can make you feel somewhat overwhelmed, especially for a first-time visitor.

In a convenient location across from Tokyo station, inside Shin Marunouchi Building you will find STAND T, a sleek yet trendy bar with great views of the station’s iconic red brick building. The bar looks beautiful when illuminated at night and is often where people meet after a long day of meetings.

STAND T is the perfect place for social groups and solo guests, especially on weekends when it can get lively. There is a wide selection of reasonably priced beverages and light snack food to choose from. 

Narukiyo: Omakase Dining Experience

For great food, sake and fun vibes, head to Narukiyo Tokyo, a hidden gem tucked deep in the Shibuya neighbourhood. Upon entry, diners have to pay a flat fee and after they are seated they can enjoy the entertainment and vibe of the restaurant. Expect to hear some funky music, compliments from the chef, a view into what’s going on in the kitchen and lots of laughter and smiles, which will guarantee to be one of the best nights you’ll have in Tokyo. Here’s the thing about dining at Narukiyo, there is no menu (omakase menu). The chef will serve you something out of the blue whether it’s based on your appearance or what he is feeling in the moment.

A Night Of Fun At Bar High Five

One of Tokyo’s stand out destinations for drinks and traditional Japanese bartending is Bar High Five, perfectly located in the upscale Ginza neighbourhood. It is a great opportunity to gather your friends and family for a night of fun. The walls in Bar High Five are dark, the servers are dressed to the nines, and the drinks are strong.

At Bar High Five, there is no drink menu. The bartenders engage with their guests and happily establish spirits and taste preferences based on what you’re looking for. In addition to their polished service, the expansive back bar features an impressive collection of Japanese and Scotch whiskies.