Food is an ambiguous issue in Japan – on the one hand, it's a big deal – locals rush to cooking classes and watch hundreds of culinary shows but on the other, Japanese were not allowed to eat meat up to the 19th century and borrowed words for bread and cheese. Our guide for those looking for new tastes and are ready for surprises will bring you to the most interesting local food.
Tsukiji Fish Market
The market is the largest fish trading spot in the world. A tuna auction is a must – registration opens at 5 and admission is 5.25 and 5.50 (the place is closed for a month several times a year). If you missed it, the market is opened till 1 pm and offers plenty of sushi places to have a bite.
One of the most convenient Japanese inventions, Combini is a convenience store brought to perfection. It sells food items, coffee and stationery. You can print out something here if you need, pay for your online purchase, withdraw cash from your 7Eleven or Visa card and visit the WC. They are located pretty anywhere in Tokyo and designed to make your life in Japan much easier.
Though the station is huge, navigation is easy – it is the crossroads of Ginza, Marunouchi and Hibiya lines. To exit to Ginza Street walk through Takashimaya store or find exits to Ginza 4-chome (A2, A3, A5, A6, A7).
Nekorobi is a cat cafe. So forget about cakes and coffee and embrace tenderness. The small space takes the third floor and is designed for the ultimate cats’ comfort. The experience reminds of visiting a friend with at least 10 pets. All local residents are listed in a special album by the entrance. Here they serve only drinks but allow you to play with cats, take their pictures and pet, pet, pet them.
Yebisu Beer Museum that is located in a beautiful old red-brick building. To find it, take the Yebisu Garden Place stairs down, walk through a mall and arrive at a tiny hall, which showcases beer glasses, ad posters, bottles and other Yebisu paraphernalia. The hotspot is a shop and bar where you can find unique local specialty – Yebisu lager, including rare stout varieties.
Rumor has it the place serves the best okonomiyaki in Tokyo. Their "grilled as you like it pancake with meat and veggies" costs about 1,000 yens. If you grab a seat by the bar you can watch the process, but your clothes will long be reeking of grilled pork. And don't forget about the special sauce.
Odaiba is a man-made trash island – the land of future within the city, hosting the craziest futuristic buildings and all major international shows (including the famous Tokyo Motor Show and Game Show) and a five-meter Gundam robot. This also a traditional meeting point of Tokyo cosplayers.
The most convenient way to get to Odaiba is via Tokyo tele-port station.
Minoyahonten is a traditional Japanese eatery, which serves sakuraniku raw horsemeat. Their trademark is raw meat sashimi and shabu-shabu – thinly sliced boiled beef with veggies and tofu.
The wood and bamboo building itself is very traditional, and you will eat your dinner sitting on your knees, which is also quite an experience. Better think twice if u can handle raw horse meat before going.