Planning visits to the Japanese city of Tokyo? Here are some recommendations on what to eat*. To view all the photographs (with the captions in full) of each city, click on any image and navigate using the left and right keys.
1. My first dinner in Tokyo was a selection of cheap snacks from FamilyMart and Lawson: The fried chicken, sandwiches, and the onigiris in particular were very tasty. I had a similar meal for a few breakfasts too.
2. Kyushu Jangara Ramen, which served the best ramen I had in Tokyo. The stock and the big pieces of braised pork made the dish.
3. Yakitori – or skewered meats – at Torikizoku. I had the shrimp, chicken thighs and breasts in different sauces, and chicken wings. The shrimp and the chicken thighs were especially delicious.
4. Had to queue for about 30 minutes for Ichiran Ramen, which I thought was not as good as Kyushu Jangara Ramen. I liked the setup of individual booths and of the toppings served separately, but I did not think much of the broth or the pork.
5. Was craving sushi, so I stopped by Sushizanmai in the evening. The sushi is prepared by the chef in the middle, who then places the dishes on the conveyor belt. Many of the seafood items were served at very affordable prices and were very tasty.
6. For our first night in the Airbnb, because my family and neighbours arrived on a late flight, we decided to have a mix of bento sets, different hot dishes, and sashimi. Communal dining is a big advantage of travelling as a group and staying in an Airbnb.
7. One of my favourite, simple Japanese dishes: Udon with tempura (fish cake and squid).
8. In the Asakusa area, we had a late lunch at Sometarō, an okonomiyaki – a savoury pancake – restaurant.
9. You can choose to prepare the dishes yourself, but the staff are on hand to help you (which happens most of the time). We had grilled shrimps, scallops, and squid, an okonomiyaki, as well as yakisoba, or stir-fried buckwheat noodles.
10. Tendon Tenya is a chain of restaurants serving tempura – fried seafood or vegetables – and we had ramen and udon noodles with them. My mother has always enjoyed the shrimp tempura, which are usually bigger here and are fried very lightly for a crisp texture.
11. This is chazuke, which is prepared by pouring dashi or a soup stock over cooked rice. This came with little bits of fried seafood: Shrimp, scallops, and fishcakes.
12. We spent half a day at the Tsukiji Outer Market (the actual market is now closed and has moved to Toyosu). And because we were in a big group, we could share many items: Tamagoyaki (a sweet and savoury Japanese omelette), grilled scallops and oysters, grilled wagyu beef, beef and potato croquettes, grilled scallops, prawns, and squid, as well as scallop and uni (sea urchin) sashimi.
13. On a tour to Mount Fuji, we picked and savoured strawberries.
14. This is Yoshida udon – said to be made with water at the foot of Mount Fuji – served in a hotpot.
15. Ramen served with pork and plenty of vegetables, with a side of gyozas, or pan-fried dumplings.
16. We wanted to have a picnic at the Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden, so we made a trip to the Isetan Food Hall and each of us picked up individual food items: Fried rice, beef rice bowls, fried meats and seafood, and noodles. There was plenty of sashimi too.
17. These are the sushi and sashimi dishes, which we had at the same picnic.
18. A variant of the udon-and-tempura combination, this is kamaage udon, which is cooked udon dipped in cold, concentrated dashi sauce.
19. On our final night in Tokyo, we had a main dish of seafood nabemono – or seagfood hotpot – served with rice and other dishes: Alaskan king crab (which we also had at the Tsukiji Outer Market), little fried shrimps, shrimp tempura, chicken karaage (or Japanese fried chicken), grilled squid, and deep-fried fish.
20. Breakfast served at the hotel, a mix of Japanese and Western dishes.
21. An odd dessert or tea-time combination, but tasty nonetheless: Japanese parfait and clam chowder.
22. Gyūdon, or beef bowl, at Yoshinoya, one of the most ubiquitous fast-food chains in the country.
23. Delicious udon and tempura at TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle in Ginza.
24. We also had a side beef dish, which was very tasty.
25. And a cheesecake-cheese tart combination, at Ginza, to end the trip.
* Not an advertisement, and also not sponsored (unfortunately).