Tokyo is another city I love going back to. My family and I try to visit at least once a year. And since I am looking forward to going back there again, I checked my photos and saw that I haven’t written about the last time I was there in 2013!
Here are my favorite things to do, see and eat in Tokyo and why I just keep coming back for more.
The gorgeous scenery and clean surroundings
Without a doubt, Tokyo is one of the cleanest and greenest cities I’ve ever been to. The city has wide open parks and lush greenery, well-manicured lawns in and around their busiest streets and beautiful, clean surroundings practically in every corner. It is simply impossible not to have a nice photo here!
The most efficient and reliable train stations
Japanese are known to be very time efficient. It follows that their train system was made with this culture in mind. Since almost everyone in Tokyo takes the subway, you are guaranteed that this is the most reliable and trusted form of public transportation. Their trains are modern, fast and clean.
Home of some of the world’s best chefs and top-rated restaurants
It a known fact that Tokyo has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world — even beating Paris, the world’s capital for fine dining. This goes to show that the restaurant scene here is taken very seriously.
And one very good example is Joel Robuchon, the multi awarded, celebrated French chef who has 7 Michelin stars across 3 of his restaurants. He holds the distinction of having the most number of stars in Tokyo. And to be able to do that in a land of top-rated, highly competitive restaurants is surely no mean feat.
I was fortunate to have experienced dining at his Le Chateau de Joel Robuchon, his 3-Michelin starred restaurant.
The mere fact that this restaurant is situated inside a beautifully-decorated chateau, already speaks volumes about the wonderful experience awaiting its diners.
Since the menu we chose was quite long, I just picked a few of my favorite dishes here :
The biggest and sweetest fresh Strawberries
Japanese Strawberries are the most delicious strawberries I’ve ever tasted. The only catch? They are the most expensive too.
Best Dessert Places
Since I love desserts, Tokyo has become my haven for sweet things. In every corner, there seems to be a dessert place, a pastry shop, a confectionery and a chocolaterie. Their choices run wide from local sweets shops to French-Japanese patisseries like Sadaharu Aoki and Yoku Moku to Belgian Chocolateries like Del Rey and Pierre Marcolini. Yes, the Japanese do take their desserts seriously which explains that I may have been a Japanese in my past life. 🙂
The freshest Sushi and their Sushi Masters
Of course, Sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes of all time. Sushi is well-loved by both the Japanese and the foreigners alike. And surely, nothing beats having Sushi right where it originated and eating it at its freshest state, sliced and served by no less than their revered Sushi Master Chefs.
The Original Tonkatsu
If you are living in Manila, Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish you must be seeing a lot of right now. Nowadays, I noticed that there are several Tonkatsu franchises from Japan setting up shops here. But when in Tokyo, one must go and look for the original one, Maisen (they have a couple of branches) and order their prized Kurobota Pork.
The Japanese love all things cute, which explains why the Japanese company, Sanrio invented Hello Kitty in 1974. Since then, this beloved Kitty has become part of Japanese pop culture. It is so popular worldwide, that Japan has even named Hello Kitty their Ambassador of Tourism! 🙂 And as I say, you know you’re in Japan when you see Hello Kitty from the moment you step foot in the airport to almost everywhere you look around you. And because I have a little girl, you can just imagine how Tokyo has become her own piece of wonderland too!
What can be more special than eating Kobe Beef right where it started? Every trip to Tokyo deserves at least one meal with Kobe Beef. Although there are a lot of restaurants claiming to have it in their menu, one sure way of finding out if it is real Kobe Beef (versus the secondary “Kobe-style Beef”) is when the restaurant is able to show you the “papers” of the cattle and explain where the beef came from. This special kind of beef, which has become a prized delicacy worldwide, is supported by documents and certificates. Believe it or not, the cattle must pass certain strict standard tests like marbling, fat, texture and weight, among many other criteria before it can be classified as Kobe.
Now after seeing all these photos again and revisiting my favorite things in Tokyo, I can’t wait to go back and discover more reasons why I love this city…