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A metropolis of nearly 14 million people, Tokyo is unashamedly trendy and rapidly matches the taste of its modern urbanites. Acutely attuned to the dining scene in New York, it’s only ever a few paces behind importing the latest fashionable gastronomy. Indeed, the country has a long history of doing so. When Japan finally opened its borders to the outside world in 1868, it was quick to develop and embrace yoshoku – its own versions of Western classics – such as hamburg, hamburger patties topped with Japanese-style demi-glace sauce or the more bizarre Napolitan which adds Japanese green peppers and frankfurters into a ketchup spaghetti mix. While much of this kind of cooking is now distinctly uncool – the preserve of smoky cafeterias one’s grandfather might visit, newspaper tucked under one arm – culinary creativeness continues unabated.
Beyond Sushi: Neighborhood by Neighborhood, Bite by Bite
Tour the Backstreets of Tokyo With Us
Our Backstreets Envoys, Always Searching for the Next Hidden Gem
Visual Dispatches from the Frontlines of Local Eating