A reader of Food Sake Tokyo recently contacted me regarding her upcoming trip to Tokyo. She asked if there were certain foods she should try in the summer in Japan. Here is my list of favorite Japanese food during the steamy months of July and August. If you can only have one dish, then make it the chilled ramen noodles at Sapporo-ya #4. There’s a photo of it in my book, Food Sake Tokyo. Click on the links for restaurant information.
1. Kakigori – shaved ice with toppings. Click for my favorite restaurants.
2. Cold Soba is great all-year long, but especially in summer.
3. Cold Udon is becoming popular, and is much more filling than soba.
4. Hiyashi Chuka Gomadare at Sapporo-ya in Nihonbashi. Chilled ramen noodles in a large bowl with vegetable toppings and an umami-rich sesame dressing. Lip-smacking good. Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 3-3-5, Basement 1. 03-3275-0024. Monday – Friday 11:00 – 21:30, Saturday 11:00 – 16:00. Closed Sunday and holidays.
Also, check out Ivan Ramen‘s websites. He often makes seasonal ramen, suited for each season.
5. Reimen – chilled Korean noodles. Most Korean restaurants will serve this dish. I like Pyon Pyon Sha in Ginza. Chuo-ku, Ginza 3-2-15, Ginza Glasse 11F . 03-3535-3020. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun & hols 11am-10pm
6. Kintame for a full meal based around a variety of Japanese pickles.
7. While the most convenient beer gardens are found on department store roofs, my favorite is Meiji Kinen Kan in Akasaka for its pedicured lawn, quiet space, and lack of drunk salarymen.