Michelin's first ever Hokkaido guide was released in Japan today (stars were announced prior to that), and the area is now home to four three-star restaurants: Nukumi and Sushi Tanabe, both sushi restaurants in Sapporo, Moliere, a Sapporo French restaurant, and Michel Bras Toya Japan in Toyako. Twelve restaurants were awarded two stars, and fifty were awarded one.
This announcement is not without controversy, though: Japan now has 36 three-star restaurants, compared to France's 26 and a paltry 10 in the US. The star gap raises some eyebrows, including those of Japan-born Paris chef Kei Kobayashi, who tells the AFP, "Is it too easy to get three stars in Japan?" Possibly, maybe.
· Michelin Puts Hokkaido on the Gastronomic Map [AFP via @akaltinsoy]
· Is It Too Easy to Get a Michelin Star in Japan? [RelaxNews]
· All Michelin Coverage on Eater [-E-]