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Going to Tokyo alone next week

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JanaTokyo Apr 20, 2013 09:26 PM

Hello,
I've been reading these posts on this forum over the past few days. I am worried because I have not had too much time to plan a restaurant itinerary (been so focused on planning an activity itinerary activity) and I am really hoping to experience great Japanese food.

There will be a few days where I will have to choose a random restaurant without having done research on it. Will the food still be good?

Here are the restaurants I have written down that I'd like to try. I'd really appreciate if anyone would let me know if anyone thinks I should not go to one, or if there is one missing that I absolutely must attend (if it's not too expensive)

Nodaiwa
Aronia de Takazawa/Takazawa
Jomon Roppongi
Roppongi Fukuzushi
Keyakizaka
Addu Mamma
Tsukiji: Daiwazushi or Sushi Dai
Tenkane Shinjuku Odakyu HALC
Harajukugyozaro
Ichiran
Kiji
Uogashi Fukuchan
Jojoen Yugentei
Sawada
Mikawa Roppongi
Botejyu
Akasaka Fukinuki
Tsunahachi: Shinjuku Honten
Tokyo Tonkotsu Banraku

I'll be staying in Ikebukuro, so some of these places will take me 30 min to get to by subway, but that shouldn't be too bad.. right?

Thanks in advance - so excited!!

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    joebloe RE: JanaTokyo Apr 20, 2013 10:53 PM

    Just return from a week in Tokyo. There's 170,000+ restaurants and you should definitely have a few places set/reserved in mind cause it's overwhelming. However food in Tokyo is very high quality so you'll be fine just letting yourself explore and eat on a whim cause it's all good and it's EVERYWHERE!!!

    I would not recommend Sushi Dai; it's very good but not extraordinary to the point of worth waiting 3-4 hours. I've had sushi during the week that was just as good a random places and cheaper places. But of course being the typical tourist, I had to experience Sushi Dai cause it's in every guidebook and travel show.

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      prasantrin RE: JanaTokyo Apr 21, 2013 06:12 PM

      the chances of you getting into takazawa are slim, especially since they don't (or at least they didn't) take reservations for solo diners. They're also relatively expensive, so you might want to clarify what you mean by "if it's not too expensive" and put an actual price on "expensive".

      Unlike joebloe, I don't believe all the food in tokyo is good. there are good "random" restaurants and bad "random" restaurants. So who knows if the one you happen to choose on any particular day will be good or bad? Do you really think Tokyo is any different from any other place in the world?

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        prasantrin RE: JanaTokyo Apr 21, 2013 06:16 PM

        I should clarify--if you live in some kind of food hellhole, then it is possible that *all* the food in tokyo is better than what you're used to. But not very probable.

        1. Robb S RE: JanaTokyo Apr 22, 2013 01:35 AM

          Most of these places are okay, but for almost all of them you can probably do as well just going to the Seibu, Parco and Tobu restaurant floors in Ikebukuro and picking a place that looks good. (A lot of your picks seem to be rated highly on Tr*pAdv*sor, which IMO isn't a very reliable resource for finding restaurants in Tokyo.)

          E.g. Jomon in Roppongi is okay, but Souten in Otsuka (03-5944-8105) is much closer, much better, more comfortable and less smoky. Nodaiwa is okay but vastly overrated - for unagi I think I'd just go to the branch of Bincho in Parco instead.

          Tsunahachi Honten is a fun experience though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robb S
            Robb S RE: Robb S Apr 26, 2013 03:46 AM

            Wow, I just looked at TripAdvisor's rankings for Tokyo restaurants, and they really are quite amazing.

            Robot Restaurant, Ninja Akasaka, and Calico Cat Cafe are all ranked among Tokyo's top twenty restaurants (out of 33,143). Jomon in Roppongi is #1....

            1. re: Robb S
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              lost squirrel RE: Robb S Apr 27, 2013 06:30 AM

              I heard Calico Cat Cafe is where the Emperor spent his free time when playing hooky from school. It's super traditional.

              1. re: Robb S
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                joebloe RE: Robb S Apr 30, 2013 04:23 AM

                Robot Restaurant is a fun and interesting show worth visiting once in a lifetime at night in when you have nothing else to do. Foodwise it's no better than elementary school cafeteria food, but it's still food. WARNING...avoid all the Nigerians nearby speaking English to you.

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              Ninisix RE: JanaTokyo Apr 22, 2013 04:20 PM

              Addu Mama, i have had a party diner last month.. that is a good italian, classic home style italian cooking, but no Japanese influence.. i will recommend it for a party, the japanese mama is very nice, and as it was an anniversary i did bring my bottle at no supplement chage.. better ask on the phone for those interrested in the BYOB.

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                ninnikuramen RE: JanaTokyo Apr 22, 2013 11:22 PM

                I don't have too many teppanyaki experiences in Tokyo to compare to, however we loved our meal at Keyakizaka this past weekend. The ingredients were all clean, fresh, and the ability to select vegetables from wooden boxes behind the counters was a nice touch. The chef seemed very adept and competent. Rather than go for the set courses (ranging from JPY 16,000 to 25,000), we chose to order a la carte and left the ordering up to the chef. Scallops, squid, vegetables, king crab, steak, all were excellent.

                Amusingly, due to some mix-up we almost had a teppanyaki meal without steak ! When they brought out the garlic fried rice with oxtail soup and then toothepicks before we'd had our taste of Kobe beef, we knew something was up and mentioned it to the waiter. Profuse apologies, some additional wine on the house, and we were soon fulfilled. Buttery, melting in your mouth, great char on the outside.

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                  edozanmai RE: JanaTokyo Apr 23, 2013 01:01 AM

                  I noticed that you posted your original message on April 21, meaning you will be in Tokyo the week of April 28 to May 5 or 6. Are you aware that that will be Golden Week, with national holidays on April 29 and May 3, 4, 5 and 6? You may find a lot of the places you want to go closed.

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