of all types and from every country under the sun, is one of the great
pleasures of life in Japan. Not only has Japan developed one of the
world's great cuisines, which offers palate-tickling sensations that
range from the subtle joys of sashimi to the hearty basics of its
noodles, but also some of the best world-class chefs have come to
Japan to cook for its discriminating gourmets. Tokyo especially, as
befits its status as a global capital of finance and business, is host
to a lip-smacking cornucopia of food flavors and textures.
To begin scratching the surface of Japan's vast selection of culinary
variety, take a walk in the vicinity of any subway or train station.
The eating and drinking establishments that congregate here are sure
to represent a plethora of domestic cooking, with prices generally
quite reasonable. For non-Japanese speakers, many restaurants display
plastic and wax replicas of their dishes in their front windows, or
provide a menu with color photos. Another good place to find
reasonably priced meals is in larger department stores, which will
often devote an entire upper or basement floor to a variety of
different restaurants. Some modestly priced restaurants ask patrons to
purchase tickets for each dish, either from the cashier's counter or a
vending machine. Tipping, by the way, is not practiced in Japan.
Restaurants From the heights of Chinese culinary delights to
the peaks of French haute cuisine, Japan's premier restaurants are
second to none. Most are located in the best hotels or in fashionable
city districts such as Tokyo's Ginza, Roppongi, Akasaka and Harajuku.
Gourmets may discover new taste sensations never before encountered.
More affordable restaurants abound in downtown office
building basements, the dining floors of department stores, urban
shopping centers, and the underground malls of the busiest railway
At lunchtime, office workers crowd these dining spots. Many order
teishoku, a low-priced complete meal on a tray. Most restaurants in
the moderate to inexpensive price range have realistic plastic models
of their dishes, with prices, in a showcase outside the entrance. If
you don't know what to order, point to the dish you want to try. Some
restaurants have bilingual (Japanese and English) menus, and you can
use JNTO's Tourist's Handbook as a handy phrase book for dining out.
Paperback guidebooks to inexpensive Japanese dishes are available at
For people in a hurry, noodle stands, coffee shops, fast-food outlets
and vending machines provide a variety of food and drink at very low
At most restaurants, you receive a bill and pay as you leave. A few
have you buy a meal coupon in advance and hand it to the waiter or
waitress. Payment is made in cash except when credit cards are
accepted. Inexpensive restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food outlets
accept cash only. No tipping, please.
Other delightful places to eat Japanese Dishes :
lunches, some unique to a particular area, are sold aboard trains.
Dinner on a cruise ship during an evening bay cruise lets you see
city lights from the water.
Street side yatai stalls, some with stools, offer inexpensive taste
Dinner-shows at deluxe
hotels combine fine food and live entertainment for an evening
you'll never forget.
Convenience stores have
sandwiches, box lunches and other cooked dishes you can take out.
basements are great places to sample many kinds of food for free.
Kaiten Sushi: Customers
sit at a round counter and receive low-priced sushi on a circling