Taste of Tokyo: Sushi, Ramen and More
A Foodie’s Dream
Tokyo is full of food: some delightful, some intimidating, but all delicious. We enjoyed futuristic sushi, traditional Soba noodles, and also developed full-blown ramen addictions. There are so many enticing must-try restaurants in Tokyo, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying more than three meals a day. Below, some of my favorites!
Conveyor Belt Sushi
Perfection! $1+ per plate for total deliciousness while watching the sushi chefs prepare each dish right in front of you. Pick and choose as each dish glides by with the most popular (sake-salmon, maguro-tuna) getting snatched up fast. Some look more appetizing than others… I never did gain the courage to grab the raw octopus tentacles… Although I enjoyed several mystery plates and still don’t know what they were! Initially, we were surprised by the difference between sushi in America vs. Japan– You can read more about the excitement of conveyor belt sushi in my post about Shinjuku!
Too impatient to sit and wait for your conveyor belt sushi? Here, you place an order via touchscreen (bonus: there’s usually English menus) and your plates come out on essentially what’s like a little remote control train, direct to your table! See below, the mysterious entry into the kitchen where your delicious plates zip in and out of. It’s equally as inexpensive as conveyor-belt sushi, with a fun and futuristic twist.
A very traditional Japanese plate- our local Airbnb guide Ryosuke took us to an authentic soba noodle house, unmarked externally. You can order Soba as a soup dish, or order the noodles dry and the soup on the side which you dip the noodles into with each bite. It’s customary to drink the remainder of the broth at the end- wasabi and all. Shaun enjoyed the Japanese rule-of-thumb that slurping your noodles is not considered rude like at home, but actually translates to compliments to the chef. Also, Ryo informed us that although they taste like pasta noodles, they’re actually made from buckwheat flour and have zero carbs. Photo below is post-soba, after our noodles had been devoured!
The Wonderful World of Ramen!
Ramen, ramen, ramen. We love ramen. We knew how popular it was so we popped into a tiny little hole-in-the-wall ramen shop down the street from our Airbnb and discovered heaven. This local ramen shop had only about 10 seats and was too popular to accept more customers one night. Chain ramen shops litter the streets of Tokyo, around every corner. Of course we had to taste test several! At most shops, you order through a ATM-like machine to select your order and insert the cash. There’s often very few options- spicy, not spicy, extra egg, extra meat. Get a bowl for about ¥500 ~ $5 USD, so super cheap and very worth it!!
For The Sweet Tooth
We were aggressively seeking out mochi ice cream balls and unfortunately, we never ever found them… I assume they must be a Westernized/Japanese dessert, and not an authentic Japanese dessert. But, along the way of our mochi hunt, we found several other dessert items! Green tea flavors are a recurring theme, often as ice cream and wrapped up in doughy sweet bread (below).