Hashidaya - Famous for Cherry Blossom Watching

The weather is slowly getting warmer and it seems like it won’t be too long before spring comes to Tokyo! If you are in Tokyo in Spring, you definitely don’t want to miss the cherry blossoms! It’s very nice to walk around and enjoy the blooming cherry blossoms, but it’s even better with delicious food! The restaurant I am introducing to you is Hashidaya, located by Meouro River which is famous for cherry blossom watching.

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Hashidaya
If you are a chicken lover, this is the place for you! Hashidaya is a Japanese chicken restaurant: they specialize everything in chicken. If you go to Hashidaya, I recommend their Oyako-don which is their signature dish. Oyako-don is a chicken and egg rice bowl (it means parent-and-child bowl in Japanese. I know, it’s pretty ironic… But trust me, it’s delicious!), cooked with sliced onions and all simmered together in a sauce over a bed of rice. Since Hashidaya specializes in chicken, their Oyako-don is incredibly delicious! The chicken is so juicy and the egg is so rich you can’t stop eating. Another dish you might want to try is the Chicken Nanban. Chicken Nanban is fried chicken marinated in a sweet-and-sour sauce. (Nanban means European in old Japanese, but it is a Japanese dish! …Another mystery.)

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Before You Go
Hashidaya has a few shops in Tokyo, and the one with the cherry blossom view is located in Nakamegoro. Hashidaya Nakameguro is open from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am, so make sure you go for dinner. Although Hashidaya Shibuya is open for lunch, I personally recommend Nakameguro, because you can enjoy the food, drinks, and the cherry blossoms at the same time! Be ready for a Japanese spring experience with great Japanese food!

Harajuku Gyozarou

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If you are looking for a loco experience in Harajuku, this is one of the things you can enjoy. Traveling around Tokyo can be quite costly but we totally understand that you still want to enjoy your stay as much as possible. If you can relate to it, come out and enjoy delicious Gyouza at Harajuku Gyouzarou!

What is Gyouza?
Gyouza also known as potsticker is originally from China but became popular in Japan for the last few decades. Now Gyouza is one of the most popular Japanese dishes. Gyouza is a dumping filled with vegitables such as cabbage, green onion, nira, ginger and garlic and ground pork.

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Harajuku Gyouzaro
Harajuku Gyouzaro is located in a middle of our unique city Harajuku and known for its great Gyouza they offer for relatively cheap price. In Japan, Gyouza is usually served at Ramen restaurant, however, Harajuku Gyouzaro is only specialized in Gyouza. During a dinner time, especially during the weekends, there is a long line because all the Harajuku Girls come to Harajuku Gyouzaro to enjoy Gyouza. It has been well known among foreign travelers as well.

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What kind of food can I enjoy at Harajuku Gyouzaro?
As I mentioned earlier, Harajuku Gyouzaro are specialized in Gyouza only. However, you can enjoy both Yaki-Gyouza (Pan fried) or Sui Gyouza (boiled). Yaki-Gyouza is more common that when people say “Gyouza,” it usually means this type of Gyouza. It has a crispy bottom skin but the inside is juicy with all the vegetables and pork. On the other hand, since Sui-Gyouza is boiled instead of fried, it has chewy gyouza skin and goes well in a soup. Even though they are both Gyouza, these two are quite different that you can try both and compare which one you like more. Great thing, one plate only costs 290 yen for six pieces.

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It’s not only Gyouza that can excites you!
There are some additional features that you would enjoy at Harajuku Gyouzaro. Firstly, their side menus are very cheap and tasty. We highly recommend you to try their cucumber and sprout with meat sauce. They are only 250 yen each. Also, at Harajuku Gyouzarou, you can watch the chef cooking Gyouza on the pan. This can entertain your stay even more! Lastly, order a glass of beer. You would feel so happy for discovering how much Gyouza and beer can go well together.

How to Cook Okonomiyaki

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Okonomiyaki also known as Japanese pancake is a food originally created in Osaka, Japan. It is one of the most popular Japanese food for foreign travelers. It is easy and enjoyable to make but also very tasty.

How to make okonomiyaki

[ What you need ]

  1. 120g of all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  4. 5~8cm yamaimo
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 180ml of dashi
  7. 1 large cabbage head
  8. 220g sliced pork
  9. 4 large eggs
  10. 1/2 cup of tempra scraps
  11. 1/4 cup of pickled red ginger
  12. Vegetable oil

[ How to make ]

  1. Put flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and mix it.
  2. Peal the skin of yamaimo and smash it and put it in (1)
  3. Put dashi in (2) and mix it well
  4. Refrigerate (3) for an hour
  5. Cut cabbage into small pieces
  6. Take out (4) from refrigerator and then put eggs, tempura scraps, pickled red ginger and cabbage. Then mix it well.
  7. Heat the pan and put vegetable oil.
  8. Put the dough on the pan and try to make the round shape
  9. Put sliced pork on (8) and bake it for few minutes
  10. Once one side is cooked, flip it and bake the other side.
  11. Put source, mayo, katsuobushi, green onions and dried seaweed powder on okonomiyaki.

Watch a video on youtube!

Okonomiyaki Restaurant

If you are not a big fan of cooking or want to try traditional okonomiyaki at a restaurant, don’t worry. There are tons of places you can try okonomiyaki in Tokyo. If you are not sure which okonomiyaki restaurant to choose, let us help you explore. Our Asakusa tour will take you to a delicious okonomiyaki restaurant. You can also enjoy the traditional Japan life in Asakusa with us.

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http://foodtourstokyo.com/asakusa-tour/

Japanese Sake - Find your one and only!

Sake is Japanese alcoholic beverage which is made only from rice, malt and water. It goes through the process of and fermentation and filtration. It matches well with Japanese food. Discovering about sake will add another fun to your Japanese dishes.

From thousands of sake, we are going to give you a list of sake that we recommend.

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1. Hakkaisan from Nigata prefecture
Hakkaisan is very famous in Japan. Its taste is fruity that is what we recommend for the ones who try out sake for the first time.

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2. Dassai from Yamaguchi prefecture
This sake is known well not only in Japan but also in the world. It is also known from a scene of an anime, Evangelion. The character, Satomi, drinks Dassai. If you are a anime fan, you should definitely check it out!

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3. Kokuryu Shizuku from Fukui prefecture
Kokuryu is made from snowmelt water in Fukui and high quality rice. Kokuryu Shizuku is the face of Kokuryu series.

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4. Juyon-dai from Yamagata
Juyon-dai was became on sale about 20 years ago and became very popular. Its taste is fruity and sweet. It is known as one of the best quality sake from Yamagata.

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5. Kubota Manju from Nigata prefecture
Kubota Manju is known as the best of all Kubota series. It is very light as water that it is said that people who don’t like Japanese sake can even drink it. It goes well with white-fish sashimi, tofu and nabe.

Even though there are still thousands of kinds to try out, you can start from those five. As you discover more and more, we hope you will find your one and only.

If you are interested in Japanese Sake, Sake Brewery Tour would be recommended.
http://foodtourstokyo.com/sake-brewery-tour/

Gyu-Katsu Motomura - Popular Gyukatsu restaurant in Shinjuku

Gyukatsu has become well known among young generation in the past few years. It is a beef cutlet that is quite similar to pork cutlet by its name, however, its taste is completely different. If you are looking for an opportunity to try out Gyu-Katsu, Gyu-Katsu Motomura is where you should start.

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What is Gyu-Katsu?
As I mentioned earlier, Gyu-Katsu is beef cutlet and the beef is supposed to be rare. It is covered by thin batter which is made from panko. The outside is crispy but as soon as you start chewing, it starts to melt in your mouth. Since it is deep fried, it sounds like it is heavy to eat but you will be surprised by how light it actually is. It is as simple as fried cutlet but you have so much to discover once you eat it.

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How to order Gyu-Katsu
Their menu is very simple. Only thing they offer is Gyu-Katsu set menu. Basic set menu comes with beef cutlet, cabbage, potato salad, pickles, rice, miso soup. You can choose the size of beef cutlet and the price varies depending on it.

1. 100g (Basic set menu) 1,100yen
2. 100g (Basic set menu with yam) 1,200yen
3. 130g (Basic set menu) 1,300yen
4. 130g (Basic set menu with yam) 1,400yen
5. 260g (Basic set menu) 2,100yen
6. 260g (Basic set menu with yam) 2,200yen

How to eat Gyu-Katsu
You can put salt on Gyu-Katsu or dip it in soy sauce with wasabi or horseradish onion sauce and eat it with rice. If you order a set menu with yam, you can put yam on rice which adds a great taste.

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Notice
Because Gyu-Katsu Motomura is very popular and the restrant is very small, there is a long line especially around 6 pm to 8 pm. You should avoid those rush hour if you don’t want to wait in line for more than an hour. But luckily, now Gyu-Katsu Motomura has 6 restaurants in Tokyo area: two in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Shimbashi, Hamamatsucho and Yaesu. We recommend the one in Shinjuku since it is the least crowded.

Basic Information of Gyu-Katsu Motomura in Shinjuku
TEL: 03-3354-0171
Address: MOTO Building, First floor, 3-32-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13185438/

Mt. Takao - It’s not just about hiking, it’s also about food and culture.

Mt. Takao is located in Tama, Tokyo and it is a great place to escape from a busy life in the city. In this season, you can enjoy the leaves changing color into red and brown. Many people think enjoying the nature there is the only thing you can do, however, you can also enjoy unique food and culture there. So if you are a foodie or want to experience Japanese culture, Mt. Takao is a place for you!

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[What to eat]
These foods can be found at the bottom of the mountain, while climbing the mountain, and at the top.

 Oyaki
Oyaki is a Japanese dumpling made from buckwheat dough. There are usually Japanese vegetables (nozawana) or red sweet beans stuffed inside.
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 Goma dango
Goma dango is dango with sesame. Once goma-dango is toasted, they put sweet soy souce based sauce on it. The outside is crispy and the inside is chewy as mochi.

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 Nameko-jiru
It is soy sauce based soup with Nameko mushrooms. You can have Nameko-jiru on the top of Mt. Takao with a beautiful view.

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 Ayu no shioyaki
Ayu no shioyaki is salt-grilled sweetfish. You can find it at the bottom of the mountain.

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 Tororo soba
Tororo soba is soba noodle with grated yam. You can find this at the bottom or the top of the mountain.
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 Miso Konnyaku
Miso konnyaku is konnyaku with sweet miso sauce.

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As you can see, there are so many kinds of food around Mt. Takao, enjoy them with a beautiful nature there!!!

One of the best Abura-soba in Ikebukuro, Tokyo "Musashino Abura Gakkai"

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What is Abura-soba?
For those who have never heard of one of our unique food, Abura-soba, it is basically ramen without soup. Because of its name, (Aburra means oil and soba means noodle) a lot of people think it is so heavy, however, it is actually healthier than ramen. It has become dramatically popular in the last few years due to its delicious taste. If you are a ramen fan, let’s take a further step this time and try Abura-soba.

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Musashino Abura gakkai
Musashino Abura gakkai aka Gakkai is very famous among students even though it is located in Ikebukuro, which is a very competitive area for ramen/abura-soba restraurants. Even if there is a line, don’t worry. It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes and we promise it’s worth the waiting in line process.

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What to order
We recommend basic abra-soba. The price is only 630 yen. You can buy a ticket in front of the door and give it to a stuff. You can add extra noodle for free.

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How to eat
Once your abra-soba is ready, you can add a little bit of spicy oil and vinegar. Then, you should mix it all well and eat it before it gets cold.

Tripadvisor
Musashino Abura Gakkai

Kaiseki - Perfect in Presentation and Tastes

What is Kaiseki?

Kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, is served one little dish at the time. Each meal, dishware and the design of the restaurant are presented in a very refined manner, and adjusted to reflect the season. The meal consists of 6-15 different kinds of food. The restaurant staff are all very polite and treat diners with exceptionally thoughtful hospitality.

Kaiseki Restaurant.........Tankuma, kitamise
This restaurant dish completely changed my image of Kaiseki. In my daily life, Kaiseki course is served for special occasions, wedding, funeral, or memorial services. I had thought that kaiseki looked better than it tasted. I was wrong. I could tell differences in a single bite of the steamed fish. Everything was perfect: balances of the taste, texture, and appearance. That was the moment I found out the truth about Kaiseki. Enjoy delicious traditional Japanese cuisine with your tongue and eyes. This restaurant’s branch in Kyoto is one Michelin-starred.
Lunch from 5,000yen Dinner from 10,000yen

(Photos: Google, Reference:jnto.go.jp)


OUR TOURS
TSUKIJI FISH MARKET / IZAKAYA HOPPING

BOOK YOUR TOUR

If you are interested in trying food that appears on this blog, please let us know. We will arrange itineraries to suit your preferences.


Teishoku (Set Meal) - Ask for Another Free Dish -

One of the foreign tourist’s complains is small portion but high price. Do you know that many Japanese Teishoku restaurants offer another bowl of rice and some dishes at no extra charge?

Various dishes are available through Teishoku - main dishes from sashimi, grilled fish and several kinds of deep-fried, and side dishes from tofu, vegetable and chawanmushi (steamed egg and broth mixture with chicken and vegetables). It comes with rice, miso soup, and pickles on the side.



Popular Main Dishes of Teishoku

Sashimi (Raw fish)
The texture and flavor are the large part of enjoying sashimi. Have you tried soft and sweet squid, creamy scallops, and sophisticated richness of medium fatty tuna?

Tonkatsu (Deep-fried breaded Pork cutlet)
An irresistible crunch texture outside and moist and flavorful meat inside. Very tasty.

Gyoza
A parcel of juicy filling (usually pork and vegetables) encased in a dumpling wrapper are pan-fried to well-browned crispy bottom and lightly steamed to create the nice contrast in mouth.

Karaage (Deep-fried Chicken)
The little chunks of soy-sake-ginger marinated chicken coated in cornstarch/flour are deep-fried until super crispy. Juice coming from the meat when bite. Japanese fried chicken is a beer-lover's best friend.

Karaage Restaurant - Eat Karaage as much as you want............Toridori
You can eat deep-fried chicken as much as you want at this restaurant when you order the deep-fried chicken set menu (Karaage Teishoku). Price is less than 1,000yen. It’s only for lunch. You will be asked how many chicken you want. They serve as many as you want. You can ask them again and again.

Teishoku Restaurant - Eat bowl of rice and side dishes whatever you want............Torafuku
Teishoku restaurant serves good and simple everyday Japanese food. This restaurant cook rice with old-fashioned stove (Kamado). Kamado cooked rice is surprisingly good with aroma, fluffiness, and springy texture. You can choose two main dishes from wide selection of teishoku main dishes. Eat bowl of rice and side dishes whatever you want. Good for both lunch and dinner. Lunch from 1,500yen Dinner from 3,000yen

(Photos: Google, Reference:jnto.go.jp)


OUR TOURS
TSUKIJI FISH MARKET / IZAKAYA HOPPING

BOOK YOUR TOUR

If you are interested in trying food that appears on this blog, please let us know. We will arrange itineraries to suit your preferences.


Okonomiyaki - Savory Pancake for Lunch or Dinner -



Japanese savory pancake, okonomiyaki, is not like a sweet and honey dripping pancakes for breakfast. The surface of okonomiyaki is crispy and crunchy, and the inside is soft, fluffy, sticky, salty, and smooth - a good mix of flavor and texture are all in one bite. Common ingredients include: wheat flour, egg, cabbage, pork, shrimp, squid, beef and etc. The brown okonomiyaki sauce is brushed over the surface, mayonnaise are squeezed across the surface, and bonito flakes and aonori are sprinkled on the top.

Okonomiyaki sauce is sweet but a little sour and spicy. Common ingredients include Japanese Worcestershire sauce, honey, ketchup and ginger, etc. - really tasty. Okonomiyaki sauce taste similar with Tonkatsu sauce. Both sauces can be drizzled on fried foods or used as a secret ingredient in dishes like stew. Tonkatsu sauce’s rich flavor and umami come from vegetables and fruits.

Okonomiyaki Restaurant - Cooked by the Chef.........Chibo
You don’t have to cook okonomiyaki at some okonomiyaki restaurant. Grilled dishes are all prepared by the chef. They offers variety of okonomiyaki menu, with different combinations of okonomiyaki filling - beef sinew, spring onion, mochi rice cake, potato and cheese, etc. One of my favorite is Modanyaki mixed with cheese. Beautiful and delicious okonomiyaki.
Lunch from 1,200yen Dinner from 3,000yen

Okonomiyaki Restaurant - Cook It Yourself.........Sometaro
At most okonomiyaki restaurant, customers get to choose their own favorite ingredients and cook the pancakes themselves on a flat iron grill at the table. You might ask your waiter for advice or help, come by to turn on the grill, when to flip the pancake and when to take it off the grill.

Are you interested in the old-fashioned atmosphere of Showa period of time? This restaurant was loved by writers and actors at that time. Sitting on tatami mat at low table, the Showa style, and the good old days have been lived here. This long-established shop is not only renowned for okonomiyaki but yakisoba, fried with sliced pork and vegetables like cabbage and bean sprouts served with Yakisoba sauce. They are all tasty and yummy. You are going to love it.
Lunch, Dinner from 2,500yen

This restaurant is located in Asakusa town which has an old, traditional feel with the famous Sensoji temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. Numerous shops along Nakamise-dori Street runing along the approach way to Senso-ji Temple carry a variety of Japanese traditional goods such as folding fans, toys and kimono, etc. It is a lovely shopping street that attracts many foreign visitors. The "Kaminari-mon" (Gate of Thunder) with its huge red lantern suspended above the gate's entryway is a famous landmark.

(Photos: Google, Reference:jnto.go.jp)


OUR TOURS
TSUKIJI FISH MARKET / IZAKAYA HOPPING

BOOK YOUR TOUR

If you are interested in trying food that appears on this blog, please let us know. We will arrange itineraries to suit your preferences.