Category Archives: FOOD

Tokyo Picks: Explore - 9 contemporary art galleries in Bakurocho


The Bakurocho neighborhood not far from Akihabara is an essential stop on any contemporary-art tour of Tokyo. As befits an up-and-coming creative neighborhood, Bakurocho is also home to art-supply shops, crafts galleries, coworking spaces, hip cafes, serious coffee houses and craft-beer bars. Here is our guide to some of the area highlights, including the Asakusabashi neighborhood just to the north.

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Fish Ramen in Shinjuku – 3 Must Try Shops

Sea Bream Ramen, Noodle Pullup

From sea bream broth to shrimp ball toppings, here are 3 shops you have to try for fish ramen in Shinjuku!

#1 Flying Fish Ramen at Takahashi

Flying fish (ago) is the primary ingredient in the ramen at Yakiago Ramen Takahashi. They’ve recently opened branches in Shibuya, Ueno and Ginza. But you have to visit their flagship branch in Shinjuku.

Flying Fish Ramen with Egg
Flying Fish Ramen with Egg: ¥920

In their signature ramen, they grill flying fish over charcoal and blend this with shio (salt seasoning) and a lighter tonkotsu (pork bone). The golden broth consequently has a salty and uniquely sharp fish flavor.

Exterior of Takahashi Flying Ramen Shop

The noodles are flat and slightly wavy. The egg, fatty chashu and (ultra thin) roasted chashu are appropriately seasoned, but not to the point where they take away from the addictive broth.

Shinjuku Flagship Shop Hours: 11:00 am ~ 5:00 am (Every day!)

#2 Seafood Lover’s Paradise at Kaijin

Ramen shop MenyaKaijin has the fishiest ramen on the list. Simmered amberjack, sea bream, salmon and even conger eel come together with a refreshing shio seasoning.

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Craft Beer Bars Japan - Coaster: Shimo-Kitazawa


A spacious craft-beer bar at the southern end of Shimo-Kitazawa, Coaster offers a nice mix of Japanese, American and European craft beers from their fifteen taps. Beer comes in two sizes, priced Y600-850 for a small glass and Y1100-1400 for a large, roughly pint-sized serving. Drinks are cash on delivery and food is payable when you order; credit cards are accepted.

The small food menu features dishes like roast chicken (listed on the menu as “jerk chicken”) and Korean-style fried chicken, although neither was particularly spicy, in spite of their names. The roast chicken was tender and very tasty, although the fries could have benefited from ketchup or mayonnaise. Table service was friendly enough but rather uneven.

The interior is attractively appointed, with large and small tables, a tiny counter in front of the bar, and a roomy standing area just inside the front door. They’re open from noon, with lunch service at midday and coffee as well as beers in the afternoon. …continue reading


Sake Diary - Gin no Mori: Kichijoji


Gin no Mori is a sake-focused izakaya offering an impressive selection of bottles from smaller craft breweries around Japan, all quite reasonably priced. Small 90ml glasses are a convenient size if you want to try a few different types of sake over the course of the evening, and these are typically priced at Y400-490, while larger 150ml servings go for Y600-730.

The food menu features sake-friendly snacks like the miso-marinated trio of avocado, mozzarella and fuki no to (a type of mountain vegetable), along with more standard izakaya fare. Our turnip tempura was a highlight of the meal, and the sashimi platter of the day was also quite good. Generally speaking though, the food here plays a supporting role to the sake, which is the star of the show.

Seating is at a spacious front counter or on floor cushions around sunken hori-kotatsu tables. Budget around Y3000-4000 for food and drink in the evening. On weekends they’re open all day from 11:30am, and they serve a weekend lunch menu until 3:30pm. …continue reading


5 Craft Beer Festivals to Attend in Japan this Spring

Source: Gaijin Pot

While Japan isn’t exactly the craft beer haven that North America and Europe have become in recent years, the Japanese craft brew scene is rapidly growing. Only 20 years ago, craft beer in Japan was pretty much nonexistent, with a beer industry overpowered by big names like Asahi and Kirin.

It wasn’t until 1994 that the government lowered the annual output of beer necessary to obtain a brewing license from 2,000,000 liters to just 60,000. While hundreds of breweries opened their doors in the wake of the new law, a lack of brewer experience and a population generally unfamiliar with such variety caused many of them to close. Today, the market seems to have stabilized. According to the Japan Beer Times, there are now more than 300 craft breweries flaunting thousands of new varieties around the country.

… there are now more than 300 craft breweries flaunting thousands of new varieties around the country.

As the hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, season cascades onto Japan, so too do more spring beer festivals. A perfect excuse to travel to a new part of Japan (especially with an upcoming 10-day Golden Week), here are some craft beer events to mark on your calendar.

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