Category Archives: FOOD

8 Of Tokyo’s Most Unique Kakigori Treats

Kakigori (shaved ice with syrup) is a definite must if you’re in Japan during the summer. Having shaved ice, as simple as it sounds, is such a pleasurable experience, especially during the hot summer season. If you’re someone that questions why kakigori is so hyped up in Japan, be prepared to be convinced why.

Down below we’ve chosen our favorite unique kakigori items that will keep you, your family, and your friends cool and fresh this summer!

1. Haimuru Coffee’s Princess

Let’s start off our kakigori list with this adorable Insta-worthy item. The ‘Princess’ is covered in a thick, strawberry cream and milk Fromage, topped with rich cream and cherries! This shaved ice is their most popular menu item, however, other items such as the Pistachio and Fig Kakigori have recently been gaining more and more popularity.

The other main menu item at Haimuru Coffee is… ramen. Weird combination right? Surprisingly, the combination of eating cool shaved ice after a steaming bowl of ramen is a great way to get through the summer—especially if you’re a ramen fan as well.

Where: Haimuru Coffee, 2-16-1 Koyama, Shinagawa-ku
When: 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
Cost: ¥1,190

2. Yelo’s Kinako Banana

A simple but super tasty flavor that can easily be loved by all. For those of you unfamiliar, kinako is a soybean powder used in many traditional Japanese sweets and pretty much goes with anything. By itself, kinako can be quite bland but when matched with a sweet partner it has a very distinct flavor similar to peanut butter, so it goes super well with …continue reading


Kifune Shrine - A Hidden Gem of Kyoto

Kifune Shrine Staircase

Kifune Shrine is a hidden gem of Kyoto tucked away in a rural village near Kurama in the mountains of northern Kyoto. This charming shrine is full of history and natural beauty, but is often overlooked by tourists on their travels in Kyoto due to its remote location.

The ancient shrine is only 30-minutes from downtown Kyoto, but it feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto with its calm and tranquility.

Kifune Shrine is probably most famous for its stone staircase which is lined with beautiful red wooden lanterns. A walk up the well-worn staircase to Kifune Shrine’s main hall will take you away to another time and place and is truly a magical experience.

Kifune Shrine Staircase | Photo: Chi King on Wikimedia Commons

According to legend, a goddess traveled in a boat from Osaka all the way up the river into the mountains north of Kyoto. The location of where her boat journey had come to an end was honoured by building a shrine on the sacred site.

Kifune Shrine enshrines the god of water and rain and at 1,600 years old is actually older than Kyoto itself. The shrine received Imperial patronage during the early Heian period (794-1185) and as such was a place that imperial envoys used to visit in order to pray for rain. It wasn’t just royalty that visited the shrine, farmers and sake brewers also traditionally paid homage to pray for rain in order to grow good crops.

First Torii Shrine Gate
The First Torii Shrine Gate | Photo: Yanajin33 on Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking to escape the summer heat of Kyoto, which is one of the …continue reading


5 Best Osaka Ramen Shops – Duck to Chicken Mousse


Here are 5 of the best Osaka ramen shops, from chicken mousse ramen to luxurious duck ramen.

#1 Chukasoba Kazura

This shop is a shining example of Osaka’s burgeoning ramen scene. They’ve only been open since 2015 but are at the top of the charts.

“Dashi Soba”: A reasonable ¥550

The head chef’s background in French cuisine led them to create a frothy chicken ramen. It’s unique feature is a creamy-mousse-like top.


Semi-thick round noodles mop up this foam alongside a sweet shoyu oil. A delicious cut of raw pork is the crowning stroke in this stunning, modern ramen.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 16:00 (closed on Sundays)

#2 Jinrui Mina Menrui

Osaka definitely likes their shoyu sweet and this is also apparent in the deeply flavored shoyu ramen at Jinrui Mina Menrui. The name translates as “Human Beings Everybody Noodles”.

Genten (Original) Ramen : ¥864

Chicken in the broth provides a silky richness and clams a taste of the sea. Their noodles are thick and with excellent texture and wheaty aroma.

Noodles made with care

Customize your bowl – 2 thicker 4 thinner menma slices. The same goes for the pork – thick or thin. If thick (as pictured), you’ll feel like a medieval nobleman, receiving 2 gigantic slabs. They’re so divinely soft that they fall apart on the way to your mouth.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 23:00 (Every day)

#3 Moeyo Mensuke

Located in the competitive ramen neighborhood of Fukushima, Moeyo Mensuke serves …continue reading


Sake Diary - Haretoke: Yoyogi


Located in the thriving izakaya-filled back alleys southeast of Yoyogi Station, Haretoke offers a fantastic sake list and a menu heavily focused on meat, and horsemeat in particular. You can choose from more than a dozen cuts of horse, or go for a pre-selected five- or three-part assortment of horse sashimi. They also serve a horse sushi platter, horse carpaccio and deep-fried horse karaage.

For a more balanced diet you can choose from grilled beef tongue and beef rump steak, grilled chicken and pork, and a sausage of the day. The mixed-grill platter (Y2800) is a hefty half-kilogram of assorted meats (beef, chicken and pork) and a good introduction to the non-equine portion of the menu. Organic-vegetable bagna cauda and anchovy-flavored french fries provide a refreshing break from all the animal flesh.

The restaurant’s sake list is compact but well curated, with over a dozen craft brews from around the country divided into premium and extra-premium categories. Servings are 3, 5, and 7 shaku in size (around 55, 90 and 125 ml in metric), and they start from just Y390 for a small glass. At these prices it’s tempting to try out new and unfamiliar labels, and perhaps find some new favorites.

Service is friendly, the atmosphere is casual, and the R&B-heavy background music is invigorating. There’s comfortable counter seating if you’re dining solo.

Unfortunately smoking is allowed, which is surprising for a relatively new shop specializing in sake, so you may want to choose your timing or your location carefully if you don’t smoke. Budget around Y4000-4500 for a nice, rather meaty dinner washed down with some first-rate sake. …continue reading


Takadanobaba Ramen: Chicken Ramen at Kageyama


Kageyama is an excellent choice for Takadanobaba ramen. Their showpiece is a fusion tori paitan ramen. It’s savory, thick, and similar to cream of chicken soup.

Fusion Tori Paitan

Kageyama’s fusion tori paitan (thick chicken ramen) is East meets West. It’s ramen but at the end, particularly tastes like a cream of chicken soup. Black pepper and garlic chips sprinkled on top contribute to this unique marriage.

There’s even lettuce in the broth and it really absorbs that rich chicken flavor. You’re also served a lemon slice. This lemon helps break through that richness and change up the overall flavor.

Thick, curly noodles made by Asakusa Kaikaro

Lastly, a side of rice can help you mop up any leftover broth.

Hazelnut Tantanmen

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually a bigger fan of their hazeulnut tantanmen.

In tantanmen it’s normally sesame seeds or peanuts that are used. Kageyama decided on hazelnuts instead. These hazelnuts give the spicy broth a lovely buttery sweetness.

Kageyama is popular among Takadanobaba ramen shops. As such, you may have to wait a bit. But whatever you order, you’re in for a treat!

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 23:00 (closes at 22:30 on Sundays)

Here’s one of my favorite Tokyo tori paitan ramen shops: LINK

The post Takadanobaba Ramen: Chicken Ramen at Kageyama appeared first on 5 AM Ramen.

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