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By Olivia Cuccaro | June 26 2017
Lauded as the fine dining capital of Japan – and the of the world – the city of Tokyo holds more Michelin stars than any other location recognized by the guide. Since Tokyo received its own Michelin Guide in 2007, the city has had more than 300 restaurants named to the illustrious book. Though the volume of fine dining restaurants can appear overwhelming, the trends in cuisine are clear. When visiting Tokyo, it’s traditional Japanese, sushi and French fare that stand out among the masses. These are our picks of Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo.
Where it’s small in size, Nihonryori RyuGin is big in flavor. Opened in 2003, the restaurant name translates to “when a heroic person makes a decision and takes action, his comrades will mutually resonate and gather there.” Nihonryori RyuGin serves traditional Japanese cuisine, focusing on seasonal ingredients that convey the environment of the country. The nine-course Japan’s Richness on a Plate menu comprises owan dishes, grilled fish, rice and tea. The three-Michelin-starred restaurant has also received reader recognition in Elite Traveler‘s Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Owner-Chef of his namesake restaurant, Yoshihiro Narisawa crafts traditional Japanese cuisine from a Satoyama lens. Narisawa emphasizes natural ingredients that represent Japan’s environmental offerings, promoting “beneficial gastronomy” that is both sustainable and health-conscious. To bring “nature to a plate,” Narisawa’s menu changes with the seasons to allow guests to connect with the natural world outside, serving one omakase-style course each day. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant has also received reader recognition in Elite Traveler‘s Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Renowned for pushing the boundaries in Japanese cuisine, Kohaku serves unique, inventive and delicate dishes. The restaurant infuses non-Japanese ingredients into traditional Japanese cuisine, giving kaiseki an avant-garde twist without compromising on classic flavors and preparation. Formerly known as the more casual sister restaurant to three-Michelin-starred Ishikawa, Kohaku has gained a reputation all its own. Earning Michelin’s highest accolade just five years after opening, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant has also received reader recognition in Elite Traveler‘s Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
For a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Saito is remarkably inconspicuous and exclusive. Fewer than ten seats surround the counter where Chef Saito creates his renowned sushi, making a reservation essential and difficult to come by. Enjoy authentic sushi and sashimi in an intimate setting, watching the chef at work before savoring each roll.
There’s the standard Japanese fine dining restaurant, and then there’s Joël Robuchon. In the heart of the Yebisu neighborhood, Chef Robuchon’s French cuisine is a welcome change from the plethora of sushi restaurants about. The elegant, three-Michelin-starred restaurant from the acclaimed chef is set in a French stone château, serving classic dishes that Robuchon is known for.