Ginza Kyubey 銀座久兵衛

Ginza Kyubey

Ginza Kyubey

Ginza Kyubey 銀座久兵衛

Chuo-ku, Ginza 8-7-6


11:30 – 13:30, 17-21:45

closed Sunday and holidays (English)

Kyubey Sushi, is famous as a top-class sushi restaurant in the city. It is so popular that it often turned away customers. To accommodate everyone they have opened a bekkan (annex) across the street. They are accustomed to foreigners coming in and you may be seated in front of an English-speaking chef. It is popular with Japanese as well as tourists. The sushi chef may ask you if he should change the size of the shari (rice) or the amount of wasabi. This thoughtfulness is especially appreciated by the ladies who lunch there who may want to have a little less rice as they may be watching their weight. Kyubey is a nice option if you are looking for a top quality sushi experience but want to avoid the prohibitive prices at some shops that are only open for dinner. The lunch here is very reasonable for classic Edo-style nigirizushi.

COREDO Muromachi コレド室町

Coredo Muromachi

Coredo Muromachi

Nihonbashi has a rich food history as it was the original home of the fish market before it moved to Tsukiji. The new COREDO Muromachi building is filled with restaurants and food shops, some dating back hundreds of years.



Pick up Japanese knives at Nihonbashi Kiya or taste the smoky bonito stock or dashi based soups like kabocha and chicken potage at Ninben’s Nihonbashi Dashi Bar.

Ninben's Dashi Bar

Ninben's Dashi Bar

Fresh fish is grilled over a sumi charcoal pit at the casual izakaya Nihonbashi Kinoshige.

Paris Brest-Aimee

Paris Brest-Aimee

And perhaps one of the most talked about food item at COREDO Muromachi is the traditional Paris Brest-Aimee at Patisserie Aimee Vibert.

COREDO Muromachi

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-2-1

Nihonbashi Kiya, 1st floor, 03-3242-0010

Ninben, 1st floor, 03-3241-0968

Nihonbashi Kinoshige, 2nd floor, 03-3548-9917

Patisserie Aimee Vibert, 1st floor, 03-6225-2551 (Japanese – can click through to English but very limited information)

Okinawa Washita Shop in Ginza 沖縄わしたショップ

Okinawa Washita Shop

Okinawa Washita Shop

Okinawa Washita Antenna Shop 沖縄わしたショップ

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-3-9


10:00 – 19:00, no holidays (Japanese)

The Okinawa Washita Shop in Ginza may be one of the most unique antenna shops in the city due to the unique food and beverage culture of Okinawa. The cuisine of the southernmost islands of Japan is very different from what you will find in the rest of the country. This tropical islands are rich with sea vegetables, pork and the local shochu called awamori. The basement is filled with awamori is a distilled beverage made from Thai rice and has a unique funk to it that makes it the perfect partner for the Okinawan cuisine. Okinawa is also famous for the longevity of the Okinawans, which many attribute to the diet and awamori. The smoked skin from a pig’s face is sliced for a snack food. Fresh produce including the bitter goya, tropical fruits and a citrus shikuwasa juice, great for cocktails, shimadoufu (a very dense, rich tofu), and Okinawan tea (sanpincha). I also was so happy to find a Japanese grater called “shiri shiri ki” that is ideal for grating carrots for salads or spring rolls. We had one in our home growing up and used it often. I also like it for grating potatoes for hash browns. I haven’t seen it at any other shop in Japan, just here.

Shiri Shiri Ki

Shiri Shiri Ki

Ginza Takumi 銀座たくみ

Ginza Takumi

Ginza Takumi


Takumi たくみ

Chuo-ku, Ginza 8-4-2


11:00 – 19:00 (closed Sunday & holidays) (Japanese)

Pottery and other crafts are showcased in this two-story shop on the outskirts of Ginza. There is daily use pottery with reasonable prices starting at 1,000 JPY. The shop features a wide variety of pottery including Mashiko, Tanba, and Onta from the small village in Oita. The second floor has textiles including noren. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about their products.

Bunmeido in Ginza for Castella and Coffee 文明堂

Bunmeido Ginza Interior

Bunmeido Ginza Interior

Bunmeido 文明堂

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-7-10 中央区銀座5-7-10


11:00 – 21:00, no holidays (Japanese)

The original Bunmeido shop in Nagasaki and has been making castella cakes since 1900. On the main street, Ginza Dori, sits a large coffee shop with a two-story stained glass wall that look more appropriate for a church. Bunmeido is known for its castella cake and other Western-style sweets. This café also has a lunch menu with sandwiches or hayashi rice, rice with beef in a rich demi-glace sauce. The large windows overlooking the main street make this a great shop to rest your feet and do some people watching.

Cha Ginza 茶銀座

Cha Ginza Exterior

Cha Ginza Exterior

Cha Ginza Interior

Cha Ginza Interior

Cha Ginza 茶銀座

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-5-6


11:00 – 19:00 (closed most Mondays, check website) (Japanese) 

This cool, sleek modern building dedicated to tea in the heart of Ginza, this shop definitely draws the attention of passersby with its glass façade and long, narrow counter on the first floor. Uogashi Meicha has a shop in Tsukiji Market and this Ginza outpost is a great place to take a break from the shopping and to recharge with a healthy cup of green tea. The first floor is a minimalist retail shop with a long wooden counter where you can sample some tea. The 2nd floor is a café ideal for chatting with friends while the 3rd floor is a zen space better suited for introspection and meditation.

Yamagata Food Fair at Nihonbashi Takashimaya 第9回 やまがた展

Tama Konnyaku

Tama Konnyaku

Nihonbashi Takashimaya was my home for two years. I loved working in the depachika and one of my favorite part of the job was the special food fairs held on the 8th floor of the department store, not in the basement where we were most of the time. Starting this Wednesday through Monday, the 30th, the region that is being showcased is Yamagata. My mother is from here and a big part of our family still lives there. It is always a treat to go to Yamagata for the amazing food and sake.

Yamagata is known for having good rice and water, important for the excellent sake. There is usually a corner of jizake where you can try the sake before you purchase it. I am also addicted to these konnyaku balls in the photograph above.  A nice side dish for any meal or good as a snack with some sake. Look for Yonezawa wagyu, soba, pickles, and in particular any fruit or vegetables.

Nihonbashi Takashimaya

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-4-1

The last day the event closes at 6 p.m. Takashimaya is a short walk from Tokyo station or connected to the Nihonbashi subway station.

Ramen Trends for 2011

The food trends with ramen are interesting this year. Most of it is evident by the recent posts on popular and new shops in Tokyo. To wrap it all up, following are a list of five trends that Shokuraku magazine (February 2011) issue highlights below. I have included the name of some of the restaurants where you can find these ramen. If you do a search on this blog the restaurant information should come up as they have been mentioned in a prior posting.

1. Clear soup made from chicken or pork bones.  These are often cloudy or murky but these clear soups are rich in umami and flavor.  Shops serving this style ramen include: Ramenya 69’N’Roll One, Menya Itou, Baisen Shio Soba Dokoro Kinjitou, Hongare Chuka Soba Gyorai, Ramen Hajime, and Niboshi Iwashi Ramen En.

2. Niku soba. Ramen packed with lots of meat on top, usually cha shu. In the case of Ramenya 69’N’Roll One in Sagamihara, Iberico pork. Shops include New Old Style Niku Soba Keisuke, and Mensoken Kanade Kurenai.

3. A big contrast from trend number one, the clear soups, are dorokei, or thick soups, almost like mud. These are often made from pork or chicken. Shops include Muteppou Tokyo Nakano Ten.

4. Tsukemen, the noodles and soup are served in separate bowls. The noodles are then dipped into the soup, much like some soba dishes are served. With tsukemen the noodles are usually thick and the soup is often very rich in flavor. Shops include Chuka Soba Tomita.

5. This final trend is very interesting. It is that more and more izakaya (Japanese pubs) are serving better and better ramen. While izakaya have been selling ramen for a long time what has changed is their sourcing for materials. As restaurants throughout Japan have been suffering recently some ramen shops have begun selling their noodles and soup to izakaya so that good quality ramen can be sold at their restaurants.

One shop that looks interesting to have a good bowl of ramen at an izakaya is called Shin. It specializes in the local food  of Kumamoto prefecture from the southern island of Kyushu. This izakaya is all about shochu, the local distilled spirit. Kumamoto is known for its komejochu or rice-based shochu. It is light on the palate and very food-friendly. One good brand to look for is called Shiro, and I suggest having it mizuwari, mixed with water and on the rocks. The soup is made from horse bones instead of pork bones.

Shin しん

Shibuya-ku, Ebisu Minami 1-16-5, Tachimura Bldg. South B1


18:00 – 22:30, closed Sunday

I hope this information is of help to readers of this blog. I come across so much interesting information on Japanese food, most of it in Japanese, that I would like to help get the word out in English.

2011 Top Ten Best Ramen Restaurants in Tokyo 2/2

The February 2011 issue of Shokuraku magazine lists not only the top ten new ramen shops in Tokyo, but also their top ten ramen shops in the metropolis. As most of this information only appears in Japanese I hope by including it in this blog that more people can come to explore these popular ramen shops. This post includes numbers five to one.



5. Yakumo 八雲

Meguro-ku, Ohashi 1-7-2


11:30 – 15:30, 17:00 – 21:00 (or until supplies last)

closed Tuesday  (Japanese)

The wantan men is packed with juicy won ton dumplings. The soy sauce used is a shiro shoyu or white soy sauce.

Ramen Tenjinshita Daiki

Ramen Tenjinshita Daiki

3. (tied for third) Ramen Tenjinshita Daiki らーめん天神下大喜

Bunkyo-ku, Yushima 3-47-2 Shiroki Bldg. 1F


11:30 – 15:00, 17:30 – 22:00 (until 21:00 on Saturday)

11:30 – 15:00 on holidays

closed Sunday (Japanese) (Japanese)

The shio (salt) ramen is a clear yet rich broth.



3. (tied for third) Hototogisu 不如帰

Shibuya-ku, Hatagaya 2-47-12


call ahead for hours but basically 11:45 – 15:00, 18:00 – 21:30

Thursday 11:30 – 15:00 (or until supplies last)

closed Friday  (Japanese)

The shoyu (soy sauce) ramen’s broth is made with pork, seafood, and hamaguri (clams).

Chuka Soba Tomita

Chuka Soba Tomita

2. Chuka Soba Tomita 中華蕎麦 とみ田

Chiba-ken, Matsudo-shi, Matsudo 1339


11:00 – 16:30 (or until supplies last)

closed Wednesday (Japanese) (Japanese)

This shop is known for its tsukemen (noodles dipped in a broth). The hearty noodles are dipped in a rich, thick soup that is made from tonkotsu (pork bones) and seafood.

Ramenya 69’N’Roll One

Ramenya 69’N’Roll One

1. Ramenya 69’N’Roll One ラァメン家69’N’Roll One

Kanagawa-kun, Sagamihara-shi, Kami Tsuruma Honcho 4-34-7, Machida Green Heights 102

No phone

11:00 – 15:30 (or until supplies last)

open daily (call ahead to confirm) (Japanese)

The soy sauce used here is aged and the cha shu is made with Iberico pork. It is a bit out of the way if coming from Tokyo so do call ahead to confirm that they are open.

2011 Top Ten Best Ramen Restaurants in Tokyo 1/2


2012 Best New Ingredients Ramen in Tokyo

2011 Top Ten Best Ramen Restaurants in Tokyo 1/2

Ramen Kiraboshi

Ramen Kiraboshi

The February 2011 issue of Shokuraku magazine lists not only the top ten new ramen shops in Tokyo, but also their selection of top ten ramen shops in the metropolis. As most of this information only appears in Japanese I hope by including it in this blog that more people can come to explore these popular ramen shops. This post includes numbers ten to six.

10. Ramen Kiraboshi ラーメン きら星

Musashino-shi, Sakai Minamimachi 3-11-13


11:30 – 15:00, 17:30 – 21:00 (or when supplies run out)

closed Thursday (Japanese)

The broth here is “dorokei soup” or a rich and hearty tonkotsu (pork bones). The noodles are thick and curly.

Niboshi Iwashi Ramen En

Niboshi Iwashi Ramen En

9. Niboshi Iwashi Ramen En 煮干鰮らーめん 園

Hachioji-shi, Yokoyama-cho 21-21

No phone

11:00 – 13:30, 17:00 – about 19:30 (or until supplies last)

closed Wednesday (Japanese) (Japanese)

The broth is flavored with a lot of niboshi (dried sardines) for a seafood flavored stock. The egg based noodles are also popular for being very delicious.

Muteppou Tokyo Nakano Ten

Muteppou Tokyo Nakano Ten

8. Muteppou Tokyo Nakano Ten 無鉄砲 東京中野店

Nakano-ku, Egota 4-5-1


11:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 23:00 (or until supplies last)

closed Monday (Japanese) (Japanese)

This is the first shop in Tokyo for the popular brand from Kansai (Osaka area). Muteppou is known for its rich tonkotsu (pork bones) stock. This is also on the list for top 10 new ramen shops in Tokyo.

Menya Shichisai

Menya Shichisai

7. Menya Shichisai 麺や 七彩

Nakano-ku, Saginomiya 3-1-12


11:30 – 16:00

18:00 – 24:00

closed third Tuesday of every month (Japanese)

The shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is known for having a good balance, the noodles, the soup, and the toppings make for a perfect bowl of ramen.

Ramen Hajime

Ramen Hajime

6. Ramen Hajime らあめん~Hajime~ 元

Itabashi-ku, Sakashita 2-16-11


11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 21:00 (or until supplies last) Tuesday – Friday

11:30 – 14:30 (or until supplies last) weekend and holidays

closed Monday (Japanese)

Come here for the shio (salt) ramen. The soup is a blend of chicken and seafood.

For the top ten best ramen restaurants in Tokyo 2/2:


2012 Best New Ingredients Ramen


For the top ten new ramen shops for 2011: