The One City Anthony Bourdain Would Have Lived in Forever

Updated: Nov. 25, 2022

The chef has visited more than 80 countries in his lifetime. Here's why this city was Anthony Bourdain's favorite.

Anthony Bourdain was the insider source on everything from food and culture to travel thanks to his four shows and visits to more than 80 countries in his lifetime. The late chef was also known for his no-nonsense attitude. Bourdain previously revealed that, out of all his travels, there’s only one city he would have lived in forever—Tokyo. This is the one country, however, where Bourdain wouldn’t even film an episode.

In an interview with Maxim in 2017, Bourdain said that he would choose the Japanese city of Tokyo. “If I had to agree to live in one country, or even one city, for the rest of my life, never leaving it, I’d pick Tokyo in a second,” he said. He was fascinated with the layers of flavors, tastes, and customs there. 

Bourdain’s appreciation for the Japanese culture included more than their food scene (although he especially loved good uni, sea urchin, and duck!). He also practiced the Japanese martial art of jiu-jitsu and even penned a graphic novel about a sushi-chef who, “beheads customers who stir wasabi into their soy sauce.” And during his interview with Maxim, Bourdain was simultaneously getting a tattoo in a style called tebori, which is a traditional stick-and-poke Japanese tattoo method. 

If you plan on visiting Japan, remember Bourdain’s top things to do in the Tokyo including visiting the Robot Restaurant, eating and drinking at the Izakayas, and dining at a department store food hall.  Next, check out the ways Anthony Bourdain changed the way the world eats.