5 Top Spots in Tokyo for Edible Insects, the Latest Nutritious and Eco-Friendly Food Fad!
Some people may be put off by edible insects because of the way they look, but they are sustainable and full of nutrition, and they are attracting attention as the "food of the future". So, this article introduces three recommended restaurants in Tokyo for trying edible insects, as well as places to buy edible insects that are perfect as souvenirs.
Edible Insects in Japan
Insects have long been eaten in Japan, and though they're no longer common, they are still enjoyed in parts of the prefectures of Gunma, Nagano, Gifu, and Miyagi. There are approximately 1,400 types of insects eaten around the world, among which hachinoko (wasp larvae and pupae), inago (rice grasshoppers), kaiko (silk moth pupae), and sazamushi (stonefly larvae) are consumed in Japan. They can sometimes be found sold in cans to take home as gifts. This article introduces three carefully selected restaurants to go to in Tokyo to try edible insects.
1. Shirokiya Ikebukuro Sunshine 60 Street Branch
Shirokiya is a major izakaya (Japanese pub) chain in Japan that has Domestic Sweet and Savory Inago with Egg Yolk (398 JPY (excl. tax)) on the menu. Inago is eaten in many regions and is the most popular edible insect in Japan. If you are having edible insects for the first time, start with inago!
Access: 5-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station
2. Shinshu Shinkei Otemachi Branch
Shinshu Shinkei is a restaurant serving gourmet food from Shinshu (referring to Nagano Prefecture). Edible insects are still commonly enjoyed in parts of Nagano. This restaurant offers a Three Delicacies of Shinshu set (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) to try inago, hachinoko, and sazamushi. Give it a try to find what you like best!
Access: 3-minute walk from Otemachi Station
3. Kome to Circus Takadanobaba Main Restaurant
Kome to Circus Takadanobaba Main Restaurant is a place to try game meat and other delicacies. The edible insects set on the menu at this restaurant is the Six Insects Comparison Set (1,780 JPY (incl. tax)) that includes inago, hachinoko, kaiko, gengoro (diving beetle), bamboo worms, and tagame (water bug) (*contents may change depending on the season). There is an edible insect vending machine in front of the restaurant, so why not get some to take back home? There is also a branch of the restaurant in Shibuya PARCO.
Access: 1-minute walk from Takadanobaba Station
Perfect as Souvenirs! Where to Buy Edible Insects
MOGBUG, the Vending Machine by Kome to Circus
There is an edible insect vending machine, MOGBUG, on the first floor of Laffine Akihabara in Akihabara. It has a selection of edible insects, including the aromatic Silk Worm (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)), Scorpion (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) and Cricket (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)).
Access: 1-minute walk from Akihabara Station
Inago by mr.kanso
mr.kanso is a unique bar where you can enjoy canned food and drinks. It has locations throughout the country. It is Japan's foremost canned-foods bar and has a wide selection of canned foods, including original items as well as products from around Japan and the world. Among the many canned foods available here is the Inago (478 JPY (incl. tax)). You can have it in the restaurant or pick it up to take away. Why not get some as gifts or to enjoy with drinks?
If this piqued your interest, be sure to try some edible insects the next time you are in Japan!
*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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