Food Poisoning in Tokyo

2 January 2010
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


Tokyo was on my agenda to end the year with a gastronomic exclamation point. But it was not fated to happen. Every meal had a reservation and every meal was accounted for, but on the second day of my arrival, I got food poisoning at Odajima. The raw oyster which brought me over the edge was probably the culprit but the food was so good and the wines from the wine-loving chef, Odajima, so wonderful that I would still go back again.


The restaurant was highly recommended by Fumiko Arisaka, founder of Vinotheque  wine magazine in Japan, and it did not disappoint (except for the small detail of contaminated oysters). I was in bed sick for the next two days. We went to Chateau restaurant Joel Robuchon on New Year’s Eve and I could barely touch my food. Although I could barely eat, I could see the menu was too contrived (set menu for New Year’s Eve) and over-priced.


Local friends urged me to check myself in to a hospital and get an I.V. to clear my system. This is common practice in Tokyo where nearly everyone has food poisoning once a year. I balked at the option and chose to groan and suffer in my hotel bed instead, letting the bug clear through my system the old-fashioned way.