Search current view only
Search by address
sign in
join
Sign in
sign in

Join
join
+ -

Japan Food Guide

share
Ajikura Tengoku
Ajikura Tengoku
Takayama-shi, Gifu, Japan
Save

You can't go to Takayama and not try Hida beef. Ajikura is right next to the Takayama JR station and the meal here was surprisingly cheap considering Hida beef is pricey. The only downside is that they only serve it sukiyaki/yakiniku style. One of Takayama's specialities is to cook Hida beef in Hoba miso over a magnolia leaf, but the ryokan I was staying in already served that.
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

If you like flowers, I guess this is worth visiting. The cafe itself smells amazing and the decor of the place is really nice.

You might feel awkward if you're a guy dining here alone but I'm glad I tried this place. The rose gelee dessert is pretty good.
Giro Giro
Giro Giro
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

Giro Giro, a modern kaiseki place and very cheap menu for what you get(~$60SGD). I thought it would be hard to book but it surprisingly wasn’t. I think 3 weeks is enough time but of course earlier is always better. There are some interesting things being done, but execution isn’t always spot on. If you have meals to spare I would say this is worth visiting
Honke Owariya
Honke Owariya
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

One of Kyoto's most famous soba restaurants, they use two kinds of soba noodles depending on whether you choose to have it hot or cold. I only had cold soba and I really enjoyed it, the cold versions have quite a nice chewy bite, worth visiting and it wasn’t too crowded during lunchtime (11:30am-12:00pm).
Izuju
Izuju
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

I came here right after eating soba at Owariya so I was pretty stuffed at this point, but Izuju is one of Kyoto's most famous sushi restaurants and they specialize in the Kyoto style of sushi. Because Kyoto is further inland they had to make a style of sushi that helped to preserve the fish better, their mackerel sushi which comes in a cylinder is incredibly delicious, one of the best things I ate on this trip. Their tamago is also very well made which was quite surpising. They're also famous for the sushi that’s wrapped in a inari, highly recommend this place.
Kokekokko
Kokekokko
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

Yakitori restaurant within Kyoto station itself. It was kind of interesting because it was a yakitori restaurant with some Italian influence, they served a tomato stew dish that was not Japanese at all. Yakitori was pretty good but not very cheap.
Kyo Hayashiya
Kyo Hayashiya
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

If you're looking for matcha parfaits and such I would say go straight here. As there are many many dessert stalls all over the Gion area and you are planning to go to Tokyo, the visit could be saved for then. Kyo Hayashiya does a matcha ganache cake that is pretty pricey (and also needs to be shared), but is pretty yummy.
Narisawa
Narisawa
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

Two Michelin stars.

This ended up being my favorite meal of the trip. The food at RyuGin is better executed, but Narisawa really does know how to create a wonderful dining experience for the diner. Service is a few leagues above RyuGin (was served at RyuGin twice by a girl who doesn’t understand the concept of smiling).

I just felt very inspired at Narisawa, they give out pamphlets talking about where the food comes from, about the cooking techniques - maybe it's just the cook in me, but I appreciate that a lot.

Of all the fine dining places, I would say I would return to Narisawa with the most confidence, for another season. I think Narisawa was the only place I could book online by myself. A chef friend told me they serve the same menu at lunch and dinner, but lunch is significantly cheaper.
Omotesando Koffee
Omotesando Koffee
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

I thought the coffee was a bit too creamy for me but their cube canele was great.
Quintessence
Quintessence
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

3 Michelin stars and needs to be booked by concierge.

This place completely banned all photography which was very very annoying. The food was all well executed, I had two great dishes, one was a blini with mushroom and uni, while the other was a fish dish that was cooked perfectly.

The best course was surprisingly just a quenelle of meringue ice cream. They bake meringue, crush it and infuse it in milk, add in yolks and sugar, then churn it right before it is served, finally spraying it with a sea water sauce. The texture of the ice cream is other worldly. This is very close to the best ice cream I’ve ever had: barely any ice crystals, not too frozen, not too soft.

Lunch is not too expensive.
RyuGin
RyuGin
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

3 Michelin stars and needs to be booked by concierge.

This was my 2nd time here and unfortunately, the last time I came was also in April. I took one look at the menu and realized the dishes sounded 80% similar. To make things worse, they had also banned the use of DSLRs, but at least they still allow camera phones and point and shoot cameras.

The food however, is solid - near perfect execution. There was only 1 dish on the menu that I felt was very mediocre, and the food overall was much better than what I had 3 years ago. However, I felt that portions also seemed to have gotten smaller and I was offered soba before dessert on my first visit but not this time.

Ryugin is probably the most expensive meal I had during the trip and I had to pay for two, but I would say if is worth going as a once in a lifetime experience. Where else are you gonna get a strawberry that shatters?
Shoraian
Shoraian
Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

This is probably the most blogged about tofu kaiseki meal in Kyoto.

It is quite far out in Arashiyama, which is east of Kyoto, next to the bamboo forest. It's quite a long trip from central Kyoto but for me it was worth the effort (I do like tofu though), its not pure vegetarian because they do serve wagyu in the kaiseki as well haha, it was slightly over $100SGD per person, I’d recommend going here if you plan to go to the bamboo forest.

It can be quite hard to find so walk along the river til you see signs. As you walk from the train station, you'll also see a place selling yuba ice cream, get the ice cream.
Streamer Coffee Company
Streamer Coffee Company
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

I loved the military latte (matcha, white chocolate, espresso). Probably one of my favorite espresso based drinks, but I'm not serious about my coffee so take that with a pinch of salt if you're a coffee connoisseur.
Sushi Yoshitake
Sushi Yoshitake
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

3 Michelin stars and necessary to book through a concierge.

This was a pretty fucking good experience. I haven’t had that many high end sushi meals (I've been to Sushi Kanesaka which is 2 stars and a few other high end ones in Singapore, but nothing at this level).

We were ushered to a “secondary” dining area that I felt was a little bit disappointing because it seemed that they were putting the gaijin in a separate area. High end sushi can be a very intimidating experience, the chef seemed a little quiet in the beginning but I asked him in my broken Japanese what his name was and he quickly opened up from there. As long as you show a keen interest in what you eat I think they are pretty friendly, though it's probably more that they are shy because their English isn’t that good.

The uni is probably the best piece of sushi I have ever eaten, the abalone with abalone liver sauce was another highlight, the nori that they use is super fragrant as well, ootoro was amazing, the tamago was out of this world. I’ve had tamago made with Japanese yam from sushi restaurants, where it tastes more like cake than an omelette, but this one had a sort of custard, cream interior. Incredible. There were about 3 pieces of sushi that I thought were very mediocre.

By the end of the meal, everyone was laughing as the highlight was when we stood outside the restaurant to take a photo with the chef and the guy who was holding the camera counted down, 3..2…1.. SUSHI. Made me crack up so hard. They were completely okay with me using my camera and phone to take videos, but I'm not sure if things would be different in the main dining area.

It's not a cheap meal by any means, but I don’t regret going at all. I wouldn’t recommend going if you haven’t been to fine dining sushi before, as there are other places like Kanesaka (2 stars) that have a lunch menu for about $100. It’s a much more forgiving way to see if you’re willing to spend large amounts on sushi.
Tamawarai
Tamawarai
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

1 Michelin star.

Walked here with no reservations cause I was craving soba. It opens at 11:30am for lunch and went in around 12pm. The place was empty apart from us and another table, but it quickly filled up within the next 15 minutes.

I think we spent around $60SGD-$70SGD for 3 soba dishes, which is quite reasonable for a Michelin establishment. The soba here had the craziest texture and flavor, also had the most chew out of all the soba I had on the trip. Even the hot soba retained the chew which was very impressive.

Their tempura soba is worth ordering, the batter is the lightest and thinnest batter I've ever had. I would've been happy receiving that standard of tempura at a restaurant specializing in tempura.
The Great Burger
The Great Burger
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Save

I think the best burger is still Blacows, but Great burger was closer to me (as I was in Harajuku). Burger is pretty damn good here regardless. I love the bun, fries are great, but beef is a little lacking though.
Tsujiri
Tsujiri
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Save

I really think Tsujiri is overrated and if you're looking for matcha parfaits and such I would say go straight to Kyo Hayashiya. There are many many dessert stalls all over the Gion area so I wouldn’t go to either of the two (Kyo Hayashiya can be found in Tokyo as well). Didn’t manage to hit the place I wanted to go to for parfait, but it is called Gion Komori, my sister went and reported that it was the best parfait she had of the trip.
BITMAPS

About

What is Bitmaps?

Bitmaps is a website designed to document noteworthy locations around the globe through a wiki-style format. The concept is to serve as an online guidebook that can be updated on-the-fly and whose goal is to share niche content by subject matter experts across different areas of interest. There is no rating system: every location that appears on the map is deemed worthwhile to visit by the contributor community - it could be end up being the highlight of your next trip or a hidden gem just around the corner.

As content updates are controlled in an open format, creation and editing of the data is limited to contributor members. All users, however, are able to browse the entire catalog of content, apply tags and upload images of locations and even create custom maps to which their own notes can be added and then shared.

How can I contribute?

The ability to create and edit content is limited to users with Contributor accounts, which will be provisioned through a referral system. Ability to contribute may be opened to all users in the future, however in order to control content quality for the time being, membership is currently closed.

Additional info

Some of the marker icons used fall under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as provided by the Maps Icons Collection and Freepik.