Tag Archive for: Tokyo

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 →

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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 →

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 →

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 →

Kaisendonya Jizakanaya Restaurant, Kayabacho, Tokyo + Karaoke with Friends

15 Mar
March 15, 2011

Over the past few days I have been quite upset about what has happened to Japan and her people, sadly it is hasn’t ended. I have a big connection to Japan as I deal with a company in Tokyo on a daily basis and others. Over the years and my visits to this fantastic nation my work colleague have also become my friends.

These people will be part of my life for a very long time, that is just how it works, you make bonds that don’t break. There may be a distance between us, but they’re are close bonds that tie. Business is business and it is handled as such, but when business is over then it is time to have fun in each other’s company.

I love Japan and her people. I have been lucky to have travelled to many places, but nowhere have I experienced the warmth, kindness, competence, honesty and organisation that you experience in Japan, and I am just talking about people you meet on the street.

So while my friends in Japan are suffering from major aftershocks. Wondering what will be the outcome of the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. Are dealing with the devastation of being hit with a 10M wall or water after last Friday’s 8.9 earthquake and there have been talk that another may hit, I would love to share a special dinner I had with colleagues last August in Tokyo. Read more →

Mitsukoshi Food Hall – Tokyo

14 Aug
August 14, 2010

I was in Tokyo for business and for convenience was staying near the company I work with which was located in the business district of Tokyo.  What I like about the Nihombashi-Kayabacho area is that on the weekend it is soooo quiet, almost Twilight Zone style compared the rest of bustling Tokyo.  Come Monday and you wonder where all the traffic and people came from!

There are numerous department stores around Tokyo in its various city wards (Ku).  Just one station from where I was staying (Suitengumae), on the Tokyo Metro Line of Hanzomon, is the station Mitsukoshimae and the home of the Mitsukoshi department store (there is another big one in Ginza).To put it bluntly I am in love with the food halls of Japanese department stores.  If you like David Jones you will go gaga over what you can find in Tokyo.  To be honest, their food halls make David Jones look like a country corner store.

I could walk around them for hours, just so much to see and absorb.  I am the proverbial kid in a candy shop when I visit.  My dream is to one day be able to stay in Tokyo for more than a few days, get myself a little apartment, play and explore with all that can be found.  Serious mouth watering excellence. Read more →

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