At JPY800, Nakajima is one of the cheapest Michelin-starred meals in town that’s a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Head to Shinjuku for this delicious bargain of a sardine lunch.
Nakajima - image © Florentyna Leow
Tokyo is famous for its plethora of restaurants with Michelin stars, and the vast majority of them are priced accordingly. However, Michelin star dining doesn’t have to be hideously unaffordable. At Nakajima in Shinjuku, for the princely sum of JPY800 or so, you’ll get bragging rights to having eaten a Michelin starred lunch.
Nakajima is famous for its sardine-themed lunch sets. Here, you can eat them simmered, grilled, deep-fried, or raw. As it’s a set meal, no matter which you choose, all of them come with rice, miso soup, and pickles. All are prepared with the same meticulous attention to detail; the most difficult part is deciding which one to try. English language menus are available, and you’ll be able to order while waiting in line. Side dishes such as cold tofu are also up for order.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurant attracts office workers in the area as well as tourists looking for good, cheap eats. But when the barriers to entry are this low, there’s no reason not to buy into the hype at least once.
If you need help with getting reservations, you can book many Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurants online with GoVoyagin. Be aware you pay a fee simply for the reservation - your meal is not included.
For more Tokyo teishoku and donburi choices, see our Best Teishoku and Donburi in Tokyo page.
Shinjuku Kappo Nakajima (various Japanese)
B1 Nichihara Bldg., 3-32-5 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022
〒160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿3-32-5 日原ビルB1
11:30am-2pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm
Closed Sunday and national holiday
Subway: 1-minute walk from exit E9 of Shinjuku-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin and Marunouchi lines, and Toei Shinjuku line.
Train: 3-minute walk from the south or east exits of Shinjuku Station.
Official website (Japanese)
:: Read customer reviews of Nakajima on TripAdvisor.
More Tokyo Restaurant Recommendations:
See all teishoku and donburi restaurants we recommend on our Best Teishoku and Donburi in Tokyo page and get the complete list for all cuisines on our Best Tokyo Restaurants page.
Tokyo Restaurants Reservation Service:
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Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
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- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
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- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
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