Eccentric and wonderfully elusive, Tokyo is one of the world’s top foodie capitals, offering a brain-blast of tantalising flavours laced with intricate traditions. Sample the world of izakayas, yakitori and other mouthwatering delights with these illuminating culinary experiences.
For a Customised Cooking Class: Hachikari Cooking School
This sleek kitchen in glitzy Ginza is where you’ll find Mutsukari Restaurant’s star chefs Akiyama, Mayu and Ariga leading tailormade classes in English. Courses span the fundamentals of Japanese washoku to veggie/vegan techniques and advanced boot camps, plus our fave, ‘Gorgeous Party Food’, all taught to your personal taste and ability. An assortment of wine or sake keeps things lubricated; once your three hours are up you’ll be armed with a recipe book and skills worthy of your own episode of Chef’s Table. hachikari.com
To Market: A Taste of Culture
Tsukiji’s wholesale market and auction house might have swum off to new digs in Toyosu, but the labyrinthian outskirts, heaving with flip-fresh fish stalls and sushi spots are still well worth a visit. And there’s no one better than chef, sommelier, shochu expert and author of Food Sake Tokyo Yukari Sakamoto to lead you by the hand, dishing up practical know-how and insider secrets along the way. Alternatively, sign up for one of food writer extraordinaire Elizabeth Andoh’s hands-on classes on all things washoku. tasteofculture.com
After Hours: Context Travel’s Tokyo After Dark Food Tour
Step out at the mad scramble of Shibuya Crossing and taste your way through this electrifying nabe’s colourful culinary offerings. Context’s docent-led nighttime foray weaves you down neon-clad Dogenzaka and Nonbei Yokocho (Drunkard’s Alley), dipping in and out of hidden izakayas to sample craft beers and scrumptious skewers. Expect to uncover Japanese food etiquette and traditions often overlooked by the untrained eye – hai! contexttravel.com
Originally written for PenCities.
Hero Image: Hachikari Cooking School
For the full gamut of Tokyo food experiences…