Have you ever heard of kaiseki cuisine? A kaiseki dinner is a traditional Japanese course meal that is usually served at a high-end restaurant and lets diners taste a variety of light dishes. One of the most important principles of kaiseki cuisine is that ingredients have to be fresh and seasonal. Often, ingredients for a kaiseki meal are sourced locally not long before the meal takes place. Furthermore, seasoning is simple, and the way the food is presented is very important. Food looks like a work of art during a kaiseki experience! Do you want to taste a delectable kaiseki meal for yourself sometime? Refer to this list of the 10 best kaiseki restaurants in Tokyo!
*Please note that popular restaurants often require an advance reservation. If a restaurant is open for lunchtime as well, kaiseki meals are usually only served at dinner.
1. Koshiba no Tsunokamizaka
Koshiba no Tsunokamizaka, named after its famous chef, is a stylish minimalist oasis that stands in stark contrast with the bustling district of Shinjuku where it is located. Diners can savor seasonal vegetables, meats, and seafood, charcoal-grilled into hearty traditional dishes. The main part of the course is especially exquisite; a platter of carefully selected seasonal ingredients that are at their peak of freshness.
Nearest station: Yotsuya Sanchome and Akebonobashi
Opening hours: 5.30 pm – 11 pm (closed on Sunday)
Website (Facebook): Koshiba no Tsunokamizaka
2. Nihonryori RyuGin
Your dining experience at this Michelin 3-star restaurant not far from Tokyo Station already starts off well in the beautiful waiting area. After you’re whisked off to your table, a well-orchestrated symphony of impeccable service, beautifully served food, and some of the best flavors you have ever tasted will be brought to you by chef Yamamoto and his team.
Nearest station: Hibiya
Opening hours: 6 pm – 11 pm (last entry at 8 pm)
Website: Nihonryori RyuGin
3. Ginza Kojyu
Having been in the possession of 3 Michelin stars since 2008, at Ginza Kojyu you are assured of an excellent dining experience. Located in Tokyo’s most fancy district Ginza, this exclusive restaurant promises authenticity while pushing the borders of traditional Japanese cuisine. Your dining experience will be intimate with there only being 14 seats, and you will see chef Okuda perform his magic on the freshest ingredients before you get to taste the perfectly balanced dishes.
Nearest station: Yurakucho and Higashi Ginza
Opening hours: 12 pm – 1 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm
Website: Ginza Kojyu
Exclusivity is the name of the game at Koguma, which translates to dishes with very rare self-procured and home-aged ingredients. These particular ingredients are then used by chef Koiwa to create unique dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Beautiful specially produced tableware complements the elegant dinner, and they stock the best sake to complement their dishes.
Nearest station: Ginza
Opening hours: 6 pm – 11 pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
5. Yagenbori Akasaka
Compared to most other kaiseki restaurants, Yagenbori Akasaka is a more budget-friendly option. The cost-performance, however, is excellent and you will be able to savor perfectly executed dishes from traditional Kyoto cuisine in a nice authentic environment without breaking the bank. If you have always wanted to try no-nonsense typical Japanese food, this is the place to go. You can choose between 3-course meals, all of which boast multiple small seasonal dishes.
Nearest station: Akasaka-Mitsuke
Opening hours: 11.30 am – 2 pm and 5.30 pm – 9 pm (closed on Sunday)
Website: Yagenbori Akasaka
Hashimoto in Nihonbashi is another reasonably-priced way to enjoy a real kaiseki meal. They serve full kaiseki course meals that immerse you in Japanese cuisine. You can expect to enjoy different kinds of seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes that are in season and presented in a beautiful way. Service is excellent, and you will definitely leave satisfied and happy.
Nearest station: Mitsukoshimae
Opening hours: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm and 5 pm – 8 pm (closed on Sunday)
7. Ginza Ibuki
With only 17 seats, this Michelin-starred Ginza restaurant eludes an exclusive atmosphere. Dishes are presented in an exquisite and minimalist way, not distracting diners from the subtle but delectable flavors of the high-quality ingredients. With chefs knowing just how to combine flavors to perfectly complement each other, eating at Ginza Ibuki is a true delight. Needless to say, their hospitality is impeccable as well.
Nearest station: Shintomicho
Opening hours: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm – 8 pm (closed on Monday)
Website: Ginza Ibuki
8. Ginza Toyoda
At Michelin-starred Ginza Toyoda, you can truly taste the 4 seasons of Japan. With a view of either chef Funashima at work or the hustle and bustle of a lively Ginza street, while seated in your peaceful oasis, you will feast yourself on amazing natural flavors that don’t need any artificial seasoning. Their soup stock is especially noteworthy, as it is carefully prepared with ingredients sourced from the Kansai region and it works very well in enhancing the natural flavors of the other food.
Nearest station: Higashi Ginza
Opening hours: 11.30 am /12 pm – 3 pm and 5.30 pm – 10 pm (closed on Sunday)
Website: Ginza Toyoda
9. Kappou Kisaku
Kappou Kisaku in Tokyo’s expat area Azabu Juban is one of the smallest kaiseki restaurants in Japan with only 9 seats available. This promises a beautiful and exclusive experience without much distraction from the traditional Kappou cuisine that’s made with only the freshest ingredients while young chef Mori cooks with true hospitality. Also pay special attention to the gorgeous light scent of wood in the simple, traditional space.
Nearest station: Azabu Juban
Opening hours: 11.30 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm (closed on Sunday)
Website: Kappou Kisaku
10. Kioicho Fukudaya
Chef Matsushita of Kioicho Fukudaya perfectly understands how to create harmony between flavor and beauty. Crowned with 2 Michelin stars, all seasonal ingredients are of top quality and perfectly balanced. Art fiends will appreciate the many beautiful decorations by noted artist and epicure Rosanjin, and many politicians, as well as prominent members of the cultural world, have enjoyed a kaiseki dinner in this beautiful restaurant.
Nearest station: Nagatacho and Asasaka-Mitsuke
Opening hours: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
Website: Kioicho Fukudaya
Traveling in Japan
Planning a trip to a foreign country alone is never easy! If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan and want to see Japan like a local, you should definitely check out our private tours complete with an English guide! We’re glad to help you make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
Tokyo is seen as one of the world’s gourmet capitals for good reasons. It is not only the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, Tokyo is also extremely good at budget-friendly meals that are incredibly delicious. Whether you want to savor all kinds of Japanese food or any other world cuisine, Tokyo has it. You will surely love Japan’s take on Italian and French food, and slightly ‘Japanized’ Chinese food is extremely popular with Chinese tourists for a reason.
But in a city where you’re so spoiled for choice, it can be hard to actually choose where to eat! Doing a private tour with a local guide can be a great way to have a good lunch experience and also get a local’s advice on where to have dinner. Of course, you will also learn a lot more about the city while you visit the most interesting spots. And if you want a tour that revolves around food and drinks 100%, we offer various food tours. Don’t forget to book your (foodie) adventure in Tokyo before you travel here!
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Stefanie Akkerman moved from the Netherlands to Japan in 2013 with her Japanese husband and son. She jumped into the niche of Dutch tour guiding in Tokyo and Kamakura in 2015 and occasionally writes articles about all the great sights and activities Japan has to offer. She loves (Japanese) food, and to work that all off she goes diving, snorkeling, cycling, or hiking.
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