Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku: Late night sushi in Tokyo

The Kokoro-iki Sushi Set with Miso Soup, Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku is part of a popular sushi chain found in Japan. It’s well known for its quality sushi at reasonable prices. After traveling for 12 hours from California to Tokyo, I was tired, jet lagged, and in the mood for sushi. Since it was midnight, my options were limited. Exhausted from traveling, I almost gave up and went to sleep. It was then that I remembered Sushi Zanmai. With certain locations open 24 hours a day or …

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Kamo to Negi: Best Duck Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

Duck Confit Ramen, Kamo to Negi, Tokyo, Japan

When my friend found out I was in Tokyo, he recommended I visit Kamo to Negi, a small shop near Ueno Station, famous for their duck ramen. Although I’ve had duck before and enjoyed countless bowls of ramen during my visits to Japan, I had never tried duck ramen. So, I knew it was something I had to experience for myself. Although many ramen shops have been in business for decades, Kamo to Negi, which opened in 2016, has rapidly …

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21 of the best things to do and see in Shinjuku

Shinjuku, the center of entertainment in Tokyo, Japan

When I think of Tokyo, one of the first places that comes to mind is Shinjuku. This vibrant and dynamic ward, or neighborhood, which surrounds Shinjuku Station, is the epicenter of nightlife, entertainment, shopping, business, drinking, and eating in Tokyo. For decades, Shinjuku has attracted both locals and tourists who come from all around to experience its bright lights and non-stop action. I would describe Shinjuku as the heart of modern Tokyo. And, while some say it’s touristy, it is …

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Narita or Haneda? Which of Tokyo’s airports should you fly into

Views of planes on the tarmac from the restaurant

First-time Japan visitors often ask me, “Which airport in Tokyo should I fly into, Narita or Haneda?” This is a tough question, as there is no easy answer. Which airport you fly into depends on factors including price, connections, the location of your hotel, and where you are heading after you land. Both airports are world-class. They offer excellent services and some of the best on-time performances of any airport worldwide. Narita International Airport is further from central Tokyo than …

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Nakiryu: Michelin Star Tantanmen Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

Tantanmen, a dish of thin noodles in a red pepper soup, Nakiryu, Tokyo, Japan

In 2017, Nakiryu became only the second ramen restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, to be awarded a Michelin star for their spicy tantanmen ramen. When you think of Michelin-star restaurants, you might think of fancy, expensive places where you must dress in a coat and tie. And then there is Nakiryu, a small ramen shop with ten seats in a nondescript gray building in northern Tokyo. Nakiryu is famous for its affordable tantanmen ramen, also known as dandan noodles or dandanmian. …

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Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten: Pork Cutlet in Tokyo

Kurobuta Loin Pork Cutlet Set, Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten, Tokyo, Japan

Out of all the foods I have encountered while traveling in Japan, none might be more comforting and delicious than tonkatsu, a Japanese-style pork cutlet which is breaded and deep-fried to perfection. I love tonkatsu, and I never get tired of eating it. While Tokyo has many great places to try tonkatsu, none might be more delicious than Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten, near Shibuya Station. Founded in 1965, Maisen now has locations across Japan and a few international locations. On …

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Ippudo Ginza: Popular ramen chain in Tokyo, Japan

The Ippudo Karaka

It was my last night in Tokyo, and I was looking for a place to eat near my Airbnb that wouldn’t break the bank. Unfortunately, I was staying in Ginza, one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo. Enter any restaurant in Ginza, and you can easily walk out with a 20,000 yen ($135) bill. While wandering the area, I stumbled upon Ippudo Ginza, a chain of ramen restaurants with locations found all across Japan and the world. Locations outside …

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Nishiazabu Gogyo: Burnt Miso Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

A ball of fire as the burnt ramen was being prepared by the chefs, Nishiazabu Gogyo, Tokyo, Japan

Note: Since posting this review, the restaurant has closed. The first time I heard about burnt ramen at Nishiazabu Gogyo in Tokyo, Japan, I was intrigued. I knew I wanted to try their ramen but I was skeptical. How could anything that is burnt taste good? After reading endless reviews and watching YouTube videos about Gogyo, I knew it had to be great. Gogyo is owned by Ippudo, a chain of tonkotsu ramen restaurants founded in Fukuoka, Japan. There are …

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Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo: Spicy Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

Fiery red broth

If you are looking for the spiciest ramen in Tokyo, Japan, you go to Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo. At Kikanbo, fiery bowls of ramen are prepared with both chili pepper and Sichuan pepper, giving your mouth a burning, numbing sensation. While Japan might not be known for its spicy cuisine, if you are a lover of spicy foods or spicy ramen, then Kikanbo is a must. Waiting in Line at Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo It was a Sunday afternoon in …

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Ichiran Shinjuku Chuo Higashiguchi: Tonkotsu Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

Ichiran 5 Ramen Set

Ichiran is one of the most famous ramen restaurants found in Japan. This popular chain of ramen restaurants specializes in tonkotsu ramen. This type of ramen, originating in Fukuoka in southern Japan, has a rich and creamy broth made from pork bones simmered for hours. When the first stall opened in Fukuoka in 1960, it was known then as Futaba Ramen. In 1966, the stall became known as Ichiran (蘭), meaning “one orchid.” In 1993, Ichiran’s first concept store opened. …

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