This world-famous fish market is one for early risers and quietens down around 10am. Get here at 4am to watch the live tuna action, then tuck into a sushi breakfast in the alleyways behind the noodle stores lining the front street of the market. It’s destined to relocate to a new site in Toyosu in 2016, but for now there are few better places for super-fresh fish. tsukiji.or.jp
Settle in at its Aoyama outpost for awesome tonkatsu (breaded, deep fried pork cutlets) with a healthy dollop of curry sauce, rice and a stack of cabbage and other bread-crumbed specialities — it’s the best place in the city for this Japanese favourite. T: 00 81 0 3 3470 0071.
For kick-ass ramen (noodle soup with soy or miso, dried seaweed, sliced pork in a meat or fish broth) head to this place with New Yorker Ivan Orkin at the helm, or his sister restaurant, Ivan Ramen Plus, for similar stunning and comforting dishes. ivanramen.com
This is one of my favourite spots — a kind of rock ’n’ roll izakaya in the buzzy Shibuya district. You’ll find tons of them across the city — cheap and cheerful bars with tapas-style dishes, and Tatemichiya represents the true spirit of a proper izakaya with freshly grilled yakitori (skewered chicken) and takoyaki (deep-fried balls filled with octopus, tempura scraps and pickled ginger). T: 00 81 0 3 5459 3431.
Scott’s Japanese Avocado Dip
Published in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)