Lifestyle & Belief

Tokyo remains the world gourmet capital


File photo of Sushi.


Kazuhiro Nogi

Tokyo has kept its title as the world's gourmet capital for the sixth year in a row as more restaurants picked up the coveted Michelin stars. 

Among cities around the world, the Japanese capital has the most restaurants bearing the Michelin top three-star raking, though that number dropped to 14 in 2012 from 16 last year, reports Reuters. 

But that doesn't mean that Tokyo's culinary artists are losing their edge, according to the critics.

"Japanese gourmet cooking is even more creative, inspired and inventive than in the past," Michelin Ellis, international director of the Michelin guides, told Reuters. 

"The quality and skills displayed by chefs in the Kanto region (around Tokyo) are higher every year and confirm Japan's ranking among the world's leading countries in terms of fine dining," he said.

Two of Tokyo's top restaurants, Araki and Hamadaya, were dropped from Michelin's three-star list, but the city still has the largest number of highly awarded restaurants in the world — an honor it took from Paris in 2010. 

According to Bloomberg, Arkai, a sushi restaurant, is closing, while Hamadaya has been reduced to two stars. 

Michelin has been producing its restaurant and hotel guides since 1900. It awards its coveted stars to the best of the best in world dining. 

Three stars are awarded for exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey; two are awarded for excellent cooking, worth a detour; and one star is for a very good restaurant in its category, according to Bloomberg. 

Michelin publishes a separate guide that covers western Japan's Kansai region, which includes Osaka. The Kansai guide was published last month and features 12 restaurants that garnered three-star ratings, down by three from last year, reports Reuters. 

According to the Financial, the size of Tokyo's restaurant industry gives it a boost when it comes to Michelin stars. There are around 160,000 restaurants Tokyo, compared with about 40,000 in Paris.

Tokyo-Area Three-Star Restaurants:
Azabu Yukimura
Joël Robuchon
7chome Kyoboshi
Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
Sushi Mizutani
Sushi Saito
Sushi Yoshitake
Usukifugu Yamadaya