Lovers of Japan, here is the top five for you! In the post, tips for eating typically Japanese in Tokyo, on a budget.
I Japanese love the food. For them it is a kind of obsession: you will find it everywhere, of any shape and size, even reproduced with meticulous care in the shop windows, which will help you a lot in ordering among others. TO Tokyo there are even shops and streets (such as Kappabashi street in Asakusa) dedicated to the art of reproducing food. Traditional Japanese cuisine is truly rich and balanced, you have to visit this wonderful archipelago to realize it.
In Japan food is serious business. When you arrive in Tokyo, you will feel like you are immersing yourself in a parallel reality: colorful, lively and frenetic and, at the same time, always tidy and functional.
In Tokyo you can eat well and at any time of the day; if you grew up dreaming of Japan through cartoons, manga and anime: this is the place par excellence where you can finally taste all those particular dishes known through a screen or scrolling through the pages of comics.
Also, unlike what one might think, Tokyo is a city full of low cost clubs. Eating well (and a lot), spending little, is much easier than it seems.
Here five tips to eat low cost in Tokyo and live a real Japanese culinary experience.
1. Sukiya: the right place for Gyudon
Sukiya is a Japanese chain with over 2000 restaurants, in Tokyo you will find it very easily. The Gyudon is one of the most popular dishes in Japan, it is a bowl containing meat, onion, a slightly sweet sauce and hot rice.
At Sukiya you can choose the size of your plate and many different side dishes. There are also different combinations available: for example, you can combine the Miso soup with the basic dish, or prefer the Gyuodon version without rice. The price ranges from 350 yen for the basic dish (less than 3 euros!) To 700 yen (less than 6 euros) for the most sought-after combinations.
A true low cost, typical and complete meal. And, trust me, you will go out with a full stomach!
2. CoCo Ichibanya: Japan's most famous Curry House
Curry House CoCo Ichibanya is not just a restaurant, it is a real institution. It will be enough to try it once to not be able to do without it anymore. This Japanese chain is also very widespread, you will have no difficulty in finding yours Curry House favorite in Tokyo. All the places are equipped with menus in English, the particularity is that you will have to compose your dish by choosing the desired degree of spiciness (from 0 to 10). My advice is to start without going beyond the first level (enjoyable and tasty).
You can also choose the quantity of rice: from 200 grams to 500 grams and the type of curry: pork, beef or hashed curry. Obviously, even in this case, there are many side dishes to add to the basic dish: the menu with fried squid and cheese is highly recommended. Many of these places are open 24 hours a day, the staff is always friendly and helpful and above all there is a very special atmosphere. You will eat a lot, spending little: a guarantee. Then you will continue to dream of that delicious curry aroma at night!
3. Tempura Daikokuia: a lunch immersed in the fascinating Asakusa
True Japanese tempura can be enjoyed at affordable prices at Tempura Daikokuia. Here you may happen to eat on the tatami, a typically Japanese experience that requires a little courage: certain postures are difficult for us Westerners to maintain throughout a meal. Tempura Daikokuia is located in the most traditional district of Tokyo: Asakusa. The air you breathe in this place is ancient and priceless. You can choose between some types of Tendon (bowl of fish with rice) or Tempura (without rice). As soon as you sit down they will bring you the inevitable Japanese green tea, in this way you will fully experience your traditional meal!
A tip: if you plan to go to Tempura Daikokuia for dinner, keep in mind that the place closes very early, maximum at 21pm.
4. Bento: to feel real Japanese
The Bento is a box that serves to contain a complete lunch, is considered a quick meal and is in effect low cost (prices range from 500 to 1500 yen). In Tokyo you can find them, always beautifully packaged, in conbini and supermarkets. In the stations, even a few steps from the platforms, you can buy ekiben, that is bento designed to be consumed on the train. Don't miss this traditional and fun experience when you have to travel from Tokyo to reach another city with the shinkansen.
5. Kaiten sushi: your favorite nigiris flow before your eyes
Un low cost advice on sushi, so loved by us Italians, could not be missing. Kaiten sushi are restaurants where you usually sit around a conveyor belt: in front of you you will find a small monitor that you will need to order. It will not be necessary to relate to anyone, once your order is ready, it will reach you aboard a fast train! You can also choose your favorite dishes directly from the belt. For the area of Shibuya, I recommend Genki Sushi: cheap, fun, colorful and technological. An experience not to be missed.
Have a good trip and enjoy your meal: Itadakimasu!