Haneda International Airport Restaurants

Having worked for a travel company for a decade I have spent countless time at airports around the world. Once my luggage has been checked in I really enjoy the free time before boarding the plane. Airports are great for people watching, and if you are lucky, another opportunity for a nice meal.

Haneda’s international terminal has an impressive selection of good eats in a very cool area called the Edo Market Place. There is often a line at Tsurutontan, the udon noodle shop.

My favorite oden shop in Tokyo, Ginza Ogura, also has a branch here. The oden broth is lightly seasoned, not the intense soy broth that is usually found in the Tokyo area.

There is also sushi, ramen, soba, sukiyaki, yakiniku, kushiyaki, tonkatsu, and yoshoku. And I hate to say it, but I had my first average meal in Tokyo recently at the yoshoku restaurant at Haneda. No matter how good the photo of the omuraisu with the demi-glace sauce looks in the promotional photo in the shop window, it doesn’t taste as good as it looks. Eat elsewhere.

And, do save time for shopping. There is a tiny branch of Ginza’s famous Ito-ya stationary shop, a colorful tenugui and furoshiki shop, and plenty of omiyage shops selling regional foods. We found some of our favorite seafood products from Sato Suisan in Hokkaido at one of the shops. And if you are into Kit Kats, then check out the seasonal flavors, which at the moment includes a wasabi flavored Kit Kat.

Shibuya Hikarie

Shibuya’s newest addition to the skyline is Hikarie. The restaurants are on floors six and seven. Lots of interesting spots including Umauma Ramen from Hakata serving hitoguchi (bite-size) gyoza and skewered and grilled chicken skin alongside ramen. Kashiwa for okonomiyaki and teppanyaki. Sendai’s famous Rikyu for grilled gyutan (beef tongue), Maisen tonkatsu, and much more. With over two dozen restaurants there is something for everyone.

Bills at Tokyu Plaza Omohara

Opening April 18th is Bill Grangers newest restaurant bills in Tokyu Plaza Omohara. What a brilliant naming for this corner that sits between Omotesando and Harajuku. The old Gap building for anyone who is familiar with this crossing.

The entrance on the corner of Omotesando and Meiji Dori is big and will naturally bring in fashionistas coming to visit the new shopping mall.

The Japanese press release includes a list-up of the shops in the spacious mall.

bills is known for his brunch menu of pancakes or hotcakes and egg dishes. A lot of the Western comfort foods that I think is perfect for the trendy youth of Omohara.

New Candyland at Tokyo Station

Opening tomorrow in the basement of Tokyo Station is Tokyo Candyland (Tokyo Okashi Rando). The three main tenants are Calbee, Morinaga, and Glico, big snack manufacturers in Japan. At Calbee you can have potato chips hot out of the deep-fryer. The area is located in the basement outside of the Yaesu central exit. While it’s not worth going out of your way to come to, it may be interesting if you are at Tokyo station as the tenants will say limited edition items, usually seasonal products.

Aji Hyakusen at Nihonbashi Takashimaya and Oishii Nippon at Ginza Matsuya

Hands down my favorite food fair at department stores is Nihonbashi Takashimaya’s Aji Hyakusen. The country’s top food and sake purveyors are all gathered in Nihonbashi on the 8th floor of Takashimaya. This is the time of year I stock up my pantry with sesame oil and seeds from Kyoto, aged hon-mirin from Gifu, as well as splurge on pickles from Kyoto’s Murakami. The event can be packed so come early if you can. Be sure to check out the sake corner. Some unusual ones this year including some peach colored sake (the print is too fine for me to read online but it looks interesting), as well as some unique shochu like the Aka Kirishima from Miyazaki.

Nihonbashi Takashimaya, 8th floor, April 10-16 (closes at 6 p.m. on the final day)

Ginza Matsuya is hosting an “Oishii Nippon” food fair from April 11-16. I’ve never seen a special food fair at Matsuya so this may be interesting to check out. It looks like a selection of prepared foods as well as fresh produce.

Wagashi, Niigata, and Fukuoka Food Fairs in Nihonbashi, Ikebukuro, and Shibuya

Mitsukoshi’s Wagashi Fair is a favorite of mine for its unique collection of famous artisans from throughout Japan. Wednesday, April 4th to Monday, April 9th on the 7th floor of Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi.

Niigata Food and Sake Fair at Ikebukuro Tobu starts Thursday, April 5th and runs through Tuesday, April 10th. Highlights include sake, rice, and lots of seafood. The event is on the 8th floor and closes at 5 p.m. on the final day.

Fukuoka Food Fair highlights include mentaiko, ramen, and karaage. Thursday, April 5 to Wednesday, April 11th. Shibuya’s Tokyu Toyokoten, 8th Floor. Event closes at 5 p.m. on the final day.

April Seasonal Japanese Seafood 4月旬の魚

April Japanese Seasonal Seafood

 

Many of the seafood from March are still in season in April. The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling. Asari clams are great for making into a quick vongole style pasta. Grilling salted fish heads of buri or tai is quick and simple and the perfect accompaniment to sake or shochu. Bitesize tiny hotaru ika can be quickly blanched and then served with a sweet and vinegary sumiso dressing. Nishin can be salted and grilled. And perhaps my favorite this time of year is katsuo simply seared on the edges, sliced thickly, and served with some soy sauce and garlic. Katsuo tataki is particularly nice if you can garnish it with fresh myoga. Hirame is lovely as sashimi. If we have leftover hirame sashimi Shinji likes to cure it in kombu overnight at kombujime hirame. The texture changes as the umami is soaked in from the kombu to the hirame.

 

Hotate we like as sashimi or cooked meuniere style. Takikomigohan of scallops is also a nice change-up. Mebaru is a light, white fish that is nice as himono. While tachiuo may look intimidating in the market, it is a delicate fish that can be grilled meuniere-style. And, for the perfect sake snack in spring, I love deep-fried wakasagi.

 

If you click on the Japanese name of the seafood you should be directed to a link with a photo.

 

Ainame –  鮎並 fat greenling (Hexagrammos otakii)

Akagai – 赤貝 ark shell (Scapharca broughtonii)

Amadai – 赤甘鯛 tilefish (Branchiostegus japonicus)

Aori ika – 障泥烏賊 big fin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)

Asari – 浅利 Japanese littleneck clams (Ruditapes philippinarum)

Botan ebi – see Toyama ebi below

Buri – 鰤 Japanese amberjack (Seriola quinqueradiata)

Chidai-   血鯛  crimson sea bream (Evynnis japonica)

Hamaguri – 浜栗 common Orient clam (Meretrix lusoria)

Hatsu gatsuo or katsuo – 鰹 skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Hirame –  鮃 olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Hotaru ika – 蛍烏賊擬 firefly squid  (Enoploteuthis chunii)

Hotate – 帆立貝 scallops (Patinopecten yessoensis)

Iidako – 飯蛸 ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus)

Isaki – 伊佐幾 chicken grunt  (Parapristipoma trilineatum)

Jindou ika – 神頭烏賊 Japanese dwarf squid (Loliolus (Nipponololig) japonica)

Kaki – 牡蠣 oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Karei – 鰈 littlemouth flounder (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Kasago – 笠子 scorpion fish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)

Katsuo – 鰹  skipjack tuna or oceanic bonito (Katsuwonus pelamis)

Kibinago – 黍魚子 banded blue sprat (Spratelloides gracilis)

Kihada maguro – 黄肌鮪 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Kinmedai– 金目鯛 splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens)

Kohada – 小鰭 gizzard shad (Konosirus pumctatus)

Kurozako ebi – 黒雑魚海老 kuro shrimp (Argis lar)

Madai or tai – 真鯛 seabream (Pagurus major)

Makogarei – 真子鰈 marbled sole (Pleuronectes yokohamae)

Managatsuo – 真名鰹 silver pomfret (Pampus punctatissimus)

Mebachi maguro – 目撥 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Mebaru – 目張 black rockfish (Sebastes inermis)

Mirugai – 海松食 geoduck (Tresus keenae)

Nijimasu – 虹鱒  rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Nishin – 鰊 Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Ooasari – 蜊蝦夷忘 Japanese littleneck clam (Callista berevisiphonata)

Saba – 鯖 Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus)

Sakura ebi – 桜蝦 sakura shrimp (Sergia lucens)

Sakuradai – 桜鯛 cherry anthias  (Sacura margaritacea)

Saragai – 皿貝 Northern great tellin (Megangulus venulosa)

Sawara – 鰆 Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)

Sayori –  針魚  halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori)

Sazae – サザエ   turban wreath shell (Turbo cornutus)

Shima ebi – 島海老 pandalid shrimp (Pandalopsis japonica)

Shima isaki – 縞鶏魚 sharpnose tigerfish (Rhyncopelate Oxyhynchus)

Shira ebi – 白海老 glass shrimp (Pasiphaea japonica)

Shirouo – 素魚 ice goby (Leucopsarion petersii)

Tachiuo – 太刀魚 cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)

Tairagai – 平貝  pen shell or fan shell (Atrina (Servatrina) pectinata)

Tobiuo – 飛魚 Japanese flying fish (Cypselurus agoo agoo)

Torigai – 鳥貝 heart clam (Fulvia mutica)

Toyama ebi or botan ebi – 富山海老 humpback shrimp (Pandalus hypsinotus)

Wakasagi – 若細魚 Japanese smelt  (Hypomesus nipponensis)

Yamame – ヤマメ cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou maso)

Yari ika – 槍烏賊 spear squid (Loligo (Heterololigo) bleekeri)