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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One of the best things about being in Tokyo is the city’s food culture. Japanese cuisine is considered one of the world’s most refined and is even designated as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, but Japan’s capital is also home to incredible international and fusion restaurants. It’s not for nothing that Tokyo has been the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world for years. So where to start when you want to make a food-centered itinerary for your visit to Tokyo? Let us help and inspire you with this 5-day plan for foodies who want to go sightseeing while enjoying Tokyo’s diverse food scene to the max!
- Day 1: Traditional Snacks in Asakusa and Kitchen Utensils in Kappabashi
- Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market & Craft Beer in Yanaka
- Day 3: Sushi Making Experience & Michelin-Starred Ramen
- Day 4: Fancy Lunch in Ginza & Izakaya Hopping in Shinjuku
- Day 5: Street Food in Sunamachi
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
- Other articles you might be interested in
Day 1: Traditional Snacks in Asakusa and Kitchen Utensils in Kappabashi
Let’s start our trip with some sightseeing in one of Tokyo’s traditional areas, Asakusa. You can easily spend many hours here looking at the sights, snacking your way through Nakamise and shopping for cute souvenirs. Just strolling through the area’s picturesque streets while browsing the shops for accessories and trinkets, is a lot of fun. Once you start feeling hungry, head over to Nakamise, the area’s central shopping street. There are many vendors here selling all kinds of traditional Japanese snacks and drinks like senbei crackers, amazake, matcha tea, melon pan, and mochi.
After this street food lunch, let’s check out Asakusa’s main attraction: the Sensoji temple. There is so much to see on the grounds of this large Buddhist temple, like the Kaminarimon (also known as the ‘Thunder Gate’), the 5-storied pagoda, the koi pond, the Asakusa-jinja shinto shrine and of course the impressive main hall. And don’t forget to stop by the tourist information center near the Kaminarimon for a great bird’s eye view of the area. Do you love cooking at home? Then you should definitely make a detour through Kappabashi, a street packed with shops catering to restaurant owners as well as hobby cooks, and selling any kind of kitchen utensil you could ever think of.
If you’ve walked through Asakusa’s Hoppy Street, you will have noticed the many cozy-looking and semi-outdoor izakaya restaurants. For a real insider’s experience and introduction to these traditional Japanese gastro pubs, you can join our Asakusa local food bar hopping tour for great fun and tasty bites!
Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market & Craft Beer in Yanaka
A breakfast or early lunch visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market is simply a must-do for any foodie visiting Tokyo. Don’t be fooled by its name, as there is much more for sale here than just super fresh seafood. You might ask: didn’t Tokyo’s famous fish market move to Toyosu a few years ago? Yes, it’s true that the wholesale part including the tuna auction and some of the restaurants have moved from Tsukiji to Toyosu. However, many of Tsukiji’s restaurants and food-related shops chose to stick around, and the so-called “outer market” is still very much a great food destination. The area isn’t that big, but you can easily spend a few hours walking around trying all kinds of snacks, or you can sit down at one of the amazing seafood restaurants. Don’t forget to try the fresh sea urchin, different cuts of tuna, scallops, Japanese-style egg (tamago), fried satsuma-age, unagi eel and seasonal fruits with or without mochi. Don’t want to go alone and possibly feel put off by the language barrier? Book our Tsukiji food tour to get the most out of your visit to this superb market!
After this great start to the day, you might feel like moving around for a bit before heading for the next meal, so how about a nice walk in nearby Hamarikyu Garden? Not far from the garden, you can take the Yamanote line from Shimbashi Station to Nippori Station. On the west side of the station you will find the quaint neighborhood of Yanesen where one can still feel the atmosphere of times gone by as this part of town was spared from most of the WWII firebombings. Once you’ve toured this area you are likely feeling peckish again, so let’s stop by our next foodie spot, Yanaka Beerhall. As the name suggests, this is a great place to try some of Tokyo’s local craft beer, but that’s not all: Yanaka Beerhall serves delectable side dishes which are a fusion of Japanese and international cuisines. If you feel like having a bigger meal, they also have a rotating menu of 5 main dishes that regulars like to come back for time after time.
Yanaka Beerhall: 11am – 8pm (closed on Wednesday mornings and Mondays)
Day 3: Sushi Making Experience & Michelin-Starred Ramen
Until now you’ve had the experts cook for you, but how about an expert teaching you how to make your own sushi? During our Sushi Making Workshop & Tsukiji Tour you will first visit the market with your instructor to buy ingredients, then head to the cooking studio to learn how to prepare some mouthwatering sushi. Handy knowledge for when you get home and want to impress your friends or family with homemade sushi. Of course, you get to eat your creations too. In the afternoon we recommend heading to Akihabara to explore some of Tokyo’s many interesting subcultures.
Of course, a foodie trip to Tokyo would not be complete without trying one of the city’s highly acclaimed Michelin-starred ramen spots. Tsuta, the world’s very first restaurant to have received this honor, already lost its star in 2020, but new restaurants took its spot. However, Tsuta is still a very popular restaurant with noodles to die for (and to queue for for a long time). If you want to go to a restaurant that has received a Michelin star more recently, you can visit Soba House Konjiki Hototogisu in Shinjuku where you can enjoy a unique experience that will probably spoil you for life when it comes to noodles. After dinner, there are plenty of opportunities in Shinjuku for nighttime entertainment with the neighborhood being one of Tokyo’s drinking hot spots. Head to Golden Gai for a special experience in one of the tiny bars or just walk around the area to admire its flashing neon signs and throngs of people going about their evening business.
Day 4: Fancy Lunch in Ginza & Izakaya Hopping in Shinjuku
Upscale neighborhood Ginza can be regarded as Tokyo’s version of 5th Avenue in New York or Paris’ Champs-Élysées. Its wide streets are lined with the world’s most famous fashion brands and is a true paradise for high-end shoppers. But this is not all, as Ginza is also home to some of the country’s best restaurants. Having dinner at one of these establishments can definitely be expensive, so what to do if you don’t want to break the bank while still savoring the best of what Ginza has to offer? Going during lunchtime will cut the bill to a fraction of what it would be for dinner, and you will still receive the same high-quality food. Some examples of high-end restaurants with good lunch deals are Ginza Wakuta, Ginza Kushima, and Tateru Yoshino. After lunch, let’s explore Shibuya with its youthful, fashionable atmosphere. One of the world’s most crowded pedestrian intersections is located in Shibuya and is a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo. If you still have time, you can walk to Harajuku for more youth culture and trendy boutiques. Visit nearby Meiji Shrine and its expansive grounds for some peace and tranquility in the middle of the bustling capital.
Did yesterday’s walk through nighttime Shinjuku make you want to join in on the fun? Joining an izakaya crawl group tour together with a local guide is the perfect way to do so! No need to worry about the language barrier, and learning more about what you eat while being in great company of fellow travelers, will make this an evening of long-lasting memories!
Day 5: Street Food in Sunamachi
On the last day of this foodie’s dream itinerary in Tokyo, let’s go to an old-fashioned local shotengai in the eastern part of the city. Not often visited by large groups of tourists and therefore extra interesting, Sunamachi Ginza is a great destination for savoring some of Japan’s favorite street foods. This street has retained many of its old shops that have been around for decades, and visitors love the retro atmosphere. You can try dishes like oden, yakitori, tempura and unagi eel that have been prepared in a traditional way. There is also an interesting miso store here which is completely dedicated to this Japanese staple condiment.
Would you like to be taken by the hand by a local who is a fellow foodie and will bring you to the best spots in Sunamachi? We offer a Local Street Food and Drink tour in this area that will make your mouth water. While you eat your way through one of Tokyo’s best shitamachi areas, your guide will explain to you everything you want to know about the food, drinks and local culture.
Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots!
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help!
▶Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English speaking guide!
▶Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.
▶Asakusa Local Bar Hopping Tour (Evening Tour)
Visit some of the local’s favorite Izakaya and bars and enjoy Tokyo’s drinking scene with your friendly guide. You will visit a few fun bars to introduce you to Japanese sake, food, and monja-yaki (one of Tokyo’s specialties). Kampai (cheers)!
Find the Other Tours
If you want to make travel easier, we suggest you look into tour packages.There are a wide range of tour packages out there to suit the accomodate for each traveler needs. Click the button below to find the best tour package from various Tour Operators!