The new guide adds 68 starred restaurants to Japan's roster.

By Bridget Hallinan
Updated March 13, 2020
Sen Xiáng Píng / EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Japan has a formidable collection of Michelin-starred restaurants. Tokyo alone has 230—13 of which are three-star—making it the highest-starred city in the world. (Paris, another destination Michelin loves, comes in second.) Now, there’s a new addition to the family—the 2019 Aichi-Gifu-Mie Guide, which Michelin announced on Wednesday. The guide covers the Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures in the Tokai region of Japan. It’s the first time Michelin has published a guide for the area, and in the inaugural edition, 68 restaurants earned stars.

Three restaurants reached the three-star level right off the bat: Sushi Ueda and Hijikata in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, and Komada, another sushi restaurant, in Ise, Mie prefecture. As for the two-star category, 14 restaurants made the cut. Two of them focus on French cuisine—La Vagabonde and Reminiscence, both of which are in Nagoya—and another, Shosaichuka Hiro in Gifu city, is Chinese. The remaining 11 restaurants are Japanese, including Tempura Niitome, a tempura specialist in east Nagoya, and sushi restaurants Sushi Shunbi Nishikawa and Sushi Hijikata, also in Nagoya. In fact, Nagoya really cleaned up with winners—Kaiseki Hachisen, Sekine, Hasshokan, and Myo-an are also in the city. Outside of Nagoya, Yanagiya in Mizunami city, Ryoutei Susaki in Takayama city, Kaiseki Kamimura in Ise, and Kappou Nishimura in Yokkaichi earned two stars.

51 restaurants earned one-star in the guide; a whopping 102 were recognized as Bib Gourmand, admitted to the guide under the criteria that they served “a good meal with good value for under 5,000 Yen.” Michelin highlighted some of the latter restaurants for serving “Nagoya’s famed fried cutlets and hitsumabushi unagi”—so, if you’re planning a trip soon, you might want to order that first.

In other Michelin news, the guide recently made the decision to return to Los Angeles after a near-decade of absence. We spoke to local chefs about what this would mean for the city—hear from Josiah Citrin, Teresa Montaño, and more in our story.