Restaurants & Bars 8

first time in Tokyo

Buford | Mar 13, 200411:35 AM

I am going to Tokyo for the first time, and I will admit to being intimidated. I have read the recent discussions here of Tokyo restaurants, but I still have some basic questions.

What proportion of Tokyo restaurants have staff who speak even minimal English? (I'm only interested in Japanese restaurants, not Italian or whatever.) What proportion have menus that are at least in Latin spelling, if not English translation? What proportion have those plastic models of the food? How hard is it to find a restaurant from its street address, given the unusual three-number system they use? For what kinds of restaurants are reservations recommended, and is there any alternative to having a Japanese friend or concierge make the call for you?

Then there's the food. I have eaten a lot of Japanese food in Japanese areas of American cities, so maybe I have some idea what it's about. But then maybe not. Can anyone recommend a high-end sushi bar that's worth the money, or should I just eat at the places near the big fish market? What about other kinds of Japanese haute cuisine? Can anyone recommend specific places, or strategies for finding the best of different categories?

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