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One of the earth’s most sprawling, spectacular, overwhelming, intoxicating and stunning cities, Tokyo is infinitely deserving of a place on any traveller’s bucket list, and is a paradise for food lovers. The city is home to well over 9 million people, and stretches to the horizon in every direction at once. In such a bustling metropolis, one of the world’s true megacities, where the devil can you find a good bite to eat? Fortunately for you, Gyoza Gyoza has all the answers!
Toyuso Fish Market (formerly Tsukiji)
You really haven’t seen a fish market until you have visited the market at Toyuso. Where even just last week, a Bluefin tuna sold for an eye-watering $3 million, Toyuso is serious business to fishermen. You’ll need to get down there early in the morning to see the best of the bartering action, with stalls and restaurants typically opening at 5am and closing around noon. The atmosphere is electric, the pace is rapid, and the food is absolutely delicious.
You’d seen all those photos of the streets that are so impossibly crowded with neon signs that they look ready to collapse under their own gleaming garishness? Yeah, that’s Shinjuku. The district is arguably the city’s most vibrant when it comes to nightlife, be it drinking, eating, dancing, or just about anything else you can think of. Many restaurants are hidden away, too, with countless thousands of eateries hidden away down alleyways and inside the borough’s glittering buildings. You could eat in a difference restaurant every day in Shinjuku alone and be kept entertained for years to come.
Looking for something a little more upmarket? Ginza is the place to head. With eye-popping prices, dining might be only a fantasy for some, but all can browse the many shops and restaurants, and marvel over sights such as $500 melons and $90 apples, all presented in immaculate little fruit boxes. Don’t worry, there are still some cheap eats to be found if you keep your ear to the ground – you can even find $5 dollar meals!
Tucked away in Shinkuju is the Golden Gai, a winding little network of narrow streets home to some 200 izakayas – Japanese bars. These cosy little establishments evoke the richness of Japan’s history, and due to the small size of the bars, it’s practically impossible not to make new friends as you drink and snack the night away.
From ninjas and prisoners to ghosts and robots, if you’re looking for dinner and a show, Tokyo is the place to go. There are dozens of themed restaurants across the city, each one more immersive than the last. Should you pay a visit to the ninja restaurant ‘Ninja Akasaka’, for example, expect to be immersed in Shogen-era madness, as doormen ask you for a secret password, and black-clad waiters sneak up on you with menus. Truly, nowhere does dinner and a show quite like Toyko – which brings us to our final stop…
The Robot Restaurant!
Look, we couldn’t not include this one. Is it a tourist trap? Definitely. Is it tacky? Oh heavens yes. Is the food tasty? Erm, if you like popcorn and chicken wings you’ll be fine. But you don’t go to the Robot Restaurant for the food. You go for the absolutely bonkers spectacle of twenty foot robots fighting dinosaurs, futuristic soldiers brawling with woodland creatures, and Mad-Max style rock bands thundering past atop neon-drenched trucks. If you’re hankering after the finest cuisine in Tokyo, maybe hold onto your money. But if you just fancy a few snacks and a wild show? You can’t go wrong.