There is a term in Japanese, “Shoku seikatsu” – literally translated as “food life”, that captures the essence of the importance that Japanese place on food and meals. There is a premium placed freshness and seasonality, and traveling across the country to get the regional specialty (“meibutsu”) is not at all uncommon.
Most guidebooks and on-line sources will introduce you to the most well known and famous restaurants: sushi, tempura, Kobe beef, and sukiyaki among others, but here at Orientation Tokyo, we focus on the places that are not usually found in any English language books or websites, and often not in any books at all, even in Japanese.
These are the places where the salaryman blows off steam with his buddies after a day at work over an icy beer and some yakitori or the place where friends go for an evening out knowing that they can get an excellent meal at a great price. These same places are not often frequented by visitors from overseas, and that is a shame since they offer a glimpse of unexpected Japan – boisterous, heart-warming, and perhaps a bit “horoyoi” (tipsy).
Orientation Tokyo’s “Open Sesame” to Hidden Culinary Pleasures
Here you will find guides and reviews of restaurants throughout Tokyo, but primarily with a focus on the Shitamachi (Downtown) areas. They will range from “hole in the wall” to the occasional haute cuisine, but the one thing that they will have in common is that they will all be delicious and have a great atmosphere.