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You must be kidding. Can people eat a sushi meal within 1000-yen budget (10 USD)? The answer is Yes! However, if you want to find exceptional sushi restaurants, I want to introduce standing sushi bars to you. There are a lot of high quality standing sushi bars in Tokyo. Before elaborating more on this topic, I would first like to explain the sushi dilemma to you.

Opening a sushi restaurant in Japan is similar to playing the game of “dead or alive.” Competition between sushi restaurants becomes more intensive in Japan year by year. One of the reasons is the declination of ingredients. Overfishing is the primary reason behind this phenomenon. Because fishers cast their nets to the ocean and catch fish disregarding their sizes, sushi chefs have to find substitution of their ingredients. Another reason is about season. Seafood will be fatty in certain season. Overfishing eliminates the quality of sushi due to the neglect of fishing season. Furthermore, the quality of sushi chefs is also a crucial element for the success of business. They need to monitor and maintain balance between the temperature of fish and rice, so customers can enjoy sushi in the best timing.

What should the creative Japanese people do? They think about opening a standing sushi bar. Yes, instead of sit on a chair and eat sushi, customers can eat sushi while standing. If you are a sushi-lover and an adventurer, you must try these standing sushi bars. There are four reasons to try these standing sushi bars: lower-price, high quality, speedy, and convenient. I have done my research, and I have found the meritorious five-sushi bars in Tokyo for you. All you need is bringing 1000 yen to those restaurants, and then you can relish decent and fresh sushi.

Standing Sushi Bars: Okame Sushi おかめ

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Most of you know that Tsukiji is one of the best fish markets in the world. Thousands of fish and other seafood have been delivered in that area. Okame Sushi locates at the Tsukiji area, so their ingredients are 100% fresh and seasonal. Maguro (tuna) or salmon only cost you 100-yen (1 USD). One of the special deals in this restaurant is the tuna sushi meal. You can enjoy tuna, medium fatty tuna, fatty tuna, partially grilled tuna, and tuna warship-roll in 1000-yen (10 USD).

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

I know that some of you don’t like tuna. But you need to know that most of the tuna you eat back home is yellow-fin tuna, which consists sour flavor. Yellow-fin tuna is also the lower level type in the tuna world. You don’t need to worry about these issues in this store because they select good Bluefin tuna for customers. When you first try it, you will gradually like it.

Although the operation hour of this store is longer than others, I would recommend you to come here before 12 noon in order to visit the markets. Most of the stores will close at 1 or 2 p.m. in Tsukiji. Besides sushi restaurants, you can also purchase various souvenirs at Tsukiji.

Okame Sushi Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Okame Sushi on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram (Japanese).

Nearest Station: 3-minutes walk from Tsukiji Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: Opens on Monday to Saturday from10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Opens on Sunday and Holidays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Nemurohanamaru 根室花まる

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

It only takes fifteen minutes walk from Tsukiji to Ginza. We will go to the second standing sushi bar, Nemurohanamaru. It’s located at B2 floor in a new mall, Tokyu Plaza. If you are a sushi lover, you must want to try authentic seafood from their original places in Japan. This is what this tiny sushi bar can help you with. For example, you can order Sailfin poacher in Nemurohanamaru, which is a local specialty from Otaru, Hokkaido. They will import different ingredients according to the seasons and water areas. You can find hundreds of sushi restaurants that provide same types of sushi. However, if you want to have new sushi experience without traveling to other areas in Japan, Nemurohanamaru is your first choice.

Nemurohanamaru Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Nemurohanamaru on social media at Facebook (Japanese) , Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

Nearest Station: 4 minutes walk from Ginza station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:00(L.O.22:00)

Uogashi Nihon-Ichi 魚がし日本一

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Besides searching variety of sushi, a sushi lover also loves to go to the original restaurants. Uogashi Nihon-Ichi is the ancestor of standing sushi bar. Its headquarter is located at the Tsukiji Market. They order bids and monitor the quality of ingredients in the market. Since the manager of Uogashi Nihon-Ichi has the business network with fishers and providers in Tsukiji, he always gets good quality seafood from the market. “Freshest” is the fascia of their restaurants.

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

In addition, you can have a dinner set from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m within 680 yen, which contains 5 pieces of nigiri sushi (hand-form sushi) with a cup of beer. Furthermore, the sushi staffs from this restaurant are friendly and approachable. If you want to chat with them and inquire sushi information from them, you should come and visit this store.

Uogashi Nihon-Ichi Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Uogashi Nihon-Ichi on social media at Facebook (English), Twitter, and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 3 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

For your convenience, here is list of locations

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:20(L.O)

Tachiguimidori 美登利 エチカ池袋店

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Midori is one of the premium sushi brands in Japan. Individuals line up at the Midori branches every day. In order to satisfy the demands of diverse customers, Midori also opens a standing sushi bar for those busy businessmen, and those who like to eat cheap and delicious sushi in Ikebukuro station. It’s not a huge bar, so you probably need to line up and wait for a while. But you will be rewarded. First of all, diversity is one of the selling points of Midori. There are thirty-six choices of sushi in the menu.

Second, Midori’s sushi is economical. I don’t think you can find any 50-yen tuna (0.4 cents) or 70-yen horse mackerel (0.6 cents) in other sushi restaurants. The medium fatty tuna only costs customers 100 yen (1 USD). If you want to have a piece of fatty tuna, you only need to pay 300 yen (3 USD). Tachiguimidori also have set lunch offer. You can have eight pieces of sushi within 500-yen (5 USD).

Finally, It’s located at the underground shopping center. If you just want to eat fast and rejuvenate your strength in order to go shopping again. Here is your first choice. Hence, Midori can be considered one of the best sushi chains in Japan.

Tachiguimidori Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Tachiguimidori on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 6-minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station, exit west (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:00(L.O 22:30)

Sakura Sushi さくら寿司

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

If you love to eat pagrus major (マダイ), splendid alfonsino (キンメダイ), or milt (白子), Sakura Sushi is definitely one of your favorite restaurants. Comparing to tuna and salmon, pagrus major and splendid alfonsino are the milder fish. When you put the sushi into your mouth, let the fatty part of the fish to fill your taste bud. When you are chewing the sushi, the sweetness of the fish will gradually come out. Since these two types of fish are milder, please remember to eat them first before partaking other sushi. If you mix up your eating sequence, the flavors of the stronger ingredient will affect your palate. As a result, you can’t enjoy the fullness of sushi.

Milt is the semen of a fish or a water creature. A lot of people consider this as a good culture experience. However, if you don’t like the smell or taste of milt sushi, you can still have around 50 choices in this restaurant.

Sakura Sushi Information

You can visit the Tabelog website here. Website (English). Follow Sakura Sushi on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter, and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 4-minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station, Exit West (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 10:00~22:00

What do the standing sushi bars can help you? Eat cheap, eat fast, and eat fresh!

March 17, 2017 0 comment
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Starving, but only have 500 Yen (5 USD) left in your wallet? Or are you just looking for a restaurant that serves delicious food at a cheap price? Let me show you the ten best cheap restaurants in Tokyo.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants : Sukiya (すき家)

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Sukiya is a restaurant that serves gyudon (beef bowl). Gyudon is a bowl of rice with onions and slices of beef with sauce on top. Sukiya is a popular fast food chain in Tokyo, with more than 270 locations in the capital. You only need 350 yen to order a regular size of gyudon. You can also order curry and rice or pork and rice without spending more than 500 yen.

Japanese people eating at Sukiya often put a raw egg on the top of the beef bowl. Don’t worry–it’s perfectly fine, and tasty too! When mingling the slices of beef with a raw egg, the rice entirely absorbs the essence of egg and beef sauce. You will find out that you are entirely addicted to this bowl.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Sukiya Information

You can visit Sukiya’s website here Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours.

 

Yoshinoya吉野家

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

If you like gyudon, you will also like Yoshinoya. Yoshinoya is found in 1899. In other words, it is one of the oldest fast food chains in Japan. It also mainly serves gyudon. Comparing to Sukiya, Yoshinoya’s beef is fatter, and the sauce is sweeter. In addition, it will also be a good idea to add some red ginger on the top of the beef in order to kill bacteria in your mouth. But it really depends on your preferences. One thing I really like about Yoshinoya is that the food comes fast because the food will be delivered to you within 5 minutes after you ordered your food.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Besides gyudon, Yoshinoya serves diverse dishes and also offer seasonal dishes to customers. One weird phenomenon though, ladies usually do not visit Yoshinoya. Thus, when you enter the store, you will see that 95% of the customers are male. Hence, if you feel awkward, grab someone to come with you.

Yoshinoya Information

You can visit Yoshinoya’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

CoCo Ichibanya CoCo壱番屋

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

If you don’t like gyudon, CoCo Ichibanya seems like to be another good choice for you. It exclusively serves curry and rice to their guests. But Japanese curry is unique. When people think about curry, they will instantly think about spicy and hot. This is not the case in Japan, particularly in CoCo Ichibanya. You can select spicy and sweet curry. You can also choose the spicy or sweet level of your own dishes. If you want, you are able to add money to increase the size of your rice and choose other side dishes too. Anyway, it only costs you 484 yen to order pork curry and rice.

CoCo Ichibanya Information

You can visit CoCo’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

Fuji Soba名代富士そば

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Who don’t want to eat healthy? Fuji Soba is a good place to provide nutritious noodles with economical price because the soba are made of buckwheat, which consist elements that can reduce cholesterol and maintain bone health. It is also beneficial to your digestive system. These are only few from the list; buckwheat can have much more benefits to human bodies.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Most of the options from the menu are lower than 500 yen. As a result, eating cheap and healthy will not be an issue to you anymore.

Fuji Soba Information

You can visit Fujisoba’s wbesite here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

Hanamaruはなまる

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Individuals always look for a restaurant that can be sensitive to the needs of guests. Hanamaru is one of them. Guests can always choose either eating a light or heavy udon meal in this fast food restaurant. Hanamaru has listed out the calories that each of their udon set consists.

Hanamaru is a half self-serve restaurant. When you go in, please tell the stuff that which udon set you want. You also need to tell them whether hot or cold udon you want to choose. After they give you the bowl, you can choose your own side dishes, such as tempura and hot spring egg by tongs. If you are thirsty, you can help yourselves to fill up water or tea into your cup. Afterward, you pay and find your own seat.

Hanamaru Information

You can visit Hanamaru’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Chikara Meshi 東京チカラめし

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Our next stop is Chikara Meshi. You might start to wonder what in the world am I doing to introduce beef again. Well, have you tried a grill beef bowl on an iron board? I am not kidding. Yes, the stuff of Chikara Meshi will put the beef on an iron board in order to maintain the heat of the meat and cook the vegetables for you. You can consider eating at Chikara Meshi as having an individual teppanyaki meal. The only difference is that ordering a grill beef set with vegetable and miso soup costs you 500 yen.  Oppositely, teppanyaki restaurants cannot provide you the meal with the exact same price. If you don’t want to try to iron board meal, you can still try other grill bowls.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Chikara Meshi Information

You can visit Chikara Meshi’s website here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Matsuya 松屋

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Since 2005, Matsuya starts to expand their business network to the United States. Individuals might have already heard about this restaurant. Although Matsuya sells similar meals as Yoshinoya and Chikara Meshi, Matsuya still has its selling point. They provide vegetable salad with three to four different dressings. They also offer miso soup with unlimited refill. Thus, if you don’t like eating too much meat, Matsuya’s food can be a blessing for your digestive system. Besides beef or pork bowl, Matsuya also serves customers with diverse curry sets and other seasonal set meals. Guests can always find surprise while eating in Matsuya. When you pass by one of them, make sure to try it out.

Matsuya Information

You can visit Matsuya’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

MOS Burger モスバーガー

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Restaurants endeavor to localize foreign food in order to satisfy local people’s flavors. For example, eating American food in Japanese style. MOS Burger is one of them. Have you heard about rice burgers? Pardon? Yea, you can find burgers made of rice in this fast food chain. The stuff from this restaurant also adds teriyaki sauce or other Japanese meat sauces and vegetables into the hamburgers. A simple burger can produce complicated flavors due to various dimensions of ingredients.

If you don’t want to drink soda, MOS Burger can offer you a cup of corn soup. Don’t forget the French fries as well because you can also find one of the thickest fries in here. Disregarding the set meal itself, you can exclusively buy a Japanese burger within 5 USD,

MOS Burger Information

You can visit MOS Burger’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Saizeriya サイゼリヤ

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Living in Japan sometimes causes you to be homesick because you occasionally miss the food back home. You want to have pasta, pizza, steak, and cheesecake. Well, Saizeriya can satisfy all of your appetite because it is an Italian fast food chain. Customers only need to spend 500 yen ordering a set lunch, which include one main course, unlimited cups of soup, and one dish of vegetable salad. All other pasta and pizza only cost you 500 yen.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Have you heard about Doria? Doria is similar to gratin, but people put rice instead. People add sauce, cheese, vegetables, and meat on the top, and then put in the oven and bake it. My dear friends, Doria is prominent in the Japanese world. I highly recommend you to try it. Besides the food you have ordered, you just need to add 190 yen to have unlimited, self-service drinks.

Saiziriya Information

You can visit Saiziriya’s website here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Tenya天丼てんや

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Tendon is one of the luxury cuisines in Japan due to its ingredients. One bowl of tendon consists one to two pieces of shrimp, some seafood, and vegetables. If you go to a high-class restaurant, one set mean can cost you few thousand yen to 20,000 yen. However, you can make a deal with Tenya in 500 yen. With the unique tempura sauce on the top of the rice, you will recognize that tendon is a miracle!

Tenya Information

You can visit the website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter , and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Eating in low-priced restaurants with delightful food will definitely uplift the quality of your trip. Therefore, if you haven’t been one of those restaurants, you probably miss out a chance to experience of Japanese fast food culture. Furthermore, when you go to one of those restaurants, please remember to say “hi” to me!

March 6, 2017 0 comment
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Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Just a 5 minute walk away from the Hachiko exit of Shibuya is the Scramble Cafe and Bar. This convenient spot is great for an easy lunch or dinner and is a common meeting spot for expats.

The Scramble Cafe and Bar menu (in both English and Japanese) is egg-themed, with pictures to help those people whose words have finally failed them after a long night of partying or are just waking up to breakfast (whatever time of day that meal occurs for them). It is a cozy little place right from the get-go, almost like a seaside café right by the beach! The food Western-styled, which includes Eggs Benedict, quiche, stew, and confit. All the dishes are a mix of traditionally American and French dishes with a Japanese twist. I had the Eggs Benedict, which came with pasta, potatoes and a mixed salad with some Japanese dressings and ingredients. The Eggs Benedict themselves were more like Eggs Royale, with its ham and the salmon on muffins, including fried egg on the salmon. It is the perfect post-clubbing late-night meal for the steamy Tokyo summer. Or could be your lunch, being a pleasant stop during your mid-day shopping spree. And it went pretty well with the iced Earl Grey.

Scramble Cafe and Bar 3

Scramble Cafe and Bar has two dining sections – an open area that is used in the daytime, and a more relaxed ‘evening’ dining section for late meals. It’s a great little place to sit back and take in the atmosphere, with good food at a good price for a town as busy as Tokyo. And the bar part? Scramble transforms in to an exciting bar with reasonably priced drinks at night. There is also a Saturday happy hour, and DJs start around 6 PM.

So there it is–perfect for lunch during the day and a drink or two at night, all within view of the Shibuya Scramble and not far from Shibuya station. Get your seat while you can!

Scramble Cafe and Bar Information

Website (Japanese and English) | Facebook page

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station Hachiko exit (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 9am – 2pm; Friday and Saturday 9am – 5am; Sundays and Holidays 9am – 12am

“Why Go?”: Reasonably-priced meals and drinks in the heart of Tokyo!

Click on one of the links below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

November 17, 2016 0 comment
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The Public Six Tokyo 12

The Public Six 1

Finished with work and looking for a place to wind down in the evening?  Tired of the usual izakaya?  Why not experience one of Tokyo’s newest Japanese-style gastropub/sports bars? Check out THE PUBLIC SIX in Roppongi.

The Public Six Roppongi 2

THE PUBLIC SIX pride themselves as the perfect international gastropub and sports bar experience. It is the perfect spot to meet with friends any night of the week for a beer and a plate.

The Public Six Tokyo 3

The Public Six Tokyo 4

The Public Six Tokyo 5

And what plates they are! Nearly every item in their English menus are pub classics made fresh. BEHOLD!

Food at THE PUBLIC SIX

The Public Six Tokyo 6

You CANNOT have a pub without Fish and Chips.  THE PUBLIC SIX uses Pacific cod fried to golden perfection. It is accompanied by a house-made tartar sauce that will leave your mouth watering, waiting for that second bite. (¥1200)

The Tokyo Public Six 7

Looking for something “greener”?  Their Grilled Caesar Salad is made from fresh Romaine lettuce from Nagano. (¥1200)

The Public Six Tokyo 8

Our recommendation would have to be the Grilled Roll Steak.  This delectable item is made from a ribeye steak from the U.S. and is served with an Awajishima onion sauce. (¥2600)

The Tokyo Public Six 9

And for dessert, a French classic is available… with a Japanese twist.  The Roasted Green Tea Crème Brulee is a sweet treat well worth the trip. (¥600)

Can’t decide what to eat?  Try out a “Public Course” and taste a number of items!  There are two options for the Public Courses: For 2,000¥ you can get the Casual Course a.k.a. the “PUB 4” and try a set four items.  Want to go for even more food?  The Premium Course, a.k.a the “GASTRO 7,” is ¥4,000 and is essentially a 7 course meal!

Craft Beer at THE PUBLIC SIX

The most essential item on any pub or bar menu is the beer, and THE PUBLIC SIX does not disappoint.

The Public Six Tokyo 10

The Public Six offers six Japanese craft beers all on tap, each different from the others.  Their selection includes golden and white ales, a lager, an IPA, a stout, and a fruit beer.

The Public Six Tokyo 11

And if beer isn’t your thing, THE PUBLIC SIX also has a wide assortment of other selections, including nihonshu and sochu.

They even offer a Nomihoudai (all you can drink) that you can add onto either of the Public Courses!  Two hours for ¥2000, and for ¥3000 you can try all their craft beers and their nihonshu and sochu!

Cigars at THE PUBLIC SIX

So you’ve had your fish and chips and you’ve had your fill on the great food and the craft beer, what could you use to end your great night out?  How about finishing it off with a classy smoke?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

THE PUBLIC SIX has ten different cigars available for purchase.  Their handy Cigar Menu rates how strong each one is and how long it takes to smoke through one.  Don’t want to be caught halfway through a 3,500¥ Cohiba Robustos when you have to be somewhere in an hour, right?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

Not that you’re going to want to leave anytime soon. With good food, great beer, and an after-meal cigar, THE PUBLIC SIX is going to be your new favorite after-work hangout!

THE PUBLIC SIX – Gastro Pub and Sports Bar

Website (Japanese)| Facebook (English)

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Roppongi Station (click on the map for directions)

Hours of Operation:  Mon-Sat 5pm to 5am (last order 4am); Sun & Public holiday 5pm to 3am (last order 2am)

“Why Go?”: Tasty food, craft beer, and a fine cigar makes for a fine meal. Get to The Public Six and get yours!

November 1, 2016 0 comment
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Bill's Omotesando Tokyo Japan

Have you been in Japan for a while, and have been missing food from back home? Bill’s Omotesando is an Australian restaurant that has made its way up to Japan, and is famous for its breakfast food. Many people call it “the best breakfast in the world,” and people claim that celebrities fly to Australia just to eat there. I can say from personal experience that Bill’s has the best pancakes, made from a special ricotta cheese recipe, that I have ever had.

Bill’s Omotesando is easy to find since it is located in the Tokyu Plaza building, with the front exterior covered in angled mirrors. Bill’s has separate menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and a kids menu too. All seating is available in the indoor main dining room, mezzanine dining room, and the terrace.

Reservations can be made online here. Reservations are accepted up to two months in advance, but specific tables cannot be booked. There are other locations in Japan at Odaiba, Shichirigahama, Yokohama, and Futakotamagawa.

So if you are missing a genuine western breakfast, check out Bills Restaurant in Omotesando. Seriously, get the pancakes. You will not regret it.

Bill’s Omotesando Location Information

Website | Instagram | Phone: 03-5772-1133

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Station, 5-minute walk from Harajuku JR Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00am- 11:00pm (last orders 10:00-10:30pm), Weekends and Holidays: 8:00am- 11:00pm (last orders 10:00-10:30pm)

“Why Go?”: OMG the pancakes. Did we mention the pancakes? Because we really, really liked the pancakes. Pancakes.

Click on one of the tags below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

August 4, 2016 0 comment
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Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo

When I heard that I was going to Kawaii Monster Café, I had no idea what to expect. However, stepping inside was leagues beyond what I anticipated; this place is insane. Harajuku is known for its wacky and colorful fashions, and this café embodies everything Harajuku stands for (and more). Walking through the restaurant solicited reactions like, “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” to, “this is so weird and I’m uncomfortable.”

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 11

The weird starts at the café entrance, which is a monster’s mouth (named “Mr. Ten Thousand Chopsticks” or “Mr. Choppy’s”). The restaurant itself? Legend has it that it exists in his stomach. But wait, it gets weirder!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

After you walk inside Mr. Choppy’s mouth, you see the Sweets-Go-Round. It’s a giant rainbow carousel with different objects, with animals that look like they are made out of melting candy. The whole ceiling is covered with broken mirror pieces, and flashing lights and pop music add to the wild atmosphere of the place.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 12

There are four different seating areas of the café. The Mushroom Disco has tables under giant poisonous mushrooms and extraterrestrial plants. Hidden behind the Mushroom Disco is a secret room, decorated with red lips, called the “Secret Area for Talkative Ladies.”What do they talk about? Well, you have to go there to find out…

 Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 14

The show is held right in front of this area. The next area is called the Milk Stand, which is themed like a wacky baby’s room. Milk bottles hang from the ceiling, and giant animal heads drink from these bottles over the tables. This area of the restaurant really made me think, “This is either the strangest thing ever, or the most Japanese thing ever.”

The Mel-Tea Room is next. In here, the walls look like pastel chocolate and giant ice cream cones are dripping down from the ceiling. Giant macaroons are stacked up against the walls (along with giant ants going after these sweets). Right next to the Mel-Tea Room is the “Experiment” Bar, for adults only. The bar is lit up by a huge jellyfish hanging over the counter. There is also a secret VIP room with a pink cat theme.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Monster girls run around the café and put on shows. They have colorful hair and weird outfits- the monster girl I met had purple hair and a bracelet made out of baby shoes. The food in Kawaii Monster Café is just as bonkers as the rest of the place. It’s all rainbow; no matter what you order, you’re guaranteed to get a good picture for your Instagram. They claim that the coloring for their food is healthy and natural. Some popular menu items are rainbow pasta with “paint” dip, and the “colorful poison parfait extreme,” which is a giant rainbow parfait.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 13

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

The restaurant is non-smoking, but does have a smoking area for you to duck into. There is an English menu, and most of the workers and some of the monster girls can speak English. It is possible to reserve parts of the restaurant in advance for parties (which would be necessary if you have a large group, because there are 193 seats in total). Reservations can be made via Facebook Messenger or through this Voyagin link.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 15

In short, this place looks like Tim Burton’s fantasy, if Tim Burton were a kawaii Japanese schoolgirl. I know I am definitely coming back, and bringing everyone I know with me. Kawaii Monster Café perfectly captures what Harajuku is about: the weird fashions, the bright colors, the over-the-top atmosphere, and even the slight creepiness of it all. So if you find yourself in Harajuku, definitely go to Kawaii Monster Café for the strangest and most fun meal you’ll ever have.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Location Information

Website ||| Facebook (Japanese only) ||| Twitter (Japanese only) ||| Instagram

Make a Reservation!

Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line (click on the Google Map for directions)

 Hours of Operation: Weekdays and Saturdays 11:30 am- 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm. Sundays and holidays 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. If it is crowded, there is a time limit of 90 minutes on your stay (or 2 hours for dinner).

Showtimes: Lunch shows are weekdays 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, weekends 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm , and 3:30 pm. Dinner shows are only on Fridays and Saturdays, at 6:45 pm. Another event called “Pink Fat Cat with Yuka” is on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:55 pm and 8:45pm.

Estimated Price: There is an entrance fee of ¥500 for each person, and the average fee per person is ¥2500. Kawaii Monster Café takes VISA, UC, DC, UFJ, AMEX, JCB, and SAISON credit cards. Kawaii Monster Cafés also sells 13 different souvenirs, so be sure to pick up a totally sweet “Kawaii Monster Café” T-shirt! If you visit often, you can earn a Monster Card–the more you return, the more your rank will increase. Customers with high rankings get special privileges!

“Why Go?”: Scroll up and look at the pictures. Do you mean to tell me you are willing to go through life without seeing all of that in person?!?!?

July 26, 2016 0 comment
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Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Part of the thrill of visiting Tokyo is experiencing all of the delightfully strange things that make the city unique. And the biggest thrill is to check out some of the awesome theme restaurants in Tokyo. Here are the top picks from Enablejapan.com for theme restaurants and cafes in Tokyo.

Tokyo Theme Restaurants : Cat Cafes

Although not strictly in the “theme restaurants” genre, cat-lovers from around the world always ask us about cat cafes. There are several cat cafes in Tokyo where you pay to enjoy the company of cats. Most have an entrance fee or require you to buy food and drinks, but this doesn’t bother you, right? After all, you’re there to meet the kitties! There are lots of cats around who want to play or be stroked. For more information, visit our top 15 recommendations for Tokyo cat cafes or watch Part II of our Tokyo Animal Cafe video series featuring Cafe Neko JaLaLa.

Cure Maid Café

Cure Maid Cafe Theme Restaurants

Maid cafes are a uniquely-Japanese thing, and can be off-putting for visitors with conventional tastes. Given their propensity for the cutsey-poo dress-up and antics (particularly in Akihabara), you might walk away feeling kind of like you have just accidentally committed some sort of perverted act. However, Cure Maid Cafe is more Victorian and less cutesy, allowing you to enjoy the experience without having a crisis of conscience. Check out our review of the Cure Maid Cafe in Akihabara here!

Fukuro no Mise Tsukishima

Fukuro no Mise Theme Restaurants

Owls! Really, owl cafes are like cat cafes in that both animals seem to regard humans with thinly-disguised contempt. But you can visit this Tsukishima cafe and meet big owls, small owls, and many owls in between! Check out our review of Fukuro no Mise here!

If Fukuro no Mise is too far out of your away, you could always go to the Lovely Owl Cafe in Harajuku. Even better, you can make a reservation through Voyagin!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

You don’t know Tokyo Weird until you know the Kawaii Monster Cafe. From the Monster Girl floor shows to the bizarre decor, it’s every stereotype of Japan kawaii culture all in one location. Go there, and have your camera ready for your future Facebook shots! Check out our review of the Kawaii Monster Cafe here!

You absolutely MUST go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe during your trip to Tokyo. Let Voyagin help you with your reservation!

The Lock-Up Shibuya

The_Lock_Up_Shibuya_Tokyo Theme Restaurants

This chain of izakaya horror-prison theme restaurants that has a presence in most of Tokyo’s busy areas. The Lock-Up experience starts immediately when one of the waitresses handcuffs you and leads you to your table. Once seated, you can choose from their menu of unusual food and unorthodox drinks. A cocktail served in a smoking science beaker, anyone? Sporadically throughout the evening, alarms will sound and the lighting will go dark as escaped criminals come to scare you at your table. Check out our review of the Lock-Up here!

Ninja Akasaka Restaurant

Ninja_Asakusa_Tokyo_07 Theme Restaurants

A little more expensive than the café options, but this theme restaurant is all about ninjas! At Ninja Restaurant, you can watch as they’ll break out into tricks and performances suddenly throughout your meal, set within an atmospherically designed dining room. The menu varies from Japanese to European, and the quality of the food is generally excellent. Check out our review of Ninja Akasaka Restaurant here!

Q-pot CAFE.

Q-Pot Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Life is sweet at the Q-pot CAFE. in Harajuku! Come by for the cakes and tarts, and then visit their store across the street for fashion accessories based on the sweets you just had! See our review of the Q-pot CAFE. here!

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku Theme Restaurants

The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is a fairly recent addition to Tokyo’s lineup of theme restaurants. Here, you can enjoy a dinner show where the main feature is giant robots being controlled by pretty girls.  It’s an extremely flashy show, with lots of lights, noise and excitement that’s a fun one-off experience. See our review of the Robot Restaurant here!

If you plan on adding the Robot Restaurant to your “must-do” list, you can get a discount on Instant E-Tickets from Voyagin!

Tori no Iru Asakusa

Making New Friends at Tori no Iru Bird Cafe Asakusa Tokyo Japan

Once you’re done at the Sensoji Shrine, this little cafe is a must-see. They have several owls and a walk-in bird room where you can interact with dozens of parakeets and other birds. Re-enact Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” by buying a small box of birdseed! See our review of Tori no Iru Asakusa here!

For more dining and entertainment options in Tokyo, check out the links below–

June 2, 2016 0 comment
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Glass Dance Featured Image

“500 yen. Is cover charge.” This is the first thing I hear when I get in out of the rain. Not a good start, but I’m here on a mission.

“I’m fine with that. I hear you have the Devil’s own brew here.”

The waiter eyed me quizzically. As it turned out, he only knew enough English to tell foreigners that there is a cover charge. I guess that is usually enough to drive them off.

I agreed to the charge and got a seat at the bar at the Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar. Their website helpfully tells you that it is a 2-minute walk, or “a 45 second sprint” from Shinagawa JR station’s Kōnan gate. However fast your Beer Emergency compels you to move, you will depart from the station exit, go down the steps, and walk a block and a half straight ahead. And there it is, across the street from one of the Big Echo Karaoke stations, on your left.

Entrance to Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

“I’ll have the Satan Beer Red,” I told him. “Don’t worry, I understand hyperbole. I don’t believe Lucifer himself created this brew. I understand that a distributor has to give his product an attention-getting name and a cool bottle label in order to attract interest in an increasingly jaded beer-drinking public. And it worked! I saw the bottle in the display window. Good for you. Let’s get on with the temptations to my immortal soul.”

Bewildered by the stream of gibberish I just laid on him, the waiter moved away to fill my order. This gave me a chance to look around. The bar itself has a faux-rustic style that is just subtle enough to not be irritatingly overdone. The decor is the SOTW (Stuff On The Walls) standard, primarily pictures of the insides of breweries. And over to the side–a kitchen?

Beer Selection at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Interior of Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Yes, they have a kitchen at Glass Dance. A kitchen that has an actual chef, not just some dude heating Hot Pockets in a microwave or a kid working a deep fryer. Intrigued, I flip through the English-subtitled food menu. Given the pub atmosphere, I decided to go with the fish and chips (780 yen). The bar also offers other selections from standard bar fare (margherita pizza, chicken wings, etc).

Old Scratch’s libation arrived. The Satan Beer Red was pricey (1150 yen) and ehh. Surely the Lord of Darkness would not allow such swill to represent him on earth. Perusing the drink menu, the price for Satan Red (and its companion brew, Satan Gold) seemed to be on the low-end of a large selection of imported bottled beers. A switch to the less-pricey tap seemed to be in order, and right at that moment my food arrived.

I wasn’t expecting much from people who jerk me up short for 500 yen at the door. But the fish and chips were actually pretty damn good. And there were plenty of fries, not just the five or six that one usually receives at other places. On a recommendation from the waiter, I try a Poperings Hommel Bier from the tap (930 yen). It came in a strange onion-shaped glass. An amber, but light and tasty. Things were starting to look up.

Fish and Chips at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Poperings Hommel Bier at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Next, I surveilled the bar. There were a number of different drafts available, the sign of any good watering hole. De-Koninck Authentic Antwerps, the Poperings Hommel I was drinking, Extra Vedett White. The Hoegaarden mega-pint (seemingly the most accessible European beer in all of Tokyo) could be had for 1380 yen. And still others, both from marked and unmarked taps. This selection, mixed with their imported bottled beer list, gives Glass Dance a broad range of interesting offerings.

It was still raining when I finished the Poperings Hommel. So, another beer with my Dao De Ching? Don’t mind if I do. I had a Leffe Blonde (930 yen). A perusal of the Leffe website gives off airs of a brewer who wishes he was a vintner, but the beer had a nice, light flavor that went well with my decidedly-plebian meal selection. That, and even though I had been munching and reading for a bit, I still had a pot full of fries. I certainly didn’t feel ripped off on that count, cover charge or no.

Glass Dance is one of those bars that opens in the early evening and stays open all the way until just before the station starts operating again in the morning. It would be a reasonable (if expensive) place to spend an all-nighter if you miss that last train, or a place to stagger to if it’s late but you don’t quite feel like going home just yet. Although the prices will keep it from being a regular stop, I’ll be going back for the beer selection and to check out the kitchen’s other offerings.

Atre at Shingawa Station

Satan Beer Red at Glass Dance, Shinagawa Station Atre, Tokyo

Beer Menu at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Draft beer at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Glass Dance Beer Tap in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Glass Dance Blackbaord in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Location: Two-minute walk from Shinagawa Station JR. Open Monday-Saturday 1700-0400, 1700-2330 on Sundays and public holidays. Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and other major credit cards.

Google-garbled translated website: http://translate.google.co.jp/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g600151/&prev=search (includes map)

 

March 20, 2015 0 comment
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With great food, clean beaches and a large variety of both indoor and outdoor activities like the Spocha amusement center and the Oedo Edo-style onsen theme park, Odaiba is a popular spot for families and couples alike.Even getting to Odaiba can be fun. First, there is the unmanned Yurikamome Line which gives you an up-close view of Rainbow Bridge as you pass over the clean waters of Tokyo Bay. For a more leisurely approach, the Tokyo Water Bus is an option that lets you visit both the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (plus nearby Skytree) and Odaiba on the same ticket. For more information on things to do in Odaiba, visit our articles 36 Hours in Tokyo and Odaiba: Tokyo’s Shopping, Amusement and Relaxation Paradise.

Edited by Daniel Foster
Music By Ean Cruz
Footage by Krystal Klumpp

March 16, 2015 0 comment
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tokyo food delivery

Living in Tokyo and feel like a lazy night in with some good food delivered straight to your door? Even if you don’t speak Japanese there are still several options available to you, covering everything from sushi to pizza to curry.

Tokyo Food Delivery : English Options

1. Maishoku: Maishoku is the easiest food delivery service for English-speaking foreigners in Tokyo. It’s perfect for the newly-arrived expat or long-term resident and lets you eat great Tokyo food in the comfort of your own room. Delivery options include hundreds of restaurants in Tokyo, and Maishoku allows you to receive your order ASAP or in the future, like when you’re coming home from a long day out.

2. Rakuten (Google Translated, but it works): Rakuten’s website offers food delivery via neighborhood links. That way, no matter where you live, you can browse their options before deciding on what you want to eat. Categories offered include sushi, pizza, bento, fried chicken and a plethora of others, delivered to your doorstep.

3. Premium Delivery: Premium Delivery is another online service that allows you to order food in English. Currently, their delivery area is limited to Minato ward in Tokyo.

4. Domino’s Pizza: Domino’s has an English website that lets you to order pizza and sides wherever you live in Japan (as long as you live near a Domino’s store, of course). They often have coupons available too, so check to see if you’re eligible for a discount on your order. And if you go and pick up your order, you’ll get a second pizza of equal or lesser value for free!

5. Kiwi Kitchen: If you’re looking for something a bit more homely, then Kiwi Kitchen can satisfy your desires. Kiwi Kitchen offers catering and delivery of various foods like lasagna and curry rice to either your workplace or home. The website is in both English and Japanese and Kiwi Kitchen will delivery in and around the Minato-ku area.

6. UberEats: “Get the food you want, from the Tokyo restaurants you love, delivered at Uber speed.” A great motto for a great new service! UberEats is working with over a hundred of the best spots in Tokyo to bring their great dishes to your front door. UberEats is currently limited in the number of locations they serve in Tokyo, but they’re expanding rapidly. Order through the Uber app (iTunes store or Google Play) or online (English instructions on their website).

Japanese Options

As indicated, these sites are only in Japanese and don’t necessarily cater to English speakers, so you may want to get help from a Japanese friend to place an order. However, I have not found any them to be especially difficult to use, even with less-than-perfect Japanese. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself!

1. Demae-can: Demae-can is the biggest and best food delivery in Japan and has a huge variety of food to choose from. There is no English site though, but if you have basic Japanese knowledge it is fairly easy to navigate their site and make an order.

2. fineDine: fineDine offers food delivery from some of the best restaurants in central Tokyo. Most of the restaurants are a little pricey, but top quality is guaranteed. Again, they don’t have an English website but their site is pretty easy to navigate with basic Japanese knowledge.

3. CoCo Curry House: If you’re craving curry, then the popular CoCo Curry house is the place for you. They offer delivery and since they have so many locations in Tokyo, there’s a good chance they can bring some hot curry to your doorstep. Their website also offers a multilingual menu, which you can use to help place your order.

4. Faith: Hamburgers are pretty popular in Tokyo, so it would only make sense for a delivery hamburger joint to pop up and offer delivery to multiple wards. Faith hamburger is a “gourmet” burger restaurant located in Shinjuku that offers at least 12 different kinds of burgers and party plates that will fulfill your craving for a good burger.

5. Bento.jp: Bento.jp is actually a smartphone application, available in the iTunes store and on Google Play. With just the touch of a button, you can have a bento lunches delivered in 20 minutes for 800 yen each. Currently, bento.jp only delivers in Shibuya, Minato, and Chiyoda.

May 8, 2014 0 comment
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