What do you think of Japanese food

Japanese food varies in taste from region to region, but locals share their love for some of the most famous dishes across the country. The HIGHLIGHTS of Japanese cuisine can be found in Tokyo! From hand-rolled sushi to homemade sake, Tokyo is considered the world capital of gastronomy.

AGODA EXTRA: Tokyo puts all other cities in the shade when it comes to world records. The city is not only home to the world's largest wholesale fish market, the Toyosu Market and former world record holder in simultaneous toasting at a single venue (Jingū Ballpark), but Tokyo also has most of the Michelin-starred restaurants. The top restaurants in Tokyo have so far garnered more stars than all the restaurants in Paris and New York combined. Some of the legendary restaurants such as this Usuki Fugu Yamadaya or that Sukiyabashi Jiro have also held the coveted three-star status for several years.

1. SUSHI

Made from special sushi rice or rice flavored with vinegar water and wrapped around a huge number of different pieces of fish and vegetables, sushi can be a bit scary for novices. Simply pointing your finger at what looks good is generally the easiest way to choose a “zushi”. But if you dare to do a little more Japanese food, then it is best to start with these “Tokyo heaps”:

Makizushi (nori roll): The quintessential sushi roll, makizushi, can be wrapped in thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or seaweed. Fermented or pickled rice is filled with everything from crab-flavored fish cakes and seafood to pickled radish and lotus root. Futomaki are "super-large" nori rolls.

Nigirizushi: Nigiri is similar to sashimi. Both are made from fresh slices of raw fish, but nigiri is served over a pressed, elongated mound of sushi rice. Sashimi is served without rice or with white rice.

Inarizushi: A deep fried tofu bag filled with sushi rice.

Chirashizushi: The “scattered sushi” consists of a bowl of sushi rice with traditional ingredients such as shrimp, mushrooms, chopped omelets or bamboo shoots spread on top.

Best Places to Eat Sushi in Tokyo:

Tsukiji Market: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō, near Tsukiji Station

Sushi Saito: ARK Hills South Tower, 1 Chome - 4-5 Roppongi, Minato, near Roppongi-Itchome Station.

Hatsune sushi: 5 Chome-20-2 Nishikamata, Ōta, near Kamata Station

Sugita: View Heights Nihonbashi, 1 Chome-33-6, Nihonbashi Kakigara-cho, Chūō

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2. RAMEN

This is not about packaged noodles, but probably the most popular, practical - and slurpest (to use a new word creation) meal in Japan. Ramen bars usually offer a Kotteri broth (rich) or an Assari broth (wholesome) in four main flavors as Japanese food. And here is what you need to know:

Shio (salt): This clear soup is seasoned with sea salt and its flavor comes from pieces of meat or fish that are cooked long enough to allow the aroma to develop.

Tonkotsu (pork knuckle): Pork bones are cooked until the bouillon takes on a cloudy, golden color.

Shōyu (soy sauce): This broth is made from fish, chicken or beef and then refined with Japan's most popular taste: with soy sauce.

Miso (fermented soybean paste): The latest ramen creation is Miso, a flavor fusion from tradition and tangy fermented soybean paste. The enthusiasm for it sparked in Hokkaido in the mid-1960s, and since then miso has been a permanent fixture on Japanese menus.

Perfect your ramen dish with fish fillets, fish cakes, roasted pork, vegetables, seaweed, spring onions or a soft-boiled egg.

Where are the best places to eat ramen in Tokyo?

You can find branches of throughout Tokyo Ramen Jiro and Ichiran. Alternatively, take a quick detour to Ikebukuro near Ikebukuro in Toshima to see at Mutekiya to slurp delicious pasta.

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3. IZAKAYA

The Japanese pubs, called izakaya, are part of the local lifestyle because Japanese food also means Japanese drinks. The doors to the nearest pub open shortly before 5 p.m., after which the local, mostly male workers, so-called “salarymen”, flock to the pub for cheap food and drink. Tokyo is home to thousands of izakayas, and if you ask around you will soon realize that everyone has their favorite pub. If you can't find a suitable one yourself, it is best to look for a stool in one of the following areas:

▪ Shinjuku Omoide Yokochō (Memory Lane) (Shinjuku stop)

▪ Ameyoko in Taito (Ueno stop)

▪ Yurakucho at Gaado-shita in Chiyoda (Tokyo Station)

▪ Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho (Drunkard’s Alley) in Shibuya (Shibuya Railway Station)

▪ Hoppy Dori in Asakusa (Asakusa stop)

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4. TONKATSU

The best thing about Tonkatsu, besides its unbeatable taste, is that home-style cooking can be found everywhere. The “Japanese Schnitzel” is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. A pork schnitzel breaded in flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs is fried so crispy that it pleases the soul (and the stomach). Tonkatsu is served with a variety of side dishes, and you can order it with Japanese curry or just fresh from the deep fryer. In the set you usually get Tonkatsu with a homemade Tonkatsu sauce, lots of grated cabbage, Japanese rice and a steaming bowl of miso soup. Don't miss out on this Japanese food.

Best Places to Eat Tonkatsu in Tokyo:

Tonkatsu Aoki (2 locations): 5 Chome-43-7 Kamata, Ōta, and 1 Chome-11-12 Hamamatsuchō, Minato.

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5. SHABU-SHABU

It is one of the most popular Japanese pot dishes and its name supposedly comes from the sound that is made when ingredients are stirred in a pan of boiling water: shabu-shabu. The food usually consists of tender beef slices, lots of vegetables and tofu, which are prepared individually in boiling water, similar to European meat fondue. If the ingredients are all, you are left with a delicious consommé. Pour this over the rice and enjoy your Shabu-Shabu until the last bite.

Here you can eat Shabu-Shabu in Tokyo:

Imafuku Suki Yaki: 1 Chome-12-19 Shirokane, Minato

Seryna: 3 Chome-12-2 Roppongi, Minato

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6. SOBA

Tokio people love soba. The vitamin-rich buckwheat noodles became popular during the Edo period (1603-1868) because they have nutrients that white rice does not. Soba is enjoyed in two ways: hot or cold. The dish is usually paired with tsuyu, a sauce made from fish stock (dashi), sweet soy sauce, and rice wine (mirin). Reach for the chopsticks for cold soba noodles, which are often garnished with nori seaweed, grated radish, okra or vegetables. The cold noodles are dipped in the tsuyu sauce, while the warm soba is placed in a broth with tsuyu sauce. There are numerous side dishes with the warm soba noodles. This includes everything from small fish cakes to mushrooms. The louder you slurp soba, the better you fit in with the locals.

Here are the best soba noodles in Tokyo:

Kanda Matsuya: 1 Chome-13 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda.

Tamawarai: 5 Chome-23-3 Jingūmae, Shibuya

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7. SAKE

Don't forget to wash down your traditional Japanese food with a traditional Japanese drink. A glass of sake is a must! Of course, you shouldn't miss the taste of Shōchū, the plum wine Umeshu or Amazake.

Sake: The Japanese national drink is often described as rice wine, but it is actually a rice beer because it is made through fermentation. This creates a milder taste than wine, but a more fruity aroma.

Shōchū: Shōchū is distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or sugar cane with a significantly higher percentage than wine or sake. The “Japanese Vodka” as Shōchū is also called, is usually mixed with other drinks, but can also be enjoyed pure or with ice.

Umeshu: The Japanese plum wine is made from the not yet ripe ume fruits (ume = plum). The sweet and sour aroma obtained in this way goes well with various cocktails such as Flambéed Plum (The Flaming Plum), Umeshu Sour and Umeshu Tonic.

Amazake: The fermented rice drink is served warm and sweetened and contains so little alcohol that it is often offered to children as well. Enjoy it as a dessert wine with the family or as a hangover drink after a long night with various sake and shochu samples!

Green tea: Needless to say, in Japan you can of course drink green tea, which can be found anywhere and in anything. Just in case, you should at least remember these standards: Matcha (finely ground green tea), Genmaicha (green tea leaves roasted with brown rice) and Ryokucha (steamed green tea).

Sakura tea: The slightly salty drink is made from candied cherry blossoms. Sakura-yu means “beginning”, which is why the tea is traditionally served at weddings. You can also get it in many restaurants in Tokyo.

Soy milk: You can find soy milk in over 50 flavors in Japan! Supermarkets and general stores sell cold varieties with banana, strawberry, almond, chocolate or melon flavor.

The best places to try sake and other Japanese drinks in Tokyo:

Akaoni: 2 Chome-15-3 Sangenjaya, Setagaya

Kurand Sake Market (6 locations): Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shimbashi, Yokohama

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