Since Tokyo featured for the first time in the list of Michelin Restaurant Guides, everybody has been surprised by the amount of stars the city has received. Not even Paris has so many Michelin-stars. When it comes to preparing food and eating, the Japanese are at the top of the food chain. The attention to detail and to food quality is something intrinsic to the Japanese culture. While I think it is very interesting to have these lists and classifications, much like the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants”, I strongly recommend that you discover the underdogs, the restaurants that are as good as those featured in the guides and websites but have not been on the spotlight. For what happens once a place joins this super list, it becomes a tourist attraction and it may take ages before you can secure a reservation. One excellent point of the Michelin selection are the Bib Gourmand recommendations. These are places that are not as fancy and have a more “intimate” feel.
I am, by no means, saying you should not eat at the Michelin restaurants. But try to balance and not become obsessed with them. Remember that eating at a food stall under the Yamanote line tracks with locals can be a much richer experience. 😉
On the positive side, the great achievement of Michelin Guide Tokyo has been to include all types of cuisine in their list, so you will find from sushi and tempura to Indian curries and the traditional French fois-gras. What a feast! Enjoy the list and bon appétit!