(Tokyo) : tips and ideas

The seafood wholesale operation has moved. Some of the restaurants in the outer market also moved to the new location as well.

When we visited last year, most of the restaurants and food stalls were still there. We go mostly to graze and stroll the outer market anyway. Our favorite Uni hole in the wall was great as usual.

image

The must have Offal place was less packed than before, a good thing.

image

We found the new market rather sterile also, Tsukiji is one tough act to follow. Maybe after a few years, the patina of time will give the new market its own character.

4 Likes

the more I think about this, the more I think that it was Lawson’s that had the convenient store egg salad that I really liked.

1 Like

I appreciate all these tips, everyone :slight_smile:

Finding your way around Tokyo:
There are very few street names and what I think we learned is that buildings are numbered as they are built - #65 is not always close to #63 as we expect in the US.

Many businesses will have a map on their web site. I want to remember that we would write directions like “take Exit A4 from the subway, go to the 7/11 and turn left, go past the park and then turn right, it should be on the next block”.

We found Google Maps to be very powerful to use. First they label the subway exits - you may want “A1” not “A3” - zoom in on the Google Map to see the labels.

Then we would check our “directions” on the Google Map looking for businesses or specific buildings to use as “way points”.

Last we would Google street view the place we wanted to find. We don’t read any of the Japanese alphabets so a sign might be “House, L, Tree” to us and knowing what the building front looks like in street view was our clue.

Also not all business have an “on street” entrance. May be in a building courtyard or basement or upper floor - just be aware that you need to keep looking.

We carried a “pocket wifi” for internet data connections and it was well worth it. If your cell provider has a good plan for you to use in Japan you should be all set but being able to street view, or map, or use Google Translate away from WiFi was essential.

7 Likes

I’m glad Google Maps works quite well. I was worried it wasn’t going to work at all.

I must also agree that Google Maps work great for us in Japan. Very helpful for public transportation, especially to some of the outlying areas.

The color codes for the various train lines, the numbered exits, number of stations between entry and destination, time between stations, etc… very helpful.

SUICA cards a must for public transportation. and paying for Walkabout beers at 7-11. :wink:

1 Like

Odd but fun places to eat in Tokyo
www.dumbodc.com Dumbo Donuts - amazing great donuts (American style) with Western (chocolate!) and Japanese flavor glazes.

www.tsurutontan.co.jp - chainof Udon restaurants but we’ve had fun every time we’ve eaten there. We’ve gone to the Roppongi shop and it’s a pretty casual place.

www.marzac-omotesando.com/ - small place, make a reservation. Some amazing meat (the lamb chops!). There has not been much English spoken when we’ve gone so it can be a little uncomfortable ordering. The food we’ve ordered is “western” in style. Good wines.

http://restaurant-eatrip.com/ Hidden on a side street up a “walk way” this place is a find. Small, make reservations, very friendly, western style plating but an interesting mix of flavors. We’ve been twice for lunch and it’s been a great experience.

4 Likes

Re: Japanese 7-11 stores

2 Likes

Just adding this for reference. TableAll seems to be the best place to reserve online. They charge 4000 yen per reservation. https://www.tableall.com

Pocketconcierge is another rival site
https://pocket-concierge.jp/en/ , and OpenTable also covers some restaurants.

1 Like

I LOVE those egg sandwiches! So soft and fluffy. Aside from the occasional onigiri or food hall portable lunch find, I would always make sure to go into a convenience store and buy 1-2 of these for lunch if I had sightseeing plans at a special location. Since I was often in the middle of a temple, garden, etc. where immediate dining options might be more limited, I could just break that out and have that for lunch. It saved money and then I would splurge on a nice place for dinner. :yum:

5 Likes

following. my sister and I are maybe planning on going in 2021.

1 Like

I’m intrigued by the fruit sandos

and the places serving fancy parfaits.

https://www.jnto.org.my/beauty-of-the-seasons/winter/winter-appetite/

1 Like

First dinner in Tokyo was a Wagyu Teriyaki Burger at a trendy fast food resto. We had spent 40 minutes circling a block in Shinjuku for Gyukatsu Motomura, with Google maps, which would show us we were 0 or 20 or 40 or 100 yards away. We asked 4 different locals for help. The last pair of locals we asked asked another local who found it. We had walked past the same steps 5 or 6 times Long lineup. We were hungry and irritated, and wanted beef, but needed to get to a live show where we were meeting friends, so we needed to eat in a hurry. We were seated in one restaurant but realized it was going to cost $100+, then the next cheaper spots we saw seemed to be Korean BBQ.
We went with Shogun Burger. It was delicious and quick. My first Wagyu experience. Hopefully we will get gyukatsu elsewhere. Teriyaki burger was a bit much . Might try a regular burger or cheeseburger if I returned. Amazing patty.
In retrospect, I wish we went to a department store restaurant, 10 minutes after we were having trouble finding the recommended restaurant, when we needed a quick meal. The restaurants are so specialized, that it was frustrating to be looking for a $40 or less beef main course in a hurry. Eveything on the street seemed to be sushi, ramen, chicken, other cuisines, things we didn’t want. Luckily this was a tasty meal, even if it was a Western meal.


7 Likes

Started off the day with an American breakfast. There is an Eggslut (a breakfast sandwich chain founded in Los Angeles) located across from Shinjuku station.


They have a limited time only Wagyu and egg breakfast sandwich on the menu that I didn’t try.

Had my first Royal Milk Tea at a coffee shop near the Senso-ji Temple.
Ate various snacks from different stalls afterwards.



Tempura squid, to go

Fluffy sweet potato cake of some sort.

Kabob shops anywhere there are lots of people. Didn’t expect to see so many. Some are halal. The ones I passed seem to be run by Turks.

Beautiful presentation at department store depachika (food halls)

7 Likes

Wonderful udon with beef and tempura shrimp at Udon Shin in Shinjuku. An employee was making fresh udon noodles while I was there… 1400 Yen for the udon I ordered. A friend recommended this place. They also had an udon with tempura bacon on the menu .
Cash only.

Strawberry Cream Cake for dessert. From the Anténor counter at Keio Department Store. The slice came with little ice packs to keep it cold!


5 Likes

Sushi at 9 am at Tsukiji Fish Market





I wanted to see what a California roll was like in Japan. Contains no surimi, but is topped with shrimp and a slice of cucumber, and filled with tamago and avocado, and rolled in capelin roe, and drizzled with mayo. Cracked my friend and the sushi chef up that I had the nerve to order it.

Stuff I didn’t try


Set lunch at a Tonkatsu place called Maisen in Daimaru department store. It included a small breaded pork cutlet, a korroke (croquette), fried oyster and fried shrimp, with cabbage salad, seaweed salad (not the kind I’m used to), mixed pickles and rice for 1580 yen. My phone had no battery left so no photos. Here is a photo someone else took at the same restaurant.

7 Likes

The sushi restaurant was called Sushizanmai. Apparently it’s a chain across Tokyo, with 2 locations in the market. There was a location with a conveyer belt in the market that opened at 10 am. We went to the location with a with no conveyer belt. We sat at the sushi bar and ordered from a chef. Very impressed.
http://www.kiyomura.co.jp/shops/detail/2

3 Likes

I’ll tack on my 24 h in Kyoto rather than start a new thread.
Soba set meal one night, at a spot recommended by my friend’s B&B hosts. I dunno, second time having soba in Japan, not counting the yakisoba at an Izakaya. I don’t like soba with broth.



We went to a fancy bar owned by a French guy, and I had a 1500 yen Shiso Sour. https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Cocktail-Bar/LEscamoteur-1392735951033939/
Phone needed charging, so no photos. The French owner uses smoke and flames to add wow to cocktails. Mostly a white hipster crowd in their 20s and 30s. Including some Texans the night we were there. A rude French waitress wouldn’t let me sit down at the bar, then gave the pair of seats to some Francophones. The Irish bartender was friendly.

For breakfast, my hotel, Enso Ango Fuya 2 offered a Japanese breakfast as an option.

Ramen for lunch at Engine Ramen during a walking tour. One woman in our group has celiac disease, and this place has 2 kinds of non wheat noodles, as well as wheat noodles. I tried the spicy ramen, since I haven’t tried a spicy version before. It was ok, but I would have chosen another type of lunch if it was up to me.

20200130_124637

Melonpan after ramen. Our tour guide loves these buns.

Unir Cappuccino, our tour guide’s favorite place for coffee.

Pastries I bought near a Temple

My dinner from 7 11, at the train station. I caught the train back to Tokyo. This meal cost around 838 yen (less than 10 USD).

3 Likes

My last day in Tokyo, I ate at the Isetan depachika. I ordered a seafood fritter and some gyoza. Bought some peanuts, rice crackers to take home.


Took photos of foods I didn’t buy, not just at Isetan, but at other food halls.

Sawamura Bakery


Thought it was funny to see Santa Cruz coffee in a very expensive mall in Shinjuku, a 5 minute walk from the Eggslut

I’m intrigued by the beautiful parfaits (around 1200 yen, or $12+ ), but wasn’t craving one. These ones are from a famous fruit salon.


Stopped at a Lawson for some last minute treats to bring home.

It is dark in TO now. I’ll take a photo of everything I brought home when I have some daylight.

7 Likes
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold