Even if you have no interest in temples or nightlife, one of the main reasons to visit Japan is its food. Japanese cuisine is among my favorite ethnic types, although it can be replicated in other countries satisfactorily. However, there is something magical about eating ethnic cuisine in its birthplace, like gelato in Italia or hummus in the Middle East. In some cases, the international interpretations are so different and worse that it is difficult to eat them after sampling them the original way. Thankfully, this is not the case with Japan, but I would still urge you to try sushi, fugu, Wagyu, yakitori, teppanyaki, udon, soba, and tempra in their mother country.
Michelin-starred restaurants are rated by secretive gastronomical experts. Japan is the country with the most Michelin stars, having nearly 300 restaurants with them! While Michelin star restaurants immediately conjure up images of four-hour, 29-course meals, followed by $230 prices, one can eat at a few of these establishments for modest prices.
Certain types of cuisine of the highest order will never be cheap, such as French, fugu, and sushi. However, traditional Japanese noodle shops can offer lunch for US$15, which is exactly what I did.
The restaurant I found was a short walk away from my Airbnb location, but I had to trust the Google Maps pinpoint, as English names for restaurants are not readily displayed. It was only until after seeing that there was a wait and that soba noodles were being served was I reasonably certain that I had arrived at the intended restaurant.