Tokyo



  • I'm visiting Tokyo later in the year to accompany Mrs CF on her annual work trip. I want to eat well for a reasonable price and have a look around. Suggestions from the TSF brains trust are greatly appreciated



  • How long are you there for?



  • Tokyo is a funny city - it's just home for me nowadays so I can't see how it is that interesting. Although, people coming from outside usually enjoy it. Two questions to follow up antip's: Have you been to TK before? To what extent can either of you read or speak Japanese. The second question is only a problem because there are still a few local places where some language knowledge is pretty useful.
    I'll start with food and drinks, and come back to discuss sights later (although someone who was a straight up visitor might be better for that anyway).
    I'm going to assume that you eat fish and are willing to have a go at most JP foods. If not, it's a pretty boring place to visit unless you love all types of Ramen.
    What's the timing Canefan (edit : sorry!). It'll be hot through to start of October (which is nice, but it'll rain a bit), then gets cold through November and December. This influences the types of fish available ( http://www.tsukiji-market.jp/fish-seasonality/).
    Fish market
    The new fish market at Toyosu opens November 7th, so that may be worth a look (Most people are not that happy about the move, but we are stoked because we live in Toyosu). Tsukiji will be open either way http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm (they are keeping most of the shops around the market), but of course be ready to line up if you go. Most people will recommend Sushi Dai at Tsukiji, but I say fuck waiting for 2 -3 hours for sushi for breakfast. So, when I'm at the market, I go to Tenfusa, which usually doesn't have as longer line (https://foodsaketokyo.com/2013/01/02/tsukiji-market-cheap-eats-tenfusa-tempura/). On the map, I've also tagged an Italian place which has amazing seafood linguine (but be ready to wait there).
    High-end sushi
    Doesn't seem like your plan, but if you want to spend plenty of money ($350 pp or more), Mizutani https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066444-d1177310-Reviews-Sushi_Mizutani-Chuo_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html is my favorite, but he prefers people who speak Japanese, and won't take reservations directly (you'll need your hotel to make it). He is also famous for being a pain in the ass. When we were there, he was awesome, but others have had less good experiences. Sukiyabashi Jiro is the supposed number 1 (http://www.sushi-jiro.jp/shop-info/), but I can't comment as I haven't been. It's pretty hard to get in and very pricey.
    So, my recommendation is Kyubei ( http://www.kyubey.jp/en ). Try to go to the 'Hon-kan' for lunch (slightly cheaper) and get the Omakase menu (that means it's up to the chef, but they'll ask you if there is anything you really don't like). They speak a little English, it's the most relaxed of sushi places I know, and the Prime Minister often goes there. Depending on drinks, you can get in and for $100 per person at lunchtime (which is a fantastic deal) and about $180pp at dinner time. If you are prepared to spend money for one lunch or dinner. Go here. Izakaya
    The places to get good value and enjoy things a bit more. On the map I've noted four of my favorites which are foreigner friendly. I should note that I don't usually go to these ones, because I usually go to places where you need to speak Japanese. Call me if you want a guide 🙂 Yurakucho/Ginza:
    Andy's - the most foreigner friendly and good food (he goes to the market every day and he is a nice guy). It's also under the tracks at Yurakucho, which is a required visit. Don't make it your only Izakaya though. http://www.andysfish.com/Shin-HinomotoRoppongi:
    Uoshins - I go to another branch of this store a lot! Here, they have an English menu and it's much more legit as an Izakaya. Defo get the 'Noke-sushi'. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066451-d1688330-Reviews-Uoshin_Nogizaka-Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.htmlShibuya:
    Shirube - the fun of this place is finding it! Food is good though, and the sister store is often rated the best Izakaya in Tokyo (but too far out for me). Check the map, and you'll need a reservation. http://r.gnavi.co.jp/a056506/
    Kaikaya - Usually a little easier to get in to if the others are not available. http://www.kaikaya.com/Ramen
    There is a whole long list of places. I7ve just put in my favorite (in Takadanobaba) but I'll attach the Michelin guide for Ramen places below and you can explore 🙂http://gm.gnavi.co.jp/restaurant/list/tokyo/all_area/all_small_area/ramen/all_star/Nihonshuu (Sake)
    I haven't put my favorite on here (sorry, if you want to go, I'll have to take you), but a good place which is heaps of fun is 'Buri' in Ebisu. Make sure you get a Panda!http://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/tokyo/entertainment-nightlife/other/buriGeneral food links:
    Michelin guide - Check out the 'bouchons' for good value:http://gm.gnavi.co.jp/restaurant/list/tokyo/
    Bento.com - check out the 'starred' places:http://www.bento.com/tokyofood.htmlGo at your peril places:Ninjahttp://www.ninjaakasaka.com/
    Very popular with visitors, but I have no idea why. It's fucking terrible, worst money I've spent in Tokyo in many years. However, some like it. If that happens to be you, that's fine, but let's not talk about it. It's not on the map. Fuck that.Alcatraz ERhttp://alcatraz-er.net/
    Another dress up weird place (It's a prison where they dress as nurses). This one is actually better than Ninja, but don't go for the food. It's not on the map either.
    Robot Restaurant:http://www.shinjuku-robot.com/pc/system.php?lng=en
    It's very popular, but I've been too many times. The girls are very hot. The food is not really food (little bento), and it's stupid. But kind of fun. Some love it, some fucking hate it. It's on the map.
    As I think of more places, I'll come and add them.



  • Forgot to attach the map:
     
    http://bit.ly/25GPNgf
     
    Yakitori
     
    Kokkekokko
    My favorite place in Shinjuku. Eat it raw! Do it!
    http://www.bento.com/rev/1977.html
     
    Birdland
    You'll need a reservation in advance but this is considered the best place in Tokyo.
    http://bento.com/m/e/rest/2644.html
    http://ginza-birdland.sakura.ne.jp/
     
    I may add some other places to the map.
     
    Edit: I've added Dogen, my favorite Ramen place where they have Wagyu beef and sell Shimane sake
     
    I'll come back again and talk drinking next time 🙂



  • Less-expensive Sushi
     
    Sushi Midori
    http://sushinomidori.co.jp/tenpo_e.html
    I often go to the one in Shibuya (on the map now), but they have others and the quality is very high for the price.



  • How long are you there for?Not long. 6 days?



  • 6 days is heaps. Are you guys planning to try to hit Kyoto/ Hiroshima too?



  • For an amazing experience that is expensive, but not too badly priced for a Michelin starred place with a unique experience, I recommend Tapas Molecular Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel http://www.mandarinoriental.com/tokyo/fine-dining/tapas-molecular-bar/  Reviews on Trip Advisor here but the review that made me go to it twice in separate visits is here. You can book online before you go (in English)
     
    If you are going to Kyoto, the best katsu I ever had is in the Kyoto Train station building. Cheap too (around $20NZ for a meal, including unlimited rice, cabbage and miso)



  • If you are going to be there during the baseball season, once of the best sports experiences I've had was going to a game at Yokohama stadium outside by the sea. Awesome atmosphere with the crowd singing/chanting, food better than you get in most NZ restaurants from teh concession stands, and hot japanese girls with kegs on their backs bringing you beer to your seat. On my bucket list is going to a indoor game at Tokyo Dome



  • 6 days is heaps. Are you guys planning to try to hit Kyoto/ Hiroshima too?

    Going to take the bullet to Kyoto at least.  Hadn't thought about Hiroshima but it might be worth a go.  While the cat is at work I like to roam a bit.
     
    In answer to your other questions
     
    1.  Yes I eat fish and almost everything is on the table except for sea urchin (although my one bad experience might be overcome by eating some top quality Japanese stuff) and fugu
    2.  I don't speak any Japanese
    3.  I think we are there in September?
     
    I haven't started to plan but I do like to be organised, so thanks for all of the information so far



  • For an amazing experience that is expensive, but not too badly priced for a Michelin starred place with a unique experience, I recommend Tapas Molecular Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel http://www.mandarinoriental.com/tokyo/fine-dining/tapas-molecular-bar/ Reviews on Trip Advisor here but the review that made me go to it twice in separate visits is here. You can book online before you go (in English)
    If you are going to Kyoto, the best katsu I ever had is in the Kyoto Train station building. Cheap too (around $20NZ for a meal, including unlimited rice, cabbage and miso)

    Go SC86, that place is meant to be awesome.
    My wife says that katsu place is awesome (she used to live in Kyoto).
    Kimikatsu isn't another place to check out for tonkatsu (mille-feuille style Tonkatsu)http://www.kimukatsu.com/sp/kimukatsu_eng/



  • If you are going to be there during the baseball season, once of the best sports experiences I've had was going to a game at Yokohama stadium outside by the sea. Awesome atmosphere with the crowd singing/chanting, food better than you get in most NZ restaurants from teh concession stands, and hot japanese girls with kegs on their backs bringing you beer to your seat. On my bucket list is going to a indoor game at Tokyo Dome

    I dunno, I reckon Bay stadium is much better - they have a great bar outside too. The Dome is pretty muggy - I wasn't really that into the atmosphere and I'm a Giants fan.
    Meiji-jingu on a clear night I think beats both of them - even though I hate the Swallows, or Zoom-zoom in Hiroshima (esp if you are with locals).



  • Konnichiwa from Tokyo friends. Almost at the end of my time here but Tokyo farken rocks! The people are very polite and many very friendly (and they love NZ!), great public transport, but the food is the best. We're staying in Shinjuku and I've tried to eat a wide variety of local cuisine, from eel yakitori in a piss alley isakaya cooked by the 83 year old owner chef to hand made soba noodles, ramen, tempura, katsu pork and everything in between. Going to round out the trip with a Kubey sushi lunch splurge. Anyone thinking about coming for RWC 18 or olympics 2020 will have a great time



  • @canefan

    Enjoy Kyubey! I was there a couple of months ago for dinner and the lunch is definitely the better deal and better atmosphere.



  • @gt12 we're going to the Shinjuku branch. I'm not sure how muchee but I've only spent a little on food because it's pretty cheap so whatever. I expect the set menu is reasonable



  • @canefan

    Go large if you can - omakase is pricey but worth it:)

    Keio hotel Kyubey, I'm guessing? Either way, it should be good. Enjoy!



  • We went to the monster Cafe in Harajuku. Epically crazy but in Tokyo it works



  • @gt12 yup. I don't know when I'll be back (2019 LOL) so omakase probably. You are spoiled for food here. Oh and some of the girls are smoking hot!



  • I'll be there in early -mid February next year, and if I can get enough of the mortgage paid off, back again for a couple of weeks during next RWC.

    I've had 4 months working in Tokyo (in summer), then holidays back in summer, autumn and spring. This time it is the winter holiday, so 5 days up in Hokkaido (Sapporo, Noberitsu), then down to Hiroshima -> Osaka -> Kyoto, then ending up with 3-4 days in Tokyo.

    The only thing I am certain of in the Tokyo part is revisiting my favorite coffee place http://www.bear-pond.com/
    Here is me from 3 years ago, proudly wearing my Magpies training shirt alt text



  • @Stockcar86 If you're up for a drink, let me know when you're in town and I'll take you to a proper Nihonshu salary man bar for a few drinks 🙂

    Offer stands to anyone visiting, for that matter.