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Melinda Joe

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer

Melinda Joe is an American journalist based in Tokyo, Japan. Her food writing has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Departures Magazine and has been translated into four languages. She writes about Japanese drinks in her column for The Japan Times, "Kanpai Culture." A certified sake and wine specialist, she is a panel chair for the sake division at London’s International Wine Challenge.

Japan Has Reopened for Tourism—Here's What to Know for Your Next Visit, from Visa Requirements to New Hotels

The latest in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido, and the southern paradise of Okinawa.

teamLab Planets

An endlessly Instagrammable, sumptuous, and surreal collection of art installations.


A contemporary sento (public bath) with four pools, a sauna, and an outdoor bath.

Kuge Crafts

A ceramics studio specializing in kintsugi, the traditional technique of mending pottery with lacquer sprinkled with gold dust.

Azuki to Kouri

Japanese shaved ice taken to new, delicious heights of refinement.

Kyu Asakura House

If you need a break from the urban intensity of the Japanese capital, this former government residence is the place.

Sakurai Tea Experience

A minimalist sanctuary dedicated to sado, the Japanese “way of tea.”


And art-filled sushi spot tucked into a quiet residential pocket of Nakameguro.


A bucket-list destination where the experience is unforgettable.

Sushi Take

An eight-seat hideaway in Ginza from one of Tokyo's few female sushi chefs, who keeps things balanced and traditional.

Sushi Kimura

About 20 minutes outside of central Tokyo, Kimura has a more laid-back vibe than you'd expect at a two-Michelin-starred sushi establishment.

Sukiyabashi Jiro

Famously stern Jiro Ono spent decades of trial and error developing the techniques to create the perfect balance of rice and fish.

Sushi Saito

Regulars are known to make their next booking as soon as they finish a meal at this three-Michelin-starred spot.

Sushi Yoshitake

A serene and inviting seven-seat sushi counter from a husband-and-wife duo who don't let any detail go unnoticed.

Nemuro Hanamaru

A buzzing, family-friendly kaiten-zushi spot where chefs slap plates of nigiri on constantly revolving conveyor belts.

Sushi Kokoro

A sushi hideaway where the chef equates preparing raw fish and rice to performing a live show.

Sushi Kanesaka

Otsumami small plates are chef Shinji Kanesaka's speciality at his textbook-perfect sushi-ya inside the Palace Hotel.


A 10-seat sushi oasis known for its outstanding wine pairings, otsumami small bites, and nigiri.