Tokyo. Japan. 2023

Beautiful sunny 1st day in Tokyo. Staying and exploring the Ikekuburo area, a mostly local’s neighborhood. Will be moving inwards into the more busy Tokyo hot spots later this trip.

Walked almost 20,000 steps this morning, just wandering around and sniffing out myriad eats options. Finally could not resist the gravitational pull of this Ramen restaurant.

We both had the Duck Ramen with Wonton. Very well prepared.

Two sides. Small bowl of Tuna and Tobiko on rice.

Oyakodon (parent and child) is a classic Japanese dish. Chicken is mixed with barely warm egg on rice. The result is a savory velvety sauce wonderfully paired with rice. This being a Duck specialist, the “parent” is Duck. Fantastic. I’d go again just for this.

Lunch for two including one beer was 2,690¥, ~ usd$19.96.

Waddled past a Burger King later on our walk.

2,490¥ for a KING Yeti meal, for one??! No thanks!!


So excited to read about this trip!


The Izakaya we had anticipated was fully booked on a Saturday night. No worries. We got proactive and negotiated a 5pm table for tonight.

Plan B. Wander around soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of this exciting city. Instinct ran true and we lucked into this true mom n’ pop shop just off the beaten path.

The proprietor was overseeing operations from his throne, a camp chair facing the room. He got up periodically to press flesh and chat with the diners, most seemed to be regulars that he knew very well.

Started with two Highballs and the obligatory Otoshi. In lieu of a table charge, some eateries will present a small starter at a nominal charge.

A pristine Sashimi plate. Super tender Tako (octopus), Yellowtail, Flounder and Sayori (half beak). Loved the presentation.

Seafood Tempura. Unagi (freshwater eel), Squid, Flounder and Japanese Yam. Rather than the usual grated daikon, accompanied by grated Ginger. The ginger brought a bit of sweetness that was quite complementary.

Next up, Mackerel Fishballs in Daishi. Tasty, not outstanding.

A plate of fresh crunchy vegetables with a Miso dip to cleanse the palate. Wife is already planning to hit the market to gather up the ingredients for some in-room dine.

Finished with some Tempura Vegetables. I only recognized the Shiso and Chives. It was all good.

We had also ordered a whole grilled Ahi fish. By now the restaurant was winding down and the chef was working the regulars in the room. I don’t think Ahi was in our future. NP, we’ll surely come back. If we can find the this spot again.

The staff (waitress and cook) warmly thanked us and we left with warm pleasurable feelings. This is the Japan that we love. Great real food, genuine hospitality.


A very unique sushi presentation at lunch yesterday. The sushi was on a 2ft stand, perfectly squared off. A small spatula type instrument was provided so you can carve off a bite full at a time.


That looked amazing!

1 Like

Izakaya’s are fun!!

Cucumber salad with Plum dressing. Best Otoshi ever, two Croquettes with creamy filling. Reminiscent of a chicken pot pie in a good way.

Sashimi, delightful tasty presentation.

Grilled fish. Sea Bream (?) head and a Sole.

Chicken Rice in pot.

We had hit our two hour table timeout, so desserts back in room.


Love the way you eat!


I sure wish I can scarf like in the old days when I used to run 5 miles per shift in F&B service. Nowadays, we walk ~20,000 steps a day when traveling, ooh and ah at the copious fruit, produce and restaurant fare vying for attention.

Simple. Cheap. Delicious.

Snack to break up the stroll back to the hotel.


Tempura dinner at Kanekoya Kichijoji +81 422-20-4008, steps away from our hotel. We chose the Excel Hotel in Kichijoji for the myriad restaurants, supermarkets and shopping streets in this area.

Kanekoya offers three Tempura Tendon (rice bowl) sets. I chose Anago Tendon, Saltwater Eel and Seafood. Wife went for Kisu Tendon, Shrimp and Mixed Seafood. The third option was Maitake Yendon, Maitake Mushroom with Seafood.

Help yourself Pickled Daikon and Cabbage, a welcomed complement to the crisp fried tempura.

Hot Miso Soup for a barely above freezing evening.

The Anago Eel was impressive, easily 8”. Perfectly fried and non-greasy, the Japanese have frying to an art.

Two large Shrimp highlighted the second bowl. Both bowls also had Whitefish, Squid, Mushroom, Peppers and a Tempura EGG!!

A totally satisfying meal to scratch that tempura crave. Usd$26.35 including beer.


Everything looks great, and that soft boiled fried egg!

1 Like

I’d seen pictures of these eggs and really wanted it. Couldn’t figure how to order it though. Fortunately, the egg was already part of the set.

I’d had Scotch Egg at Borough Market. This softly fried version is definitely more to my taste.


I was ready for some western leaning food, wife not so ready. Compromised on a family fast casual restaurant offering hamburg steak to tuna tartar.

Shredded Chicken Salad and a Margarita Pizza for me. Seafood Udon for she. Huge English menus with pictures, ordering was simple via the tablet.

Lo and behold, a waitron whizzed by delivering food to another table. Whoa!!!

Sadly cannot upload the videos, screenshots give the idea. It was fun watching the robots maneuvering through the dining room to their designated tables, all the while avoiding staff, customers and other waitrons.

Food was serviceable, and we enjoyed the experience.

Scanned our bill at the front, paid with our Suica digital on the phone. This is our sixth day in country and ready for a bit of palate reset. Thinking of Chinese tonight. :slight_smile:


Indeed. A food critic/writer once said the best of Japanese cooking is tempura: very fresh ingredient with the exactly right type and thickness of crispiness.


Omakase, curated by yours truly. Local sourced, nearby supermarche. :slight_smile:


We’ve been to quite a few Ichiran Ramen shops in Japan and have enjoyed every bowl. That said, Ippudo Ramen is fast becoming my favorite.

Servers are courteous and efficient. Tablet ordering with English allows us Gaijin to fully explore their menu, no FOMO here. :slight_smile:

Ippudo offers combination sets. We both ordered Cha Siu with extra firm noodles. Hers came with Gyoza and Rice (???). Mine with Mentaiko (FishRoe) on Rice.

Side orders of Soft Boiled Eggs a nice add-on.

Ippudo branded condiments and Sesame seed grinder accents the meal. Delicious spicy Bean Sprouts, help yourself.

With one Draft Asahi, fill up the tank for less than usd$20. Will definitely rinse and repeat.


Hoshino Coffee is a solid reliable stop to take a break or enjoy a light meal.

We’ll trained staff and calm ambiance.


Having a great time checking out the many shopping/food streets throughout Tokyo. On this trip, partner has done the major lifting. I’m happy to tag along for the ride.

Yesterday, we beelined to this revolving sushi shop on a cute shopping street. The atmosphere was joyfully chaotic, staff singing out orders and welcomes in a most comforting din.

We ordered off the menu and posted specials. The 3 itamae were lightning fast and handed our pieces almost before we finished asking.

Ordered a slew of items: SeaGrapes, O-Toro, Uni, Flouder Wings, Milt, Chawanmushi (steamed Egg) and more.

All in all, we had 18 plates of food. 2 Drafts and 1 cold Sake.
USD $46.00.


Made the pilgrimage to Shinjuku Golden Gai to pay homage to the Master of Midnight Diner.

Gateway to the network of six bar packed narrow alleys. Alas, couldn’t find The Diner!!

Lunched at a nearby Okinawan diner, all the while dreaming of Master’s simple masterpieces.

Goya Champuru (Bitter Melon), Ramen, Fatty Pork and Fried Rice. Okinawan classics, and N Orion Biru, of course.


How come the menu is in ’ Chinese ’ and NOT Japanese?! :thinking: :thinking:

Dunno. Can’t read either. No English menu also.

Very popular joint. Queues every time we walked by. Except the time we ate there. :slight_smile: