(Refiles to fix typo in paragraph 3)
By Elaine Lies
TOKYO Nov 28 Tokyo retained its tasty title as
the Michelin guide's world gourmet capital on Wednesday,
although the number of three-star restaurants fell slightly.
This is the sixth consecutive year the capital of
food-obsessed Japan has been awarded top honours by the
publishers of a guide book regarded by many as a fine-dining
Tokyo was also lauded for having the most restaurants
bearing three-stars -- the Michelin guide's top honour -- even
though the number slipped to 14 from 16 last year.
"Japanese gourmet cooking is even more creative, inspired
and inventive than in the past," said Michelin Ellis,
international director of the Michelin guides.
"The quality and skills displayed by chefs in the Kanto
region (around Tokyo) are higher every year and confirm Japan's
ranking among the world's leading countries in terms of fine
dining," he said in a statement.
The awards are highly respected in Japan, a nation with a
long tradition of food appreciation. The 2013 edition of the
Michelin guide lists restaurants in Tokyo, neighbouring Yokohama
city and the coastal Shonan area. There is also a separate
guidebook for western Japan, around the ancient capital Kyoto.
All but two of the top-rated restaurants in Tokyo serve
Japanese cuisine and include an outlet that specialises in fugu,
the pufferfish that can be lethal if improperly prepared.
This year, a total of 242 Tokyo restaurants were awarded
stars, ranging from fine-dining European and Japanese
establishments to eateries serving more humble treats such as
broiled eel, soba buckwheat noodles and "kushiage" - deep fried
meat and vegetables on skewers.
In the guide for the western Kansai region, which came out
last month, 12 restaurants garnered three-star ratings, down by
three from last year.
Following is a list of the 14 top-rated Tokyo restaurants,
and one in the Shonan coastal area, according to the Michelin
The first Michelin restaurant guide, aimed at drivers in the
early days of motoring, was published by the tyre company in
1900. The star rating system was introduced in the 1920s.
1. Azabu Yukimura
3. Ginza Koju
6. Koan (in Shonan)
8. 7 chome Kyoboshi
9. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
13. Usukifugu Yamadaya.
14. Joel Robuchon
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)