Tokyo, Japan’s mega city, should be on the radar for anyone who loves food.

It’s often considered the one of the world’s capitals of dining, and far outdoes any other city in the world when it comes to the number of official registered restaurants in the city – the staggering number, 160,000 restaurants (source) – is way more than enough to keep your stomach happily exploring for years (or at least, however many days you have in Tokyo).

So how do you travel to the world’s biggest city, with a choice of over 160,000 restaurants, and begin to tackle the amazing array of Japanese food that’s at your fingertips, waiting to be eaten?

Keep reading this Tokyo travel guide for food lovers, and I’m going to share everything I learned, where I stayed, what I did, and most importantly, where I ate during my 2 week visit to this incredible city.

Here’s what’s included in this travel guide for Tokyo:

  • Arriving and Leaving
  • What to do in Tokyo
  • Where to stay in Tokyo
  • Transportation in Tokyo
  • Food in Tokyo
  • Tokyo street food
  • Best Restaurants
  • How much money you’ll need

Let’s get started!

Are you looking for a great place to stay in Tokyo? My wife and I stayed at Oak Hotel and booked our accommodation here.

Arriving and leaving Tokyo
Arriving and leaving Tokyo

Arriving and Leaving

Narita International Airport is the main international airport that caters to Tokyo.

If you arrive on a big international flight, you’ll likely fly into Narita. The airport is about 1 hour by train away from the center of the city, but the good news is, you have plenty of different options on how to get to where you need to go.

After getting your baggage at Narita you’ll walk out of customs and before heading downstairs there’s a series of stalls where you can purchase your train ticket. The staff seem to be very helpful, and when I was there, one lady gave me all the options of which trains to take to where I was going.

I had already done some research and since my hotel was very near to Asakusa,  I decided to take Access Limited Express at a cost of 1,240 JPY ($12.20).

Here are other options: 

  • Skyliner (Keisei Electric Railway) which goes to Nippori and Ueno – 2,400 JPY (details)
  • Keisei Main Line, also goes to Nippori and Ueno – 1,000 JPY
  • Tokyo Shuttle Bus – 900 JPY
  • Taxi – that could set you back around 20,000 – 30,000 JPY!!

For more information check out this and this.

Haneda Airport is Tokyo’s second main airport, and while they do handle international flights, most of the flights in and out of Haneda are domestic. Haneda Airport is connected to the Monorail and Keikyu Line. Here’s all the access information.

Tokyo attractions
Things to do when you’re in Tokyo

What to do in Tokyo

In a city the size of Tokyo, there are literally endless possibilities of what to do and see.

Depending on your interests, paired with how much time you have in Tokyo, should determine the things that you prioritize.

Also, since you and I love food so much (this is after-all, a Tokyo guide for food lovers), I know for sure eating delicious food is our MAIN goal.

However, we’ve got to stretch our legs a little in between meals, so I’ll just mention a few of the most enjoyable things I did when I was visiting Tokyo (in between eating).

  • Tsukiji fish market: When it comes to a fresh market full of all things imaginable from the sea, Tsukiji is the best place on earth. The famous tuna auction takes place from around 5 am – 6 am, and the wholesale market area is open from 9 am – 2 pm to the public. I was amazed at the quality and quantity of seafood available and the care put into the high sashimi grades of fish. The outer Tsukiji market is also a wonderful area to explore and eat some street food snacks.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: At first I didn’t like the thought of having to pay a small entrance fee to enter a park, but after walking around Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, I realized it was worth it. There’s a Japanese garden, a French garden, an English landscape garden, and the highlight for myself personally – the most amazing green house I’ve ever seen! Entrance fee – 200 JPY ($1.97)
  • Meiji Shrine: Located near Harajuku and next to Yoyogi Park is Meiji Shrine, an imperial shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji. You pass through a series of torii gates, which lead to the shrine, which is surrounded by forest. It’s a peaceful and quiet place in the middle of the center of Tokyo.
  • Sensoji Temple (Sensō-ji): One of the most well known religious attractions in Tokyo is the Buddhist Sensoji Temple. Founded in 628, it’s also the oldest temple in Tokyo. Around the outskirts of Sensoji you’ll find shops selling all sorts of religious items, as well as a few famous food stalls selling things like Japanese sweet bread or taiyaki (more below).
  • Imperial Palace: Built on the site of the ancient Edo castle is the Imperial Palace, the home of the Emperor of Japan. In order to go inside the gates, you have to book a tour online. If you don’t book a tour, you can just walk around the park area and see a view from outside the gates with a view of Nijubashi Bridge.
  • Edo-Tokyo Museum: I’ll admit, it looks a little more like a UFO than a museum, but it’s actually designed to look like a warehouse that’s elevated on stilts. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Edo-Tokyo, Edo being the former name of the city of Tokyo. Inside is truly an impressive amount of life sized city displays, models, and artifacts, showing the history of Tokyo. Entrance fee – 600 JPY ($5.90)
  • Tokyo Skytree: As of now, Tokyo Skytree is supposedly Tokyo’s biggest tourist attraction. It’s basically a gigantic communications tower, with a big classic Tokyo style mall on the bottom, and with multiple viewing decks within the tower. I didn’t actually pay the money to go to the top, but I did explore the bottom levels.
  • Ryogoku Sumo Town: In the neighborhood of Ryogoku, located in the Sumida area of Tokyo, is the the Sumo area of town. Unfortunately, sumo wrestling tournaments only take place in Tokyo normally in May and September (schedule here), but even if you can’t see a tournament, you can still go to the free sumo museum located at the stadium, and walk around the area of town to eat a Japanese sumo dish known as chanko – it’s incredibly delicious!
  • Onsen (Japanese bathhouse): An onsen is a traditional Japanese public bathing facility, and they are a major part of Japanese culture. There are many different types of onsens to choose from, some are luxury facilities with a variety of spas and hot tubs, others are more everyday type of places. I went to a local neighborhood everyday onsen. You first pay the entrance fee, then strip down to nothing (yup, no clothes allowed), and proceed to sit in a hot tub outdoors or indoors. It was an interesting and relaxing experience. Entrance fee – 450 JPY ($4.43, public onsen)
  • Mount Takao: About 50 km from central Tokyo, but still within the city limits, is Mount Takao. Apparently, as I read, it’s the world’s busiest mountain, and it probably is especially on the weekends or holidays, but when I went on a weekday morning, it wasn’t too bad. There are a number of different trails to climb up the mountain, and it takes about 1.5 hours or so to reach the top. Nothing goes better together than eating and exercise.

For more ideas of what you can do in Tokyo, be sure to watch my video, featuring 25 of the best things to do (and don’t worry, lots of food is included too).

25 Things To Do in Tokyo (VIDEO)

(Or you can watch it on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/lDoLLhswOwY)

Most of these places are plotted on my Tokyo map.

Hotels in Tokyo
My Japanese style double room at Oak Hotel – About $80 per night (for 2)

Where to stay in Tokyo

*Where I stayed when I was in Tokyo

Tokyo is a huge and sprawling city, so the first step to deciding where to stay when you’re in Tokyo, is to decide which area of town you would like to be in.

I won’t list every area of town here in my Tokyo travel guide as that could probably take a full book, but I’ll just share a few of the main areas and places I think are good choices.

  • Shinjuku: Shinjuku could sort of be considered the downtown of Tokyo, it’s one of the city’s main business districts, always crowded, and full of high rise buildings. Some of the major high end hotels are located in Shinjuku like the Park Hyatt and the Hilton Tokyo. For a budget option in Shinjuku, you could check out Nishi-Shinjuku Hotel.
  • Shibuya: Famous shopping, restaurants, cafes, fashion, nightlife, and big crowds, are what you’ll find in Shibuya – there are always plenty of things going on. You’ll find hotels like the Westin Tokyo and  the nicely designed Claska. For budget, check out the Weekly Dormy Inn Meguro Aobodai.
  • Ginza / Tokyo Station: Ginza is just a short walk from Tokyo Station, and the upscale area is home to plenty of high end shopping malls and restaurants. Along with the high end area of town, there are some super high end hotels like the amazing Peninsula Tokyo or the famous Imperial Hotel. For budget try APA Hotel Shintomicho-Ekimae.
  • *Ueno – For most of my visit to Tokyo, I stayed in the Ueno area. Connected to the Tokyo Metro, the JR Line, and also with easy train access to Narita Airport, I thought Ueno was a wonderful area to stay in. There’s also some great restaurants, lots of shopping, the giant Ameyakocho street market, and the huge Ueno park. Ueno is one of my favorite areas of Tokyo to stay in – but keep in mind that it’s not the high end area – its more local style. You can try Centurion Hotel Ueno, Mitsui Garden Hotel, or for budget try Oak Hotel – where I stayed, and it’s pretty nice and quiet, and in a good local location.
  • *Asakusa – For my first few nights in Tokyo I stayed in Asakusa (very close to Ueno). Connected to the Ginza metro line, it’s in a good location, and it has a nice local neighborhood feel to it. There are plenty of small stores, supermarkets, and budget restaurants in the area. Also, Sensoji temple is just a 5 minute walk away. Asakusa is a great option for budget hotels, guest houses, and hostels. I stayed at Agora Place Hotel, a nice friendly modern hotel mid price ranged, but you can also check out the highly rated Super Hotel Asakusa or a dorm bed at Khaosan World.

Here’s about how much you’re going to pay for accommodation in Tokyo:

  • Hostel dorm bed: $30 – $40
  • Capsule hotel: $40 (my friend stayed in one)
  • *Budget double room: $70 – $80 (we stayed in this range most of our visit)
  • Mid-range double room: $100 – $200
  • Nice hotel: $200 – as much as you want to pay

Where did I stay?

*Agora Place Hotel – Located in Asakusa, my wife and I stayed our first few nights in a double room at Agora Place Hotel. I love the location, and the local Japanese neighborhood. The rooms are small, but clean, extremely comfortable beds, and rooms are outfitted with everything you need – fridge, safe deposit box, water boiler, private bathroom. We really liked this place and paid about $100 for a double per night.

*Oak Hotel – After Agora Place, we moved over to Oak Hotel in Ueno, just a 10 minute walk away. It’s a simple place, but friendly, in a good location, and the room rates are pretty affordable for Tokyo standards. We stayed in a Japanese style room, which was small (like all budget hotels in Tokyo), and it included a private bathroom, for around $80 per night for a double.

For more hotels in Tokyo, click here.

Getting around Tokyo
Taking the JR Yamanote Train around Tokyo

Transportation in Tokyo

I’ll admit, navigating the Tokyo public transit system for the first time is a challenge.

But as long as you take your time, and don’t put yourself in a hurry to get somewhere, you’ll find that there are plenty of clear signs (in English), and I was really impressed by the good quality maps at every train / metro station exit.

Just to let you know, you could take a bus or taxi getting around in Tokyo, but for my entire 2 week stay in the city, we only used the JR Line and the Tokyo Metro. So for this Tokyo travel guide, I’ll just be covering Tokyo train transportation, because it’s really all you likely need to use.

I’ll do my best to explain the extensive Tokyo public transportation network, and try to do it as simple as possible.

Of all the train lines that are mentioned here, during my time in Tokyo while going to all 25 attractions and eating my way through the city, 98% of the time I only needed the Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Metro (took the monorail just once to Odaiba).

JR (Japan Rail)

  1. *Yamanote Line: The green Yamanote line is one of the most used lines in Tokyo, and it covers a circuit loop around many of the major hubs of the city; Ueno, Tokyo Station, Yurakucho (Ginza), Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro to name a few. It’s really convenient to use and is above ground so you get to see the city when riding.
  2. Chuo Line: While the Yamanote line is a loop, the JR Chuo line cuts across the circle from Shinjuku to Tokyo Station.
  3. Keihin-Tohoku Line, Saikyo Line, Shinkansen Line: These are other lines that JR (Japan Rail) runs in metro Tokyo, but to be honest you should really only need the Yamanote Line.

Tokyo Metro

  1. *Tokyo Metro Line: This is the most extensive network of subway lines, including 9 different lines, and it covers quite a few areas.
  2. Toei Line:  There are just 4 different lines in the Toei Line, and there are frequent junctions with the Tokyo Metro lines.
  3. Toden Arakawa Line, Nippori-Toneri Liner: I never actually had to use these lines when I was in Tokyo, so if you stay in central Tokyo you probably won’t either.

Single Ticket – A single journey ticket around central Tokyo will normally cost from 160 – 190 JPY ($1.56 – $1.87, really long journeys can cost 200 – 300 JPY), but it can only be used if you stay within the Tokyo Metro Line or the Toei Line. If you have to take a train first from the Tokyo Metro Line and then transfer to the Toei Line, you have to pay again. Likewise, the same goes for transferring from the Metro to the JR Line.

PASMO – If you’re in Tokyo for a while you might want to purchase a PASMO card where you can load however much money so you don’t have to buy a ticket every ride. It’s convenient, mainly because you can get through traffic faster, and not need to calculate the cost of your ride. You have to pay a 500 JPY ($4.92) deposit, and when you cash out, you’ll get your 500 JPY back but have to pay 210 JPY ($2.07) for the processing fee.

If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing in a day, you might want to grab a One Day Pass. To use both of the Tokyo Metro lines it’s 1,000 JPY ($9.84), but for a Tokyo Combination which includes the Metro lines and Tokyo city JR lines, it costs 1,580 JPY ($15.55) per day.

This free Tokyo Metro Guide is actually extremely useful, you should check it out.

Tokyo Monorail (Private company)

Though it’s not overly extensive, when visiting a place like Odaiba, the main option is taking the monorail. The Monorail is a bit on the expensive side at around 300 JPY for one ride ($2.95), but it does provide some cool views of the city and the river.

Walk

All of this being said, it’s also worth mentioning that Tokyo is one of the best big cities I’ve been to for walking.

The sidewalks are extremely wide and when you cross a street you have a clear green walk signal (plus you’ll likely be crossing the street with many other pedestrians). Anyway, some distances are long, so it’s easy to catch the metro, but do consider doing some walking. Tokyo is a great city for walking!

Food in Tokyo
Delicious food in Tokyo!

Food in Tokyo – Get Ready to Eat!

Ok, now that we got some of the logistics of traveling in Tokyo out of the way, it’s time to get into the much more important aspect of your visit: FOOD!

When it comes to eating in Japan (and Tokyo), I’ve honestly never seen such beautiful looking meals, not to mention the intensive care that is put into, not only the flavors and freshness of the cuisine, but the way it’s presented and the way food looks.

First, read these tips and thoughts about eating in Tokyo:

  • Lunch: Lunch at restaurants is often MUCH cheaper than dinner, so when I was visiting Tokyo, I made it my priority to have lunch be our main meal – sometimes I even ate two or three lunches – and then had a budget dinner.
  • Lines: Lines outside of restaurants are typical, something you’ll quickly discover is the norm in Tokyo. Some restaurants have a line no matter what time you go there, others just have a line during meal rush hours. To avoid lines, I would often show up at a restaurant about 15 – 30 minutes before the restaurant would open. For lunch, most restaurants in Tokyo open at 11 am or 11:30 am, and you better be sure, I was in line 15 minutes before opening. After all, food is the reason I travel!
  • Bar Seating: Many Japanese restaurants include bar seating, some even have only bar seating. It’s a great wary for a restaurant to use a limited amount of space, and it also provides a pretty cool dining experience – being able to watch the chef at work, and being served directly from the chef. I have never had such limited dining space as in Tokyo, which was very cool and enjoyed it, but I’ll admit, due to lack of space, it was challenging to film food videos.
  • Prices: There’s an extreme diverse price range of restaurants in Tokyo – everything from quick $5 meals to luxurious $300 meals. Budget restaurants, which I cover in the “Eating on a Budget” section, usually have the same price for lunch or dinner – and you’ll often get dishes like ramen, rice topped with some pork and egg, or donburis (rice bowls). For nicer sit down restaurants, as I mentioned above, lunch is much cheaper than dinner. You can find some pretty good deals at restaurants in Tokyo at lunchtime. One example is at the Ginza Sushi restaurant where I had a plate of sushi, which included about 20 pieces for just over $12 – for high quality sushi, I think that was a great deal – and remember, no tips ever necessary either. However, for dinner you’ve got to expect to pay $20 – $50 per person in the low range.
  • Tips: You don’t need to leave a tip when you eat at a restaurant in Tokyo. In fact, in Japanese culture it’s even considered rude to leave a tip – so don’t do it. I think it’s a pretty win-win situation, at least for us!
  • Drinking Water: I read in a number of places that the water in Tokyo from the sink was potable. Hotel rooms also standardly come with a hot water boiler, so most of the time I would boil water from the sink to drink, just to make sure it was safe. Also, when I was in Tokyo, it was winter, so I was constantly just drinking boiled water in tea.
  • Names of restaurants: One thing that’s tough with finding restaurants in Tokyo is that most places only have signs written in Japanese (even though they might have an English menu). So if you’re out to hunt for a restaurant, make sure you find the outside picture and take a good mental note or it (or I sometimes even take a photo of my computer screen with my phone).

These are just a few of the things I noticed when eating in Tokyo, now let’s get into the real food guide…

Eating on a budget in Tokyo
Liver with bean sprouts, chives, bowl of rice, miso soup, and side of gyoza – Filling budget meal for 770 JPY ($7.50)

Eating on a Budget

Yes, Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities I’ve traveled to, but at the same time, there are some great deals to find, and there are some affordable restaurants to eat at.

Like I mentioned above, making lunch your main meal, is a great way to eat well and not spend nearly as much as you would if you made dinner your main meal.

Here are a few more tips:

Budget eating in Tokyo
Saba mackerel set at a neighborhood restaurant in Tokyo, Japan

Neighborhood restaurants

Like in every city I’ve ever visited, food prices are higher when you’re in the center of the city, or in popular busy districts.

If you walk around and explore some of the neighborhoods of Tokyo, you’ll immediately notice the prices of food at restaurants are noticeably cheaper. A bowl of ramen on a busy street might cost 800 – 1,000 JPY ($7.88 – $9.84), but in the neighborhood you might find a good bowl for 500 – 800 JPY ($4.92 – $7.88).

I ate this piece of saba fish (mackerel, pictured), for a few meals during my time in Tokyo, which came with a bowl of rice, miso soup, and a piece of tofu all for 590 JPY ($5.74) – not a bad deal!

Budget eating in Tokyo
Budget eating in Tokyo

Vending machine restaurants

If you’re like me, and love rice, there are some decent restaurants in Tokyo where you pay into a vending machine, get a ticket, give your ticket to the server, and your food will be served to you.

They are normally Japanese fast food kind of restaurants, some open 24 hours a day, and nearly always busy with customers.

I enjoyed quite a few bowls of rice topped with pork, and a perfectly cooked poached egg on top for around 400 – 600 JPY ($3.94 – $5.91). They’re not the best quality of food, but the meals are pretty tasty, and affordable.

I went to some vending machine restaurants with names only written in Japanese, so sometimes it’s a little bit of a toss up what you’ll get, but they often have little thumbnail photos. Some chains that you’ll find all over Tokyo include Yoshinoya and Sukiya.

Dining in Tokyo
Sushi boxes at a department store in Tokyo

Underground department store food (Depachika)

Known as depachika in Japanese, department stores seem to be everywhere you turn in Tokyo (and at least connected to most train stations).

While they are normally full of luxurious clothes on the top floors, the basements are usually reserved for an array of takeaway food that will blow your mind.

The quantities of delicious things are out of control, just about every kind of Japanese food you can imagine all in one place for your pure culinary enjoyment.

The best department stores I found in Tokyo were Isetan in Shinjuku,  Shinjuku Takashimaya, and the bottom floor of a mall right next to Shibuya station. Here’s a great article about more.

The food is not always budget at these department stores, there are often some high end foods as well, but you can also find some great deals and eat pretty well for under 1,000 JPY ($9.84).

Tokyo street food stalls on Memory Lane
Tokyo street food stalls on Memory Lane

Tokyo Street Food

My wife first noticed it in Harajuku. We ordered one of the famous crepes filled with ice cream… and everyone seemed to order it, then stand on the side of the sidewalk while eating.

In Thailand, we always order street food and eat while walking.

I looked it up online when we got back to our hotel, to find that it’s considered impolite to eat while walking in Japanese culture, ahah!

So street food in Tokyo is not all that common like it is where I normally am, but there are a few things that I did see and try along the streets of Tokyo.

Here are a few of the top street foods to eat when you’re in Tokyo – and some of them are not really completely street – as in not served from a street cart – but rather served from a building facing the street with standing room, or street-side seating.

たこ焼き
Takoyaki (たこ焼き)

Takoyaki (たこ焼き)

Also known as octopus balls or pancake balls, these little golf ball sized snacks are the absolute hype of savory street food snacks in Japan (originally popularized in Osaka).

The pancake batter is cooked in rounded metal trays, with a piece of octopus added into the middle of the batter. The final step is to whisk the batter into a ball shape as it cooks. The result is a gooey batter inside with a crispy outside.

Takoyaki is often placed on a canoe shaped plate, and seasoned with Japanese mayo and a teriyaki like sauce.

Price: Anywhere from 260 – 600 JPY ($2.56 – $5.91) for 6 takoyaki balls

Taiyaki (鯛焼き) - Fish snack
Taiyaki (鯛焼き) – Fish snack

Taiyaki (鯛焼き fish shaped waffles)

Along with takoyaki, taiyaki is another craze street food snack in Japan.

Cooked in the shape of a fish, the outside is similar to pancake or waffle batter, and they are commonly filled with red azuki beans, custard, sweet potato, or even chocolate.

Price: Around 120 – 150 JPY ($1.18 – $1.48)

Yakitori (焼き鳥)
Yakitori (焼き鳥) in Tokyo, Japan

Yakitori (焼き鳥)

Although literally translated as grilled chicken skewers, yakitori now refers to a variety of different grilled meats on skewers.

Eating yakitori is one of the favorite Japanese things to eat along with a beer or sake, and is available at occasional street food stalls and also at small hole in the wall Yakitori-ya or Izakayas.

The juicy skewers in the picture, came from a small place called Yakitori Ton Ton in the Yūrakuchō area.

Price: About 150 – 200 JPY ($1.47 – $1.97) per stick

 

Mitarashi dango
Mitarashi dango – rice balls on stick

Mitarashi dango (みたらし団子)

You’ll see these little fish ball looking skewers all over the streets of Tokyo.

I had no idea what it was until I got one and tried it.

Known as mitarashi dango, they are rice flour mochi balls covered in a sweet teriyaki soy sauce glaze. To be honest, wasn’t my favorite, but if you’re looking for unique street food snacks, give it a try.

Price: 110 JPY ($1.08)

 

Japanese sweet bread
Sweet bread near Sensoji Temple

Sweet bread

In Japan you’ll not only find rice and noodles, but bread is a pretty big favorite too.

In both bread shops and at small street food stall in the neighborhoods you can find Japanese sweet bread, a light and airy bun that has little patches, like a soccer ball, on the outside.

Price: 170 JPY ($1.67)

 

Crepe at Marion Crepes, Harajuku, Tokyo
Crepe at Marion Crepes, Harajuku, Tokyo

Japanese Crepe

Harajuku is one of the most interesting and unique areas of Tokyo. Takeshita Dori street is a well known walking street that especially caters to young people, fashion, and it’s where a lot of the famous Japanese cosplay takes place. Walk around for a few minutes and you’ll see some pretty interesting costumes.

But Harajuku is also on the map of Tokyo for its crepes, which are extremely famous.

There are a number of different crepe stores (I ate at Marion Crepes). There are both sweet and savory crepes to choose from. They are cooked thin, wrapped up into a cone shape and stuffed with whatever the ingredients you choose. Ours was filled with sweet azuki beans, ice cream, and strawberries.

Price: 450 JPY ($4.43) – a little expensive if you ask me, but if you have a sweet tooth, I think you’ll enjoy this one

3 Tokyo street food restaurants

Tokyo street food ramen
Chuka Soba Inoue – Tokyo street food ramen

1. Chuka Soba Inoue

Walking to Tsukiji fish market one day, I could not help noticing a stall along the busy sidewalk, that had a continual line of customers, an awesome looking chef blanching yellow noodles while spooning in ladles steaming hot soup, and customers slurping their bowls down from standing tables on the sidewalk.

It was one of those instant restaurants I had to eat at, no matter what the status of my stomach was.

At Chuka Soba Inoue they serve wonderful classic bowls of shoyu ramen that include a good pile of yellow ramen noodles, four slices of pork, with some leek and sprouts to garnish. Add your own scoop of raw minced garlic on top, and you’ve got a hot bowl of ramen that is sure to satisfy your belly.

The atmosphere, along the busy sidewalk, is superb as well. It’s one of the few street food stalls where you can eat an entire meal in Tokyo.

Open hours: 5 am – 1:30 pm (closed Sundays)
Address: 4-9-16 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Price: 650 JPY ($6.40)

Memory Lane, Tokyo Japan
Yakitori on Memory Lane, Tokyo, Japan

2. Memory Lane (Piss Alley)

Just a 1 minute walk from the bustling Shinjuku station, you can find yourself on the small walking only Memory Lane, also commonly referred to as Piss Alley for the frequent men who used to relieve themselves after a few too many beverages (don’t worry, it’s not common now, I didn’t see anyone urinating while I was there!).

Anyway, this little alley, lit up with red Izakaya lights, is home to a bunch of little tiny closet sized local Japanese bars and yakitori restaurants.

I chose one very near the front of the lane, and had a great yakitori set that included a 5 skewer mixture of chicken and pork grilled to deliciousness. It’s sort of like indoor street food.

Open hours: Afternoon / Night
Price: 750 JPY ($7.38 for this 5 piece set I had)

登運とん
Yakitori Ton Ton (登運とん)

3. Yakitori Ton Ton (登運とん)

Looking for a hole-in-the-wall style Japanese drinking joint with great skewers of yakitori (skewers of chicken) and yakiton (skewers of pork)?

There are probably thousands of options in Tokyo, and Yakitori Ton Ton, which actually specializes in grilled skewers of all thing pig, is a decent option.

The tiny little stall under the railroad track near Yurakucho, is sheltered by a tent and serves up beer on tap, along with succulent skewers of chicken and pork. Service is friendly, the beer on tap is refreshing, and the skewers of meat are cooked juicy with good quality meat.

More details here.

Open hours: 11:30 am – 11 pm
Address: 2-1-10, Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Price: About 150 – 180 JPY per skewer ($1.47 – $1.77), beer on tap 450 JPY ($4.43)

Best restaurants in Tokyo
10 great restaurants to eat at in Tokyo, Japan

10 Tokyo restaurants I loved (and I think you will too)

Again, like I’ve mentioned, with 160,000 restaurants in Tokyo, it’s quite literally impossible to eat at every restaurant in the city during your visit.

So listed below are a few of the restaurants that I really enjoyed eating at.

If you have other suggestions, or if you ate somewhere great in Tokyo, if would be great if you left a comment at the end of this guide to let us all know!

For all these restaurants, be sure to click on the link that I provide so you can see more photos. Since many restaurants in Tokyo don’t have English names written on the outside, it can be a challenge to find them, so be sure to click the links to see more photos of a restaurant you want to eat at.

Again, keep in mind, I ate at juts about all these restaurant for lunch.

Sushi at Ginza
Sushi at Ginza

1. Sushi in Ginza

One of the best ways to find great restaurants when traveling is to just look for a place that’s busy with lots of locals eating.

Walking through Ginza one day just before lunch, I noticed a few people congregated outside a sushi restaurant.

I took a look at the menu and it looked amazing, and they had some wonderful sushi lunch specials – I immediately got in line.

A few minutes later, they opened, and we were ushered in, where I chose to sit at the sushi bar and proceeded to order a pretty good sized plate of sushi for a good deal. It was amazing sushi, and the price was right.

This restaurant doesn’t even have a name outside, but you’ll find it on my Tokyo Map and you can read more details in my full post here. It was a wonderful place for lunchtime sushi, and if you’re in Ginza, I would highly recommend it.

Open hours: 11:30 am for lunch
Address: See map
Price: 1,280 JPY

仲家
Nakaya (仲家) – Fatty tuna, sea urchin, salmon roe

2. Nakaya (仲家)

One of the most famous thing to do in Tokyo is visit and walk around the Tsukiji fish market, and equally famous is having sushi for breakfast.

Sushi Dai is the most famous of them all, and they have an everlasting line of customers that wraps onto the road and often takes hours to get through. I didn’t have time to wait in line on this trip to Tokyo, so I chose another famous restaurant, with less of a line, known as Nakaya.

They make donburis, rice bowls topped with sashimi and other fresh seafoods. The wait only took 15 minutes and the donburi I had was fantastic. Service wasn’t the friendliest, but I was happy with the food.

Open hours: 5 am – 2 pm (closed on Sunday and market holidays)
Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Price: 1,500 – 2,000 JPY (Mine cost 1,800 JPY – $17.72)

Chanko Tomoegata (巴潟)
Sumo soup at Chanko Tomoegata (巴潟), Tokyo, Japan

3. Chanko Tomoegata (巴潟)

Walking around the sumo wrestling area of town in Tokyo is a great thing to do, and stopping to eat some sumo food is a must.

Just by luck, I chose Chanko Tomoegata (巴潟), and though it looked quiet from the outside, the inside of the restaurant was packed with local Japanese slurping down insanely good pots of chanko – a hot pot type of meat and vegetable stew.

I ordered the lunch special (Sumoheyafu Higawari Chanko), including chanko, sashimi, rice, a few salads, and a deep fried croquette.

Open hours:
Addresshttp://www.tomoegata.com/
Price: 1,890 JPY ($18.60), but without the sashimi it was 1,260 JPY ($12.40)

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi
Chirashi don in Tokyo at Uoriki Kaisen Sushi

4. Uoriki Kaisen Sushi

On my first day in Tokyo, I decided to find a restaurant for sushi.

I was near Shibuya station and saw the recommendation for Uoriki Kaisen Sushi from Lady Iron Chef. The small restaurant is located on the basement floor of Tokyu Department Store, which is connected to the Shibuya station.

I had to ask the information counter where Uoriki Kaisen Sushi was located, and information was happy to show me where it was. I took a seat at the bar counter, and ordered the chirashi don, and Ying had the mixed sushi plate. The chirashi don was excellent, and the atmosphere, quietly tucked off the side of the busy department store food floor, was great.

Open hours: 10 am – 9 pm daily
Address: Basement of Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Station, Tokyo
Price: Chirashi don – 1,690 JPY ($16.64), sushi plate – 1,090 JPY ($10.73)

Ramen Street
Oneshiki Jun (俺式 純) at Ramen Street, Tokyo Station, Tokyo, Japan

5. Ramen Street – Tokyo Station

Ramen is an obsession for many in Tokyo, and you’ll find ramen shops scattered throughout the city.

Ramen Jiro, as I’ve read, is quite the experience, and had I had more time in Tokyo, I would have gone there. But another good experience is Ramen Street, a cluster of ramen shops on the basement floor of Tokyo Station.

During development, 8 of the best and most famous Japanese ramen shops from around the country were asked to open a branch on Ramen Street in Tokyo Station.

Each serves a somewhat different type of ramen, so it’s nice to be able to choose if you want that creamy tonkotsu type, or a lighter shoyu broth. At lunch, the lines can be quite long, but they move fast as everyone slurps down a bowl quickly and moves on.

I chose to eat at Oneshiki Jun (俺式 純) for the thick creamy tonkotsu ramen, but it was really quite a big decision, and finally I just had to choose one. The most famous of them all is Rokurinsha Tokyo, and there’s always a line.

Open hours: 11 am – 10 pm daily
Address: B1F Yaesu South Exit, Tokyo Station, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku (http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/ramen (Free PDF in English)
Price: 800 – 1,200 JPY ($7.88 – $11.81)

Tenmatsu
Delicious tempura set at Tenmatsu in Tokyo, Japan

6. Tenmatsu

Yukari from Food Sake Tokyo recommended I go to eat lunch one day at Tenmatsu, saying their tempura was excellent and they had a great lunch special at the Nihonbashi branch (the main branch is in Shibuya).

You can bet, I was there at 10:30 am for lunch, and managed to make it first in line – and good thing too – because a few people got in line behind me just after we arrived.

Anyway, Tenmatsu does awesome tempura in a lovely environment and for a great deal.

I had the combination tempura plus a side bowl of rice topped with beautiful slices of akami sashimi (the deep red pieces).

Our tempura was served piece by piece from the chef and was awesome quality. My set of tempura plus sashimi bowl cost just 1,280 JPY ($12.60) – great deal for that kind of quality and service.

Read my full review here.

Open hours: 11 am – 2 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 2:30 pm weekends and holidays, 5 pm – 9 pm for dinner
Address: 1-8-2 Muromachi, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Price: 900 – 1,280 JPY ($12.60) for lunch sets

手打ち蕎麦 成冨
Narutomi Soba (手打ち蕎麦 成冨) – Wonderful handmade soba noodles in Tokyo

7. Narutomi Soba (手打ち蕎麦 成冨)

When I was in Tokyo, I was interested in eating an authentic, and high quality soba meal, and Narutomi Soba, listed as one of the top restaurants in Tokyo on Chowzter.com, is what I chose.

I went for lunch, showed up about 15 minutes before opening and sat at a table this time (though there are a few bar seating where you can watch the chefs at work).

At Narutomi Soba they serve wonderfully hand-made (teuchi), 100% buckwheat noodles.

You can order soba noodles in soup, or get the seiro soba, cold noodles in a basket served with a dipping sauce on the side (my preferred method).

Narutomi also makes delicious tempura served with a side of dipping salt. Portion was a little small, but good quality and delicious.

Here’s my full review.

Open hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and 6 pm – 8:45 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 3 pm on Saturday, closed on Sunday
Address: Futaba Bldg. 1F, 8-18-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku,Tokyo
Price: Soba was 840 JPY ($7.87), plates of tempura were around 1,000 JPY ($9.84). It’s not the cheapest food in Tokyo, but it’s definitely high quality and a great experience for noodle lovers.

よしはし
Yoshihashi (よしはし) – Great high class sukiyaki in Tokyo, Japan

8. Yoshihashi Sukiyaki (よしはし)

I really wanted to eat a good Japanese sukiyaki when I was in Tokyo, and I was debating between a number of different choices.

When I read about Yoshihashi in the Japan Times, and read how exclusive and high class it was, I decided it was a must to search this place out for lunch one day.

Tucked in-between buildings, and clearly off the beaten path, Yoshihashi remains highly exclusive.

We got in for lunch and ordered the house sukiyaki which came in a piping hot copper pan. A good quantity of thinly sliced high grade beef, chrysanthemum greens, mushrooms, onions, leeks, and some noodles were cooked in a delicate blend of sweet soy sauce and mirin.

The sukiyaki was not only amazing, but the setting and exclusivity of Yoshihashi was unforgettable.

Lunch special was 2,100 JPY ($20.67), but if you go for dinner, you might pay $200 – $300.

Open hours: 11:30 am – 2 pm and 5:30 pm – 9 pm Monday – Saturday, closed on Sunday
Address: 1-5-25 Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: 2,100 JPY ($20.67) for lunch special sukiyaki

染太郎
Sometaro (染太郎) – Great okonomiyaki in Tokyo, Japan

9. Sometaro Okonomiyaki (染太郎)

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is somewhat of a craze junk food in Japan, it’s sort of like a Japanese pizza or pancake.

A mixture of tempura batter (just like pancake batter), cabbage, octopus, and a variety of other ingredients are mixed up, then cooked on a hot griddle in front of you in the shape of a big pancake.

When your okonomiyaki is done cooking, it’s decorated with mayonnaise, a sauce that tastes similar to teriyaki, and seaweed flakes.

I went to Sometaro Okonomiyaki in Asakusa. Housed in an antique building with old photos and posters scattered on the walls, the atmosphere was great. I’m personally not the biggest fan of okonomiyaki, I like rice and meat / fish better, but the okoomiyaki here was pretty good.

Open hours: 12 noon – 10:30 pm daily
Address: 2-2-2 Nishiasakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 〒111-0035, Japan (http://www.sometaro.com/)
Price: Not bad prices here, we had two okonomiyakis for around 1,400 JPY ($13.78)

“Sumi 2009” Kobe beef at Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
“Sumi 2009” Kobe beef at Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan

10. Narisawa

Officially rated as the 2nd best restaurant in Asia (in the top 20 of the world), Narisawa is always one of the highest regarded restaurants in Tokyo.

The chef is an absolute creative genius in the kitchen, specializing in using natural and local Japanese ingredients, while cooking French style.

I had the privilege to be sponsored for a meal at Narisawa from Chowzter.com, and it was a true treat of a meal.

The menu is only omakase, meaning the chef decides what’s served, so the menu changes frequently. Some of our courses included the chef’s famous soil soup, langoustine from Suruga Bay, forest salad, and the true highlight, a hunk of “Sumi 2009” Kobe beef – the best piece of beef I’ve ever had in my life.

Open hours: 12 pm noon for lunch, 6:30 pm for dinner, closed on Sunday
Address: Minami, Ayoyama 2-6-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo (http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com/)
Price: 12,000 JPY ($118) for lunch, 20,000 JPY ($197) for dinner

*Note: At most of these nicer restaurants I only ate there during lunch because prices are drastically cheaper. For dinner I often ate at restaurants mentioned in the “Eating on a Budget” section of this guide – those restaurants keep the same affordable prices both lunch and dinner. So if you are looking to same some money while in Tokyo, I would really recommend you take advantage of lunch if you can.

Trip to Tokyo
How much money do I need to visit Tokyo?

How much money will you need in Tokyo?

Tokyo is not the cheapest city in the world, in fact it’s one of the most expensive. But that being said, it’s an absolutely amazing city to visit, and if you can afford it, it’s a wonderful place to experience.

My wife Ying and I stayed in Tokyo for 15 days (14 nights), here’s how much we spent.

Before I breakdown our expenses, here are a few things to keep in mind about our budget (because the reality of visiting Tokyo is that you could really spend as much money as you want – there’s is no limit).

  • This budget is on the very low side of things
  • My wife and I are quite careful with our spending
  • For transportation we walked a lot, especially to avoid paying for 2 tickets on the metro (we normally tried to just take one ticket, not transfer – so we did a lot of walking)
  • Nice restaurants we ate at lunch time, for dinner we mostly ate at budget restaurants or ate bentos from supermarkets.
  • Overall, I prefer to spend my money on food rather than attractions, so some expensive attractions like the Tokyo Skytree and the Mori Art Museum, we didn’t go inside – for the most part we took advantage of free attractions like Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine, walking around sumo town, etc.

Now that you got that, here’s the breakdown of our expenses:

  • Accommodation: $1,158 USD (14 nights in budget room hotels)
  • Transportation: 16,520 JPY ($160.64)
  • Attractions: 4,810 JPY ($46.78) – luckily there are plenty of things you can do for free in Tokyo
  • Food: 60,361 JPY ($586.94)

You can clearly see where my priority is (hint: eating).

Grand Total for 15 days (14 nights) in Tokyo for 2 people: $1,952.36 (including accommodation, transportation, food, attractions, everything for 2 of us for 14 days)

Average per day expenses for 2 people: $139.45

Average per person per day expenses in Tokyo: $69.73

Accommodation was our biggest expense in Tokyo and being a couple, we spent about the cheapest amount possible while having a double room. Hostel beds or capsule beds are still pricey.

If you can avoid accommodation fees by staying with a friend, or even couchsurfing, your expenses will really decrease.

Best restaurants in Tokyo
Eating food like this in Tokyo, just never gets old!

Conclusion

Tokyo is rated as one of the best food cities in the entire world, and I can vouch to say it won’t let you down.

Not only does Japanese food in Tokyo taste so amazing, but the quality and care that goes into each morsel of cuisine, not to mention the acute attention that’s given to details like atmosphere and presentation, makes the entire eating experience in Tokyo so remarkable.

From luxury fine dining where you’re treated like royalty, to freshly grilled skewers of yakitori from a closet sized food stall, you’ll fall in love with the culture of eating in Tokyo.

Now it’s up to you to get yourself to Tokyo, Japan, to discover it for yourself… one bite at a time!

Are you a food lover who has already been to Tokyo?

What did you love about it? Any restaurant recommendations. Please leave a comment.



313 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • James L. @ Houston USA

    3 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for all these info. I am going to visit Tokyo for the very first time with family of 4. This will help big time!

  • Susan

    2 months ago

    Thanks very much for sharing. It was very comprehensive and gave me a starting point to organise our trip to Japan.
    Much appreciated.

  • Arif Rahman

    2 months ago

    Mark I am a big fan of yours and been watching your videos. You are doing a marvelous work. I am from Bangladesh and am inviting you to my country. I am planning to go to Nepal this 15th. Any suggestions?

  • Kurt

    2 months ago

    Hi Mark, its Kurt from DC. Abandoned my Bkk trip for Tokyo!! So excited. Hope u make a return there and do some new videos. Hope u are well man!

  • claudia marque vega

    2 months ago

    thank you for the recommendation! will look for them while in tokyo…just what i was looking for, eating well there 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      2 months ago

      Thanks for reading Claudia. Hope you have an amazing trip!

  • Sara

    3 months ago

    Hi Mark, that sushi place in Ginza is called Marui! Here’s the website: http://ginza-maruisushi.com/english.html
    I’m going to Japan soon, and I can’t wait to try the quail egg chiraishi don. It looks scrumptious!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 months ago

      Hey Sara, very cool, thanks for sharing. Have an amazing upcoming trip to Japan!

  • James M.

    4 months ago

    If we are in Tokyo for one whole day and another day at Mt. Fuji, What is for sure must to do in one day Tokyo? Is it worth it to visit Mt. Fuji or stay 2 full days in Tokyo?

  • Joe Chin

    4 months ago

    Thanks to you, my son and I will eat well in Tokyo in a few weeks 🙂
    Keep up the great work on this website!

  • Sami

    4 months ago

    I am not a large seafood fan, does anyone know of any good places in Tokyo that serve great food without fish etc?

    • stephanie

      3 months ago

      Noodles! Ramen places (Like Kikanbo), Soba and fried noodles. There are also grill your own meat places and yakitori is not really very fish heavy. Tempura is good too if you just skip the fish. Have fun and eat well!

  • Sab

    6 months ago

    Does anyone know if Yoshihashi Sukiyaki is still open? If not, any suggestions for good sukiyaki?

  • Nils

    6 months ago

    You have been an inspiration for me to travel for food and I’m finally going on a backpacking trip to Japan to do what I love, eat.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing guides and vlogs!
    Many well wishes from Sweden

  • James

    8 months ago

    Don’t forget about AirBnB! I only spent $200 for a week in a private, studio apartment. I’m only about an 8min walk from one of the stations on the Tozai line, so it’s really easy to get around. Granted, I found a great deal, but there are some other great options on that site. Also found round trip airfare for $500 from Seattle!

  • Abdur Raheem

    9 months ago

    Thanks for writing an awesome article with a great deal of detail but not dry and mundane at all but rather with a great amount of warmth and heart . Going early next year with my two sons who are crazy about Japanese food . Thanks .

  • Amelia

    9 months ago

    Awesome article and i really live it! Helps a lot. Thanks man

  • André

    10 months ago

    thank you for your guide,

    My girlfriend and I will pass a week in tokyo and about 40 days in japan. Can,t wait to be there!

  • Ana Lucrecia Borjes M. de Castellan

    10 months ago

    All the tips you gave here will definitely be used in our next trip to Tokyo. My family and I really appreciate the time and effort you put into it. We are looking forward to our next trip to Tokyo!!!!!! Thanks a lot.

    • Mark Wiens

      10 months ago

      Hey Ana, thank you very much and I’m happy to hear you and your family will be going to Tokyo. Thank you for all your support, and greetings to your family.

  • Jeanne Rose Pedraja

    10 months ago

    Hi, I was really amazed reading your blog regarding your trip at Tokyo, Japan. Very informative and entertaining. 🙂
    Just want to ask you, if it’s necessary to buy the JR pass (i find it to expensive). Actually, we have planned going to Japan this coming October 27- 8 November. one of our Itinerary is of course Tokyo (5 days), then heading to Kyoto (5) and Hakone (2).
    Do we really need to buy JR pass? Please help us to decide 🙂
    Thank you for your time.

    Exploring the world,
    Jeanne Rose

  • Intan

    11 months ago

    I’m planning to go to Japan this winter and this really helps me Mark! Thank You!
    p/s: i know you since i saw your videos on Youtube while visiting Malaysia! keep posting more videos!

  • Michael

    11 months ago

    Dear Mark, i dont know how i could find you so late!! But i am very very greatful that i discovered your website. I wish you many many more beautiful foodtravels and all the best wishes!!! If you ever happen to be in India again please visit me at my Guesthouse in Bodhgaya. I run a charity there since 2009 with an attached backpackers. I could hook you up with our friends in the villages for some cooking. Best wishes ..i love your passion for food, Michael

  • adinda

    11 months ago

    Thank you for giving the breakdown of your expenses! if next time you plan to visit tokyo, you can try to stay at airbnb.. you can check from the website (www.airbnb.com).. they offer such a nice place from the local people and it’s cheaper than the budget hotel.. Anyway, thank you for your posting! love to see your and ying’s work!

  • Eugenia OLivares

    11 months ago

    You make it possible for me to travel in Japan. Thanks for all the tips specially the places to see for free and the cheaper foods to find and still enjoy the food and the view. Thanks and I’ll look forward to more videos from you.

  • Alvin Ygona

    1 year ago

    Thank you so much for the extremely ensightful blog! My wife and I are so excited to visit Tokyo!

    It’s just so amazing how you eloquently described your travel.

  • Theresia Suganda

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark,

    I found your video & article, just in time when I’m planning on visiting Tokyo later this year. I asked a few friends who visited Japan earlier about cost per meal; pretty much similar to your recommendations. However, you happened to experience some splurge meals there, which costs a lot. Question: does the cost really really really pay off?

    Also, I wonder if you’re coffee lover? And if you are, did you happen to have recommendations on coffee shops or coffee in cans (in vending machine) from Tokyo?

    Thanks.

  • Erika

    1 year ago

    Fantastic site. Thank you so much. It tells you everything you want to know in simple english with lots of helpful insights. We found the accommodation tips particularly helpful and your suggestions for restaurants will be invaluable once we are in Tokyo. We had spent 4 days trawling through every site from Airbnb/Rough Guide/DK Eyewitness guides and various Japanese sites to try and get an overview of Tokyo and were so confused and overwhelmed by the end we almost decided not to go! Now we have booked our hotel in Asakusa and are looking forward to our trip in September.

  • Manny Verduzco

    1 year ago

    By far the best Tokyo guide hands down. Great details. Really awesome work. We will be trying Narisawa Tomorrow. Expecting Great Food.

    Thanks

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Manny, thank you very much. Great to hear that, enjoy your meal at Narisawa.

  • Han Winn

    1 year ago

    This is great ~~ Thank you Mark. Very excited to see Tokyo in September 🙂

  • John Gintowt

    1 year ago

    We loved your summary of Tokyo, especially the detailed reports on food. Thanks. These sorts of clear reviews are rare jewels in the masses of dross on the web.

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hi John, thank you very much, glad it’s helpful!

  • ApekZombie

    1 year ago

    I’m heading to Japan in July, and have been searching for guides. This was awesome. Thanks for putting it together. I can’t wait to go to Ramen Street!

  • Varun

    1 year ago

    Hello Mark
    Hope you enjoyed well in this trip
    I am expecting some pdf documents about your recent trips

  • Julia

    1 year ago

    Such a great guide! I’m hoping to visit Japan in the next year or so and felt overwhelmed with where to begin for where to eat. This guide definitely remedies that 🙂

  • Jude Smith

    1 year ago

    Awesome & informative. Going to Tokyo in early May. 1,000 Thanks!

  • Ankit Miglani

    1 year ago

    Great food guide Mark! quite a fan of your work… I am heading to Tokyo at the end of this month for about a week… looking forward to try these foods
    Cheers
    Ankit

  • Catherine

    1 year ago

    You. Are. f*cking. AMAZING! I’m leaving for Tokyo in four days (to Chuo-ku) and I can’t wait to try all the restaurants you’ve mentionned. The budget dinning idea and your tips are gonna be a real life-saver!

    PS: You look totally crazy when you eat, like you’re gone on another plane of existence. ^_^ Food lovers power!

  • Kyler

    1 year ago

    Hey Mark, I am huge fan of your videos and am traveling to Japan in June. Quick question, If you had the choice to go one restaurant in Tokyo, which one would it be? Also, what neighborhood do you recommend staying in? Thanks so much and looking forward to more videos 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hi Kyler, good to hear from you, glad you’re going to visit Japan soon. In Tokyo, hmm, I think for sit down places, I really enjoyed Tenmatsu because you can get both tempura and sashimi. For places to stay, I stayed in the Ueno area, which I liked.

  • JH

    1 year ago

    This guide is fantastic, youve inspired me to take a more food orientrd trip to tokyo. I will definatly be going to some of the places you recomended.
    Thankyou

  • Jane

    1 year ago

    Hey Mark!

    It’s been 2 years since your wrote this article, but I’ll be travelling to Japan with one other in 2 weeks! We’ve been reading your articles and thank you for being so detailed!

    Quick question, though: do you think $1500 USD is too much cash to exchange?

    Like you, we only plan to spend it majorly on food + transportation. Housing we got lucky with $500 for 2 weeks via Airbnb so we won’t need to worry. We plan to walk a lot, as long as our points of destinations are within reasonable distances!

    Did you buy any souvenirs home? Or any gifts (Royce chocolates??) back home? I’m not sure how much to allot for this.

    Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hi Jane, great to hear from you, glad you’ll be visiting Japan soon. As for money exchange, maybe just exchange it in increments, like you could exchange $300 at first and then see how long it gets you and then keep exchanging. Photos are typically my souvenirs, but there are all sorts of great snacks – mochi, rice crackers, chocolates – I think snacks from Japan would be the best souvenirs. Hope you have an amazing trip!

  • John

    1 year ago

    If you stay in a Airbnb with kitchen facilities, the cost will be reduced greatly where you can cook some food in the morning and evening especially when travelling with a family.
    Stay around Obuko area where there plenty of cheaper food outlets

  • Helen Han

    1 year ago

    Mark, great information and food guide, we have group of 7 people plan to go next month, we will absolutely use this as one of our references. Thanks for putting this together. It’s awesome.

  • Marc

    1 year ago

    Thank you so much Mark for this guide! I’ll visit Tokyo in July this year with two of my friends and we are alrdy very excited. Your guide will definitely help us on our trip through this amazing city. I’ll report back after our visit and tell you how many of your checkpoints we were able to see 🙂 Cheers, Marc

  • Melissa Santos

    1 year ago

    Mark, this is super awesome and informative! Thanks for all the details, especially about the food!!!

    I have never been to Tokyo, but I’m planning a trip in August for my family. Thinking of a quick 5-nt trip just to eat the sushi/sashimi that my kids love! I noticed the budget hotels you noted here only allow up to 2-3 ppl max in one room. Are there any places that will allow 4 in one room sharing? I’m thinking of going through AirBNB to ensure we can all stay in one room.

    Again, thanks for the info! Very useful to me!

  • Ana Loftus

    1 year ago

    Mark, my husband and I are big fan of your work. It is so nice to see how passionate you are about food and traveling. We are traveling lovers as well and watching your videos we are getting more inspired to explore different places. Just set up our trip to Japan on May! Pretty excited 🙂 By the way, any plans to visit Brazil? Take care!

  • Dee

    1 year ago

    You are an inspiration! I stumbled across some of your blogs last year when I was researching Vietnam and I followed a lot of your food tips and couldn’t believe the culinary adventure you have led me to! I am now following all your Japan youtube videos and my 2 little boys even love it! Keep up such an amazing job!!

  • germano gironi

    1 year ago

    nice info thank you i am going to tokyo in few days thank you for all info in your page.
    Do you suggest a guide? i will stay four day in tokyo and four day in kyoto.
    thank you from italy.. come and visit!!!
    Germano

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Germano, thank you very much, glad you’ll be going to Tokyo soon. I didn’t use any guide, during my trip there, but I think it’s a pretty good place to just go on your own if you do some research before going. Signs are well marked, and it’s pretty convenient to get around. Hope you have a great trip.

  • Mikit

    1 year ago

    Excellent information !!! Just wanted to know if there are any good vegetarian options in Tokyo?

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Mikit, thank you. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try any, but i know there are many. Have you checked Happy Cow?

  • Jeanette

    1 year ago

    This was fantastic! My husband and I just booked a trip to Japan and China. I was looking up places to eat in Japan. I’m so pleased I ran across this page. Thank you! You’ve perfectly laid everything out in a neat and orderly fashion. I’ll definitely be saving this and referencing it on our trip. Cheers!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Jeanette, great to hear from you, glad this Tokyo guide will be helpful. Have a wonderful trip to Japan!

  • Dr.Mahabaleswara Bhatta HS

    1 year ago

    Very good information.
    we are a couple aged 61 years(both). We are from India. We want to stay in Tokyo for a week.Can we get good vegetarian food in Tokyo? Awaiting your suggestions.

  • Elwyn

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark ! I am going back to Tokyo for the second time next month (As well as Taipei and Hong Kong for the first times).. I seriously cannot wait! I love watching all your youtube videos !

  • Sarah

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark, This guide helped me and husband decide on our first big trip as a married couple. I was concerned over prices, understanding local customs, transportation, etc., and this blog help to put me at ease. I appreciate your honest breakdown of everything and hope you get to travel more!

  • Max

    1 year ago

    Going to Tokyo in Nov. This is among the most useful things I’ve ever found on the internet. Thank you for your time, expertise, and clarity!!!

  • Nat

    1 year ago

    This was an amazing guide and summary of what I believe was a wonderful trip you had in Japan!
    I must say it exceeded my expectations! My family and I are Thai and we have watched your Youtube Channel for a long time. p.s We really enjoy your reaction to our Thai food, especially the neck action and big eyes you have on your first bite ahaha.

    We are also going to Tokyo next month and we are happy that we found this blog.

    Thank you so much.

  • Abbie Chen

    1 year ago

    Hi, Thanks so much for sharing such detail information.

    I will be heading to Japan too! You have mentioned that your transportation is around 16,520 JPY ($160.64) for two weeks, May I know for all the trips what are the passes you have bought other than PASMO mentioned above. For JR Line, did you bought Single ticket or some sort of Passes?
    Thanks.

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Abbie, I didn’t use any sort of passes, but almost all single trip tickets – partly because we didn’t really get out of Tokyo. But I think definitely if you plan to do some traveling outside of Tokyo, and visit many other places quickly, I think looking into a pass would be a good idea. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Shannel

    1 year ago

    Wow this post is such details and very useful to us, thank you for the information.

  • Leila Vasquez

    1 year ago

    Thanks for posting. This will be extremely helpful for our trip in April.

    Will the JR Line travel to Osaka?

  • Kim

    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for the budget breakdown!! My boyfriend and I are planning on visiting Japan sometime in March, 2016. This has helped so much in terms of spending money and it’s great that you were on a low budget (student here haha :P), at least i’ll know that we will still be able to enjoy and survive Japan under $50 CAD daily spending money. Thanks again!

  • Mai

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, I’ve been a big fan of your videos but never actually looked at your blogs till today. We plan on going to Tokyo Summer of 2016 and was wondering how you got to Kobe. I know you did an episode on Kobe…. We want the cheapest way possible to Kobe. Let me know. Thank you

  • Simon

    2 years ago

    FIrst of all Mark, i must say your videos on Youtube and your Blog are great! This Japan blog was very helpful for me in Japan and i visited many of the places you did based on your reviews. I was not dissapointed. Thank you !

  • Geir

    2 years ago

    Excellent and practical guide. Your food photos are almost like pornography. Can’t wait to get there and get stuck into that gorgeous looking food.

  • haris

    2 years ago

    emailed you to say a well deserved thank you for your tips but i think it didn’t reach you. Anyway, my family and i would be going to osaka tokyo kyoto hiroshima osaka in that order 13 to 25 december 2015. Appreciate it if you can give more advice of what to do and what to avoid. Many thanks again.

  • Scott

    2 years ago

    One month until I visit Tokyo for the first time, I really like your tips and youtube posts, if anyone thinks of anything they recommend just let me know

    Cheers

    Scott

  • Thanh Lai

    2 years ago

    Hi there Mark! Thank you so much for blogging your Tokyo adventures with so much detail. I know there are a lot of curry rice shops in Tokyo ( Coco Ichibanya, C&C Curry etc.) but there’s one that stands out to me. GoGo Curry is the name and there are shops in Shinjuku, Akihabara and a few others that I can’t remember at the very moment. The curry is the thickest around town and the katsu/ebi pieces are fried right in front of you. It’s absolutely amazing!

  • Kong

    2 years ago

    Hi. Great article. Now all I need to do is follow it Verbatim. Now I have a question to ask about the 1,240 JPY Access Limited Express that you used. Does that ticket cover trip from Narita to Ueno? Thanks in advance.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Kong, I think that price was just to Asakusa Station, however, it’s are quite close (walkable in distance from Ueno). But there might be some other train options directly to Ueno as well.

  • bcphuah

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, would appreciate any guide/pointers on moving around in Tokyo on a wheel-chair. What is the best mode of transport other than the expensive taxi service for a wheel-chair person? Thanks.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Bcphuah, thank you for the comment. I think at most of the main train stations they have elevators as well as wheel chair accessible ramps and train cars. However, the hard part could be the foot traffic. But I think Japan in general is very wheel chair friendly.

  • bcphuah

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, Great job for a fantastic guide to travelling and eating in Tokyo!! So very kind of you to share your experiences with everyone who intends to travel to Tokyo. A big Thank You.
    I will be visiting Tokyo together with my wife and daughter in October 2015 and we will be staying in the Shinjuku area.
    We will be landing in Narita and going to Shinjuku area. My main worries and fears are whether Japan is handicap-friendly to get by as my wife is wheel-chair bound. Would appreciate any guidance/help in this direction. Potential drawbacks in transport and getting around from one place to another for example. Would be grateful for any useful hints and pointers. Thanks a million.

  • Newson Fonseca

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark, how are you?

    I will be in Tokyo from December 16 to 31st. and although I am very pleased/grateful for this opportunity, I have never been there and your material here is outstanding! Thank you. I wish you were there in December. If you ever como to Brazil or decide to go to Canada, let me know. Arigato, sayonara! Newson

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Newson, cool that you’ll be going to Tokyo in December, hope you have a great trip. Thank you for the invitation, I will let you know.

  • Sophie

    2 years ago

    Have spent days trying to find some summarized, non confusing, overall info on food/eating, transportation, and neighborhoods. You write very well and am so relieved to finally find some understandable, easy to read info.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Sophie, glad to hear this post is useful and clear. Thank you for reading!

  • melody yik

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, thank you for sharing your tips and great info about Tokyo! I’ve been there about 12 months ago and going to visit Tokyo next week! Your great info has definitely given me better plan of what i’m going to do there! 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Melody, you’re welcome, glad to hear you’re going back to Tokyo soon. Have a great trip!

  • MerlB

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    thank you for all the awesome details! im planning to visit Tokyo in Nov with my husband and my 3y old son for the first time.
    please give some advise! we are nervous and yet excited!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi MerlB, good to hear from you, glad you’re planning to visit Tokyo soon. I think mainly my biggest tip is to just go out and explore, enjoy the food and the atmosphere. It’s really an amazing city to visit. Hope you and your family have a wonderful trip!

  • Biyori

    2 years ago

    Hey there mark !

    Regarding Tokyo,if i am not able to speak or read Japanese, how do i travel around and things like ordering food and so on? Would it be very difficult?
    A reply would be appreciated !
    Thanks !

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Biyori, it can be challenging, but that’s one of the fun things about traveling. Luckily on menus, there are often photos to help you order. For transportation most things are in English. You can get around!

  • Sarah

    2 years ago

    I am a food-lover that is about to go to Tokyo and Osaka and I’m a bit overwhelmed by the things I want to eat and do and EAT, and I only have 10 days to fit all of it into, so… THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. This is great because it covers food but also the logistics. Most posts I’ve seen cover logistics and tourist sights that I would like to go to, but I wasn’t sure if I needed to prioritize them seeing as I travel for food (and, okay, culture, too), and I travel on a small budget.

    So, again, thank you. I will be saving this post for offline use, and will be referring to it over and over and over.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Sarah, great to hear from you, and so glad you’ll be going to Japan soon. Glad to hear this post is helpful. Hope you have an amazing trip, and enjoy the food!

  • Erica

    2 years ago

    what would you recommend for 1st time travelers to travel as a group or individual?

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Erica, in Tokyo both is fine, whatever you feel comfortable with. But as far as safety goes, group or individual is alright.

  • noel

    2 years ago

    What a fantastic guide, Tokyo is an amazing foodie city! I love Japanese style street food vendors, the wild colors and food. Here are a few of my favorites Japanese Yatai, if I can share this post. http://travelphotodiscovery.com/japanese-street-food/

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Noel, good to hear from you, glad you love Tokyo as well. Thanks for sharing your favorite foods!

  • Sam Hewitt

    2 years ago

    A group of us are off to Japan next year. Extremely excited about going. Although I would consider myself a bit of a fussy eater, I will try lots of different food, otherwise I will regret it. One of my favourite Japanese dishes is Udon. Thanks a lot for this great guide Mark. Will come back to it as we get closer to the date we go.

  • Neme

    2 years ago

    Hey there!
    Awesome guide and video! I am visitting Tokyo in September and I just can’t wait!

    I am dreaming of visitting Japan since I was a little child (I’m from Croatia) and finally the dream comes true. Initially I wanted to go for three weeks and travel across Japan, but i the end it is “just” one week in Tokyo.

    Do you have any tipps (besides your awesome guide) for me in Tokyo? I’ll be going with my wife and we are both very tall – I am 2.01m and she is 1.87m Will this be a huge issue in Japan? WIll we get some silly looks etc. or are they used to tall tourists in the meantime? 🙂

    Cheers
    Neme

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Neme, good to hear from you, thank you very much. Glad you’ll be going to Japan. That’s also what happened to me, ended up just staying in Tokyo. As for tips, I’d say to just not make too many plans, and to take your time and relax when figuring out how to go places or do things. Tokyo is a busy city, but if you can just take your time and enjoy the busyness of everyone else while you’re moving slowly and observing, it’s amazing.

  • Naomi

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, Great video! We live in Tokyo but have yet to try some of the restaurants you mentioned – we are always looking for a new place to eat so this is wonderful! by the way if you are coming back to Tokyo next time, let me know – we have a nice room available that is much cheaper than what you have paid for at your budget hotel! 😉

  • Chris

    2 years ago

    Thanks for the awesome guide! I really enjoyed watching the video too and keep going back to it to get ideas for my trip in November. I was wondering, did you know how to speak or read Japanese when you went on this trip? If not, what types of things did you learn to read signs for locations, transportation, communication, etc.? Also, how should I go about learning where different places are and how to take transportation to get there?

  • Jared Freed

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    Thank you so much for this helpful guide! We will be going to Japan and will be in Tokyo for 6 days of our trip. I am a high school student, and am forming a Global Travelers club where I teach my fellow classmates the wonders of traveling outside the U.S., and I will definitely use you as an example of someone who brings their passion of traveling (and food) to the joy of others. It really inspired me to create the club, and your videos inspired me to want to go to Japan in the first place! Thank you so much!

  • Queen

    2 years ago

    Thanks for the list. Saving up for visiting Tokyo. I saw this sight which has nice budget hostels and ryokans.. 🙂

    http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/feature/7209/Budget-hotels-and-hostels-in-Tokyo

  • Ada Wilkinson

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    I just find it unfair that you were only here in Japan for 15 days yet you almost tried every food! I have been living in Japan for over a year now and I haven’t even tried sukiyaki and okonomiyaki. My husband isn’t really adventurous when it comes to food so it’s difficult for me to invite him in places I’m interested in.

    By the way, I remember mentioning on one of my comments here that you try visiting Hida Takayam where almost “all” restaurants are fantastic, and mentioned a Soba and Udon restaurant. I already blogged about it! If you’re interested, you can read it here: Ebisu Honten Hida Takayama I’m not really good in food blogging but I hope that would help you in your next Japan adventure. You should also try the Hida Beef. OMG.

    Sincerely,
    Ada

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Ada, great to hear form you, thank you for the comment and for sharing your post and suggestions. I really hope to return to travel again in Japan, and I won’t miss that Hida beef and your other suggestions. Thank you!

  • ooa revo

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for sharing these great photos and tips. Loved Tokyo and Japan, and love all your food posts. My mouth waters every time I read them. Traveled through Asia and couldn’t get enough of the food and its variety (personal favorite: Vietnam).
    If you’re interested in quality photos, videos and storytelling on top of traditional travel tips:
    http://www.ooaworld.com

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Great to hear from you, glad you loved Japan, and the food too. Thank you for sharing your blog, amazing photos!

  • Chrissy

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Just want to say a huge thank you for your 25 Things To Do in Tokyo Youtube clip.
    I have tried to search for dvds and online videos on travelling in Japan and have found in comparison to other countries there aren’t too many around! So I’m very thankful for your video, it’s a fantastic guide which I will be using when I visit next month 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Chrissy, you’re very welcome, I’m so happy to hear that this video and guide is helpful. Hope you have an amazing trip to Japan.

  • kristel

    2 years ago

    Woah, this is quite comprehensive. Thanks for all the tips and wonderful suggestions, really helpful 🙂

  • Tee

    2 years ago

    Hi Daniel – I found you from your youtube video – top 25 things to do in Tokyo. Great vid! Can you share your Tokyo itinerary? I am travelling there for the first time in October so it would be really helpful to see yours. Tee

  • irene ward

    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for this guide. Me and my husband are planning to visit there soon. This is so informative and helpful especially that i also love to travel for food. Keep up the good work!..

  • Tony DePhillips

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    I love all your videos and work.
    My wife and I are planning a trip to Japan and Thailand for early 2016. You really got us excited about it.
    You are a fantastic blogger and are very photogenic. I could see you hosting your own show someday on the Food Network or something. Best of luck to you.
    Tony

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Tony, thank you very much, and glad you’ll be traveling to both Japan and Thailand – two wonderful food destinations! Thank you again, really appreciate your support.

  • Coco

    2 years ago

    Wow! Thank you for detailed guide! My boyfriend and I are off to Tokyo in 2 weeks and your tips have really helped us plan our trip! Thank you so much! Lots of gratitude from HK. – Coco

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Coco, you’re welcome, thank you very much for reading. Hope you have an amazing trip to Tokyo!

  • Catalina

    2 years ago

    Thanks for such an informative post Mark! My friend and I are heading to Tokyo next March, and being foodies as well, this article was super useful !

    I would suggest Airbnb for finding accommodation. We are staying in Tokyo for 21 nights, and for 2 people, we found an accommodation of approx. $28 per night. So that’s $300 per person!

    Looking forward to more travel related posts and videos from you!
    Catalina

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Catalina, great to hear from you, glad that you’ll be going to Tokyo soon. Thanks for the tip about Airbnb, I’ve used them before, but didn’t in Tokyo. Thanks and hope you have a great trip.

  • kazumasa hamada

    3 years ago

    There is a possibility that a translation tool is difficult to read because it’s being used.

    It seems that you could spend good time in Japan, and I’m happy.
    Please come to Japan again by all means.
    Please also come to the area where only Tokyo cries this time.
    Tohoku-district is a good place in particular.

    I live in Tokyo, but I go to bike touring travel in Tohoku-district every year.
    The northeast is attracted by peculiar dish and hot spring.
    The northeastern soba is better than Tokyo and also peculiar to a hospitality.

    If you permit, I’d like to show the northeast.
    In the area where a tidal wave was here of course. I want you to know that one before and after an earthquake disaster also doesn’t become quite another person and lives.

  • John

    3 years ago

    wow love your post, so excited to see all this in tokyo in 2 weeks :D:D:D

  • Jennifer

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark! Thank you for the detailed guide! I will be staying at the Remm Akihabara hotel in Akihabara and was wondering if you had a few suggestions on what to eat around that area!!

    Thank you so much!
    Jennifer

  • Melissa

    3 years ago

    Hi, great post! The article was thorough and covered a wide range food and attractions in Tokyo.

    I visit Japan about 2 to 3 times a year and I’m slowly running out of ideas of places to visit and foods to try…
    I’ve never heard of the sumo town so I’ll look forward to visiting it during my next trip later this month!

    I also recommend for any other food lovers out there to try Japanese-Italian food, which is one of my favourite foods to eat when I go to Japan. They usually consist of pasta with hints of Japanese flavour such as miso, seaweed or even uni (sea urchin) sauce!
    I also recommend hitting the Japanese bakeries and trying their pastries. I’m not a dessert person but I enjoy eating Japanese desserts as they are usually lighter than western-styled desserts.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Melissa, great to hear from you, glad this guide brought back memories. Thank you for sharing your input, Japanese Italian food sounds delicious, something I’ve never had before, but I’ll be sure to eat next time I visit Japan. Hope you have a great upcoming trip!

  • Jack

    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this post, this will be very easy for all the visitors to find food area. As Sushi is getting popular all around the world. This will help me to find Sushi restaurants, which is my favorite food.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      You’re welcome, thank you for reading Jack, glad that you love to eat sushi.

  • Jason

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark!
    My partner and I stubbled across your videos in preparing for our trip to Tokyo and Bangkok this month. I am so appreciative of all the great info you are sharing! I was already excited by all the food, but after reading this and watching a few of your videos I am even more excited than before.
    I do have one question, regarding the drinking water, your comments above allude to there being a question about the potability of the tap water in Tokyo, are you advising that it is indeed ok, or should we stick to bottled or hot tea?
    Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Jason, great to hear you’ll be traveling to Tokyo and Bangkok soon, and that you’re excited about the food. For Tokyo, I’m not totally sure about Japan, but I think overall the water is fine, though most of the time since I was out running around I drank bottled water. For Thailand, it’s best to stick to bottled water, though you shouldn’t have a problem with things like brushing your teeth using the water. All the best.

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      I live in Japan and just wanted to let you know that there’s no problem at all with the tap water here. 🙂
      You can drink it!

  • Sue

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your useful information. Enjoyed reading it. Will be of great help for our first trip to Tokyo on Nov 2015. 9D/8N – 4N Tokyo (2N Disneyland & Disneysea), 2N Osaka & 2N Kyoto. Hopefully, enough days to spend in Japan. How many months do I have to start booking for the hotel room? When I tried Booking.com & Agoda, it says “hotel room is fully booked”. Is it too early to do booking as yet or is it fully booked as it is still a year to go? Please help. Thanks.

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      Hi Sue! 🙂
      Most hotels allow booking from 6 months in advance, so yes, you’re way too early. 😉

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Sue, good to hear you’ll be going to Japan. Thank for your response also ZoomingJapan, I think that’s right. I think maybe hold off until a little closer to the time. All the best!

  • Mary

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I was just wondering, where is the place you ate the saba fish at the neighbpurhood area?
    I would really like to go there and try the saba fish.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Mary, it was just a tiny restaurant, maybe even a chain, where they used a vending machine to take orders. I can’t remember the name, but it was near Inaricho station, in the Ueno area of town. But when you’re in Tokyo, you’ll find plenty of restaurants like it, just look for the vending machine, and then you can often order the saba fish. Enjoy!

  • Elle

    3 years ago

    Hi! I enjoyed reading your post very much because it’s not only informative its so captivating! I’m glad to have chanced upon this post while planning for my upcoming Japan trip. Thanks a lot for sharing! However, May I know where is the location of the second picture in this post?

    Cheers!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Elle, thank you very much for your encouraging words, and good to hear you’ll be visiting Japan soon. Do you mean on the train? I think I took that picture on the train from Narita Airport into the city. Hope you have an amazing trip.

  • Eric

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    I also planned to visit certain restaurants during the lunch hours. May I ask if the lunch promotion is also available on weekend?

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Eric

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Eric, sorry for the late response. That’s a great question. I think depending on the place that you’re in, perhaps in a real business financial districts it would be more of a weekday, but in most other neighborhoods I think lunch specials still hold for weekends too. All the best and hope you have a great time visiting Tokyo.

  • Rodrigo

    3 years ago

    Buddy, You give me amazing tips, I’m also a foodie traveler and the next November 25th I will travel to Tokyo on my 1st time in Japan, I was looking for cheap but tasty options to stay inside my budget, I’m traveling with 1k USD but after reading the full article I feel comfy that I will enjoy my trip, my stay, the majestic of Tokyo and of course my guts will dnace of happiness tasting those meals…not all of them but almost all.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Rodrigo, great to hear from you, and so glad that you’ll be going to Tokyo soon. Hope you have an amazing visit and enjoy the delicious food!

  • Arnold Neo

    3 years ago

    Your website is amazing, I love the way you goes around searching for food. Glad I discovered your website!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you very much Arnold, I really appreciate it.

  • Grace B

    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for the excellent and comprehensive guide! I’m headed to Tokyo early next year. Was planning to spend some time at Nikko and Hakone also, but after watching your video and reading your guide, I think I might spend my entire week in Tokyo alone!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Grace, thank you very much for reading this guide, glad it’s been helpful. Hope you have a wonderful upcoming trip to Tokyo.

  • Adlyn

    3 years ago

    Mark,
    You have such a great blog! Thanks for all the tips! Will be visiting Tokyo in November..
    who-hooo I can’t wait!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Adlyn, thank you very much and great to hear you’ll be visiting Tokyo soon. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Lachlan

    3 years ago

    OMG thank you i am going japan next year and i think i will try to do most of the tings you did i think. All the food looked so good i cant wait till i go

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Lachlan, glad that you’ll be traveling to Japan next year, hope you have a wonderful trip!

  • Jolie

    3 years ago

    Wonderful Post Mark! I have been constantly referring to this page while planning my 2015 Japan trip.
    Thank you!
    Also I’m looking forward to your Vietnam posts 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Jolie, thank you very much for reading and for following along. Glad that you’re planning a trip to Japan next year!

  • Tiffy @ Asiatravelbug

    3 years ago

    Mark, your post made me realise that I missed a lot of wonderful food experiences in Tokyo before.

    I’ll be bookmarking this one as a reference when I fly back to Tokyo next year. Great post and lovely food pictures! I just have to refer to the food guru. 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Tiffy, thank you very much, glad you enjoyed this post and glad it’s helpful. There’s so much to discover in Tokyo!

  • Big Roy

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    Thanks for the painstaking write up! I’m so gonna use this for my trip to Tokyo this December! Thanks dude!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Roy, you’re welcome, thank you for reading this. Hope you have a wonderful time visiting Tokyo in December!

  • Sanna

    3 years ago

    I loved this guide, especially your price breakdowns – so useful! I travelled to Kyoto and Tokyo in June, and it was an amazing experience. I stayed in Asakusa and loved the quiet, and am already planning my next Japan trip for 2015, with the inclusion of Nagoya, Yokohama, Kobe and Osaka this time. The standard of food almost everywhere was fantastic, honestly it would be possible to thrive on konbini food alone. I am from Sydney, so for me the prices were inexpensive compared to what I am used to.
    One especially memorable eating place for me was Yayoiken for breakfast in Asakusa (across the road from Hotel Agora Place), a restaurant where you select your meal and pay using a vending machine at the front of the store.They do great meal sets and rice and miso refills were unlimited.
    Another favourite was a cafeteria style chain I found both in Kyoto and on the way to Ueno from Asakusa. You walked in and took a tray from the counter and then selected different plates and small bowls of salads, grilled fish, fried foods, tamagoyaki etc. Prices were then based on what and how much you had selected. I think generally it work out to be around $8aud p/p, including rice and miso, and these were significant portions. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the restaurant and there was no English signage.
    In Ueno there was a great little coal BBQ place across the road from the station as you came from Asakusa. Really friendly service, great Chu-hais, and not at all smoky like BBQ restaurants often are when you cook your own meat at the table. Unfortunately I can only identify it by a big ’24’ (which I assume refers to being open 24/7) on the front signage.
    Can you please tell me what time of the year it was in your 25 things to do in Tokyo video? I am planning my next trip for September, which I am assuming will be a contrast to June.
    If people are planning on going to Kyoto I would really recommend the short train trip to Arashiyama and the bamboo grove. There is a great little traditional restaurant at the top of the street that does the best rice with egg and katsu. And the walk through the village and through the grove is amazing too, of course.
    I could just go on and on about Japan!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sanna, very cool, thank you so much for sharing your useful tips and information about visiting Japan. It’s making me dream of going back as soon as possible!

      I made the video in March, we were in Japan at the end of Feb and early March. Thanks again for all your sharing!

  • Matt

    3 years ago

    Dear Mark,
    We already posted our “thank you” message here, but it disappeared somehow 🙁 We wanted to thank you for this great guide and very useful tips! We organized 85% of our trip based on your guide. Japan is a great country and we will definitely visit it again!
    Thank you!
    Matt & Karl

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Matt and Karl, thank you very much for reading this guide, and I’m so glad to hear that it was helpful. Glad you had a wonderful visit to Japan!

  • Matt

    3 years ago

    Dear Mark,
    We just came back from our two week Japan trip (we are from Germany) and wanted to thank you for the great video and articles! They were very helpful and so informative! 85% of our Trip was based on your recomendations! We will definitely follow your blog and visit places you recommend in other countries! Great blog! Thank you so much! .. and yes we fell in love with Japan 🙂
    Matt & Karl

  • Anna K.L.

    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for all this practical and useful information! We are in Tokyo and at the last minute, our week long guide cancelled on us. We were frantic for an itinerary, but thanks to you, we now have one. You are a trip saver! Thank you so much Mark!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Anna, you’re welcome, and glad it’s useful. Hope you have a wonderful time in Tokyo.

  • The Hedonist Life

    3 years ago

    Awesome guide, I’m going to Japan next month for the first time and can’t wait!

  • Maai

    3 years ago

    Thanks a lot, I want to go to Japan like NOW!!!! ^_^

  • Julie Jackson

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark
    We are off to Tokyo for Christmas this year with two foodie kids in tow. I didn’t set out to raise foodie kids but they just love street food , markets and Anthony Bourdain. Great tips for us- i ll do the lunch main as suggested and then hopefully beat the grandmas to discount be to at night!
    Any suggestions for 4 travelling together- will we get into restaurants etc, the kids are teens so they take up a bit of room !
    Did your accommodation. Do breakfast ? Any suggestions for finding a good breakfast to keep us going ?
    Thanks !

  • Sandra Nataly

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark 🙂 thank you so much for putting this article available for everyone! Today i first find you on youtube with your nice video of 25 thigs to do in tokyo ! and now found your blog wich is really helpfull! i am planing to visit japan next year and i was scared about how could do things like tranportations and food!? Now thanks to you i have some knowledge that ofc i am going to use 🙂
    However i am planning to make a “little” tour around the country. Japan culture is one of the most interesting things i want to feel and experiment! have you been in other places on japan besides tokyo? if it is could you give some tips pls?
    Just one thing i am getting surprise you dont experiment the tea ritual? matcha? or you are not a lover of tea?

  • Rick Anderson

    3 years ago

    Your comment about boiling hotel water “just to be safe” came as a surprise to me. As you must be aware, Japan is an advanced first world country. My wife, who is Japanese, and I travel to Japan nearly every year and spend 3-4 weeks at a time there. We travel all over Japan, both urban and rural, and the tap water is safe to drink. There are a lot of places here in the U.S. where I wouldn’t drink the water, such as New Orleans (Mississippi Rive), West Virginia (mine tailings), certain Great Lakes’ cities with algal blooms, et al.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Rick, thank you for reading and thank you for clearing up that the water is safe to drink – good to know that!

  • Anthony

    3 years ago

    This is such an awesome guide Mark! This will definitely make my life easier when i visit Tokyo next month. Thanks for posting.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Anthony, glad you liked this, and hope you have a wonderful visit to Tokyo.

  • Kay

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I love your guide and videos, I learned so many things from just this one article! I was just wondering, how often did you find that you had to communicate in Japanese – if any – and how tourist friendly is Tokyo? i.e. if you don’t speak a word of the language, can you still visit restaurants, order food, pay, get directions, with no relative trouble?
    I did try learning Japanese for a while and even if I learned the basics, I’m still not capable of reading signs or making sense when spoken to by a native speaker. Will we find it difficult to get around?

    Many thanks.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Kay, thank you very much, I really appreciate it. To answer your question, I don’t speak barely any words of Japanese, and I was fine traveling in Tokyo. All signs are written in both Japanese and transliteration, but sometimes, like in the subway, you have to look around to find English maps. But as long as you’re not in a rush, and just take your time to figure things out, you’ll be fine. Yes, without knowing any Japanese, you can still go to restaurants, walk around, order and pay. Asking for directions is sometimes an adventure, but just keep a positive attitude, and you’ll be fine. You’re going to do great Kay, sounds like you know much more Japanese than I do.

  • Alex BKK

    3 years ago

    Thank you for your guide, Mark. I like your Tokyo Street Food guide. I hope I would go to Japan some days. There is one of great destinations in the world.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you Alex, hope you can visit Tokyo in the future.

  • Danny

    3 years ago

    Love the post Mark…..I will visit there one day just going threw a rough patch right now but im hoping it will pass and I can move on to do what you do Mark….Travel and see the sights ….I love the Japanese attention to detail….food looks good enough to eat heheh

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Danny, great to hear from you. Keep strong through the rough times, you can do it. Japan is such an amazing country, so much care is put into the food.

  • Clar Panganiban

    3 years ago

    Thank you very much for this yummy article! (((o(*゚▽゚*)o))) We’re going on a 14-day trip to Japan and we were kinda lost on where to eat in Tokyo since during our travels we tend to focus more on food too. *teehee* the “Cheaper eats during Lunch Time.” part was really really really helpful. If I didn’t see this blog I wouldn’t have known and that would have been hurtful in the pocket 🙁 But thanks to you we know what and where to go! 🙂 Please keep posting travel tips! We love your Youtube Vlogs too! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Clar, thank you very much, and great to hear about your upcoming trip to Japan. Hope you have a wonderful trip. More videos to come.

  • estefi

    3 years ago

    hi! great review. Me and my husband will be in japan for 1 month during this november and this review was very helpful. I was looking for a place that you mention here and i couldn’t find it and its not in your map either. The Memory Line – piss alley, near shinjuku station. Would you mind send me a link with the location of the zone were the bars are. thank you!! and again, great review! Did you visit any other places in japan that you can recommend?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Estefi, great to hear from you, glad this is useful. I wrote a full article about Memory Lane, but I think I forgot to link it up so far. Here it is: http://migrationology.com/2014/04/japanese-yakitori-memory-lane-piss-alley/ An on the map it’s called: Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane). Unfortunately, I only had time to visit Tokyo on this trip so don’t have any recommendations for other places. Hope you and your husband have a wonderful time.

  • Michel

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark !

    Thank you for all your excellent reviews, i’m going to Japan (Tokyo (7days) then Kyoto(12) and daily trips from kyoto to Osaka/Miyajima/Hiroshima/Nara).
    I’ve perfectly planned all my Tokyo stay thanks to your brilliant work. Thank you very much for sharing your experience =)

    I intend to do the same thing for Kyoto, do you know some good places to go ? or maybe can you give me food blogs that talk about kyoto ? (and the other cities i’ve mentionned maybe ?)

    Your food guide is awesome =) and the prices are cheaper than I thought

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Michel, great to hear from you, glad that you’ll be going to Japan soon. As for Kyoto, I haven’t been able to visit myself, yet, but here’s a site by a friend of mine: http://www.insidekyoto.com/ All the best for your trip, I know you’re going to have an amazing time.

  • Nainapa

    3 years ago

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR AN EXCELLENT REVIEWS!!!
    We ( 7 family members) plan to take a trip to Japan this November, this is so helpful

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Nainapa, you’re welcome, glad you enjoyed this, and hope you and your family have a wonderful visit to Japan.

  • Sean Laurence

    3 years ago

    This is a fantastic article! Thank you keeping it so detailed and with lots of great info and pictures. I like the tip about eating lunch to save money. I’ll be in Japan for 8 days in July. Can you recommend any day trips I can take from Tokyo?

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      Here’s a great list with 19 day trip suggestions from Tokyo: http://zoomingjapan.com/travel/day-trips-from-tokyo/

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sean, thank you very much for checking out this article, glad it’s useful. If you like hiking, you could take a day trip to Mount Takao, that was really nice. Also, I didn’t have time, but many people told me I should go to Yokohama and Chinatown for the a day – that would make a nice day trip too. Hope this helps, and have a great upcoming trip.

  • priti

    3 years ago

    I really loved reading your blog, I have applied to attend a seminar in Japan, and if accepted I will be there for about 7 days , the seminar will be held in Saitama, any idea about this place? Are there any fun things to do there?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Priti, thank you very much. I’m not familiar with Saitama at all, sorry about that. Maybe someone here can help?

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      Hi Priti! 🙂

      Saitama is really close to Tokyo, so you can definitely visit a few places in and around Tokyo.
      Kawagoe is a popular tourist spot in Saitama. If you happen to go in late April / early May, I also definitely recommend Chichibu with its beautiful flower park.

      Depending on how busy you get, you also should d a few day trips to places nearby such as Hakone, Kamakura or even Mt. Fuji.

      Feel free to visit my blog or contact me if you have any further questions.
      I’ve been living in Japan for over a decade now and have travelled to almost each and every corner of this beautiful country. 😉

  • zoomingjapan

    3 years ago

    What a well written guide! This is great for ‘beginners’ or first time visitors to Japan.
    If your budget allows, I highly recommend getting out of Tokyo to explore Japan’s other interesting spots and food!
    Personally I’m a huge fan of Okinawa and the dishes you can get there, especially goya champloo. 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey, thank you very much, I really appreciate it, and thanks for the extra tips. Would love to visit Okinawa and eat there in the future.

  • Ann

    3 years ago

    Wow, great guide! Leaving for Tokyo in 3 days. Found your guide to be concise, practical and just amazing!

  • Sonia

    3 years ago

    Hi!, thanks for posting this! very useful!
    but something that worries me is that i don’t speak japanese…

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sonia, you’re welcome, glad this is useful. I don’t speak any Japanese either, but if you just take it slowly, take your time, you’ll be fine. Many signs either use photos or have English, so if you look hard enough, you’ll always be able to figure something out. Hope you can visit.

  • Asif

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Loved your video and of course your blog site!

    On my way from Canada to Malaysia, I’ll be in transit in Japan (Narita) for 20 hrs from Saturday 3pm to Sunday 11am … I’m thinking of visiting some of the places you mentioned in your video/blog.

    I’m also thinking of staying up the whole 20 hrs to maximize my experience in Tokyo… are there places to see or explore going late into the night until the next morning? Is this recommended?

    Also, does their transit system function 24 hrs a day?

    Thank you Mark!

    Cheers!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Asif, thank you for reading this and for watching, and I like the way you think – maximize your time. As for transit, I think the subway system closes at about midnight or so, but you better double check the official site. For night activities, you could definitely enjoy some yakitori and drinks into the night, and then you could try to get a space at the Tsukiji fish auction at 4 or 5 am? That might be a good plan. All the best.

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      Trains and buses, subways etc. will all stop running around midnight. There are sleeper trains and some night buses, but that’s not for “regular transit”. People always try to catch the last train. Taxis are very expensive, especially if you have to use them alone.
      If you happen to miss the last train / bus, you can spend the night in a manga café, internet café etc.
      In big cities such as Tokyo, Japan always offers a lot of things to do at night.

      Some early trains start running around 5 a.m. in the morning.

  • Alyssa

    3 years ago

    Hello! I just spent like an hour watching your videos on youtube and then ended up finding this remarkable blog you have!! My friend Stephanie and I are going to Japan for our senior trip from just graduating High school. We are so glad we found your blog/videos, it really helped!!! We really enjoy your facial expressions when you eat! We also love food. Thank you for being so funny and awesome! We love you!

    Sincerely, Stephanie and Alyssa

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Alyssa and Stephanie, it’s great to hear from you, thank you for watching my videos and for checking out my blog. Congratulations on graduating, and that’s so cool you’re traveling to Japan. Hope you both have an amazing trip and enjoy the food!

  • Nairn

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark….this guide is awesome..love the videos,

    Just wondering where did you get the recommendations for the restaurant you went to for lunch, because im planning to go to Tokyo in august and im just curious on how you found these places. i mean did you find these on a article? or did you just explore and find these places.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Nairn, great to hear from you, glad that you’re planning a trip to Tokyo. A big combination of many things. Some of the food / restaurants I just walked around and discovered randomly, others I found through other blogs and websites. There’s some good articles in the Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/ and also check out my friend Yukari’s blog here: http://foodsaketokyo.com/ Hope you have a wonderful visit.

  • Paul

    3 years ago

    Great guide Mark. I wish I’d stumbled across it before I’d visited! I really enjoy how you’ve combined videos in with the words and images on your blog. Something I’m yet to master – but I’m inspired!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Paul, great to hear from you, thank you for checking this guide out. Awesome to see your amazing food and travel site too!

  • Bao

    3 years ago

    Love the post! Im going to japan this summer, got the ticket booked and everything and im so excited!!!!!

    Can i ask how much the street food are and, which is the best in your opinion?

    Also you mentioned to eat more lunch and avoid big dinner restaurant, my 2nd question is what time does dinner start in tokyo so i can avoid gong there at that time…

    My budget is £500 for 7days. (Baring in mind i eat like a whale when it comes to food)

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Bao, good news, you’re going to have a fun trip.

      As for street food, there’s not too many real street food places, but I really like the yakitori (mentioned in this guide) and the ramen near Tsukiji (http://migrationology.com/2014/05/chuka-soba-inoue-street-ramen-tokyo/). Lunch is often from 11 am or 12 noon – 2 or 3 pm or so, and dinner is usually from about 5 or 6 pm – 10 pm or whenever they close.

      Is that budget just for food? or for accommodation too? Just for food, you’ll be fine, and you’ll eat like a whale!

  • Cynthia

    3 years ago

    Good overview on food in Tokyo! Made me want to explore much more 🙂

    Some information: The mentioned sweet bread is called “Meronpan” (メロンパン), the pattern shall represent a hami melon, as far as I know. The sauce which is put on Okonomiyaki as well as on Takoyaki is simply called “Soosu” (ソース) and is a thickened Worcestershire sauce.

    I can also recommend some chain stores (on a budget 😉 ):
    Hamazushi はま寿司 – great sushi at a go-round. The prices are simply amazing.
    Matsuya 松屋 – is a bit like Sukiya and Yoshinoya, I would say.
    Or simply buy a Bento at a Conbini, supermarket or at street stalls 🙂 In shops they even warm up the food for you.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Cynthia, great, thank you so much for your extra tips and suggestions. Ok, good to know that sauce is thickened worcestershire, I knew I had tasted some similar flavors before, but couldn’t quite tell what it was due to the texture. Thank you for the food recommendations, makes me want to return right now to eat more.

  • ariel silva

    3 years ago

    your travelogue is a rich source of information. i enjoy your write-ups, photographs and videos – my friend and i always have a good laugh, anticipating that precise moment you make your signature expression of relish whenever you bite into something good 🙂

    i will be travelling to tokyo and kyoto, then kathmandu in 5 days and therefore have this page marked on my iPad for refenrence.

    thank you and cheers!

    ariel
    philippines/switzerland

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Ariel, good to hear from you. Haha, thank you for watching my videos, I really appreciate it. Glad that you’ll be traveling to Japan soon and then onto Kathmandu, hope you have a wonderful trip.

  • PH

    3 years ago

    Great!! these are just the information that i need for my trip!! It’s one extensive yet simple guide which give people an easier view on how to navigate…just looking at this guide made me so so hungry~~~~

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey PH, glad this guide is helpful. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

  • Robert

    3 years ago

    Hallo,
    I will be in Tokyo this September,for 5 days,for the first time….I guess you already know about luggage problem..you know if there are any places where u can store it for more then 3 days?Thank`s.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hello Robert, good to hear from you, glad you’re going to Tokyo. Do you mean you’ll be going to Tokyo and then traveling around so you want to store your luggage somewhere? You might be able to check with a hotel?

  • Mathieu

    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for this guide! My best friend and I are to leave for Tokyo on June 16th for 2 weeks so this is exactly what we needed! I also watched your video of the 25 places to visit and it was very helpful as well. I hope we can see some of the places you mentioned! Thanks again!

  • vincent

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark – this review is awesome!!! and the price you mentioned are very helpful.

    One question, I visited Tokyo once, and having some troubles eating on those Yakitori – street food stalls as the signs are all in Japanesse. Any hints on that? And I was afraid to try as I have no idea how much it will cost me. The same apply to eating at Tsukiji as I heard eating sushi there is rather expensive. Is that the case really?

    Again great job on the video and the blog!!

    cheers,
    Vincent – Indonesia

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Vincent, good to hear from you, glad this is helpful. At the the yakitori places I went to, they had picture menus with the prices written on them – though I did guess a bit at what I was ordering – I was able to mostly tell from the photo. As for Tsukiji, yah I would say the sushi is overpriced compared to other areas, but I think there are some decent places on the outer market that are better prices, or in Ginza. If you go back to Tokyo, try the place called “Sushi in Ginza”, I’m still trying to figure out the name of it, but it’s plotted on the map. Food there was awesome and good lunch price.

  • DoDoes

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark, great guide you have for Tokyo. This coming July I will visit Osaka. Maybe, next time you are going to Japan you can considered using this website https://www.airbnb.com/ for accommodation. Living with host family can be great experiences.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey, glad to hear you’re going to Osaka soon, I would love to go there on my next trip. Yes, AirBnB is a good site too for accommodation, thanks for sharing.

  • ELAINE

    3 years ago

    very informative, loved your youtube video too. definitely using this as a guide for my trip to tokyo next week!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Great Elaine, thank you for watching and reading. Hope you have a wonderful time in Tokyo!

  • Ivana

    3 years ago

    Mark thank you so much for this guide.
    I’m Italian and i will go in Tokyo next week.
    I’m going to “study” this guide the best i can, because you are great!!!
    Come in Italy!
    the food here is the best in the world (and i can cook very well)
    Ciao ciao

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Ivana, great to hear you’ll be going to Tokyo, hope you have a fun time and enjoy the food. I really hope to visit Italy in the future, can’t wait for the food!

  • Charmaine

    3 years ago

    Thanks for the helpful info. Good suggestions and breakdown on costs.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      You’re welcome Charmaine, glad it’s helpful!

  • Joel Bruner

    3 years ago

    That is a GREAT article man, the pictures are amazing! It looks like you spent a ton of time putting it together, super well done. And yes, I am surprised to see its not reaaaally that expensive. Still quite steep compared to where we live at the moment, but ya man you don’t actually have to save for 4 years like we previously might have thought 🙂
    awesome, stay hungry!
    peace

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thanks a lot Joel, it took over 1 full week to write this post! Yah, I was also pleasantly surprised at the costs of Japan – granted I’m sure if you started moving from city to city prices would add up faster – but just day to day living expenses can be manageable. Food was so awesome man!

  • Jas

    3 years ago

    once again, great guide!! Thanks Mark! This will come in handy for my trip to Tokyo next month! 🙂 Where shall be your next destination?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Jas, thank you very much, good to hear you’ll be going to Tokyo soon. I’m going to take a quick trip to London, and then hopefully to Singapore!

  • Elaine

    3 years ago

    Combined with the video, there is no other guide one needs for Tokyo … I am officially in awe!

  • Sarah Kay Alvarez

    3 years ago

    Thank you for the useful infos and deets Mark! I will be travelling to Tokyo in May and the best part is I am doing it on my own! I will definitely use this as a guide. Have you ever thought of publishing a travel guide book? I am a big fan of your travel youtube videos! Good job Mark!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sarah, thank you so much, and great to hear you’ll be going to Tokyo soon. I have a couple of guides so far as ebooks, about Bangkok and Thai Food. I debated about putting together a more extensive guide about Tokyo, but just didn’t feel I had enough information or experience myself (was just there for 2 weeks), so just decided to write it all in a blog post. Thanks you for all your support!

  • Gábor

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark, great guide, congratulations. You should make a pdf version of it, like the Delhi guide, which was very useful during my stay in Delhi. Tokyo is scheduled for next year, so you have some time…

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Gábor, thank you very much, glad it’s useful. Was thinking of making this into a free pdf – I’ll see! Good to hear you’ll be going to Tokyo next year!

  • Tim

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark, Love your blog and your Youtube channel, I subscribed it a couple month ago and have been watching your videos. Great job on the Tokyo vlog! Will you also do some individual meals at a specific restaurant like you do in some other videos? Or this is it for the Tokyo series?

    Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Tim, thank you very much for following, I appreciate it. Yes, this was just the first video, a compilation of everything. I will be preparing and publishing posts and videos about all the restaurants I ate at individually too, coming up! Have you visit Tokyo before?

      • Tim

        3 years ago

        Yes, my wife and I, along with my parents went to Japan for the first time last November, it was definitely one of the best travel experiences we’ve had. We spent about 10 days total, and visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. We actually love Kyoto the most, because of the unique culture and history. And like you, my wife and I are also foodies and make eating a top priority when we travel. 🙂
        I look forward to your upcoming individual videos!

        • Mark Wiens

          3 years ago

          Great, thanks for sharing Tim. Makes me want to go back now and head to some other cities!

  • grahame

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark

    Just spent the last fifteen minutes or so watching you Tokyo video (by the way I gave it a thumbs up) But while your video might be a bit grainy your photos on your pages are truly amazing. Also with all that eating you do around the world, I’ve noticed that you don’t seem to put on any weight. Is it some sort of trick photography you’ve got going there? Or is it all that walking you do that keeps you slim and trim? But always keen to see what you come up with next.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Grahame, thank you so much for watching and for reading this article, I really appreciate it. I eat a lot, it just hasn’t caught up with me. My wife says that when I hit 30 the food will begin to stay with me! But at the same time here’s what I do. 1. exercise – walk and jog frequently 2. I avoid, when I can, everything from packages and processed 3. Despite eating a lot, I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit and I’ve started to eat less carbs. Thank you for your support!

  • Nhat-Tieu O’Brien

    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for this post. Very informative.
    Could you do the same report for Vietnam and Singapore in the near future? Thanks in advance.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      You’re welcome Nhat-Tieu, thank you for reading. That is the plan!!

  • Erica

    3 years ago

    Love reading this, especially because when I lived there, I tended to go where the trends were- cafes, bakeries, etc.- and it’s fun to see Tokyo through someone’s eyes who goes to experience strictly Japanese food. Glad you liked my post on Yanaka Nezu! It was my little hideaway, but I guess the secret’s out now 😉

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Erica, great to hear from you, yes, I really enjoyed your post on Nezu and Yanaka! Hope you’re doing well!

  • Tadaharu

    3 years ago

    HI Mark,
    I think you really enjoyed your stay in Tokyo.
    But you should go to Kansai area rather than Tokyo.
    Because Kyoto is a lot of place to see traditional Japanese cultures,
    cheap and nice food is available in Osaka, and you can see beautiful night view in Kobe.

    I think you love food in Osaka more than Tokyo.

    For those who will visit Japan, most of travel guide books recommend Tokyo.
    But I don’t think it is true. Tokyo is just a big city and everything is expensive as Mark said.
    Honestly you should stay in Kansai area more than Tokyo.
    If you are interested in the nature in Japan, you should visit Shinshu, Aso and Hokkaido.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Tadaharu, thank you for all the suggestions. I really hope to return to Japan again in the future, and I will definitely visit other places in the country – can’t wait!

    • zoomingjapan

      3 years ago

      I agree. I’m personally not a huge fan of Tokyo.
      I think everybody should have been there at least once, but there are so many other great spots in Japan!
      I’ve travelled to all 47 prefectures and there’s always something new to explore.

      Personally I’m a huge fan of the Kansai and Kyushu areas, but also love small islands, especially those of Okinawa.

  • Sunson

    3 years ago

    Great tour video of Tokyo! In Tokyo i see alot of self-vending machines on side walks. Are those vending machines common around Tokyo?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sunson, yes Tokyo probably has the most vending machines of anywhere I’ve ever seen, vending machines for everything!

  • Susan Slater

    3 years ago

    Great information Mark. You have done a lot of research.

    Just one thing – the public bath house is called a ‘sento’. The ‘onsen’ is the natural hot spring spa.

    I live in Tokyo and couldn’t have done as good a job as you did.

    Regards,

    Susan

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you so much Susan! Good to know about the sento as well!

      • Susan Slater

        3 years ago

        You’re welcome Mark. Looking forward to all your upcoming food videos.

        Susan

  • maurice

    3 years ago

    Thanks Mark,
    Leaving for Tokyo in a couple of weeks, so your tips are most welcome.
    Love your videos
    Maurice

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Maurice, ah good to hear that, hope you have a fun trip!

  • Loo Kim Huat

    3 years ago

    Your write up is very useful for my first visit to Tokyo in the middle of April 2014.Do you have any good advice for senior citizens,as only my wife and I will be visiting Japan.My flight will land in Haneda Airport around 10,30 PM.I understand the Monorail may be still in operation,but I am staying in Shinjuku Hotel,do the JR line still run till late hours.

  • Julian

    3 years ago

    Fantastic guide Mark – can’t wait for all the videos!!

    But you should change the “it’s quite literally impossible to eat at every restaurant in the city during your visit” to say during your “LIFE!”
    Was pretty shocked by the 160,000 figure, so I ran some quick maths: If you ate at four different restaurants per day, 365 days per year, it would still take you 110 years to do them all! (and by that time, you’d have to start over because of all the new ones!)
    Such a shame too – so much deliciousness left untasted! I loved every minute I spent travelling in Japan and looks like you had a blast too. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    Cheers

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Julian, thank you so much for reading. Haha, that’s quite a statistic, thanks for figuring that one out! Glad to hear you had such a fun time in Japan too!

  • Paul

    3 years ago

    Great guide Mark. Japan is on my bucket list so I’ll bookmark this for future use.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thanks Paul, you’re going to really enjoy the food in Japan when you visit!

  • Jen

    3 years ago

    This is possibly the best guide to Tokyo I have read Mark. Well done! I feel in love with Tokyo on my recent trip, its such an awesome city. One thing I regret was not knowing alot about the cuisine before I went which made me a little less adventurous than I usually am. I did have some amazing tempura, soba noodles and my favourite was the yakitori which I wasn’t quite certain what meat I was eating but it was delicious. Next time I’ll be ready to dive in and try anything!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you so much Jen! Glad you had such a wonderful experience in Tokyo as well!

  • Robert

    3 years ago

    Really great guide, Mark !
    Thank you

  • Jeri

    3 years ago

    I love your Migrationology site and refer friends who travel to Asia to it all of the time. A small hint to save some $$, you mentioned the food floors in the department stores, at 7:00 pm staff with stickers go around and put bright yellow/orange or red stickers on the fresh food. ALL of the food has to be sold that night, nothing is kept overnight, so at 7:00 a bell rings and everything is discounted! Sometimes by 50%! So that sushi plate you were eyeing for $12.00 will be $6.00 in the blink of an eye. The later the time, the deeper the discounts! HOWEVER things go real fast and be careful of the little grandmas who are standing around, they can whip through like a hurricane and gather things up quickly, so be fast! Buy a beer, or sake and head to your hotel room for a feast!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the tip Jeri – great tip! Haha, I have definitely been shoved out of the way quite a few times by aggressive grandma’s!! Also, thank you for referring my site to your friends, I really appreciate it.

    • Dizzy

      3 years ago

      Hey, I heard about this tip too and will be looking forward to checking it out in just 3 weeks! This guide is really timely and useful for me.

      I found a cheap room in a capsule hotel in Shibuya for only 2000 Yen a night, they had a promo since they had just renovated the building and were opening up a ladies’ floor (note: capsule hotels are a pain to find for female travelers). I cut the budget in half that way for 3 nights. I’d like to spend a night in a comic cafe (1-2000 Yen depending on location and such)- you get free drinks and soup and such while you are there. Another thing I plan to take advantage of to save money are convenience stores that sell onigiri. I LOVE onigiri and they are a pretty cheap snack/breakfast food.

      • Mark Wiens

        3 years ago

        Thank you so much for sharing Dizzy! Hope you have an awesome trip!

  • Ganesh

    3 years ago

    Thanks Mark for writing such a detailed Tokyo travel guide. I will definitely re-read it when I get to visit this beautiful country.
    Magnificent, mouth-watering photos. Thanks.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you for reading Ganesh, hope you can visit!

  • Tom Gates

    3 years ago

    Mark,

    This is some serious information. I plan to visit Tokyo again some day in the near future (after Osaka). I will absolutely use this as one of my references. Thanks for putting this together. It’s awesome stuff.

    Tom

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Tom, no problem, hope this info will help on your next visit!

  • Mark

    3 years ago

    +1 to Ruth’s comment. Amazing Tokyo guide! Extremely informative and concise.

    You only spent $21 a day, per person, on food (if my maths is correct). So at least food can be budget friendly in Japan’s capital. And what an amazing variety of great and interesting cuisine to be had!

    I hope that you get the opportunity to return and stretch outside Tokyo to try the regional specialties.

    No mention of chili or durian in this post! Did you find the food spicy enough? Is durian available in Japan?

    Looking forward to the videos!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Mark, thanks a lot!

      Yup, that looks correct to me – yah not bad, and we ate extremely well too. Have you traveled in Japan? I would love to return to visit other parts of the country and eat more.

      Haha, as for durian, didn’t come across any – but I’m sure if you looked hard enough you might be able to find some – everything is available somewhere in Tokyo. And for chili, I did miss it occasionally, but recently I’ve tried to cut down on my chili intake a bit and more appreciate the real flavors of all foods – and with Japanese food, it such so well balanced and so much freshness!

      Videos are coming soon!

      • SK

        3 years ago

        Malaysian here visiting Tokyo in the near future, your website will be of help.

        You want chilli and durian? You’ll need to pay a visit to Penang, Malaysia. Unlike in Japan, the food there will be ridiculously cheap. Think 2-3 USD tops for a bowl of noodles.

        Although you might want to visit perhaps in July for durian, it’s a seasonal fruit.

        • Mark Wiens

          3 years ago

          Hi SK, thank you so much for reading my guide, hope you have a good visit to Tokyo. I visited Penang years ago, but didn’t get to spend enough time there – I need to come back again. Are you from Penang?

  • Ruth

    3 years ago

    Awesome guide! The food prices are not as expensive as I thought. The prices you discussed in here are very similar to what you would pay for Japanese food in Los Angeles (and I am sure Tokyo has better quality and flavor).

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Ruth, yah, overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the food prices in Tokyo. You can have a pretty amazing plate of sushi for $15, which is of course expensive for a meal every single day, but for the quality of that, plus considering the worldwide expense of eating sushi, it’s pretty good, and of course well worth it!

  • doris

    3 years ago

    Thanks for posting this guide! The budget breakdown and food guide are awesome.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      No problem Doris, thanks for reading it!

      • Jerard Tan

        3 years ago

        Hi mark, how do i get to Tokyo Stock Exchange? are most of the places easy accessible?

        • Mark Wiens

          3 years ago

          Hey Jerard, I think you can get there from Nihombashi station. Enjoy your time in Tokyo.

  • Mark

    3 years ago

    Thank you Mark!

    I will stay in Yokohama and how far from here to Mt.Fuij and are there cost for this?

    Thank you,

    Ann

  • Mark Wiens

    3 years ago

    Hey Ann, I wasn’t able to go to Yokohama this trip, but I think it’s about 30 – 45 mins from central Tokyo. As for Mt Fuji, take a look at this link: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/fuji/about.html

  • zoomingjapan

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark! 🙂

    It depends on what you want to do. Do you want to climb Mt. Fuji or just view it from far away?
    There are several places in Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefecture that will offer great views of Mt. Fuji.
    I recommend Shimizu in Shizuoka and Lake Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi.

    You can either take a train or take a highway bus from Shinjuku (in Tokyo) to Kawaguchiko.

    Feel free to visit my blog or contact me if you have any further questions. 🙂

  • Rishank Kumar

    2 years ago

    If on a budget look for chinese restaurants in tokyo. Mostly they display food along with price and you have to insert money to a vending maching and select the item number, then give the receipt on the counter and take a seat while they prepare your food.
    They usually are hidden from plain sight and you might have to go downstairs from the side walk.

  • Mark Wiens

    2 years ago

    Great Rishank, thanks for sharing!

  • Sophie

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark,
    Your food blog is amazing! Like you and your wife, my husband and my favorite part about traveling is eating our way through a new city. Now that we moved from Chicago to Shanghai, we are slowly working our way around different places in Asia, and your blog has been really helpful! We will be in Tokyo for 5 days in about a month, and we want to try to go to as many places as we can on your list. We also will be doing some sightseeing, and we are big craft beer drinkers too (so we will try to scope out the craft beer scene.) We are both 28 and very social. Based on that, what area of Tokyo would you suggest we stay in? We aren’t looking for luxury accommodations at all since we plan to be out and about and exploring the city as much as possible, so we want somewhere close to a train station that we can easily access the places on your blog. We are mainly looking at AirBnb and guesthouses/hostels, but the train system in Tokyo is very confusing so we aren’t sure exactly where to stay. Any suggestions are much appreciated! Thank you!!