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Asia Tour Packages for Foodies: 10 Essential Eats in Tokyo

Whether you are researching Asia tour packages or are planning a solo adventure, don’t miss these Japanese staples at Tokyo’s most essential restaurants.

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Tokyo is one of the world’s premiere destinations for food tourism. From street food staples like ramen and gyoza to high end sushi and Michelin-rated restaurants, Tokyo has something for every palate and budget.

Asia tour packages for foodies

1. Ramen at Karashibimisoramen Kikanbo

Some fans say that Karashibimisoramen Kikanbo (known as Kikanbo) has the best ramen in all of Tokyo, while others say it has the best ramen in all of the world. Either way, Kikanbo’s ultra-spicy miso ramen will make heat lovers feel right at home. Only the bravest visitors order ramen “demon demon” style, which cranks up the heat with not one, but two too-hot-to-handle spices.

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2. Sushi at Sawada

If sushi is an art, then Chef Sawada is one of its masters. Chef Sawada prepares his sushi omakase style, which means that there is no menu. He decides what to serve based on what ingredients are fresh that day and the rapport he’s built with his guests. Guests can expect dinner and a show at this Michelin-starred restaurant while they watch Chef Sawada deftly assemble piece after piece of seafood-and-rice masterpieces.

3. Tempura at Ten-ichi

Ten-ichi elevates battered, deep-fried tempura to a dining experience good enough for guests like Frank Sinatra, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton. You’ll be mesmerized by the ease with which Chef Suzuki flips battered seafood around a pan of boiling oil using only his chopsticks. A reservation is your best chance for dining at Ten-ichi and sitting next to an international dignitary.

4. Tonkatsu at Tonki

After almost 80 years of preparing the deep-fried breaded pork dish known as tonkatsu, Tonki has it down to a science. From the decor to the menu, simplicity is the modus operandi at Tonki. Guests choose between rōsu-katsu (fatty) or hire-katsu (lean) meat and then wait twenty-or-so minutes for it to slow cook. The end result is piping-hot tonkatsu accompanied by rice, shredded cabbage (the traditional side dish), miso soup and spicy mustard.

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5. Gyoza at Harajuku Gyozaro

If dumplings are your guilty pleasure then add Harajuku Gyozaro (also known as Harajuku Gyoza Lou) to your list of must-try restaurants while visiting Tokyo. Harajuku Gyozaro’s simple menu offers gyoza two ways: fried or steamed. At about $3 for six pieces, you can afford to try them both. Fans say that these juicy dumplings are tasty enough to be eaten without any sauces. Come hungry, but not too hungry as there is usually a wait at this popular spot.

6. Matcha at Kosoan

Kosoan is the perfect retreat from Tokyo’s hustle and bustle. The teahouse is built inside of a traditional Japanese house – complete with a perfectly landscaped garden. Take a seat on the floor at a traditional low table and enjoy the serenity of the garden while sipping on matcha, tea made of ground green tea leaves, paired with a seasonal sweet.

7. Teppanyaki at Hakushu

Called the “Holy Grail for meat lovers” by one fan, Hakushu prepares Japan’s finest kobe and wagyu beef teppanyaki-style. Teppanyaki involves cooking on an iron griddle, much like hibachi. Hakushu is a multi-generational family operation so if you’re lucky, grandma will cook for you. Reservations are highly recommended as foodies come from all over the world to try this Japanese steakhouse.

8. Udon at Udon Shin

From ramen to udon, Tokyo is a noodle-lover’s paradise. Udon noodles are ramen noodles’ thicker, chewier cousins. Udon Shin in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood is known for its hand-made noodles that are cut and cooked to order. Guests can enjoy udon two ways: served cold with a side of tempura or served hot in soup-form topped with beef.

9. Pastries at Hidemi Sugino

Paris may be the first metropolis that comes to mind when conversation goes to pastries, so you so you may be surprised to learn that Tokyo’s patisseries are equally as delicious. Chef Hidemo Sugino, who was named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2015, is best known for his mousses. You’ll want to photograph these sweet treats before eating them because they look as good as they taste.

10. Japanese breakfast at Tsukiji Shouro

Whether you’ve planned your trip to Tokyo yourself or are visiting Japan via Asia tours, you’ll need a hearty breakfast to prepare you for exploring. Instead of bacon and eggs, a traditional Japanese breakfast consists of rice, miso soup and seafood. For something a bit more familiar head to Tsukiji Shouro for tomagoyaki, Japanese omelette made of several layers of rolled up eggs. You’ll be able to find tomagoyaki filled with anything from chicken to pickled plums at Tsukiji Shouro.

Have you ever had something tasty in Tokyo? Tell us about it in the comments below!

See Tokyo and the best that Asia has to offer on AAA’s Asia tours. Click here to explore our Asia tour packages

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