“According to a Local” is a series of straight-to-the-point guides for different cities around the world. For each guide, we ask a local for all the best things to do, see, eat, and more! This time, we asked a random Couchsurfing member questions about the city she calls home, Tokyo! Junko has graciously provided us with some great advice to make your trip to Japan perfect.
1. Favorite Bar:
- Kakuuchi Wine Risaburo: Close to Sky-tree but not touristy; it’s a very local place. A meal and glass of wine cost around 500 yen. There’s many different kinds of wine to try and the food is tasty!
2. Favorite Restaurant:
- Yaneura: I’ve been to lots of restaurant in Tokyo; however, this restaurant is consistently amazing. The owner/chef makes many kinds of food by all by himself (including Japanese, Thai, Chinese, French and Italian,etc.) All of them are so tasty!
3. Favorite coffee shop:
- Doutor Coffee: It’s easy to find a Doutor Coffee shop anywhere in Tokyo. My favorite drink is ice cocoa. There are many kinds of sandwiches, all of them are tasty and at a good price!
4. One thing (activity/place/etc.) someone coming to your home should not miss:
- There are many different kinds of cafes in Tokyo and I love to explore new cafes or go to some favorites. Tokyo is always very busy and there are many people (on the weekend especially!) so I prefer to relax and hang around less busy surrounding areas such as Suitengumae and Kuramae.
5. Best spot for a view:
- The Skytree observation deck!
6. Best local dish and where can we get it:
- Tendon, which you can find at Tenya. Tendon is traditional Japanese food consisting of rice with tempura and special sauce. Normally the price is around 1500 yen which is kind of expensive but at Tenya the price is just 500 to 800 yen. It’s good quality, too! Tenya has many locations in Tokyo.
7. What you wish tourists knew coming to your home:
- Tokyo has lots of subway lines and they’re a bit complicated. Having a PASMO or SUIKA (public transport passes) is very convenient.
8. Best local sweet to satisfy a sweet tooth and where to get it:
- Dorayaki (a Japanese red bean pancake) which you can find at Soramachi Skytree.
- “Anmitsu” is a traditional Japanese desert, particularly enjoyed during the summer for a number of decades. Typical Anmitsu is served together in a bowl with “Kuromitsu”, sweet black syrup which is poured over the bowl. You can find this at Mihashi!
9. The best time of year to visit:
- It’s difficult to say because Japan has four seasons, each season with attractive places and things to do and see. I think spring (the end of March to the beginning of April) is good for tourists who would like to see the beautiful cherry blossoms everywhere.
10. Local recipes to try cooking at home:
- Nikujyaga is traditional Japanese food worth making.