Japan has confirmed its position as the world's leader of gastronomy, with the news that Michelin has awarded a total of 32 restaurants in the country its top accolade of three stars.
Michelin today released its 2012 guide to Tokyo, promoting three new restaurants to three stars: Sushi Yoshitake and Ryugin in Tokyo and Koan in Shonan. The Japanese capital now has 17 three-star restaurants.
After the release of the Michelin guide to western Japan last month, the country now has more three-Michelin-starred restaurants than France, which currently has 25.
However, the size and scale of the restaurant industry in Japan helps partly to explain its success when it comes to Michelin stars. There are around 160,000 restaurants Tokyo, compared with about 40,000 in Paris.
Michelin's 2012 Tokyo guide this year expanded its coverage to include the areas of Yokosuka, Hayama, Zushi, Fujisawa, Chigasaki, Hiratsuka, Oiso, Odawara and Yugawara.
A total of 57 restaurants gained two stars, with 13 new additions, including Korean restaurant Moranbong, which is the first in the world to achieve the award. Meanwhile, 54 establishments celebrated their first star, bringing the total to 219.
Bernard Delmas, president of Nihon Michelin Tire, commented: "Thanks to our readers, we have reached the 5th anniversary of the Michelin guide in Japan. Since the first publication of the guide in 2007, we have enriched the selection by expanding the area."
He added: "We hope that readers from all over Japan and also from overseas will visit the shining stars in Tokyo, Yokohama and Shonan and have a wonderful time. And we sincerely hope that we can contribute to Japan's restaurant and tourism industry by publishing this guide."
By Kerstin Kühn
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