Sakura Mochi

This time of year we are starting to see the early blossoming sakura cherry blossoms. The wagashi confectionary shops are starting to offer sakura mochi. There are many variations. Ginza Akebono’s sakura mochi is a sweet azuki red bean paste surrounded by a thin cherry colored pancake wrapped in an edible salted cherry tree leaf…

Amanoya Tamago Sando

Aiste Miseviciute of Luxeat introduced me to Amanoya tamago sando in Azabu Jūban. I visited the shop with her and she placed orders for their saké cake to bring back home as omiyage gifts. https://www.luxeat.com/ The egg sandwich is not the Tokyo style of boiled eggs with mayonnaise but the Kansai style of dashimaki tamago,…

Tsukiji Hoshino Coffee

My go-to Tsukiji coffee shop is Turret Coffee. Recently had a client who drinks tea so went instead to Hoshino Coffee. The morning service options includes coffee with a ham and cheese #toast for ¥730 ($5.40). The kissaten overlooks the main Tsukiji intersection. https://www.hoshinocoffee.com Tsukiji 4-7-5 Hoshino Coffee is located next to the Tokyo Sushi…

Ginza Vomero Pizza

The lunch set at Ginza Vomero is a selection of pastas and pizzas, appetizer plate, and coffee. A great value at ¥1430 ($10.50). Vomero is located behind the Kabukiza theater. It is between Tsukiji and the main Ginza shopping street. Vomero is a popular restaurant so avoid the main noon dining time. Several vegetarian options….

Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki

Okonomiyaki is the savory pancake that Osaka is famous for. The Tokyo version is called monjayaki and it’s the style I prefer. Not as much flour in the batter so parts of it are crispier. Konaya is a chain of restaurants where most diners do an all-you-can-eat plan. On weekends 1880 for 90 minutes ($14)….

Taiwan Dumplings in Kichijōji

Taiwanese food is trendy in Japan. In Kichijōji is an addictive roasted dumpling filled with beef and pepper (I think it was beef) at Roryu Koshi Mochi. The meat is highly seasoned with spices and pepper. The leeks are sweet and I think the dough was a little sweet. The dumplings are cooked like Indian…

Shinbashi Oniyanma Udon

Bowl of cold handmade udon noodles topped with tempura of chicken and chikuwa grilled fish cake at Shinbashi Oniyanma. Oniyanma is from Shikoku known for udon noodles. We’re lucky to have this in Tokyo. This casual tachigui stand-and-eat shop is near Shinbashi station. There is a vending machine in front of the shop. This is…

Odamusubi Breakfast in Shinjuku Station

新宿駅のおにぎりモーニング。 Onigiri breakfast at Shinjuku station. Odamusubi is part of Odakyu department store. Diners have a selection of onigiri filled with tart umeboshi, pickled takana greens, spicy mentaiko cod roe, and more. The breakfast is rounded out with three small dishes and miso soup. I love that some of the onigiri is made with rice…

Nihonbashi Takashimaya Katsukichi Fried Oysters

My favorite fried oysters, kaki furai, in Tokyo is at Katsukichi. Katsukichi puts a few oysters in each fried oyster (at least two, maybe three or even four). A bit unwieldy at first, as I am used to eating much smaller ones, but it’s so delicious. I also love Katsukichi because diners can select white…

Kokubunji Tonki Tonkatsu

Tonki is a famous tonkatsu shop in Meguro, which dates back to 1961. It has a sister shop in Kokubunji, on the Chūō line, about 20 minutes west of Shinjuku. There was a line in front of the shop when we arrived, but not nearly as long as the lines I have experienced at the…

Shibuya Woodbury Coffee

Avocado toast at Woodbury Coffee located between Shibuya and Ebisu stations. Excellent espresso. Diners choose between a light or dark roast. Busy produce shop nearby. Branches in Daikanyama, Yoga, Gakugei Daigaku, and Ogikubo. My friend tells me the salads are delicious. Grateful to my friends for putting this on my radar. They love it so…

Avocado Udon at a Produce Shop

The avocado 🥑 udon 🍜 at Higashi-Ginza Daitsune. Daitsune is a produce shop, so expectations are high for good quality vegetables at this noodle shop on a quiet back street in Higashi-Ginza. Popular with local office workers it can get busy. There is a table out in front of the shop (or there was when…

Onsen Spas, Books, and Chilling Out

Some weekends we spend half a day chilling out at onsen hot springs. It’s relaxing to soak in the warm waters, especially rotenburo outdoor hot springs with the cold breeze in the air. There are several types of hot springs to try. Ryusenji no Yu is a chain of hot springs centers. It’s like a…

Tsukiji Gyūdon at Kitsuneya

Kitsuneya at #Tsukiji Market is famous for offal (horumon in Japanese). The sliver of a shop also has a delicious #gyūdon, #beef #donburi #rice bowl. Napa cabbage #tsukemono pickles rounds out the meal. The leaves are squeezed into a tight bundle. Sprinkle with shichimi seven spice. Peel away the cabbage in layers. Kitsuneya is super…

Tokyo Station Aroma Kissaten

Aroma is a kissaten in the underground Yaechika mall at Tokyo Station. It is on the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station. Yae short for Yaesu and chika for basement. Aroma’s morning set is a bargain 600 yen ($4.50). Coffee, boiled egg, thick cut toast, butter, jam, and azuki sweet red bean paste. The siphon coffee…

Saito’s Coffee Kissaten

Saito’s Coffee has been in business since 1948 (Showa 23). On a quiet back street between Kanda Station and Mitsukoshi department store. Before work the kissaten coffee shop was quiet. Most of the customers walked in for a cup of hand drip coffee for a bargain 250 yen ($1.90). To sit down inside away from…

Salmon and Ikura Rice at Tsukiji

Delicious start to the day at Tsukiji Tadokoro Shokuhin, a fish roe specialty shop. The eat-in counter has rice and pasta dishes with ikura (salmon roe), tarako and mentaiko (both from pollack roe). There is also onigiri or omusubi rice balls stuffed with roe for take-away. This is rice sauteed in butter and soy sauce…

Le Pain Quotidien Roppongi

When I lived in Brussels my local bakery was Le Pain Quotidien. I loved sitting at the wooden communal table sharing jars of jam and nutella with the other diners. The ham and Gruyere cheese omelette with a side salad and bread is a nice start to the day. The bakery has three jams and…

Kaitenzushi Haneda Ichiba at Tokyo Station

Haneda Ichiba is a kaitenzushi conveyor belt sushi inside of Tokyo Station. The company sends seafood directly from the fisherman to their restaurants. Fresh seafood at a better price as the product does not go through Toyosu Market. It’s a fun shop. Perfect on this day as I was with my kid. https://hanedaichiba.com

Fried Chicken in Matsumoto

Fried chicken at Shizuka near Matsumoto Castle. Sanzokuyaki 山賊焼 fried chicken is a local specialty in Matsumoto, Nagano. I love fried chicken and this one was crispy and juicy. Shizuka is an izakaya traditional Japanese pub. In the evening nihonshu flows and there is a long list of saké-friendly small bites like basashi horse sashimi,…