Shigemori Eishindou in Ningyocho 人形町の重盛永信堂

Shigemori Eishindou in Ningyocho 人形町の重盛永信堂

Shigemori Eishindou in Ningyocho 人形町の重盛永信堂

Shigemori Eishindou 重盛永信堂

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-1-1 中央区日本橋人形町2-1-1

Tel. 03-3666-5885

9:00 – 20:00 (Saturday and holidays until 17:30)

closed Sundays

Commanding the corner with its large display of stuffed cakes and sweet crackers is Shigemori Eishindou. It opened in 1917 as a shop selling ningyoyaki of shichifukujin (the seven lucky gods). The azuki paste in the ningyoyaki cakes are rich, sweet and the cake is chewy.  If you look behind the counter you can see the work space in back is where the ningyoyaki are made.

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Ningyocho Imahan 人形町今半

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-9-12 中央区日本橋人形町2-9-12

Tel. 03-3666-7006

11:00 – 22:00, no holidays

www.imahan.com/e-guide/ningyocho_shop.html (English)

Ningyocho Imahan is a branch of the Asakusa shop that opened in 1952. Imahan is synonymous with sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, and grilled wagyu steak. The large two-story red building with black tile roof sits on the corner. The entrance to the restaurant is to the right behind the blue noren and the retail shop is to the left. The retail shop has cuts of wagyu beef cut for sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, yakiniku, and steak.

Tamahide in Ningyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide 玉ひで

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 1-17-10 中央区日本橋人形町1-17-10

Tel. 03-3668-7651

11:30 – 13:00, 17:00 – 22:00, Saturday 16:00 – 21:00

closed Sunday and holidays

www.tamahide.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Tamahide will be easy to find as there is a perpetual line out the front door. The large white building looks like a castle with the large stones surrounding its base. Opened in 1760, this fifth generation shop is synonymous with a dish called oyakodon. Literally, mother and child, this dish is made from chicken cooked in a sweet soy broth with eggs added at the last minute until they just start to set. This is poured over a bowl of rice and eaten with a lacquer spoon. If you want to upgrade the dish ask for the duck and to downgrade ask for ground chicken. Seating is communal at low horigotatsu tables, with a hole under the table to put your feet into. For a real treat come in the evening for a full chicken sukiyaki course.

Uokyu in Ningyocho 人形町の魚久

Uokyu in Ningyocho 人形町の魚久

Uokyu in Ningyocho 人形町の魚久

Uokyu 魚久

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-4-3 中央区日本橋人形町2-4-3

Tel. 03-3666-0048

Monday – Friday 10:00 – 20:00

Saturday 10:00 – 19:00

Sunday and holidays 10:00 – 18:00

www.uokyu.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Uokyu is famous for its seafood marinated in sake kasu (sake lees). This process is not seen too much outside of Japan, unlike the miso marinated seafood, which Nobu popularized at his restaurant. The miso marinated grilled seafood tends to be a bit sweeter while the sake kasu is very aromatic. If you want to try this, their sister shop is off the main road, but serves lunch from 11:00 – 13:30 at Ningyocho 1-1-20, phone 03-5695-4121.

Hiyama in Ningyocho for Wagyu 人形町の日山

Hiyama in Ningyocho for Wagyu 人形町の日山

Hiyama in Ningyocho for Wagyu 人形町の日山

Hiyama in Ningyocho for Wagyu 人形町の日山

Hiyama in Ningyocho for Wagyu 人形町の日山

Hiyama is renowned for its wagyu for sukiyaki, shabu shabu, or for steaks. Next door to the restaurant is a retail shop selling the gorgeously marbled Japanese beef. Pricey, but worth having once in your life.

Hiyama 日山

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-5-1 中央区日本橋人形町2-5-1

Tel. 03-3666-5257

Monday – Saturday, 11:30 – 14:00, 17:00 – 21:00; closed Sundays and holidays

http://www.hiyama-nihonbashi.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Kintame in Ningyocho 人形町の近為

Kintame in Ningyocho 人形町の近為

Kintame in Ningyocho 人形町の近為

Kintame in Ningyocho 人形町の近為

Kintame in Ningyocho 人形町の近為

If you are really passionate for pickles, a meal at Kintame (from Kyoto) is not to be missed. Ask for the bubuchazuke, an array of pickles along with a grilled fish that has been marinated in miso or sake kasu. The most convenient location is at Daimaru’s Restaurant Floor at Tokyo station. The other shop, in Monzennakacho, is on a small side street that leads up to the Fukagawa Fudosan temple and has a nostalgic feel to it. This shitamachi neighborhood is a great area to walk around and is off the tourists’ beaten path. The Monzennakacho location is extremely popular on weekends and there can be a long line. There is also a retail shop a few doors down if you want to bring home any of the pickles you liked.

This shop in Ningyocho is a retail shop only – but well worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood. Below is the address for the quaint restaurant in Monzennakacho (Koto-ku, Tomioka 1-14-3).

Kintame 近為

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-5-2 中央区日本橋人形町2-5-2

Tel. 03-3639-9439

no holidays

Kintame 近為

Koto-ku, Tomioka 1-14-3 江東区富岡1-14-3

Tel. 03-3641-4561

11:00 – 17:00, closed Monday

www.kintame.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Take exit #1 on the Tozai line at Monzennakacho that exits onto the street leading up to the temple. Kintame is on your left just before the temple.

Kizushi in Ningyocho 人形町の㐂寿司

Kizushi in Ningyocho 人形町の㐂寿司

Kizushi in Ningyocho 人形町の㐂寿司

Kizushi 㐂寿司

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-7-13 中央区日本橋人形町2-7-13

Tel. 03-3666-1682

11:45 – 14:30, 17:00 – 21:30 (Monday – Friday)

11:45 – 21:00 (Saturday)

closed Sunday and holidays no website

Opened in 1924, this third generation sushi shop feels as though time as stopped. The third generation owner works with his sons, fourth generation, behind the counter. This is classic style sushi that is served not onto a plate but onto a narrow counter in between the chef and the diner. If the sushi needs to be seasoned the chef will puts some tsume on it. You should eat your sushi with your fingers, which is why you are presented a small wet napkin in a small basket. The seafood is displayed in small refrigerated cases on straw trays, some which still may be moving. Dinner can be on the pricy side so come for lunch if you are on a budget. While some of these old style sushi shops have the reputation for not being friendly, you will be warmly greeted and looked after here.

Nipponia magazine has an excellent write-up of Kizushi online at:

http://web-japan.org/nipponia/nipponia47/en/feature/feature01.html

Shotengai Shopping Arcades – Walking Food Tours of Tokyo

Shotengai

Shotengai

I love the shotengai, Japanese shopping arcades. Filled with ma and pa shops selling tofu, fresh produce, rice, pickles, miso, and other basics of the Japanese pantry. This article recently appeared in Metropolis magazine and features five of my favorite shotengai in Tokyo.

http://metropolis.co.jp/dining/local-flavors/street-eats/ (text follows)

While the one-stop food shopping at Tokyo’s depachika is an amazing experience, the gourmet eats come with a high price tag. At the other end of the spectrum are the places where most Japanese do their daily shopping: neighborhood shopping streets known as shotengai, where you’ll find mom and pop shops selling vegetables, fish, meat, rice and even handmade tofu. The Tokyo Shotengai website (http://meturl.com/shotengai) lists over 550 of these shopping streets; here are some of our favorites.

KAGURAZAKA 神楽坂

This foodie neighborhood is filled with many fantastic shops along the main drag. Try 50-ban (3-2 Kagurazaka) for its steamed buns, Kintokiya (2-10 Kagurazaka) for wagashi made from sweet potatoes, and the gorgeous Rakuzan (4-3 Kagurazaka) for tea. Isuzu (5-34 Kagurazaka) offers a variety of Japanese-style sweets and, if you walk along the street far enough, Baikatei (6-15 Kagurazaka) has fantastic handmade wagashi. Nearest station: Iidabashi

NIPPORI 日暮里

Just outside of Nippori station lies the Yanaka shotengai—very typical of what you would imagine an old-style shopping street to be like. Two of the area’s meat shops are famous for their menchikatsuNiku no Sato (3-13-2 Yanaka) and Niku no Suzuki (3-15-5 Nishi-Nippori). Goto no Ame (3-15-1 Nishi-Nippori) has a colorful selection of candies. There are many options, including deep-fried tofu balls known as ganmodoki, at Musashiya (3-9-15 Yanaka), oyatsu-pan (snack breads) at Atomu Bakery (3-11-14 Yanaka), and skewered and grilled seafood at Fukushima Shoten (3-13-4 Yanaka). Note that a lot of the shops are closed on Mondays.Nearest stn: Nippori. www.yanakaginza.com

NINGYOCHO 人形町

The historic Ningyocho district is always a delight to visit. While you’ll find many shops selling the local specialty, ningyoyaki (small cakes filled with azuki bean paste), there are many other interesting stores. On the famous Amazake Yokocho shotengai is Futaba Tofu (2-4-9 Ningyocho), with a variety of tofu products and also the sweet, creamy drink for which this street is named. Hojicha tea is the specialty of Morinoen (2-4-9 Ningyocho), while the long line outside the tiny Yanagiya (2-11-3 Ningyocho) is a testament to the popularity of its taiyaki sweet-bean cakes—considered one of the three best varieties in the city. Ningyocho’s most famous restaurant may well be Tamahide (1-17-10 Ningyocho), renowned for its oyako-don rice bowls. Nearest stn: Ningyocho.

KICHIJOJI 吉祥寺

Just north of Kichijoji station is Sun Road, a covered shotengai filled with many small shops. Among the several worth exploring are traditional German bakery Linde (1-11-27 Kichijoji-Honcho) and Meat Shop Sato (1-1-8 Kichijoji-Honcho), which is famous for its menchikatsu and wagyu and which also has a popular restaurant on the second floor, usually with a long line. Okashi no Machioka (1-15-1 Kichijoji-Honcho) will have your eyes spinning with all of the different types of candies, sweets and snacks. In the evening, the Harmonica Yokocho strip is filled with small restaurants that are perfect for a drink and some nibbles. Tecchan is a popular yakitori spot—if you can squeeze in (1-1-2 Kichijoji-Honcho). Nearest stn: Kichijoji.

AZABU-JUBAN 麻布十番

This popular foodie street in the heart of the city is easy to navigate. The renowned Mamegen (1-8-12 Azabu-Juban) tempts customers with over 90 varieties of flavored rice crackers, including uni, wasabi and curry, but it’s the shio-okaki (deep-fried and salted) that are irresistible. The taiyaki at the extremely popular Naniwaya Sohonten (1-8-14 Azabu-Juban) are made by the shop’s fourth-generation owners. Hasegawa Saketen (2-2-7 Azabu-Juban) has well-selected sake, shochu and umeshu. If you’re craving meat, the yakitori at Abe-chan (2-1-1 Azabu-Juban) will hit the spot. Alternatively, slurp up some soba noodles at Nagasaka Sarashina (1-8-7 Azabu Juban), notably the delicate, white sarashina noodles. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban.