In Tokyo, where both time and space are in short supply, eating out is a necessary luxury. The average apartment in Tokyo is small. Relative to comparable city dwellers, Tokyoites have the lowest square footage of any large city. The kitchens, then, are even smaller. Lack of counter space makes prep work itself an elaborate exercise. Usually, a single medium cutting board could fit over the top of a sink. Very rarely do average apartments have dishwashers or ovens. Multiple burners can be a rarity. Cramped cooking creates more trouble than just kitchen clutter. Smells quickly waft into living and sleeping spaces. In my former 200-square foot apartment, I used to plug in a slow-cooker and open the windows to vent. When comparing tiny apartment kitchens versus the world of dining options, homemade is no longer a pragmatic choice for working people.
Even if you have the time and disposition to cook, many choice ingredients are far-flung across Tokyo. Searching for a Marsala wine, for example, can quickly require an hour journey to a shop with irregular hours that may have just run out of their 3rd bottle of sweet Italian wine. Fruit is a sore spot for many ex-pats. If you find some appetizing fruit, the sticker shock will give you another surprise. A single mango can cost you $8 on a good day! So much for that little bit of garnish, you needed. The hustle and bustle of Tokyo is home to a great many fantastic ingredients. Making sure you can snag them when you need them is a different story. Add that to the time and energy and yen output, you may be looking at a long run about the city. Leave the cooking to the professionals in Tokyo.
Dining out is really an elevated art in Japan. Tokyoites eat with their stomach and their eyes. Though it is hard to find foreign language skills, the palate is much easier to internationalize. Obsessed foodies can find pretty plates of high cuisine in nearly all city nooks. In addition to stupendously good Japanese options, Tokyo is an epicures delight of global foods. Popular options include Italian and Indian food. Looking for dinner in a well-developed, lively neighborhood often feels like searching through a treasure map. Hidden in dark alleys, specialist Burmese or German cuisine ask to be found. Ever trend-conscious, or even trendsetting, bubble tea joints are nearly as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Whether you desire fugu, mutton curry, or creamy gelato, some Tokyo shop has it.
Instead of spending your precious time cleaning for cutting space, collecting twelve different spices for murgh makhani, do the practical thing. Call your neighborhood Indian restaurant and make a reservation. Then, take a quick walk down the street, eat well, and return home. Your kitchen will be undisturbed. The rest of your home will smell like your funky vanilla spice candle instead of a Delhi-dhaba, and you can return to luxuriating, Tokyo-style.