The first ever Tokyo edition of the Michelin restaurant guide will go on sale in November, the publishers announced today.

The book will be only the second Guide to be launched outside Europe following the New York edition launched in November 2005.

The red-cover guide, which will be the 16th in the collection, will be published in Japanese and English versions.

According to news agency AFP, Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolis with over 30m inhabitants, is believed to have the highest number of restaurants of any city with an estimated 300,000 eateries.

‘Restaurants here are often very simple,’ said Michelin’s publications director, Jean-Luc Naret. ‘A counter, a kitchen, some stools – but what’s on the plate is really worth three stars.’

Michelin said its undercover inspectors had been visiting Tokyo restaurants since April 2006. The current Tokyo team is a mix of European and Japanese food critics.

However Naret said the team would be completely Japanese ‘after some time’, pointing out that the New York reviewing team was ‘100 percent American’.

He added that Michelin Guides were not influenced by French taste.

‘We’re not a French guide,’ he said. ‘In France we’re French, in Italy we’re Italian, in Spain we’re Spanish. In New York we’ve represented the culinary diversity of having 45 different types of cuisine.’

Japan will become the 22nd country with a Michelin guide.

Written by Oliver Styles