Last month, Tokyo’s restaurants received their stars. For the first time, the famed Michelin Guide, the most respected and feared guidebook in Europe, published a volume outside the Western world. Noted for its make-or-break effects on European hotels and restaurants, the publication was greeted in Tokyo with a mixture of excited confusion, idle curiosity and skepticism.

Tokyo, it turns out, is a center of haute cuisine. More stars were given to the city than any other in the world. The fanfare is in one sense well deserved: Tokyo does have great food. Yet, since publication, Japanese bloggers have been busy offering counter-criticisms and alternative assessments as complex as the city itself. The carefully rated choices and the Tokyo dining experience do not completely coincide.

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