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Sake

Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. Sake is sometimes called “rice wine” but the brewing process is more akin to beer, converting starch to sugar for the fermentation process, by using Aspergillus oryzae.

 

Sake is sometimes referred to in English-speaking countries as rice wine. However, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes and other fruits, sake is produced by means of a brewing process more like that of beer. To make beer or sake, the sugar needed to produce alcohol must first be converted from starch.

The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, in that for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps. But when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake, wine, and beer. Wine generally contains 9%–16% ABV, while most beer contains 3%–9%, and undiluted sake contains 18%–20% (although this is often lowered to about 15% by diluting with water prior to bottling).

Sake

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Source: Wikipedia

Image: Creative Commons

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Kobe beef restaurants in Tokyo

Here are the list of restaurants highly reviewed by local Japanese where you can eat great Kobe beef in Tokyo.










- Teppanyaki Sazanka (Style: Teppanyaki)
http://www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/restaurant/list/sazanka/recommend/

- Yakiniku Kunimoto (Style: Yakiniku)
http://www.8929kunimotoshinkan.com/

- Ningyocho Imahan (Style: Sukiyaki)
http://www.imahan.com/

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Kobe Beef

Kobe beef refers to cuts of beef from the black Tajima-ushi strain of Wagyū cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy, renowned for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, teppanyaki. and more.

Kobe beef is also called Kobe niku, Kobe-gyu or Kobe-ushi in Japanese.

Kobe beef in Japan is a registered trademark of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. It must fulfill all the following conditions:
- Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Farm feeding in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Bullock (steer) or castrated bull, to purify the beef
- Processed at slaughterhouses in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa and Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture.
- Marbling ratio, called BMS,[7] of level 6 and above.
- Meat Quality Score[7] of 4 or 5
- Gross weight of beef from one animal is 470 kg or less.

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Source: Wikipedia

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Soba

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour, and in Japan can refer to any thin noodle (in contrast to thick wheat noodles, known as udon). Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, so it can be harvested four times a year, mainly in spring, summer, and autumn. In Japan, buckwheat is produced mainly in Hokkaido.Soba that is made with newly harvested buckwheat is called “shin-soba”. It is sweeter and more flavorful than regular soba.

In Japan, soba noodles are served in a variety of settings: they are a popular inexpensive fast food at train stations throughout Japan, but are also served by exclusive and expensive specialty restaurants. Markets sell dried noodles and men-tsuyu, or instant noodle broth, to make home preparation easy.

Some establishments, especially cheaper and more casual ones, may serve both soba and udon as they are often served in a similar manner. However, soba is traditionally the noodle of choice for Tokyoites. This tradition originates from the Tokugawa period, when the population of Edo (Tokyo), being considerably wealthier than the rural poor, were more susceptible to beri beri due to their high consumption of white rice, which is low in thiamine. It was discovered that beri beri could be prevented by regularly eating thiamine-rich soba. In the Tokugawa era, every neighborhood had one or two soba establishments, many also serving sake, which functioned much like modern cafes where locals would casually drop by for an informal bite to eat.

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Source: Wikipedia

how-you-order-udon

How you order udon at Marukame-Seimen

1. Order Udon.
2. Wait for Udon cooked. It doesn’t take much time.
3. Get your Udon and move to Tempura corner.
4. Choose Tempura and Umusubi(rice ball) according to your taste.
5. Pay the bill.

This is kind of traditional Udon fast food stores. I believe this is a good experience for you.

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Udon

Udon is usually served hot as noodle soup in its simplest form as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru which is made of dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or abura age, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. Shichimi can be added to taste.

The flavor of broth and topping vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shōyu) is used in eastern Japan, and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi shōyu) is used in western Japan. This is even noticeable in packaged instant noodles, which are often sold in two different versions for east and west.

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Source: Wikipedia

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View from Kachidoki Bridge to Tsukiji Market and Tokyo Tower at 4am

This is a picture taken from Kachidoki Bdrige towards Tsukiji Market and Tokyo Tower at 4am before the tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish market. It was such a great view although this picture might not be 100% great… It is worthwhile waking up very early in the morning.

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taiyaki

Taiyaki

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, or cheese. Some shops even sell taiyaki with okonomiyaki, gyoza filling, or a sausage inside.

Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold for each side. The filling is then put on one side and the mold is closed. It is then cooked on both sides until golden brown.

Taiyaki was first baked by a sweet shop Naniwaya in Azabu, Tokyo in 1909, and now can be found all over Japan, especially at food courts of supermarkets and Japanese festivals.

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Source: Wikipedia

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tempura

This evening, we had a Izakaya hopping tour. In the tour, we went to Tempura restaurant. Usually, tempura is more expensive than other dishes, the place in Shinjuku we went was reasonably priced. It is good to eat tempura while watching how they are cooked right in front of us over the counter.

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Tokyo Ramen Street

If you are really interested in Ramen and Tsukemen, this place is wroth trying. There are many popular ramen shops gathered in this street. But I recommend that you go there not in the busiest time like lunch time but a bit late like 2:00pm or even later. I personally like Honda and Ikaruga.

Here is their promotion video:
Tokyo Ramen Street

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