It is tough to narrow down the best places to eat in Japan. However these 10 restaurants all have that something special that really makes them stand out above the rest!
Japan is known for its culture, gorgeous landscapes, temples, and a rich history. Of course Japanese cuisine is well known throughout the world too. What isn’t so well known is the meticulous effort in food preparation, and the amazing presentation as well as flavors that is associated with these restaurants. Let’s a explore another great aspect of what makes Japan such a great travel destination, the food!
No.10 UKAITEI – TEPPANYAKI
The last restaurant on our list changes things up a bit. While the previous ones were steeped in tradition and history, this Teppanyaki style restaurant brings a more modern style. The design and seating inside the restaurant shows nothing but elegance and grandeur. Only the finest of ingredients make it into your meals here, and having the chefs prepare it right in front of you only adds to the experience.
Ukaitei Address: 5-15-8 Jijitsushin Bld., Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Access: 1 minutes walk from exit 6 of Higashi Ginza Station, 7 minutes walk from exit A4 or A5 of Ginza station Opening Hours: Weekdays 12:00pm ~ 2:00pm and 5:00pm ~ 11:00pm Saturdays & Holidays 11:30am ~ 3:00pm and 5:00pm ~ 11:00pm *Closed on Sundays and New Years Phone: 03-3544-5252 Website: Ukaitei Hotel: Booking here!!
No.9 JIYUSAN – SOBA
This soba restaurant in Tokyo is well known for the quality of their noodles, great presentation, and a cozy atmosphere in the restaurant. They use buckwheat from only the best places in Japan and utilize a specialized refrigerator to store and prepare it. They also make the noodles fresh every morning.
Jiyusan Address: 3-1-4 Eharacho, Nakano 165-0023, Tokyo Access: 8 minutes walk from Shin-egota station Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am ~ 2:30pm Dinner 5:30pm ~ 8:30pm *Closed on Mondays Phone: 03-3951-3397 Website: Jiyusan Hotel: Booking here!!
No.8 KABUTO – UNAGI
This restaurant specializes in Unagi. This eel dish is famous throughout Japan, but this restaurant might prepare it the best. If the 6 month reservation list is any indication of its quality than there are only a handful of restaurants that might beat it. Having some of the highest customer ratings, this restaurant’s popularity won’t soon die out. If you can plan months in advance, then this is an absolute must visit!
Kabuto Address: 2-53-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo Access: 5 minutes from west exit of Ikebukuro station Opening Hours: 5:00pm ~ 10:00pm *Closed on Thursday, Sunday and Holidays Phone: 03-3983-8608 Hotel: Booking here!!
No.7 TEMPURA MOTOYOSHI – TEMPURA
Another one from the same category, Motoyoshi, is a tempura restaurant. This is another Michelin rated restaurant and with that reputation you can expect the need for an advance reservation. The presentation here is on par with the previous restaurant and the flavor is also unforgettable. You can really appreciate the effort put into every dish as it is prepared to perfection.
Tempura Motoyoshi Address: 3-2-4 Central Aoyama No. 6B-A, Aoyama, Mintato-ku, Tokyo Access: 3 minutes walk from exit 1a of Gaienmae station Openign Hours: 5:30pm ~ 8:30pm, 8:30pm ~ 12:00am *Closed on Sundays and Monday if it’s a holiday Phone: 03-3401-0722 Website: Tempura Motoyoshi Hotel: Booking here!! **Reservation Needed on Saturday** (Limited to 8 people only.)
No.6 FUKAMACHI – TEMPURA
Jumping back to Tokyo we change gears a bit and introduce a tempura restaurant. If you’ve ever had tempura before I can guarantee you that this will change how you see tempura. The flavor and presentation is harmonious, and the small restaurant creates a homey feeling. It is a truly Japanese experience and you will soon be craving this again. You can expect to pay upwards of 10,000 JPY for a basic tempura course menu.
Fukamachi Address: 2-5-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Access: 1 minute walk from Kyobashi station Opening Hours: 11:30am ~ 1:30pm, 5:00pm ~ 8:30pm (Tuesday – Friday), 12:00pm ~ 2:00pm, 5:00pm ~ 8:30pm (Weekends, Holidays) *Closed on Mondays, 1st and 3rd Sundays Phone: 03-5250-8777 Hotel: Booking here!!
No.5 TENZUSHI – SUSHI
Tenzushi is another well known sushi restaurant. Travelling down south to Kyushu you will find this gem of a restaurant in the city of Fukuoka. This place has been around since the early 1900’s and has a great reputation. Plan in advance because this small restaurant only has five openings at most.
Tenzushi Address: 3-11-9 Kyomachi, Kokurakita Ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Access: 5 minutes from Kokura station Opening Hours: Lunch 12:30pm ~ 3:30pm Dinner 5:00pm ~ 9:00pm *Closed on Mondays Phone: 093-521-5540 Hotel: Booking here!!
No.4 SUSHI SAITO – SUSHI
This Michelin 3-star restaurant earns its reputation through the presentation and flavor of their sushi. Even within Japan, the birthplace of Sushi, this restaurant is very well known. It isn’t just our website, this restaurant has made top honors on CNN as well. With an average cost upward of 10,000 JPY you definitely won’t regret this meal.
Sushi Saito Address: 1-4-5 ARK Hills South Tower, Roppongi, Mitato-ku, Tokyo Access: 1 minute walk from Roppongi-itchome station Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm ~ 2:00pm Dinner 5:00pm ~ 11:00pm *Closed on Sundays and Holidays Phone: 03-3589-4412 Website: Sushi Saito Hotel: Booking here!!
No.3 TORAYA KOCHUAN – KAISEKI
Toraya Kochuan is next on the list and is located in Tokushima. This famous Kaiseki restaurant features traditional Japanese cuisine with a menu decided upon by what is in season. This course like dining experience is a must try while in Japan and there is no better place than Toraya Kochuan.
Toraya Kochuan Address: Igai-1 Kami, Sanagouchi, Myodo District, Tokushima 771-4102 Access: It takes 40 minutes taxi ride from Tokushima station Phone: 088-679-2305 Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm ~ 2:00pm Dinner 5:00pm ~ 8:00pm Hotel: Booking here!!
No.2 SUZUE – KAPPO RYORI
This next restaurant takes us west of Tokyo to the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto. This restaurant features Japanese style cuisine ranging from a variety of different dishes. The presentation is phenomenal and the taste definitely matches. This place also runs about the same as Matsukawa at around 30,000 JPY per person.
Suzue Address: 58-1 Enshoji-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto Access: 5 minutes walk from Higashiyama Station Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 10:00pm *Closed in the Middle of August, End of the year and New Years Phone: 075-771-7777 Hotel: Booking here!!
No.1 MATSUKAWA – KAPPO RYORI
Matsukawa is situated in a more high-end area of Tokyo, Roppongi. The food here is delicious but it also comes with a price tag to match. Average course meal here will range upward of 30,000 JPY. It is a small quaint restaurant that offers some amazing Japanese flavors.
Matsukawa Address: 1-11-6 Akasaka Terrace House, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Access: 3 minutes walk from exit 3 of Roppongi-itchome station Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm (Only Thursday, Friday, Saturday) Dinner 6:00pm – 10:00pm *Closed on Sundays and Holidays Hotel: Booking here!!
Everyone of these places is extremely popular. Be sure to call in advance to make sure you will have a chance to eat at this world class restaurants. After all it isn’t everyday that you get to come to Japan!