In Tokyo city alone, there are over 60,000 restaurants. That means you could eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 164 years straight without ever eating at the same restaurant twice. With so many spots to choose from, how can you make sense of which are worth your time and money? That’s where Arigato Travel comes in.
Recommended by CNN Travel, Forbes, and The Japan Times, Arigato Travel is Japan’s #1 Culinary and Cultural Tourism company. Their mission is to help travelers make delicious and unique memories by offering specially curated tours that provide an inside view into the world of Japanese food. With more than 40 experiences in five destination cities, there’s a tour for everyone. Whether you’re a ramen fanatic, spirits connossuier, or just someone who likes Japanese food, Arigato Travel is prepared to take you on a one-of-a-kind journey exploring Japan’s fantastic culinary scene -- and the culture that drives it.
To give you a taste of what Arigato Travel offers, here’s an overview of two of their tours, one located in Tokyo and one located in Osaka.
Crazy, Cute, Kawaii Food Tour
The Crazy, Cute, Kawaii Food Tour takes place in Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood that’s been making headlines for its cutting-edge fashion and pop culture for decades. On this tour, you’ll experience Harajuku’s chaotic cuteness firsthand and try foods that are as delicious as they are photo-worthy.
To start, you’ll get a sense for Japan’s regional pride by browsing antenna shops, or stores that feature goods from all 47 of Japan’s prefectures. While there, you’ll have the chance to sample traditional confections known as “wagashi” sourced from Niigata.
For lunch, you’ll have okonomiyaki inside a brightly-colored restaurant filled with art, then satisfy your sweet tooth with gigantic rainbow cotton candy and ultra-kawaii Japanese crepe -- both of which are Harajuku staples.
Along the way, you’ll check out hidden spots, learn the history behind the neighborhood’s eccentric subculture, and see artworks ranging from homages to popular characters to retro murals to the gigantic balloon display that hangs over Takeshita Street. Suitable for children and adults alike, this tour is filled with fun, fantastical delight.
Nightlife Osaka Food Tour
On the Nightlife Osaka Food Tour, you’ll be treated to Osaka’s most iconic street foods while exploring the back-alleys of the bustling Dotonburi area. To help you avoid tourist traps, an experienced guide will take you to local haunts, including a Michelin-rated street food stall selling takoyaki and a hidden dinner spot famous for sukiyaki and oden. You’ll also sample kushi-katsu, fried skewers that are an Osaka specialty, and stop by a building full of unconventionally-themed izakayas for a drink or two. After winding through the busy, lantern-lit streets, you’ll end the tour by noshing on taiyaki, a delightfully crispy fish-shaped treat filled with red bean paste or sweet potato. This tour is a great way to get a first-hand taste of Osaka’s nightlife culture and distinct regional cuisine.
Learn more about their other tours and join in the Japan food journey at Arigato Travel.
About the author:
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.
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