If you’re travelling to Japan, you’re probably going to spend some time in the capital, Tokyo. Japan’s capital city is full of great things to see and do from Japanese temples and eating sushi to things for fans of manga and anime.
To get the most out of Tokyo, you’d need to spend weeks there travelling around each neighbourhood in the city from Roppongi to Shibuya via Harajuku. When planning your trip to Tokyo, it’s easier to pick a few must-see attractions and sights.
In this article, we’re looking at some of the best places to eat and drink in Tokyo so that once you need some sustenance, you know where to go. You can’t head to Tokyo without enjoying the modern Japanese restaurant and café culture.
There are great restaurants across all the wards in Tokyo and you can get to every restaurant by train or by using the Tokyo subway.
Gonpachi: The Kill Bill Restaurant
Gonpachi is a traditional restaurant or Izakaya in the Roppongi district of Tokyo.
What’s so special about it?
Its interior inspired the decor of Kill Bill where The Bride faces off against O-Ren Ishii’s Crazy 88. Eating here is just like being in the film (without the brutality, of course).
In addition to the great surroundings, the restaurant is also famous for its food and friendly ambience. The prices aren’t outrageous given this is a famous Japanese style restaurant.
Nekorobi Cat Café
Cat cafés are hugely popular across Japan and several other Asian countries. You can find them in several different neighbourhoods around Tokyo and the Nekorobi Cat Café in Ikebukuro is among the most famous. Inside, you can enjoy your coffee while stroking some adorable cats.
Cat lovers have to go to Nekorobi Cat Café and make the most of the time with their feline friends. However, you can't bother the cats while they’re eating or sleeping. For around £10, you can get unlimited drinks. It’s a great place to stop off after a shopping trip in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City.
Ninja Akasaka is probably the most famous theme restaurant in the capital. If you love Japanese warrior culture, you’ll love this place that’s themed like a small village full of hiding spots and traps.
There are different set menus you can enjoy:
- Signature Hanzo Course: £70.
- Yamato Spirit Course: £50.
- Yamato Spirit Course: £40.
- Jubei Course: £105.
- Luxury Hideyoshi Course: £140.
Of course, this place isn’t for every budget, but it’s the price to pay to have your food delivered to you by ninjas. Furthermore, the food is really good. There are also ninja shows!
Robot Restaurant Shinjuku
At the heart of Kabukichi in Shinjuku, you’ll find the Robot Restaurant, a wacky theme restaurant that could only exist in Japan. There’s also an incredible robot show that draws in tourists from all over the world.
Between samurai combat, giant robots, and electronic music, the show is a blend of Japanese folklore and contemporary culture. At around £50 each in the evening, it’s rather expensive but the show itself is worth the price.
The show lasts 90 minutes with two breaks of 15 minutes during which you can order drinks, go to the bathroom, or take photos with the robots. If you’re going anywhere near Shinjuku, you’ll want to get your ticket for the Robot Restaurant.
Akihabara Maidreamin Maid Café
Akihabara is the place to go if you’re an Otaku or a fan of manga, anime, or Japanese computer games. This is where you’ll find some of the most famous maid cafés.
A maid café is a place where the waitresses sing and dance and amuse the guests with their kawaii behaviour. This is what you’ll find in the Akihabara Maidreamin café.
You can watch videos on their website to see what you’re in for.
You have to pay to enter and it’s not cheap. However, if you’re into that sort of thing, then it’s worth it.
Catch a Fish at Zauo
If you’ve already tasted sushi in Tokyo and read plenty of manga, you should head to Zauo where you can relax while catching the fish that you’ll eat for dinner. You can’t get fresher than that...
Zauo is a chain of restaurants that you can find in Meguro, Kamuro, and Shinjuku in Tokyo. Guests are invited to pick up their fishing rod and catch their dinner. However, you will be forced to eat the fish you catch.
This means if you catch a £150 fish, you’re going to have to pay for it. Despite that, it’s a great experience and a great way to enjoy a good fish dinner.
The Square Enix Café at Akihabara
Since 2016, the Akihabara neighbourhood has been home to the Square Enix café. This might mean nothing to some, but if you know Square Enix, you’ll also know that they made Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider, and Life is Strange games.
There are themed meals, goodies, and a museum to the famous franchises. If you’re a fan, you have to go there whilst you’re in Akihabara. The prices are quite expensive for a café, but there are original dishes and drinks.
Discover Tokyo's best museums.
New York Bar, Park Hyatt
If you’re a cinephile, you’ve probably seen Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola’s mythic film that takes place in Tokyo. In the film, the main character played by Bill Murray regularly frequents the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo where he’s staying.
You can also have a drink in this bar but be warned that it’s quite expensive. Here are some of the prices for a drink in the New York Bar:
- Champagne: £30.
- White wine: £15 to £30.
- Rosé wine: £15.
- Red wine: £15 to £30.
- Saké: £15 to £35.
- Cocktails: around £18.
- Whiskey: £15 to £200.
- Beer: £10.
- Tea and coffee: £10.
Let’s just say that you’ll spend quite a bit if you stay here for the whole evening.
Chatty Chatty: Tokyo’s Best Burger
Dubbed “the best burger in the world”, it’s hardly surprising that Chatty Chatty is popular. While you wouldn’t think that burgers would be popular in Tokyo, there’s quite a penchant for the American sandwich in Japan’s capital.
With fast service, a good atmosphere, and delicious burgers, you’ll say that Chatty Chatty is one of the best burgers you’ve ever tasted. This high-end burger won’t break the bank and will leave your stomach with great memories of Tokyo.
Eating Ramen in Ichiran
Ichiran Ramen is a chain of small restaurants that can be found all over Japan. Make your ramen by choosing the noodles, broth, ingredients, etc. All you need to know about it is that it’s good.
If you want to try some ramen in Tokyo, don’t hesitate to go to Ichiran Ramen which you can find in Shinjuku and Nakano.
Now you know a few places to eat and drink in Tokyo, you can start planning your trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
From the second you get to Haneda airport or Narita airport, you'll be spoilt for things to do in Tokyo. Whether it's gardens like the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, theme parks like the Tokyo Disney Resort, or something more traditional like the Tokyo Skytree or the Tsukiji Fish Market, you'll be spoilt for choice in the capital of the Land of the Rising Sun.
To learn more about Japan and its main cities, check out our other articles on the subject.
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