There are many spots around Tokyo where you can enjoy a variety of gourmet food in one place. This time, we've selected six especially popular spots in Tokyo and Yokohama.
1. -Ryogoku- Edo NOREN (Tokyo)
This is a place to experience the food culture of Edo (historic Tokyo). It is in the old Ryogoku Station building and feels as if you have traveled back in time to the Edo Period (1603 - 1868). There is a sumo wrestling ring in the middle in recognition of its location in Ryogoku, the town of sumo. There is Masago Zushi, where they have recreated the flavors of the first restaurant to serve nigiri sushi, as well as stores serving Fukagawa meshi, a dish popular among Edo townspeople, chanko stews made by former sumo wrestlers, and Tsukishima monja pancakes. It is connected to Ryogoku Station, so it is easy to get to. You may want to visit it together with Ryogoku Kokugikan, Edo-Tokyo Museum, and the Sumida Hokusai Museum, which are all nearby.
2. Shinatatsu Shinagawa (Tokyo)
This is a food theme park for ramen and rice bowl dishes. There are 12 restaurants in all, 10 of which are popular ramen shops. Each shop serves its signature ramen dishes with a wide variety, ranging from shio (salt; lunch only), miso (dinner only), tonkotsu (pork bone), and shoyu (soy sauce) to super spicy ramen and tsukemen dipping noodles. With the array of choices, including limited-offer ramen that are only available here, it may be difficult to decide which shop to try. The rice bowl dishes are available for take away from both shops. This is a great place to enjoy tasty ramen near Shinagawa Station and perfect to drop in when you are on your way somewhere.
3. Tsukiji Market (Tokyo)
This is the outer market of the Tsukiji wholesale market where tourists can enjoy shopping and food, and get their fill of Tsukiji gourmet. Because it is possible to procure fresh fish from the market, a large number of sushi and seafood rice bowl restaurants line the streets. There are also ramen shops and teishoku (set meal) restaurants that have queues out the door. In the outer market, you'll see many people eating and walking. There are many shops that sell items that can be eaten out on the streets. You don't want to limit yourself to just one store, and you'll want to make sure you're hungry when you go. Many shops close by midday, so be sure to check the opening hours of the ones you want to go to.
4. NAMJA Gyoza Stadium (Tokyo)
This is a food theme park in the indoor theme park, NAMJATOWN, where you can enjoy gyoza from all the famous local gyoza shops from around the country. The attraction is that you can have gyoza from different shops served on one plate. The Tasting Plate of Three Shops (660 JPY (incl. tax) for eight pieces) presented by the three main Chinatowns in Japan, is a fantastic dish in which you can taste and compare gyoza from multiple prefectures. The Stadium also has a wonderful, retro atmosphere.
*Entrance fee: 500 JPY/adult, 300 JPY/child Note: There is an additional fee for the attractions.
5. Yokohama Chinatown (Yokohama)
This is the largest Chinatown in Japan, and in the whole of East Asia, with more than 500 shops in an area spanning 0.2 sq.km. It may be difficult to choose a restaurant without a plan from among all the restaurants ranging from casual ones to luxury restaurants, dim sum shops, Chinese porridge shops, and all-you-can-eat restaurants that line the main streets as well as the backstreets. So, do your research in advance, or visit the information center, ChinaTown80. Chinatown is also a great place for street food. You'll be greeted by wonderful smells all around the town. In addition to the great food, there are fun events that are held throughout the year, so check them out to enjoy Chinatown to the fullest.
6. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
This is a food theme park with famous ramen shops selected from around the country. You can learn about the history and culture of ramen, then enjoy ramen in the shops on three floors from B1F to 2F. It is difficult to eat all the ramen in one visit, so if you want to compare them, try the mini-size ramen. In the museum shop, the My Ramen Kitchen, a booth where you can make your own ramen by choosing the soup, noodles, and ingredients, is popular. What a wonderful idea to create your very own one-of-a-kind ramen to take home as a gift.
*Entrance fee: 310 JPY/adult, 100 JPY/child
All of these are highly satisfying gourmet spots. Please visit them and replenish yourself, body and soul, with wonderful gourmet food.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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