Fukushima Antenna Shop Near Tokyo Station 福島アンテナショップ

Fukushima Antenna Shop

Fukushima Antenna Shop

Located just outside of Tokyo station on the Yaesu side is the Fukushima antenna shop. Here you will find local sake (jizake), tomato jam, and very unique pickled peaches.

Fukushima Antenna Shop

Chuo-ku, Yaesu 2-6-21

03-3275-0856

Miyagi Antenna Shop in Ikebukuro 宮城アンテナショップ

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

One way to show your support for Tohoku is to visit the antenna shops that showcase local products. Antenna shops are an excellent way to find food products and other goods from a specific region, mostly from a specific prefecture. Miyagi prefecture, one of the hardest hits from the earthquake and tsunami is known for its rich coastline that provides for seafood and other products from the sea. A popular omiyage (gift) to bring back from a visit to Miyagi is sasakamaboko. Sasakamaboko are light fish cakes in the shape of bamboo leaves (sasa). These make for a great snack with the local nihonshu.

Miyagi is famous for the following seafood: katsuo, sanma, hotate (scallops), hokkigai, kaki, and awabi (abalone).

One of my favorite sake breweries in Japan is Urakasumi from Miyagi. While working at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi Urakasumi’s Zen was my most recommended nihonshu to customers. You should be able to find some of Urakasumi’s nihonshu at the Miyagi antenna shop.

Other products to look out for include Sanriku wakame. The shop is currently selling wakame that was harvested before the triple disaster. A variety of sweets including many types of daifuku (stuffed rice mochi balls) are also available.

The eat-in counter features the local gyutan, or beef tongue. I prefer it grilled and served with white rice, or you can have it with curry.

Do stop by if you are in the area. It’s a large shop, over two floors. Also, you’ll find travel information

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

Toshima-ku, Higashi  Ikebukuro 1-2-2

03-5956-3511

http://cocomiyagi.jp/data/01English.pdf (website in English)

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 浅草の常磐堂

Tokiwadou Okoshi 常磐堂

Kaminari Okoshi Kaminarimon Honten

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-3-2 台東区浅草1-3-2

Phone: 03-3841-5656

www.tokiwado.com (Japanese)

This shop to the left of the main gate is a popular destination for visitors. Okoshi are the popular food gift that Asakusa is famous for. These colorful, pastel-colored, puffed rice crackers include flavors like peanuts, almond, nori, mattcha, brown sugar, and black bean cocoa. Tokwadou’s lineup includes a variety of crackers, sweets, and a unique collection of karintou crackers include flavors like Satsumaimo (sweet potato), wasabi, ninjin (carrots), tamanegi (onions), and pirikara gobo (spicy burdock root). There is a small production kitchen behind glass where you can watch the okoshi making process.

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya in Asakusa 浅草の和泉屋

Izumiya 和泉屋

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-1-4 台東区浅草1-1-4

Phone: 03-3841-5501

10:30 – 19:30 (closed Thursdays)

www.asakusa.gr.jp/nakama/izumiya/ (Japanese)

This quaint sembei shop presents the rice crackers in glass jars with tin lids. A wide variety of flavors include both sweet and savory like shiso, zarame (rock sugar), and a very spicy dried red pepper covered ookara. The very delicate and thin usuyaki, nori wrapped, and an unusual type, an extra hard genkotsu. There is also a shop in the Nakamise Dori, but this selection is much bigger.

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa 浅草の紀文堂総本店

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa

Kibundo Souhonten in Asakusa

Kibundo Souhonten 紀文堂総本店

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-2-2 台東区浅草1-2-2

Phone: 03-3841-4401

9:00 – 20:30, closed Wednesday

no website

This popular shop is on the main street just to the right of the Kaminarimon has a collection of kawara sembei (crispy, tile-shaped sweet crackers), uzura kasutera (small bite-size castella cakes), ningyoyaki, and a mix of crackers called okonomiyose.

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa 浅草の入山煎餅

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei in Asakusa

Iriyama Sembei 入山煎餅

Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-13-4 台東区浅草1-13-4

Phone: 03-3844-1376

10:00 – 18:00, closed Thursdays

www.prpub.jp/senbei/asakusa/iriyama.htm (Japanese)

Popular round sembei are toasted until a golden caramel color and then dipped into a soy sauce. Only one style is made, shoyu (soy sauce). Uruchimai (rice) cakes are dried for 3 days and then grilled for five minutes. Each day they grill 4,000, winter takes longer to grill. Often the men are in white t-shirts and thin, white cotton pants. “Yakitate” osembei have just been toasted and are hot and the best way to try them. Iriya have been toasting rice crackers since 1914.

Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁 2/2

Daiichi Bussan Kimchi

Daiichi Bussan Kimchi

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

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

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 at home including spices, reimen (cold noodles), sauces for yakiniku, kochujan, sesame oil, tea, nori, and more. Shops to look for include Marukin, Daiichi Monosan , and Koumen Foods. Some of the items, in particular, the Korean nori, is also sold in the Ameyoko market.

The variety of kimchi is impressive including hakusai (Napa cabbage), kakuteki (daikon), wakegi (negi or leeks), goma no ha (sesame leaves), aotogarashi (green chili peppers), and more.

There are several restaurants featuring yakiniku, bibimpa, chijimi, reimen, and other popular Korean dishes. Be sure to poke your head into the narrow side streets that have.

Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁 1/2

Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁

Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁

Kimichi Yokocho Map

Kimichi Yokocho Map

Kimchi Yokocho キムチ横丁

http://panda.starfleet.ac/~kaeru/kimuti/kimuti.html

On the other side of the tracks is an area called Kimchi Yokocho. In an area of a few blocks is a concentration of shops and restaurants specializing in Korean food. There is a much larger area filled with Korean supermarkets, restaurants, and shops near Shinjuku near the Shin-Okubo station on the Yamanote line.

Even though the map is in Japanese, it will give you an idea of the number of shops in Kimchi Yokocho and where they are located.

Yoshiike in Ameyoko アメ横の吉池

Yoshiike 吉池

Yoshiike 吉池

Yoshiike 吉池

Taito-ku, Ueno 3-27-12 台東区上野3-27-12

Tel. 03-3831-0141

9:30 – 24:00, no holidays

www.yoshiike-group.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Since 1920, Yoshiike has been a prominent shop in this area of Ueno. This large store has a supermarket in the basement, a large seafood department, and fresh produce. The second floor is a liquor shop, with wine, sake, shochu, and spirits as well as ochoko (sake cups), tokkuri (sake vases).

It is the seafood department that makes this shop worth visiting. The fresh seafood area is impressive with a colorful array of fish, crabs, shellfish and other seafood. But that is just a tiny part of this expansive floor. There is marinated fish, himono (butterflied, salted, and dried fish for grilling), dried fish, smoked salmon, mentaiko, and much more. The kakkohin (processed seafood) is a big part of the seafood culture in Japan and there is a wide variety of products including Satsuma-age (deep-fried fish cakes), kamaboko (steamed fish cakes), canned seafood, and more. Outside of the shop there is space for rotating vendors, often grilled fish.

In the middle of the floor there is a refrigerated case with reasonably priced sashimi platters, ready to go for an impromptu picnic in Ueno Koen (Ueno Park). There are small vendors specializing in unagi and fugu.

Pick up a sashimi platter, some grilled fish, fresh fruit, and then head up to the second floor for some chilled sake and you are set for a picnic in Ueno Park.

Niki no Kashi in Ameyoko アメ横の二木の菓子

Niki no Kashi

Niki no Kashi

Niki no Kashi 二木の菓子

Taito-ku, Ueno 4-6-1

Tel. 03-3833-4051

9:30 – 19:30, no holidays

www.nikinokashi.co.jp (Japanese)

Niki no Kashi maybe one of Ameyoko’s most famous vendors. In business since 1947, Niki no Kashi is a large discount shop for sweets and candies. Part of the attraction is the unusually large selection of dagashi. Dagashi are affordable snacks and sweets, popularized in the Showa period. There are a few shops around the city that still sell dagashi, often each piece selling for about 10 yen each. You often hear fellow shoppers in the dagashi section saying things like “natuskashii”, meaning that this reminds them of the old days.

Part of their selection includes European chocolates, Japanese chocolates, sembei, wagashi, snacks, karintou, and mamegashi (bean sweets). There are chips and snacks, both Japanese and imported, as well as packaged foods including pickles, curries, and spices.