Tokyo is not just known for its incredible food, the 2008 and 2009 Michelin Guides rated the city so highly, that it can arguably be called the culinary capital of the world. Cuisines from all over the world are represented in Japan, and with such great variety, you could theoretically spend years in the city and never need to eat at the same restaurant twice. As a rule, Japanese take quality extremely seriously and that extends to food preparation as well. Japanese pride themselves on using some of the finest ingredients available and food is prepared with such care that food related illness is almost unheard of.While Westerners often generalize typical Japanese “ryori” (cuisine) as sushi, rice, noodles, fish, and green tea, the truth is there are innumerable varieties of, what Japanese people call, standard fare. Sushi and sashimi (raw fish without the rice), are definitely staples, as are the variety of noodle dishes like ramen (boiled egg noodles typically served in a hot flavored broth), soba (cold buckwheat noodles), and udon (thick wheat flour noodles served either hold or cold). But so many other dishes and Japanese meals are available within the city including Shabu-Shabu (beef and vegetables you cook in a boiling pot), Sukiyaki (grilled beef with a raw egg sauce), Teishoku (typical and inexpensive set meals), Tempura (lightly batteredfried fish and vegetables), Teppanyaki (beef and vegetables cooked right in front of you on a countertop grill – think Benihana’s but far better), Yakiniku (Korean-style BBQ), and Yakitori (grilled skewers of meat or vegetables), among many others. Exquisite restaurants for each food variety can be found all over the city and range in price from a few US dollars for a couple skewers of Yakitori, to well over US$40 per person for top level Teppanyaki meals.

Beyond Japanese, African, “American”, British, Chinese, French, “Fusion”, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Pakistani, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and other cuisines are readily available. Costs vary for each, and some recommendations for each can be found in city magazines and Web sites like:

Shopping for food in Tokyo is generally a cinch, with a large variety of convenience stores, small and medium sized grocery stores, large department stores, and grocers that cater to foreigners like National Azabu ( and Nissin World Delicatessen ( both located within the heart of the city.