Tag Archive for: Japan

Toriba, Shinjuku, Tokyo

14 May
May 14, 2014

A good friend of mine has a theory about restaurants in Tokyo.  They are better in the basement.  If in doubt, head down the stairs, and you can’t go wrong.

Toriba ShinjukuI was in Shinjuku for a little bit of camera shopping.  If you are ever in Tokyo and wanting to pick up some camera gear or a fantastic secondhand camera, Map Camera is the place to head.  You will pick up a good as new bargain.  After indulging in the purchase of a new camera and a few lenses, an appetite had been worked up.  Spending money can do that to you.  It had only hit 12pm, but it was definitely time for lunch. Read more →


Guide to Asakusa, Tokyo

25 Oct
October 25, 2013

When in Rome some people throw a coin in the Trevi fountain in hope that they will return one day.  When in Tokyo I have a slightly superstitious ritual I perform.  A visit to Asakusa.  In the back of my mind I have convinced myself that if I do, then my return to Tokyo is a guarantee.

This ritual was born from my first visit to Japan.  I had eaten my first meal in Tokyo, awesome tempura in Ginza, with my father and a long time Japanese friend of his.  Once our leisurely lunch came to an end it was time to discover the Tokyo Metro and head to Asakusa.

senso ji asakusa

senso ji asakusa Read more →

Age Hana from Kyoto Giveaway

26 Sep
September 26, 2013

Those that follow me in social media and are regular readers of Belly Rumbles will know I was back in Japan last month.  I spent a few days in Kyoto on my travels, and when in Kyoto a visit to the Nishiki markets are a must.  I was walking through the markets and dropped in to one of my favourite shops.  They sell all kinds of lollies as well as these gorgeous little flowers you fry and use as a garnish.

They are called ‘Age Hana’, or in English ‘Fried Flower’.  Simple to prepare, all you do is fry them in oil and they puff up into hana (flowers), ha (leaves) and sakura (cherry blossom).

age hana before fryingage hana before frying

When I was picking up a few packets for myself it dawned on me I should pick up a couple of packs to giveaway on Belly Rumbles.  So I did. Read more →

Matsu Sou, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

23 Sep
September 23, 2013

Summer in Tokyo is hot. The humidity embraces you in an unshakable bear hug.  This is the Japan I know well, the stifling heat of her summer.  For some stupid reason each trip I make to Japan, and there have been many, this is the time of year I visit.

It was less than 12 hours ago that I landed at Narita Airport.  In less than 12 hours I would be fleeing Tokyo for the unhurried pace of the Japanese country side.  My short stay is purely to catch up with work colleague friends.  For once I am not here for work, this trip is entirely a holiday.  A holiday that coincides with Mr Fuji’s climbing season.

There is opportunity to have but one dinner in Tokyo this visit, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go, Matsu Sou.  Matsu Sou is an Izakaya underneath the elevated railway lines in Ginza.  I adore this place, it holds many fond memories.

I first came across Matsu Sou it by myself and my first meal there solo.  Copious amounts of grilled chicken on bamboo skewers, and cold dry sake served by a guy wearing an Australian flag bandana.  That first meal I just sat, drank, ate, took in the smells, sights and sounds of a hot Tokyo Summer evening.  People watching at its best. Read more →

Kani Doraku Kyoto Honten, Kyoto Japan

29 Jul
July 29, 2013

There’s no guessing what is on the menu at Kani Doraku.  The giant orange motorised crab mesmerizingly wiggling its legs at you from above the entrance tends to give it away.  Crab, lots and lots of crab.  If you’re not a fan of crab then maybe this restaurant isn’t for you.  This restaurant is heaven for crab lovers.

Kani Doraku isn’t far from the Nishiki Markets.  We discovered this crab paradise walking back to the hotel after an afternoon stroll around the markets.  The giant crab must of worked it’s magic as we promptly made a reservation for dinner later that evening.

Kani Doraku Kyoto honten 1

Kani Doraku Kyoto honten 9Shoes are removed on entering and then we head upstairs to a long tatami floor covered room.  Seating is ‘semi’ traditional.  You are on the floor, but there is that blessing of a hole under your table to drop your legs down.  For those that need to brush up on their Japanese reading skills there is an English menu available. Read more →

Ten-Ichi Ginza, Nihonbashimuromachi, Tokyo, Japan

27 Feb
February 27, 2013

It was only after returning back to Sydney that I discovered that a little restaurant Dad and I stumbled across in Nihonbashi, was in fact, ‘world famous’ for their tempura.  The main flagship restaurant is, as the name states, located in Ginza.  We had come across their Nihonbashi branch which is one of eight dotted around Tokyo.

It was the last day of a very quick business trip to Tokyo, and the morning has been shopping for my usual stash of supplies to take home with me.  Dad had joined me on the shopping spree and has since decided against doing that in future.  Arms laden with bags we call in to a building of restaurants near where we were staying in Nihonbashi.  On level 3 we eventually find somewhere to eat we both agreed on. Read more →

Choujyu an, Soba Restaurant, Ginza, Tokyo

28 Feb
February 28, 2012

A late start to meetings had us meeting up with the Fuminator for an early lunch in Ginza before our working day started.  Actually the Fuminator’s day had well and truly started earlier that day back in the office.  Moi, on the other hand, spent the morning traipsing around Ginza shopping.  I looked at it as my duty to inject monies in to the Japanese post tsunami economy. Read more →

Torigin Restaurant – Ginza, Tokyo

20 Feb
February 20, 2012

Have you ever eaten Kamameshi?  I haven’t seen it on a Japanese menu or seen a restaurant that specialises in this dish in Sydney.

Kamameshi literally translates as ‘kettle rice’, a very popular Japanese dish which is prepared and served in a small pot.  The closest dish it reminds me of is Korean bibimbap.

It is a rice dish topped with selected ingredients that are cooked and served in a pot called ‘kama’ and in this circumstance ‘meshi’ means rice.  The ingredients are cooked in stock, in the pot, which creates taste congruity between rice and toppings.  It is my understanding that this dish originated during the big Kanto earthquake in 1923.  Apparently a restaurant owner cooked up a dish of mixed rice for those affected by the earthquake. Read more →

MOS Burger Japan

08 Feb
February 8, 2012

MOS Burger (Mountain Ocean Sun) is a Japanese fast food franchise.  In Japan it ranks second to McDonalds.  The first store to open in Japan was back in 1972.  The company has a focus on fresh and healthy food served with a smile.

You may find it a little strange, being the foodie that I am, but on past visits to Japan I have never visited MOS Burger.  Let’s face facts, I generally only have a few days and in that short space I have a hard enough time getting my fix of yakitori, soba, katsu and sashimi, just to name a few.  I have nothing against burgers, but when in Japan there is just so much more to eat. Read more →

Monkushun-do Japanese BBQ & Chinzan-so Gardens Tokyo

06 Feb
February 6, 2012

It’s raining, humidity is high and traffic is at its after work peak hour best in Tokyo.  We are in a taxi racing to get to the Four Seasons Hotel at Chinzan-so before dark.  The big boss, Boots, has rung the Fuminator to see where we are.  Boots has planned a very special evening for us which involves getting there before dark.

We are greeted by our Japanese colleagues as soon as we get out of the taxi.  Handshakes, hugs and hellos are exchanged before our group is whisked off to the Chinzan-so gardens by two yakata clad ladies.  Boots was anxious about us arriving before dark, the plan is for a pleasant stroll through the gardens to our dinner destination, located at the bottom of the gardens.

One of the truly beautiful pleasures of Tokyo are the gardens.  For those that only spend a couple of days here you are faced with building upon building, a concrete desert.  There are the well known gardens on every tourists’ agenda, but it is the little known ones that are pure magic.  I find nothing more magical than discovering a small pocket of well manicured and maintained garden amongst the concrete hustle and bustle that is Tokyo. Read more →