The French gastronomy guide Michelin is to publish its first Asia guide focusing on Tokyo.


The new guide is due on in November and is part of an international development programme. Currently Michelin guides cover 20 countries in Europe as well as the US.


“Japan is a country where fine dining is an integral part of the culture and the art of table setting reflects a way of life that discretely combines refinement and culinary enjoyment,” said Michel Rollier, the Michelin Group’s managing partner.


Director of the Michelin guide Jean -Luc Naret added: “Japan—and Tokyo in particular—seemed the natural gateway to this continent, which is so rich in gourmet food and cooking traditions.” 


The new guide is the result of negotiations that started in winter 2004 between the Paris office of the Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) and French tire manufacturer Michelin, which produces the guides. 


Tetsuya Okuda, JNTO London office director, said: “The popularity of Japanese food around the world continues to grow. We hope the release of the Michelin guide to Tokyo will inspire lovers of Japanese food to travel to Japan to try Japanese cuisine in its home country.


“Being the first Asian Michelin guide is a great honour for Japan. Japan is a foodie paradise and we are very pleased that Michelin has recognized this.”