What are the best local dishes in Tokyo?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Melinda Joe

Being the country’s capital, Tokyo is a melting pot of Japan’s regional cuisines. But one of the city’s greatest gifts to the world of gastronomy is Edomae-zushi, the modern version of sushi we all know and love, which was invented in Tokyo at the beginning of the 19th century.

Head to Tsukiji market (hint: you don’t have to go at the crack of dawn unless you really want to, but it’s best to get there before 2pm) for assorted nigiri-zushi (fish on little balls of rice) or a bowl of chirashi-zushi (various kinds of fish over a bowl of rice) at one of the many restaurants in the outer market. If you don’t mind waiting, try Daiwa Sushi or Sushi Dai -- just look for the long lines. Be warned that it may take up to two hours to get in, depending on your timing.

A far less crowded alternative is Ryuzushi, a couple of doors down from the original Yoshinoya, where the fishmongers stop in for breakfast after the early morning shift. Or try Uogashi Senryo, a hole-in-the-wall hidden behind a dried fish store that serves a specialty called kaisen-hitsumabushi. A kind of chirashi-zushi, the dish -- tossed with various morsels of raw fish, topped with creamy uni sea urchin and a scatter of ruby red ikura salmon roe -- is almost too beautiful to eat.

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