When visiting Tokyo, one of the biggest things that people look forward to the most is the gastronomic experience. Tokyo is one of the most populated cities in the world, so it stands to reason that there would be an endless supply of food joints, all with individual qualities that set them apart from the rest.
You could spend hours on end creating your itinerary, but be warned, there will be some frustrations as you tear at your hair, trying to fit in everything you want.
Or… you could opt to go on a food tour!
Food tours are one of the best ways to discover a city. You’ll get shown around by a local, you’ll learn little bits of info and history about a place that you wouldn’t know if you went by yourself, and you won’t have to worry about your itinerary at all.
We highly recommend trying a food tour around Tokyo. The food scene can get quite overwhelming to discover on your own, and you can free up your time to research other activities around Japan instead!
We’ve curated a list of the 10 best food tours in Tokyo here for you. They are provided by byFood, a company that we really like cause they offer 10 meals to children in need around the world for each booking.
1. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience
The Netflix series “Midnight Diners: Tokyo Stories” took the world by storm when it dropped on Netflix, taking viewers on an eclectic experience through the streets of Tokyo at night with some of the most peculiar and exciting locals.
If you want a real-life similar experience, this food tour is right up your alley.
Bar hop around Kichijoji, rubbing shoulders with the locals whilst drinking delicious Japanese beverages and learning bits and pieces about the vibrant neighborhood.
Kichijoji is home to an array of small bars and gastro pubs that have been watering holes for the locals since the 1950s. The majority of them are located in and around Harmonica Yokocho. Whilst you could visit this alley yourself, visiting it with a tour guide who knows the owners, the locals, and the streets like the back of his hand is an experience unlike any other.
- 4 hours of bar hopping through Harmonica Yokocho including opportunities to try Japanese beverages such as cocktails, oolong-shu, whisky highballs, and umeshu plum wine
- An all-you-can-eat dinner segment
- Insights from a local tri-lingual guide
- A thorough introduction to Tokyo’s nightlife scene
Book The Experience: The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience
2. Tasting 6 Mini Bowls of Ramen at 3 Award-Winning Shops
Ramen is a top contender of one of the most popular Japanese dishes around the world. Japan’s take on traditional noodle soup is a super-rich and flavorsome broth, skilfully made thin ramen noodles and minimal toppings that come together to create a delicious, heart-warming bowl of ramen.
This ramen-tasting tour will take you around the neighborhoods of Shibuya and Ebisu, sampling some of Tokyo’s best ramen offerings. All three ramen shops visited are superior award-winning shops, however, you won’t know from the humble shop fronts and warm, welcoming nature of the chefs.
Frank is the tour guide who has a wealth of knowledge of local ramen and local people. He is also a popular Japan by Food host and will impart you with a fun and exciting experience where you’ll learn about the different varieties of the beloved Japanese dish.
The ramen restaurants will have their standard offerings, but will also allow customizable options so you can pick and choose the toppings that excite you.
Make sure you come hungry to this food tour because you’ll be trying a whopping 6 different bowls!
- 3 hours of a ramen-tasting tour
- Customisable options, including toppings
- 6 mini bowls of traditional ramen
- Tips, tricks, and insider knowledge from a ramen expert
Book The Experience: Tasting 6 Mini Bowls of Ramen at 3 Award-Winning Shops
3. Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour
Shinjuku during the day is a vibrant, bustling city that’s full of life. Colorful billboards, hundreds and thousands of people crowding the sidewalks, and loud Japanese announcements fill the air and the streets.
Shinjuku after dark is another story. The locals come alive at night, with the traditional izakaya bars filling up quickly before the sun sets. During the day, you’re fighting the crowds at the shopping centers and the restaurants, but at night, you’re rubbing shoulders with the locals at the gastropubs.
In this tour guide, you’ll get to know about the Shinjuku nightlife as if you were a local. Look through the glitz of the Shinjuku that you read about in blogs, and you’ll find yourself immersing yourself in the lively drinking culture of Shinjuku at night.
You’ll be experiencing grilled Japanese dishes, paired with Japanese-tasting sake, beer, and other alcoholic beverages that will wash down the food surprisingly well.
You’ll spend some time in the red-light district of Tokyo, Kabukicho, before you make your way over to a locally-known drinking district that is home to an impressive 200 tiny drinking bars, all crammed up right next to one another.
Come prepared to drink until the AM, because the crowds here can drink!
- Visit the best local restaurants and bars in Shinjuku whilst avoiding tourist traps
- Experience popular Japanese beverages such as sake, beer, and cocktails
- Visit Tokyo’s red-light district, Kabukicho
- Visit a local bar district with over 200 different bars
Book the Experience: Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour
4. Wasabi Farm Tour in Okutama, Tokyo
Are you a fan of wasabi, the distinct green paste that offers a unique burning sensation when even the slightest bit touches your tongue?
If so, this wasabi farm tour will open your eyes to just how intricate the growing and proper eating technique of wasabi is.
David Hulme is a former journalist from Australia who moved to Okutama in 2014. He is considered a local now and holds extensive knowledge about the area as well as wasabi.
In this tour, you will discover that real wasabi root is indeed quite rare and expensive, even in Japan. The green wasabi paste that you normally dine on at sushi restaurants is actually made of dyed horseradish!
You will be able to witness an authentic wasabi patch and the structure of how it grows, see how the water is regulated, and, depending on the weather and the circumstances, you might even be able to try using a dedicated wasabi farming tool, called a “kazusa”, to harvest the plant yourself!
You’ll also get to clean your wasabi root, practice grinding it, and of course, try the freshest, tastiest wasabi you’ll ever lay your hands on.
- Learn about the deep, intricate, and long history of wasabi
- Hands-on experience in harvesting wasabi
- Try hours-fresh wasabi – you can’t get this anywhere else in the world!
Book The Experience: Wasabi Farm Tour in Okutama, Tokyo
If you want more hands-on activities, you can also check out our list of the best cooking classes in Tokyo.
5. Ultimate Food in Shibuya Tour
Shibuya is famous for many things, but it’s arguably the most famous for its food.
The bustling streets of Shibuya are the stomping ground for local foodies as well as foodie tourists from all around the world. Every corner you turn, every street you cross, you’ll come across a restaurant that’s a favorite for many.
Shibuya is huge and thus, between the option of touring it alone without any local knowledge versus touring it with a local knowledgeable guide – the choice is quite clear, isn’t it?
In this Ultimate Food in Shibuya tour, you’ll be taken to eat at a sushi joint, authentic izakaya, yakitori, takoyaki, and even a grill-it-yourself wagyu beef restaurant!
You’ll also get some time in between to digest at a Japanese arcade center, which is an entire experience in itself!
To finish off the tour, you’ll find yourself indulging in some delicious Japanese wagashi sweets. This tour is the ultimate food tour of Shibuya.
- 4 hours of touring the busy, bustling streets of Shibuya, with photo opportunities with the neon lights, bars, shops, and crowds
- Learn about the local youth culture of Shibuya
- Play some crazy games at a Japanese arcade center
- Eat a variety of delicious authentic Japanese foods at restaurants currently unknown to tourists
Book The Experience: Ultimate Food in Shibuya Tour
If you want to explore more similar places in Tokyo, make sure you also read our blog post about the best street food spots in Tokyo!
6. Tsukiji Fish Market Tour with Breakfast
For many people visiting Tokyo, Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the highlights of their trips, and it’s not hard to see why! This impressive bustling fish market is a jam-packed center full of lively fishmongers, enthusiastic stall sellers, crowds of excited visitors, and an electric buzz in the air.
The famous tuna fish auction has moved over to Toyosu, however, the Tsukiji Fish Market is still thriving and is still as fun as ever to visit.
This tour includes an initial coffee run at an artisanal coffee shop to get caffeinated before making your way through the alleys of Tsukiji with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. The highlight of this tour is knowing that you’re being shown the best places to get fresh seafood delicacies and street foods.
Learn about some insider tips on where to get the freshest fish and tastiest skewers, and also where to buy the best ingredients for later. There will be opportunities to purchase souvenirs from this market as well, so make sure you have plenty of cash on you!
- Experience the Tsukiji Fish Market with over 65 fish market vendors
- Try the freshest sashimi and delicious Japanese seafood delicacies
- Visit a shrine with a history of over 300 years
Book The Experience: Tsukiji Fish Market Tour with Breakfast
7. Tokyo Walking Food Tour in Nakano and Koenji
If you’re keen on a low-key, short walking tour of a side of Tokyo most people don’t get to experience, then this walking food tour is right up your alley.
The Tokyo Walking Food Tour in Nakano and Koenji will take you through these two neighbourhoods of Tokyo that don’t nearly get as much attention as favorites such as Shinjuku, yet exude just as must, if not more, charm and character.
The laidback ‘west’ of Tokyo offers a unique food experience through traditional authentic Japanese restaurants amongst an alternative and hip culture.
Koenji is a ‘happening’ destination for live music performances as well as vintage stores, whilst Nakano is a hub for all things otaku culture.
Both areas offer some amazing gastronomic experiences as well as funky retro shopping arcades, yokocho, and picturesque residential photo opportunities.
- 2-hour walking tour of the electric neighbourhoods of Nakano and Koenji
- Experience a range of delicious traditional Japanese restaurant foods as well as street foods
- Learn pockets of information about the local areas
Book The Experience: Tokyo Walking Food Tour in Nakano and Koenji
8. Tokyo Yakitori and Ramen Tour
This is definitely one of the best food tours in Tokyo! Let’s see why.
Yakitori is a Japanese meal that is often eaten amongst lively conversation and fresh cold beer. Ramen is a Japanese dish often eaten quietly, with a deep appreciation for the delicate intricacies that have been channelled into one delicious, heart-warming bowl of noodles.
Put the two of them together and you’ve got both ends of the spectrum of Japanese dining!
This yakitori and ramen tour will take you through the streets of Shinjuku, introducing you to some of the most delicious grilled yakitori in Tokyo. You will get to choose whether you pair it with shichimi togarashi, wasabi, or yuzukosho – or why not try it with them all?
Yakitori is often eaten alone, however on this tour, you will be experiencing jointly enjoying yakitori and ramen at the same time!
Your guide is a ramen expert with several accolades under his name; from visiting over 1300 ramen shops to writing books about ramen to even talking about ramen on TV, he’s done it all!
- A 3-hour private yakitori and ramen tour with a ramen expert
- Included in this tour are five delicious yakitori skewers and two drinks
- Experience eating both yakitori and ramen at the same time like the locals
- Rub shoulders with locals
Book The Experience: Tokyo Yakitori and Ramen Tour
9. Tea Ceremony Experience in Asakusa
The gorgeous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is one of the top attractions in Tokyo, and when you visit this neighbourhood, the traditional atmosphere will stand out amongst the lively modern cities.
Asakusa is considered Tokyo’s traditional district, and there are tea houses that exist today where visitors can experience an authentic tea ceremony, transporting you back in time to Olden Japan.
During this tea ceremony experience, you will be invited to a tea house, where you will learn about the art and history of the Japanese tea ceremony and how intricate the art of matcha tea preparation is.
The tea ceremony will also include delicate wagashi, which is a traditional Japanese sweet.
For a small extra fee, you can also opt for the option to wear a kimono during the ceremony as well!
- Learn about the beautiful history of the Japanese tea ceremony
- Enjoy authentically prepared matcha tea and sweets
- Prepare your matcha
- For a small extra fee, wear a beautiful kimono during the ceremony
Book The Experience: Tea Ceremony Experience in Asakusa
For more options, you can check out this article about the best Japanese Tea Ceremonies in Tokyo!
If you love Japanese sweets, join one of these best Wagashi making classes in Tokyo.
10. Kawaii Food Tour in Harajuku
Kawaii culture in Japan has somewhat of a cult following around the world, and its eye-catching vibrant people and aesthetics make it endlessly fascinating for anyone visiting Japan.
There is nowhere better to witness Kawaii culture than in Harajuku, the Kawaii capital of the world.
A huge part of Kawaii culture is the food that has exploded onto our Instagram feeds over the years. Colorful, zany, eye-catching, delicious-looking sweets from Harajuku have tempted travellers worldwide to book their tickets to visit this exhilarating area of Japan.
This Kawaii food tour will take you through the streets of Harajuku and will not miss a beat. You will get to explore the wackiest, cutest, most unique Kawaii foods that Omotesando and Harajuku have to offer. From the colorful sweets you see online to hidden gems of the area known only to locals, you’ll get to discover them all!
- Experience Harajuku and Omotesando with a guide who knows what’s popular and what’s worth a visit
- Take photos of some amazingly colorful and Instagram-worthy foods
- You’ll even get to try traditional snacks from Niigata here!
Book The Experience: Kawaii Food Tour in Harajuku
I hope you enjoy this curated list of the best food tours in Tokyo!
Tokyo is an endless city of amazing foods that you will fall deeper and harder in love with, everything you take a bite of its food.
We highly recommend the food tours here because not only do you get to taste the delicious local cuisine but each one some with a guide who is passionate and knowledgeable about the Tokyo food scene and will elevate your experience even further.
We hope you enjoyed reading this and would love to hear if you’ve had a wonderful experience with any! If you want to try similar activities, make sure you also read our lists of the best food tours in Kyoto and the best food tours in Osaka.