Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁 2/2

Marukin まるきん Taito-ku, Higashi Ueno 2-19-1 台東区東上野2-19-1 Tel. 03-3832-4549 http://www.kimchi-marukin.com/ (Japanese) Daiichi Bussan 第一物産 Taito-ku, Higashi Ueno 2-15-5 台東区東上野2-15-5 Tel. 03-3831-1323 http://www.d1b.jp/ (Japanese) Konan Foods コーナンフーズ Taito-ku, Higashi Ueno 2-15-5 台東区東上野2-15-5 Tel. 03-3831-2017 no website The handful of shops here specialize in handmade kimchi, meats for cooking at home, and ingredients for cooking Korean food…

Cheap Eats in Ginza – 2/2

The slightly spicy curry served at this nostalgic mom-and-pop shop has long been a neighborhood favorite. The small wooden building looks out of place among Ginza’s designer boutiques and department stores, and the cooking is simple as well: one curry served in four sizes, each named after a station on the Keihin-Tohoku line. The handwritten…

Cheap Eats in Ginza – 1/2

This article first appeared in Metropolis magazine on May 13, 2010. Some of my favorite cheap eats in Ginza. With shops like Forever 21 and H&M recently opening on Ginza’s main drag, the neighborhood is beginning to shed its reputation as a jet-setter’s playground. Yet budget-conscious diners have long known that the area is home…

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 http://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…

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 http://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…

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…

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…

Kinozen in Kagurazaka 神楽坂の紀の善

Kinozen 紀の善 Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 1-12 新宿区神楽坂1-12 Tel. 03-3269-2920 11:00 – 21:00, Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 18:00, Sunday & holidays Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month no website   Kinozen is one of the cities popular kanmidokoro. Located just next door to Fujiya, Kinozen too often has a line out the front door. Their…

Tokyo Bargain Dining – Katsukura Tonkatsu in Shinjuku 新宿のかつくら

In Shinjuku Times Square Building are several restaurant floors. Katsukura for tonkatsu on the 14th floor. Not every tonkatsu restaurant serves the tonkatsu with a mortar and pestle and toasted sesame seeds. Grind the seeds, releasing the aroma of the sesame seeds, and add tonkatsu sauce and then dress your tonkatsu. And the pork, breaded…

Shinjuku Hormone for Offal Cuisine

Shinjuku Hormone 新宿ホルモン Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-12-3 新宿区新宿3-12-3 Tel. 03-3353-4129 Hours: 17:00 – 24:00, no holidays http://www.ishii-world.jp/brand/motsu/shinjuku-horumon/shinjukuhoru/ (Japanese) Shinjuku Horumon and Saiseisakaba are part of a chain of restaurants managed by Ishii Group. They are the specialists in naizo, evident by the top quality products they serve, their knowledgeable staff and the wide variety of items…

Saiseisakaba for Offal Ryori 再生酒場新宿三丁目

Saiseisakaba 再生酒場 Shinjuku 3-7-3, Marunaka Building 1st floor 新宿区新宿3−7−3 Tel. 03-3354-4829 17:00 – 24:00, no holidays http://www.ishii-world.jp/brand/motsu/nihonsaisei/shinjuku3/ (Japanese) On the back streets of Shinjuku Sanchome is this friendly tachinomi (standing bar). Designed with Showa era items so it feels like stepping back in time. The shop features grilled innards but you can have some items…

Kaiseki at Tsukiji Tamura つきぢ田村

Tsukiji Tamura つきぢ田村 Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 2-12-11 中央区築地2-12-11 Tel. 03-3541-2591 11:30 – 15:00, 17:00 – 22:00, Monday – Friday 11:30 – 22:00, weekend and holidays http://www.tsukiji-tamura.com A few blocks away from the market, Tsukiji Tamura is a top destination for kaiseki cuisine by third generation chef Takashi Tamura. His father, Teruaki Takashi has penned a book…

Tokyo Cheap Eats – Kanda Yabu Soba

UPDATE: Kanda Yabu Soba caught on fire on February 19, 2013. 40 customers and employees were in the restaurant during dinner service when the fire was noticed. Everyone was safely evacuated. A spokesperson for Kanda Yabu Soba has said on NHK news the following day that the restaurant hopes to reopen in six months. If…

Travel – Gero Onsen’s Shimura 下呂温泉の志むら

One of my favorite places in all of Japan is Gero Onsen in Gifu prefecture, in the heart of the Japanese Alps. I first came to know Gero Onsen through a friend, Leif Hagen, who was an English teacher there. Leif introduced me to Hiroko Sensei who is pictured here. On our honeymoon Shinji and…

Tokyo Cheap Eats – Tsukiji Market’s Yoshinoya

Yoshinoya is a popular fast-food chain famous for its gyudon, thin slices of beef cooked with onions and a sweet soy sauce are ladled over a bowl of rice. A branch of Yoshinoya is in New York City on 42nd Street. The first shop in the chain dates back to 1899 and was located near…