Japan is not only known for historical and cultural sights but also of their exquisite cuisine. In fact, Japan overtook France in number of Michelin starred restaurants. I believe that the best way to immerse and get to know the culture of the country you visit is to eat like a local. I am sharing with you food trip from my last two Tokyo trips.
1.TSUKIJI FISH MARKET
This is the world famous wholesale fish market of japan where you get to taste the freshest catch of the day. It has an inner market where the tuna auctions take place and an outer market where restaurants and retail shops cater to the public. This market opens at 5 in the morning but registration for the auction starts at 4:30 in the morning at Osakana Fukyu Center(Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate which allows only 120 visitors per day.
There are several stalls side by side here serving the freshest catch of the day. The famous sushi restaurants are SUSHI DAE and Daiwa Sushi. Both usually takes 2-3 hours waiting time before you can get a seat.
Famous for their Tsukemen (Cold Ramen Dipping Noodles). We waited for 30 minutes to get a seat.
3.MATSUYA, SUKIYA AND YOSHINOYA ( Beef Gyudon )
These are all well-spread food chain found in Japan. Only Yoshinoya have franchises in the Philippines. However their gyudon tastes way better than our local outlets. Their beef are tender and only uses Japanese rice. A heaven for beef gyudon lovers!
Traditional Yakiniku plus Sake Bomb is a perfect combination for dinner and chilling out. We went out looking for a place to eat and we came across a small street with an array of restaurants and we never expected this to be one of the highlights of our Tokyo trip. The beef was so good and the sake bomb was truly a bomb!
Ippudo Ramen is famous for their Tonkotsu-based(pork) soup which originated from Hakata, Japan. This Ramen chain is scattered all throughout Japan and has branched out internationally to Hongkong, Singapore, Korea and even in the Philippines.
This is a paradise for Sushi lovers. It is located just across Ometasando Hills. They have a wide array of sushi choices in a conveyor! The plates are color-coded with the corresponding prices. This is where my first sushi experience happened so this place is really memorable for me!
It is known for its Hakata-style Yakitori and is a well-loved restaurant among Japanese and tourists going to Roppongi Hills. It has a classy ambience perfect for a romantic date.
The famous Kuru (Black) Burgers only found in Burger King Japan. It is a bamboo charcoal infused black buns and black cheese comes topped with onions, tomato and chaliapin sauce(a mixture of garlic and onion named after the opera singer Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin) and squid ink to make it more black. A must try!
Gindaco is found all over Japan selling the famous Takoyaki or Octopus Balls. They are cooked fresh in an open stall and the aroma is so inviting and the taste is flavorful.
10.ICHIRAN VENDO RAMEN
Our Vendo Ramen experience! We took the pictures as order guide since everything is on Japanaese language. Upon placing our orders at the machine, you will be ushered inside the restaurant with individual booths. You will then hand the number to the attendant and in return you will be given a paper and choose for the level of spiciness and firmness of the noodles. After they will give your order, they will then close the booth window to give you privacy in savoring the ramen.Each booth has a water faucet so you don’t have to ask from the staff.
Here are a few tips when dining at a Japanese restaurant:
1. It is customary to say Itadakimasu, both hands are put together in front of the chest or on the lap before starting to eat a meal. Say go-chisō-sama to the host after meal and the restaurant staff when leaving.
2. Hot or cold towels or a plastic-wrapped wet napkin(o-shibori) should be used before eating to clean your hands, not to wipe the face or clean the spills on the table.
3. The proper usage of chopsticks is the most important table etiquette in japan.
4. It is customary to eat rice to the last grain.
5. Even in informal settings, drinking alcohol starts with a toast (kanpai) when everyone is ready. Do not start drinking until everybody is served and has finished the toast. People are expected to keep each other’s drinks topped up.
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