Side Trips from Tokyo Restaurants

The local specialty in Nikko is a soybean-based concoction known as yuba (tofu skin); dozens of restaurants in Nikko serve it in a variety of dishes you might not have believed possible for so prosaic an ingredient. Other local favorites are soba (buckwheat) and udon (wheat-flour) noodles—both inexpensive, filling, and tasty options for lunch.

Three things about Kamakura make it a good place to dine. It's on the ocean (properly speaking, on Sagami Bay), which means that fresh seafood is everywhere; it's a major tourist stop; and it has long been a prestigious place to live among Japan's worldly and well-to-do (many successful writers, artists, and intellectuals call Kamakura home). On a day trip from Tokyo, you can feel confident picking a place for lunch almost at random.

Yokohama, as befits a city of more than 3 million people, lacks little in the way of food: from quick-fix lunch counters to elegant dining rooms, you'll find almost every imaginable cuisine. Your best bet is Chinatown—Japan's largest Chinese community—with more than 100 restaurants representing every regional style. If you fancy Italian, Indian, or even Scandinavian, this international port is still guaranteed to provide an eminently satisfying meal.

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  • 1. Bergfeld

    $ | Café

    This German bakery serves cakes and cookies that are surprisingly authentic—the baker trained in Germany. There are a few small tables outside...Read More

  • 2. Hachinoki Kita-Kamakuraten

    $$$ | Japanese

    Traditional shojin ryori (the vegetarian cuisine of Zen monasteries) is served in this old Japanese house on the Kamakura Kaido (Route 21...Read More

  • 3. Kaiseiro

    $$$$ | Chinese

    This establishment, in an old Japanese house, serves the best Chinese food in the city. The dining-room windows look out on a small, restful...Read More

  • 4. Kaisen Misaki-ko

    $ | Japanese

    This kaiten-zushi (sushi served on a conveyor belt that lets you pick the dishes you want) restaurant serves eye-poppingly large fish portions...Read More

  • 5. Kamakura Udon Miyoshi

    $ | Japanese

    Serving up some of Kamakura's best handmade udon noodles and tempura, this unpretentious restaurant is a good bet for quick and satisfying lunch...Read More

  • 6. Kyorai-an

    $$ | Japanese

    A traditional Japanese structure houses this restaurant known for its excellent Western-style beef stew along with homemade cheesecake, pastas...Read More

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