Nagatacho is the seat of power district in Tokyo as it houses Japan’s government houses the National Diet Building or the Parliament Building and the abode of the Prime Minister. Being the site of government authority, it is also frequented by protestors who would like to air their sentiments to the administration. It is also the site of the Akasaka Palace which was built in 1909 for the Crown Prince of Japan and now serves as a state guest house for touring world leaders.
Though as formidable as Washington D.C., Nagatacho is not just the face of the government, it also houses the Hie Shrine that hosts one of the most prominent spring festivals in Tokyo—the Sanno Festival. Also, the area is the home of the Tokyo FM Hall, which serves as a venue to hold events and is a popular movie/theater and live music hall.
As tourist explore this “control tower” of Japan and let this food hub satisfy your varying levels of hunger throughout any given day. Let’s take a peek into this imperial power zone and invade the culinary delights that Nagatacho offers.
As a fitting tribute to the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, a restaurant named after him blossomed in Nagatacho. Kurosawa serves dishes which are among the late director’s top favorites. Some of these dishes include: te-uchi (or fresh handmade soba) with tsukemono (pickled vegetables), touted as the “director’s cut” in the menu and Kagoshima meat. Another must-try dish for its exquisite taste is sushi tsu, hotate teppan (miso-seasoned scallops), pickled tofu in miso, pureed fish cakes and aegamo duck breasts.
For a taste of a traditional Japanese dish in a modern Japanese hospitality ambiance, head to Suiren, which offers seasonal kaiseki meals as well as lunch bento paired with top of the line sake from their drinks menu. The restaurant also serves pastries, wine, and Chinese food. Meat lovers will jump for joy when they discover NoMad Grill Lounge in Nagatacho; grilling here has been perfected to produce thick and juicy wagyu steaks. Those who love eel will definitely enjoy the specialty dishes of Izuei, which serves various eel courses along with delicately prepared side dishes.
For those who are fond of themed restaurants and dream of becoming a ninja, Ninja Akasaka is the answer to your wish and growling tummies. The ninja-inspired restaurant’s menu tries to replicate a ninja village life experience from its food offerings to the servers dressed in a ninja costume. Buttons to call servers are hidden in tables so you have to be observant.
To cap off the food trip or to have a quick stop for small bites and grab your caffeine fix at Excelsior Café, Ueshima Coffee or at T-Crossing. These cafés will surely quench all coffee thirst.
Nagatacho, though touted as a political center of Tokyo, is also an area that hosts culinary wonders for every food connoisseur. The food treats in this area are a reminder of the delicately prepared yet robust-in-flavor meals that would surely make your dining an entirely memorable experience. ‘Til our next foodventure.
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.