Restaurants

Top Choice Soba in Kamakura

Bonzō

Intimate, rustic, Michelin-star restaurant that specialises in handmade ju-wari (100% soba), including kamo seiro (cold soba in hot broth) with wild duck imported from France. The homemade sesame tofu is incredibly …
Top Choice Ramen in Sapporo

Menya Saimi

Sapporo takes its ramen very seriously and Saimi is oft-voted the best ramen shop in the city (and sometimes the country) – and it's not overrated. You will have to queue, which is annoying, but you will be rewarded…
Top Choice Izakaya in Miyako-jima

Nanraku

Nanraku is Miyako-jima embodied in an izakaya – an earthy, convivial atmosphere, with ingredients sourced from local bounty. Chef Nanraku-san is a local boy, and his celebration of the island's cuisine and its prove…
Top Choice Ramen in Ginza & Tsukiji

Kagari

Don't get confused – even though the English sign outside Kagari says 'Soba', this stands for chūka soba, meaning Chinese noodles, ie ramen. Kagari's luscious, flavoursome chicken broth makes all the difference here…
Top Choice Izakaya in Ueno, Yanesen & Komagome

Shinsuke

In business since 1925, Shinsuke has honed the concept of an ideal izakaya to perfection: long cedar counter, 'master' in happi (traditional short coat) and hachimaki (traditional headband), and smooth-as-silk dai-g…
Top Choice Ramen in Fukuoka

Ichiran

Ichiran has been serving noodles for 39 years. Customers eat at individual cubicles, and fill out forms requesting precisely how they want their noodles prepared. Flavour strength, fat content, noodle tenderness, am…
Top Choice Izakaya in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

Shirube

It's a toss up as to which has the most character here: the inventive fusion dishes or the charismatic staff. Either way, Shirube is among Tokyo's most beloved izakaya. Don’t miss the aburi saba (blow-torch grilled …
Top Choice Japanese in Ueno, Yanesen & Komagome

Innsyoutei

In a gorgeous wooden building dating back to 1875, Innsyoutei (pronounced 'inshotei' and meaning 'rhyme of the pine cottage') has long been a favourite spot for fancy kaiseki-style meals while visiting Ueno-kōen. Wi…
Top Choice Izakaya in Nara

Washokuya Happoh

This large, cheery, modern farmhouse-style spot salutes Nara as sake's birthplace, in both drink and food. Alongside izakaya standards like sashimi and karaage (fried chicken pieces), we loved the dishes marinated i…
Top Choice Sushi in Osaka

Yoshino Sushi

In business since 1841, Yoshino specialises in Osaka-style sushi, which is hako-sushi ('pressed sushi'). This older version of the dish (compared to the newer, hand-pressed Tokyo-style nigiri-sushi) is formed by a w…