Did you know that Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin star restaurants in the world? Tokyo boasts a whopping 164 one star, 52 two star, 13 three star restaurants as well as 249 Bib Gourmand restaurants – those are exceptional restaurants on the cheaper side. If you’re visiting Tokyo during July and wish to pay a visit to some of these first rate eateries but are running low on time, be sure to check out the Michelin Food Guide Festival.
This festival showcases a handful of restaurants featured in this year’s Michelin Guide. The cuisine of the restaurants range from Japanese Buddhist to French to Japanese-Western fusion! This year, the festival will take place in Yokohama – the neighbouring city of Tokyo. You’re able to reach Yokohama from Shibuya in just 40 minutes. The festival is open as follows:
Matsuri, or festivals, are held throughout the summer in Japan. There are many different types of festivals as well as variants of one type, depending on the region. Despite there being various traditions and stories associated with each festival, usually there are three common factors: a parade through town with a sacred shrine to the Gods, fireworks and delicious local food!
A festival of recommendation is the Kagurazaka Matsuri, held in the district of Kagurazaka – a quaint area of Tokyo filled with old fashioned pottery shops and cafes. You can catch a train from Shinjuku in just 15 minutes!
The traditional Matsuri events are broken down into two halves:
Wed and Thurs: the Hozugi Market (which sells cherry seeds to be used for a ceremony)
Fri and Sat: the Awaodori performance (dances performed like a prayer to the Gods)
The whole time, there will be food stalls, or Yatai selling an array of food on sticks such as takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and karaage (fried chicken). There will also be various desserts to choose from like taiyaki (cakes shaped like fish, with different fillings) and kakigori (shaved ice with flavoured syrup).
Summer Dessert Buffets
Tokyo takes its desserts very seriously, even going as far as having several whole buffets dedicated to sweet things. You read that right, dessert buffets – that means all you can eat! Across the city, you will find several hotels hosting these events that cater to those with a sweet tooth. What’s more, the hotels choose their own theme for their buffet. For example, the Hilton Tokyo’s buffet theme is “Happy Honey Holic”, featuring honey as their main ingredient. While the Keio Plaza Hotel’s theme is Häagen-Dazs, featuring desserts flavoured like your ice cream favourites.
The Hilton Tokyo
Dates: June 4th – end of Summer
Time: Weekdays 14:30 – 17:00/15:00 – 17:30
Entry: Weekdays: 3,800 yen Weekends: 3,950 yen
Kay is a Scottish writer based in Tokyo. You’ll find her in Harajuku obsessing over all things cute and stylish while on the hunt for artisanal coffee. Check out her work at her website paintitblacktravel.com