What pandemic? The further we got into 2023, the more it really started to feel like COVID-19 had finally dissipated like a malodorous mist. This time last year, there was a definite buzz of optimism in the air as the first wave of visitors trickled into Japan. Now, inbound tourism is making up for lost time with a vengeance.

The city’s vertical transformation has also been gathering pace. Anyone returning to Tokyo after a significant absence will be forgiven for finding themselves disoriented as entire neighborhoods have mushroomed skyward in the past few years.

But, as the saying (almost) goes, the more things change in Tokyo, the more the pleasure of dining out remains the same. The lifting of pandemic restrictions has brought a wealth of new restaurants this year — on every level of altitude and budget.