Tokyo Up Late

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Eat the streets after midnight.

As the sun sets behind Mt Fuji, the neon lights of Tokyo flicker to life: izakayas, restaurants and bars fill; beer, umeshu, highballs, and sake are raised to cheers, and the scent and sounds of nightlife fill the air.

Tokyo's night scene is fun, boisterous and lively. This is where locals shake off a long day, often staying out till the last trains leave the city.

Late-night Tokyo is your guide through the night, from the lamp-lit streets to menu-plastered walls, where a Japanese smorgasbord is on offer: sake and beer snacks (think burdock chips and grilled ginkgo nuts) to sashimi and sake- or saikyo miso-grilled fish, karaage (fried chicken), and yakitori.

Start with a beverage and head out to stall-lined alleyways, with bubbling pots of soy glaze, or the tachigui with their sushi and barbecued meat, and enjoy a final stop with a train station's udon or a libation at a tucked away bar till the wee hours.

About the Authors

Brendan and Caryn Liew set up their pop-up Japanese cafe, chotto, in 2016, bringing the art of traditional ryokan-style breakfasts to the Australian city of Melbourne. The cafe transported diners to Japan on a cultural and culinary journey that traversed old and new, everything inspired from countryside dinners on the Nakasendo trail, to the food of Japan's far north and deep south, and the animated feasts of Studio Ghibli.

Head chef Brendan Liew spent time at the three-Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin in Roppongi, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and also studied the art of ramen-making in Japan before delving into kappo and modern kaiseki cuisine. In Melbourne, he has worked at Kappo, Supernormal, Golden Fields and Bistro Vue. Together, Brendan and Caryn have travelled extensively through Japan's countryside and major cities to explore, learn and live Japan's culture and cuisine.