The Very Best Top 4 All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Restaurants in Tokyo

Recently in Japan, all-you-can-eat buffets have become very popular. If you’ve ever eaten at this type of restaurant you’ll know there is often a wide variety of dishes on offer but the quality of the food may be dubious and you rarely walk out at the end of the meal saying “That was delicious”. If you’ve read my Guide to Eating Out in Tokyo, you’ll know I’m a big fan of restaurants located inside the major hotels in Japan and this is where I’d recommend you go and eat if you’re looking for a sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet.

I’ve done all the research for you and below are four of the best buffet restaurants in Tokyo, where you’ll get value for money and you’ll really enjoy the meal. You’ll pay a bit more than the ¥1,000 per person offers at some of the lesser-known restaurants scattered throughout Tokyo, but you’ll definitely enjoy the food much more at these slightly more expensive restaurants and to make the experience even more special and gratifying, I guarantee you’ll be eating in much more pleasant surroundings.


Hotel New Otani Tokyo is my number one choice because this hotel offers two very different types of buffets – a sandwich buffet and an international buffet on the 17th floor. As well as this, “The Garden Lounge” offers a breath-taking view of a 400 year-old Japanese garden (see photo below) and “The Sky” restaurant rotates for an impressive panoramic view of Tokyo.

Although “The Garden Lounge” only offers a sandwich buffet, tea and coffee are included and if you have a sweet tooth you’ll love Chef Patissier Shinsuke Nakajima’s seasonal desserts.

Sandwich Buffet: ¥3,800 (11:30 – 2:00pm)


“The Sky” restaurant at Hotel New Otani Tokyo offers one of the best vantage point for taking in the impressive night lights of Tokyo with a revolving 360 degree view from the 17th floor. You also have a choice of Teppenyaki, sushi, Chinese and Western cuisine. “The Sky” has introduced what they like to call a “Totally New Concept” where you can design and create your own dish. You just choose the ingredients and their expert chefs will cook your meal exactly the way you like it.


Lunch: ¥5,250 (11:30am – 2:00pm)
Dinner: ¥8,400 (5:30pm – 9:00pm)

Closest train station: Akasaka-Mitsuke Subway Station (Tel: 81 33238 0028)


Number two on the list has to be “Musashi” which opened in May 2012 to commemorate the new Tokyo Skytree (the tallest structure in Japan at 634 metres). From the restaurant you have great views of the tower and on the other side of the hotel you can view Mount Fuji on a clear day. There are more than 50 dishes on offer, including Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisine and the prices are reasonable.

Breakfast: ¥2,194 (7:00 -10:00am)
Lunch: ¥3,234 (11:30 – 2:45pm or 3:00pm on weekends)
Dinner: ¥4,389 (6:00pm – 9:30pm)

Closest train station: Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express) (Tel: 81 33842 3751)


The “Glass Court” located in the main tower on the 2nd floor of the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo made the list because of its popularity. The hotel highly recommends that you make a reservation if you’d like to eat at this buffet restaurant. They also have child prices but that is only for children of primary school age. The Super Buffet includes Japanese, tempura, sushi, Chinese, Korean and Western cuisine.

Breakfast: adult ¥2,900 child ¥2,200 (7:00am – 10:30am)
Lunch: adult ¥3,500, child ¥2,500 (11:45am – 3:00pm)
Dinner: adult ¥5,400, child ¥3,100 (5:30pm -9:30pm)

Lunch: ¥3,900 (no child prices) (11:45am – 3:30pm)
Dinner: ¥6,400 (no child prices) (5:00pm – 10:00pm)

Closest train station: JR Shinjuku Station (Tel: 81 3 3344 0111)


The Imperial Hotel’s buffet at “The Imperial Viking Sal” is last on the list because of the steep prices but you’ll be eating in style, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal and you’ll be eating at what many people believe is Tokyo’s best 5 star hotel. The reason it made the list is because their all-you-can-eat buffet is based on the first buffet dining restaurant in 1953 and also because it has a spectacular assortment of dishes including appetizers, fine hot entrees, soups, salads, roasts and desserts and most of this is prepared in front of you. They also have child prices for children up to 12 years-old. This is exactly the kind of place you would take a very special person to honour an important occasion and to eat in grand style. Breakfast includes both Japanese and Western dishes but Western-style cuisine is served for lunch and dinner.

Imperial buffet

Breakfast: ¥3,400 (7:00am – 9:30am)
Lunch: ¥5,500 (11:30am – 2:30pm)
Dinner: ¥8,200 (5:30pm – 9:30pm)

Breakfast: ¥3,800 (7:00am – 9:30am)
Lunch: ¥6,000 (11:30am – 2:30pm)
Dinner: ¥8,700 (5:30pm – 9:30pm)

Breakfast: ¥2,300
Lunch: ¥3,600
Dinner: ¥5,300

Closest train station: Hibiya Station (Tel: 81 33539 8187)

Please note a service charge may be added to your bill at any of the above restaurants.

All prices may differ to the prices on the hotels’ websites. I’ve spoken with a representative from each restaurant and the prices listed above are up-to-date.

Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund

Tohoku fund

We all remember the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The tsunami created over 300,000 refugees in the Tohoku region. Many people died during the evacuations and later in the shelters due to a lack of food, water, medicine and fuel. Now, many Japanese individuals and families are still left displaced by the disaster and they are in great need of support and proper housing. I pledged to donate 10% of my profit from the sales of my paperback Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story in 2012/13 to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

Tokyo Hearts cover (2)

I’ve just agreed with the support from the Japan Society of the UK to continue to donate 10% of my profit from the sales of my paperback Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story until December 2014. The book is available on Amazon and from more than 60 other retailers.

Thank you.

One Of My Favourite Japanese Dishes: Shabu-Shabu

I recommend shabu-shabu if you’re sharing a meal with friends in Japan or at a Japanese restaurant in your own country. Shabu-shabu literally means “swish-swish” in Japanese because of the sound you make when you stir in the ingredients. Japanese people love to eat shabu-shabu as part of their New Year celebrations and it’s always popular during the winter months. Shabu-shabu is cooked in a nabe hot pot of broth in the centre of the table. Each person eating at the table adds very thin slices of meat (usually rib eye or sirloin steak), vegetables such as tofu, shiitake mushrooms and Chinese cabbage as well as noodles to the pot as needed. Everyone then helps themselves to the pot. You dip each piece that you take out of the pot with your chopsticks into your own dish of ponsu or sesame sauce before eating. Shabu-shabu is great to share with friends because it’s a fun way to cook and you can discuss the length of time you should swish each ingredient before eating it.


Rising Number of Overseas Students Studying in Japan

Recently, the number of students studying and applying to study at universities in Japan has dramatically increased. Support from the Japanese government and the opportunity for overseas students to develop their creative and technical knowledge at Japanese universities, while they learn more about the Japanese culture, are the driving forces behind the growing popularity to study in Japan.

The Japanese government has identified and embraced this growth and a target has been set to attract 300,000 foreign students by 2020.

Universities within Japan have welcomed this government initiative as well as the sudden increase of overseas students applying to study at their universities. They are hiring English speaking teachers from overseas, increasing exchange programs with universities outside of Japan and offering university scholarships through departments such as the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology or MEXT (for more information on MEXT see blog post below: 4 Ways You Can Fly to Japan for Free).

The Consulate-General at the Embassy of Japan in the UK states that “students of any age who are to attend an approved educational institution in Japan can apply for a student visa for the duration of their course”. The fact there is no age limit on the student visa provides greater opportunities for older applicants. More information concerning programmes that allow UK nationals to travel to Japan to study can be found on the Japanese Embassy’s website.

One area which is receiving particular attention is the study of robotics. The Japanese government has recognized the importance, growth and opportunities associated with robotics and its future impact on national and international communities, especially in the area of aged care. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has allocated ¥2.39 billion in the fiscal 2013 budget to assist the development of robotics. Robotics has gained immense popularity in recent years with both Japanese and international students. The number of students studying robotics at universities in Japan will undoubtedly increase thanks to the government’s promise to allocate more funds in this area.


As the number of students studying in Japan increases, on-line services have been set up to help educate, orientate and guide foreigners on the complexities of living in Japan. Websites such as Gateway to Study in Japan and Go!Go! Nihon provide advice in English for overseas students who plan to study in Japan. These websites provide the know-how to assist with more complicated processes such as acquiring visa documents, finding accommodation, opening a bank account and understanding the health system in Japan.

If you live in the UK and you’re thinking of studying or working in Japan you can find out a lot more about this fascinating country at the Experience Japan Exhibition which is a yearly event at the Royal Society in London.