Eating in Tokyo could be a challenging task because the waiters don’t speak English. Most menus don’t have English translation as well so just guess. Have a guess and let yourself be surprised by what you order.
But you have choices – wow – from sushis to fusion steaks to curry rices to noodles to drinks to bottled drinks to sweets and chocolates, you have even bigger choices than you have in Europe.
Sushi, Curry, Onigiri, Japanese Steak, Japanese Pizza, Takoyaki and Ramen
Price-wise, eating in Tokyo isn’t that expensive. If you want to be frugal, you can just stop off at any convenience store nearest to you like Lawson, 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Sun-Kus etc and you can have a packet of bento rice or sushi or curry rice or Japanese pastas for ¥ 300-500 (€ 3-5) or a simple Onigiri for ¥ 120-160. The Onigiris are deeeeeeeelicious. They can be of any fillings: Seaweed, Kawa (Chicken Skin), Tobiko (Fish Roe), Tuna & Salmon Mayo, Spicy Squid – just everything possible. Eat one and you’re totally full already.
In restaurants, well, it really depends on your budget – there are fancier ones like the Michelin-starred Japanese cuisine in our hotel, which could cost you between ¥ 5,000 to ¥ 25,000 (€ 50 to 250) but most street ones you find, delicious as well, cost between ¥ 350-1000 for a meal. Iced tap water is free of charge.
On the second night, we found this cute Tanuki Bar with a Tanuki as its mascot (Raccoon) which was so nicely decorated in Japanese ecritures, but we didn’t understand a thing they said so off we went after a drink, and landed in a sushi bar with moving sushi belt that sold all the sushis for ¥ 150 a plate – it was so deliciously fresh and tasted so much better than any sushis I had ever tasted in Indonesia. (No sh*t, Sherlock – it’s Japan, the land of sushis)
What we really really found delicious in Tokyo:
- Sushis: from ¥ 150 a plate.
- Japanese Curry (try CoCo IchibanYa – move over Mr. Curry!!): from ¥ 480 a plate.
- Onigiri (even the ones from Family Mart / Lawson tasted yum): from ¥ 120 apiece.
- Japanese Steak (we found this one great resto in Shibuya, just 10 meters from the Crossing of Shibuya Station / Hachiko Statue, above the GasPanic Club, on the 4th or 5th floor – honestly we didn’t even remember the name but their steaks were just so heavenly – generous portion, well-done, delicious sauces): from ¥ 500 per portion / dish.
- Japanese Pizza: I didn’t taste any but J said the pizzas he ate at this small bar in Shimbashi, near our hotel, was one of the best pizzas he ever tasted. ¥ 380-580.
- Takoyaki: ¥ 350 for 6 balls approximately. Takoyakis are small squid-filled balls that I happen to be addicted to, since recently. I had them for dinner after going back from Shibuya, found them in the Tokyo Food Show at the Shibuya Station. Gahh, they’re awesomely tasty.
- Ramen: not a big fan to be honest. But some people can find the ramens very delish – from ¥ 500 I guess.
Kit Kats, Chocolates, Tokyo Banana, Mochi and Cakes
Japanese sweets industry must be thriving because there must be a million products available in the sweets area. I had the difficulty restraining myself from eating all the sweets there because they were so tempting, well-packaged and well-visualized.
Kit Kats are another story. I knew since long that Japanese Kit Kats are the variants you will never find anywhere else in the world. Try these: Wasabi, Peach, Plum, Blueberry Cheesecake, Raspberry, Black Chocolate, Green Tea, Strawberry, Banana – unfortunately, we could only find the Raspberry, Black Chocolate and Blueberry Cheesecake Kit Kats
Next time we go to Tokyo I must find more flavors.
Japanese like to make their cookies and cakes pretty and creative-looking. You’d find cakes shaped in the forms of Anime cartoon characters, mainly at the “Connerie Land” alias the souvenir shopping mall under the Tokyo Sky Tree. Doraemon mini-cakes, Hachiko cookies, Pokemon biscuits etc etc. Endless shopping sprees!! They’re so cute you cannot resist buying them – we bought a DomoKun tin containing chocolates for Baby Louis even though he doesn’t eat any chocs yet.
Mochi-wise the same – I went crazy!!! Oh, next time I must bring home so much more of those cute-looking mochis!
How about Tokyo Banana? Tokyo Banana is currently most happening souvenir from Tokyo – I bought two boxes for my friends and even the yellow packaging was too cute. The ones I bought were Tokyo AkiBanana from Akihabara / Akiba.
Gahhhh, the joys of spending. I was turning into a true shopaholic the whole time I was in Japan.
So, you’re still not booking the next flight to Japan?