Where do Japan’s politicians eat?

Want to rub shoulders with Japanese politicians but don’t have a pass to the LDP cafeteria? (Too bad, you’re missing out on whale curry!) Here are some restaurants in Tokyo where you might meet some politicians.

  • Origami (Tameikesanno) – Origami is located in the Capitol Hotel Tokyu – the closest hotel to prime minister’s office – and is one of the few places in Tokyo that takes reservations for breakfast. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko are known to frequently use the two private rooms in the morning.
  • Muromachi Sunaba (Akasaka) – This soba restaurant has fed politicians and celebrities since opening in 1964. The noodles are made fresh every day.
  • Komiya (Tameikesanno) – Akasaka used to be home to over 60 luxury “ryotei” restaurants and over 400 geisha who entertained guests. Akasaka’s glory days have gone, but Komiya is one of the few ryotei that remain.
  • Uzu (Kanda) – This izakaya is run by First Lady Akie Abe. All rice served in the restaurant is grown at her “Akie Farm” in Yamaguchi prefecture.
  • Toh-Ka-Lin (Toranomon) – Japanese politicians love expensive Chinese food. The restaurant is currently operating in the Hotel Okura’s South Wing while the Main Building is under construction.
  • Akasaka Hanten (Akasaka Mitsuke) – A Chinese restaurant known for its mapo tofu, it became notorious in February when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dined with journalists here as his administration was facing criticism over a land transaction scandal.
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Eleanor worked for five years as a correspondent in the Tokyo bureau of The Wall Street Journal covering economy, finance and Japan's butter shortage. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, and her favorite animal is a capybara.

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