Category Archives: FOOD

Best Kagoshima Ramen: 5 Fantastic Shops


From historic tonkotsu to modern miso, here are 5 Kagoshima City ramen shops that are a must for Kagoshima ramen!

#1 Noodle Laboratory Kintoukan

Kinoukan has held the top spot on Tabelog (Japan’s Yelp) since opening its red doors in 2012.

Yellow Ramen: ¥880

They have 4 ramen “clouds” to choose from – Yellow (Miso), White (Light), Black (Soy Sauce) and Red (Spicy).

Yellow is most popular and features a sweeter miso broth with plenty of cabbage and bean sprouts to soak it up. A contrasting crunch is bestowed by green negi and white onion toppings.

Heart-sign making friendly chef

Delicious broiled chashu and softer, thick noodles round out this action-packed ramen.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 15:00 / 18:00 ~ 21:00 (closed on Tuesdays)

#2 Tontoro

Tontoro’s signature ramen looks heavier than it tastes. Their hearty tonkotsu shoyu broth includes Kagoshima pork, chicken, bonito fish, and a whole lot of fried garlic. Ground sesame also adds a milder, nutty flavor.

Tontoro Ramen with Egg: ¥970

“Tontoro” literally refers to the cut of pork behind the head and in between the shoulders. This cut is what they famously use for their in-house fatty chashu.

Old-school table area

As the chashu melts in your mouth, you’ll be thankful you visited Tontoro. Bonus – they’re open until 3:30 am every day.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 3:30 (Every day)

#3 Nori Ichi

Nori Ichi is the grandfather of Kagoshima ramen. Operating since 1949, their …continue reading


Abbesses: Ebisu


Although this may look like dozens of other casual French bistrots around town, the chef’s impressive cooking skills and culinary creativity are several cuts above average, and help Abbesses stand out from the crowd. Ordinary-sounding dishes like pate de campagne, roast lamb, and salmon en croute are executed with confidence and flair, and showcase top-notch ingredients. The wine list matches the high quality of the food and represents excellent price performance.

Repeat visits are rewarded as the menu cycles through seasonal and more frequent variations. There’s a “cheese salad of the day,” for example, and the simple grated-carrot starter might be infused with cumin and similar spices during one visit and a refreshing dollop of horseradish the next.

There are also some adventurous daily specials like Roast Duck with Spicy Honey-Hazelnut Glaze – a wonderful balance of diverse but harmonious flavors. Desserts like Fondant au Chocolat and Profiteroles with Cinnamon Ice Cream are appropriately luxurious and gooey, and don’t skimp on size.

Abbesses’ very affordable wine list is another big draw – it includes a respectable selection of bottles in the under-Y6,000 range, gathered from various wine-producing regions of France. The waitstaff are happy to help you navigate the list based on your preferences and budget. After dinner you’ll find a serviceable assortment of digestifs such as Marc and Calvados to help you wind down your evening.

Budget around Y7,500-10,000 for dinner with drinks, and Y1000 for weekday lunch. No lunch on Saturdays. …continue reading


Craft Beer Bars Japan - Ibeer Le Sun Palm: Nishi-Shinjuku


Run by the Sazaby group (Afternoon Tea, Shake Shack), Ibeer offers a line-up of ten Japanese craft beers on tap and a diverse food menu. Although it’s not the most cutting-edge selection in town there are usually at least a few beers worth a try, and you can order a four-part tasting set for more variety. They also stock a relatively large selection of bottled beers, including Belgian and German breweries like Duvel and Hofbrau Munchen, if that’s more to your taste.

The food menu covers a wide range of beer-friendly fare to go with your drinks – from pizzas and quesadillas to rice dishes and grilled meats. Party plans are available if you want to make a night of it here. The dessert menu – quite large for a beer bar – features numerous French toast variations, lots of cake, and a variety of fruit-flavored soda and ice cream concoctions.

Most draft beers are priced at Y530 for 240ml half-pints and Y930 for 470ml pints, with a four-beer tasting set for Y1100. Budget around Y2500 for drinks and snacks in the evening, and Y1000 at lunchtime. …continue reading


Explore the World of Local Sake at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo


Explore the world of local sake (jizake) at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo with special guest Darryl Cody Brailsford!

At this exclusive event, brewers from all around Japan will bring a selection of regional sake to you in Tokyo. Find your perfect pairing with a buffet of regional specialities.

About Darryl Cody Brailsford

Darryl will travel from Gifu to explain the subtleties of good sake brewing. As one of the few foreigners making sake in Japan, he will explain how he became passionate about becoming a respected brewer.

Date and time

Friday, 23rd August 2019

7pm to 9:30pm


Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo


5,000 yen per person, price for 4 or more people: 4,000 yen per person

  • Includes a free visit to Chinzanso’s garden from 6:20pm

Bookings and enquiries

The post Explore the World of Local Sake at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo appeared first on Japan National Tourism Organization.

…continue reading


EVENT: Cheese Drawing and Cute Sandwich Tutorial at Kaimuki Public Library

If you live in the Honolulu area, I’ll be doing an event this coming Sunday at the Kaimuki Public Library from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The demo itself will be pretty quick. I’ll show people the basics on how to cut out and make characters with cheese, then apply nori. After that, it’ll mostly be a hands-on, have-tons-of-fun session where you get to make your own!

I believe the event will be in the downstairs meeting room, but I’ve never been down there, so if you’re not sure either, it’s best to head to the front desk first and ask for directions. Hope to see you there!

After the event, I’ll have some books on hand (both Yum-Yum Bento and Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round) that participants can purchase and get signed.

Hope to see you there!

…continue reading