Category Archives: FOOD

Sake Diary - Know by Moto: Shinjuku


A sake specialty bar with several Tokyo branches, Moto is known for their well-curated craft-sake lists representing small breweries from all over Japan. Here they offer thirty different sakes by the glass, with prices starting at around Y350 for a 65ml tasting-size glass. Unlike the other branches, Know by Moto is open all day, serving a lunch menu until 5pm.

The eclectic food menu ranges from typical izakaya fare – potato salad and a carpaccio of the day – to inventive dishes like seared beef with salmon roe and deep-fried minced beef with gorgonzola. Catering to daytime sake aficionados, there are lunchtime tasting flights (three sake for Y650) and all-you-can-drink specials (Y1000 for 70 minutes, available until 5pm). Most daytime patrons seem to order a small sake taster with their lunch, although it’s not required.

The tastefully appointed dining area is furnished with a large group table in the center, a couple of smaller tables, and a ten-person counter. There’s a small (Y380) table charge in the evening. …continue reading


Dining Diary - Isomaru Suisan: Kichijoji


Fresh-off-the-docks seafood at bargain prices – that’s the drawing card at this popular chain of 24-hour izakayas. Many fish and shellfish items are ready to grill at your table, and the blowtorch-charred mackerel is particularly entertaining. There’s also a wide selection of sashimi, sushi, and very filling assorted-seafood donburi dishes.

Drinks include beer, shochu, cocktails, and various sakes, including a pleasant and light nigori-zake that goes well with seafood. Note that the non-smoking hours at this branch are 11am-midnight; after that the ashtrays come out. …continue reading


Super Cheap Tokyo Book Review

Super Cheap Tokyo Budget Travel Guide

Tokyo is one of the most exciting cities on the planet with its mix of the traditional, from historic temples and colourful shrines to the ultramodern, with neon-lit skyscrapers and pop culture. Tokyo has it all. With so much to see and do in Tokyo, it can be overwhelming trying to plan a travel itinerary without the right travel guide.

The Book’s Content

Super Cheap Tokyo is the ultimate budget travel guide to exploring Japan’s capital on a shoestring budget. The travel guide covers the greater Tokyo metropolis and the surrounding Kanto region on the cheap. Unlike other Tokyo guides, this book shows you exactly how, where and when you can save money.

The book covers a wide range of money saving tips such as how to grab a traditional Japanese meal for only $3, buy clothes in the fashion mecca, Harajuku for under $10, and how to spend next to nothing on a day’s hiking or relaxing in a Japanese garden.

Inside the book you will find:

Budget food – a comprehensive list of low-cost restaurants, take-outs and supermarkets.
Budget shopping – the best tax-free shopping, shopping hot-spots and 100-yen stores.
Highlights and itineraries – based on discount subway and train passes, so you can explore while keeping the costs down.
Tokyo’s hidden treasures – walking routes to all the hot spots and must see places to visit.
Cheap accommodation – the best and cheapest hostels, budget hotels, family-friendly hotels, internet cafes, overnight spas and more.

My View

Why I really like this book? It is compact and easy to use with all the information and tips at your fingertips. I like how the book provides a quick guide on how to use it and some useful information about Tokyo before moving into …continue reading


When You Feel Like You’re The Only Outsider In The Community, Do These 2 Things

According to the latest statistics, there are just a little over 2.5 million foreigners currently residing in Japan. Although this may seem a significant number, perhaps it loses its weight when compared to the colossal 127.1 million of the country’s entire population. Naturally, the native people of Japan heavily outweigh the foreigners. Or in other words, when living in the very rural Japanese countryside, everyone is Japanese but you.

Now, if you love the attention, that’s great news. But if you’re a sensitive gal like me, this can make your life pretty darn difficult. Especially if you’re coming from an increasingly multicultural country such as New Zealand. Why does it matter? Well, theoretically it shouldn’t, but we’re flawed human beings with a heck load of feelings and sometimes, we just can’t help but feel like a complete and utter outsider (with four legs).

My many inaka tears

I can’t speak for urban expats, but for me, being a foreigner in my incredibly rural Japanese Okayama village proposed various discomforts. For one, almost everyone openly stared (sometimes with their mouths wide open!).

In their defense, I look noticeably different: my skin is darker, my nose is longer, my hair is way curlier and my butt and thighs are bigger. Also, my mannerisms were unlike theirs. For example, my bento usually contains lots of nuts and legumes and things vegetarian — a term almost non-existent in my deer and boar-hunting village.

In addition, I don’t peel my persimmons, figs nor grapes; I hardly ever use an umbrella (both for sunshine and rain), I like getting a sun tan and I clock out of work when my shift ends. All of which contribute …continue reading


The Michelin Mega-Guide to Tokyo: Fine Dining in the City

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

With the most Michelin stars of any city in the world, Tokyo is a foodie paradise that offers not only some of the best food in the world, but the chance to try it on a budget.
Esquisse, Tokyo
While fine-dining courses at prestigious restaurants in London or Paris can cost you a not-so-small fortune, the Tokyo Michelin star restaurant scene has an affordable flavor that stays true to the world’s most trusted food guide. Created in 1900 by the Michelin brothers (yes, the ones from the tire company) to encourage more road users in France, the restaurant and hotel guide was supposed to highlight locations that would encourage people to take more trips—and thus wear down their tires. Initially focused on France and then Europe, Tokyo

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