• Kyodo

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The latest edition of the Michelin guide of starred restaurants in Tokyo was unveiled on Monday, with the publishing company saying it hopes announcing the list will support restaurants and the tourism industry struggling amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Michelin Guide Tokyo 2021, unveiled by Nihon Michelin Tire Co. and going on sale on Thursday, includes 446 restaurants, of which 12 were ranked the highest with three stars.

On the total, 53 restaurants and seven hotels were appearing for the first time in the guide.

Michelin also awarded six establishments Green Stars for making efforts toward sustainability. These were Narisawa, Quintessence, Sincere, Florilege, Lature and L’Effervescence.

“We faced questions whether we could publish the guidebook this year. But we published it because we wanted to do so. The underlying reason was to support restaurants and the future of the industry,” Paul Perriniaux, the managing and representative director, said during a news conference by the event, which was streamed online.

The two new three-star restaurants are French restaurant L’Effervescence and Chinese restaurant Sazenka, both in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Sazenka is the first Chinese restaurant in Tokyo to reach the highest tier.

To compile the guide, Michelin employees dine at restaurants without revealing that they are inspectors. According to the company, it was forced to make changes to its inspection plan due to the pandemic, but finished it in time for the publication of the guide.

Michelin published the Tokyo guide for the first time in 2007. This year, 42 restaurants received two stars, and two — Sushi Kanesaka and Kutan — were appearing for first time at this level.

The number of one-star establishments now stands at 158, with 18 joining the list this year.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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