Shibuya D47

D47 Tokushima

D47 Tokushima Sōmen

D47, on top of the Shibuya Hikarie building, is a restaurant the specializes in regional dishes from throughout Japan. The menu changes monthly and is a great chance to try kyōdo ryōri, hyper-regional cuisine, in Tokyo.

The above dish is sōmen from Tokushima. These summer noodles are normally very thin and served cold. These are much thicker than usual and bringing a richer texture and flavor to what is usually a light meal.

D47 Nagano

D47 Nagano Rōman

This second plate was from back in March while Tokyo was still waiting to warm up. I ordered this as I have a soft spot in my heart for paté and cured meats from Nagano. The main dish, Rōman, is a stir-fry of vegetables and meat, in this case, duck.

The wine list at D47 features Japanese wines by-the-glass including some of my favorites, Yamanashi Grace Winery Koshu and Tochigi Coco Farm Awa Coco. Diners can do a flight of Japanese wine as well. There is also a rich selection of Japanese tea.

The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows that overlook Shibuya station. It’s a popular restaurant, so time your visit accordingly. And, leave extra time in your schedule to visit their sister exhibit and shop on the same floor.

D47 is part of the d-department business that includes publishing, retail, and restaurants that showcase and keep alive regional cuisine and products. Near the restaurant is a D47 Museum and a D47 retail shop. The shop includes tableware, kitchenware, and food products sourced from artisanal

郷土料理 kyōdo ryōri – regional cuisine

徳島素麺 Tokushima sōmen

長野ローマン Nagano Rōman

食堂 shokudō – dining hall

D47 Shokudō

Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 2-21-8, Hikarie Bldg. 8F 渋谷区渋谷2-21-8, ヒカリエ8F

http://www.d-department.com/jp/shop/d47

World’s Greatest Wine Festival

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My dear friend Yamada-san

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed my life. I had worked as a cellar rat at Windows on the World. A friend of mine, who also started out with me working in the wine cellar, had just been promoted at WOW. We had a wine class together on September 10th at WOW. He had said that some of our friends, who also worked at WOW, were out of town that week for a wedding. Steve told me that he was placing orders for wine and was now working the day shift. He had come to wine late in life but seemed to have found his niche.

But the next morning everything changed. I was downtown NYC in Soho and knew immediately that Steve was in the towers. I knew the drill for what to do if there was an emergency or a terrorist attack. Because we had training before we could start working. It was a known fact that the WTC was a target for future attacks.

The first days and weeks after the Twin Towers fell down are all a blur. But eventually I decided that the only thing that mattered for me was my family and friends. Most of my family is in Japan and I have a lot of friends in Japan as well. A day and a year later, on September 12, 2002, I moved back to Japan to start a new chapter in my life. I landed in a beautiful place called Coco Farm and Winery in Ashikaga, Tochigi. A small city an hour and a bit north of Tokyo. I could live and work at the winery for three months. It was a magical time in my life, and well needed after 9/11. Each year there is a Harvest Festival, the third weekend in November.

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The winery is staffed with developmentally disabled individuals who live on the grounds. It is their pure hearts that makes this a special place for everyone who comes to visit. On the weekend of the Harvest Festival some of them dress up for the day. Can you see the angel wings?

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They take turns wearing a large wine bottle costume.

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While others dress up as clowns. Live music is performed and many of the students dance freely around the grounds.

There are many food stations and everyone coming in gets a bottle of wine, or if you prefer, a bottle of grape juice. Visitors bring along a picnic blanket and sit on the steep hills of the vineyard.

The 2013 Harvest Festival is November 16 and 17. Entrance is 3,000 JPY. If you are coming from Tokyo, take the train to Ashikaga, Tochigi. But be warned, the lines for the shuttle bus from Ashikaga station to the winery can be very long. Taxi lines also long. So, go early!

If you can’t make it this weekend, then think about coming on another day. The winery is open all-year long with a short holiday over New Year’s. There is a café and a tasting room. My favorite wines here include a Kerner and the Coco Rose. The winery makes everything from sparkling to a dessert wine. They have a big portfolio of wines to choose from.

I still remember fondly my time there. I didn’t know if the students were familiar with what happened outside of the winery, or even outside of Japan. I was talking with one of the students and when I told him I had come from New York City, he asked abpit 9/11 right away and expressed his sympathy for New Yorkers. It is the big hearts and sincerity of these students that I hope you can see if you visit. If you go, tell them that Yukari sent you.

CNN did a lovely video on the students at the winery.

The 2013 Harvest Festival is November 16 and 17. Entrance is 3,000 JPY.

Coco Farm and Winery

Tochigi-ken, Ashikaga-shi, Tajima 611

Phone: 0284-42-1194

Antenna Shops in Nihonbashi

Antenna Shops in Nihonbashi

In a recent survey of Tokyoites the main reason why they go to antenna shops is to pick up regional food products. The next popular answer was that it was interesting to explore antenna shops followed by picking up brochures for future trips to that prefecture. The other big answer was that people were longing for foods and products from their hometown so came to antenna shops to pick these up. Click on the name of the shop for each shop’s website (most likely in Japanese).

Nihonbashi Niigata Kan NICO Plaza #2Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-6-5,

Jizake, seafood, and rice are some of the highlights of this antenna shop.

Taisha Tokyo Bldg. 1-2F

03-6214-1612

hours vary

Fukushima Yaesu Kanko Koryu Kan

Fresh fruits, rice, jizake, and sweets.

Chuo-ku, Yaesu 2-6-21, Santoku Yaesu Bldg.

03-3275-0855

10:00 – 19:00

Kyoto Kan

Minutes from Tokyo station’s Yaesu exit, the wagashi at this shop are gorgeous and exquisite.

Chuo-ku, Yaesu 2-1-1, Yanma Tokyo Bldg.

10:30 – 19:00 (closed last Wednesday of each month from March to September)

03-5204-2260

Yamanashi Kan

Yamanashi is known for its fruit and for its wine. There is an unusually large selection of over 100 Yamanashi wine at this shop. I suggest koshu, a white grape that is light, fruity, and easy to pair with most Japanese food.

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-3-4, Nihonbashi Plaza 1F

10:00 – 19:00 (website says hours may open at 11:00 a.m. to conserve electricity)

03-3241-3776

Oidemase Yamaguchi Kan

My favorite item at this shop is the Hagi-yaki, pottery from Hagi, in pastel colors. I have picked up several teacups here for myself and as gifts. The glaze has fine cracks in it that over time become dark. It is as though the ceramic is alive and aging. This is in the same building as the Yamanashi shop so be sure to stop by both. Nihonbashi Takashimaya is also just down the street from here.

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-3-4, Nihonbashi Plaza 1F

10:30 – 19:00

03-3231-1863

 

Nihonbashi Shimane Kan

Shimane prefecture’s antenna shop is located across the street from Mitsukoshi department store. Next door there is also a restaurant, Mondo, that features the local jizake and food of Shimane. Lunch set menus are donburi topped with seafood and cost about 1,000 JPY. The antenna shop posts its most popular selling items, all seafood. Most of it is himono, or fish that is butterflied and air-dried, perfect for grilling and serving with some sake. This month’s top sellers include nodoguro (blackthroat), aji (horse mackerel), and karei (flounder).

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-5-3

10:30 – 19:00

 

A list of antenna shops in the Ginza area.