All posts by blogsonjapan

Tokyo Events This Week: Chinese New Year

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Tokyo events for Monday, January 20 to Sunday, January 26, 2020
The biggies this week are the Chinese New Year celebrations, which include a massive lion dance performance and parade on the weekend. There’s also the Japan Brewers’ Cup, a night market and free admission day at the National Museum of Western Art.
Japan Brewers’ Cup 2020
A competition where national breweries battle it out for top hops honor. Besides the judging portion, it’s also a craft beer festival. The ¥500 entry gives you access to over 300 varieties of beer.

Japan Brewers’ Cup 2020Dates:24th Jan–26th Jan, 2020

Adults:Advance sales: ¥500
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Usokae Bullfinch Exchange
The bu

The post Tokyo Events This Week: Chinese New Year appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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5 Food You Have to Try While in Osaka

Osaka Castle

It wouldn’t be wrong to call Osaka the food capital of Japan, and the people take great pride in their local cuisine. There’s a popular saying ‘Osaka no kuidaore’ which literally means people in Osaka have the habit of eating themselves out of house and home. While there are several local specialties in Osaka worth experiencing, we will talk about the 5 food you have to try while in Osaka.

1. Takoyaki

This is the classic Osaka dish made with simple ingredients but scores high in terms of taste. It typically involves a mixture of eggs and flour stuffed with sliced octopus, spring onions, ginger, and tempura crumbs. The dumplings are topped with a sweet sauce and mayonnaise, and sprinkled with nori seaweed and dried bonito flakes. The octopus may be substituted with shrimp, tomato, cheese or chocolate. The dish is prepared in a special pan that has hollow moulds and most homes in Osaka have this special tool for takoyaki parties. While most of the street side stalls in Osaka sell takoyaki, the Dotonbori Konamon Museum is one of the best places to try this delicacy.

2. Kushikatsu

This is another must-try delicacy of Osaka and it mainly comprises of skewered kebabs of seafood, meat, or vegetables that are breaded and deep fried until they achieve a crispy golden finish. They are served with different styles of dipping sauces and flavored salt. Some of the typical ingredients you can expect to find on a kushikatsu menu are pork, beef, shrimp, eggs, sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, asparagus, lotus root, and shiitake mushrooms. Although you can find Kushikatsu in various restaurants around Osaka, it is believed to have originated in the Kushikatsu Daruma restaurant. Today Kushikatsu Daruma has branches in Dotonbori and Shinsekai. Customers …continue reading


On top of Mount Kannomine

Mount Kannomine, 425 meters above the sea on Osaki Kamijima in the Inland Sea, is the highest poinbt on the island and where I chose to spend the night on the second day of my walk along the Akinada chain of islands. This link will take you to the other posts from that walk and the views of sunset from Kannomine.

As well as an observation point that offers stunning views across the

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Date no Gyutan Honpo: Ikebukuro


Located on the second floor of a Miyagi prefectural antenna shop, this casual cafe-restaurant serves a wide variety of beef tongue dishes, a local specialty. Teishoku-style meals with oxtail soup, grilled tongue, side dishes and rice are priced at well under Y1000 at lunchtime, which conveniently runs until 5pm. Excellent spicy pickled vegetables and leaf-wrapped sweet miso come with the teishoku, and these may well be highlights of a visit to Ikebukuro.

After 5pm the menu expands to a wider variety of dishes – tongue curry, tongue tsukune meatballs, tongue sausage, tongue stew and of course grilled tongue. If you just want a quick meal there are several teishoku options, or alternatively you can enjoy small izakaya-style dishes as you explore the Miyagi sake list.

Budget around Y1000-3000 in the evening, and around Y850 at lunch. Take-away bentos are Y1380. …continue reading


Smooth Miso Ramen in Akasaka: Ittenbari

Miso Ramen in Akasaka - Ittenbari

For miso ramen in Akasaka, Akasaka Ittenbari (赤坂一点張) is really the only choice. With massive portions, choose a base of miso or a blend of miso and soy sauce.

Akasaka Mori (All Toppings): ¥1,000

Miso Ramen Options

You don’t have to order from a vending machine at Ittenbari. They have a handy menu with photos and English. You have a choice of miso, spicy miso, awase (miso and soy sauce), or shio.

Miso is the way to go. The cordial blend of Kyoto and Hokkaido miso stands out best when it’s just miso. “Awase” (soy sauce and miso) is interesting but a little too busy and salty for my taste.


The soup is pork bones, chicken bones, and some fish. It’s light, goes down smooth, and isn’t too thick. All toppings comes with thicker and tougher old-school chashu pork slices.

The portions are massive, so do come hungry. Akasaka Ittenbari is also known for fried rice (chahan) and cripsy gyoza (fried dumplings).

Since the ’70s

This ramen shop boasts a fairly long history. They got their start in the 1970s. It does feel a bit retro inside.