Asagaya

Tanabata Festival


Have you ever heard of a love story of Princess Ori with Hikoboshi? Their story gave birth to the Tanabata festival in Japan, and I am so lucky to have a chance to participate in it at Asagaya, Tokyo. Exiting Asagaya station, I quickly saw the Tanabata festival. The hanging decorations are colorful and beautiful that I was lost in words. It is fascinating as I walked down to the street to see Chewbacca. But let us not forget about food. The festival brought street food to life, but I was keen on trying the restaurants as there are so many places to eat here.

The restaurant that I went to is an Okonomiyaki/Monjayaki restaurant called Enya. It is a DIY, “Do it Yourself,” restaurant where you can cook your order Okonomiyaki or Monjayaki to your desired, but of course, if you do not know how to cook, a waiter can help you. So, I ordered monjayaki and have a waiter to cook for me. The pan-fried cooked the vegetable, meat, and batter perfectly and kept them hot throughout. It is tasty!



Enya
東京都 杉並区 阿佐谷南 2-16-4 石井ビル B1F

Another restaurant is Yonekyuu serving Oden. There are many varieties of fish cakes, and vegetables in the broth to select from the big pot. It is a winter dish, but I do not want to miss it while staying in Japan. So, I got daikons (Japanese radish), fish cakes, a cabbage roll, and a mochi. The taste is rich and flavorful because they have been simmered in the broth for quite a while.


Yonekyuu
東京都杉並区阿佐谷北2-11-7

Let also not forget about desserts. Chimoto offers traditional and shaved ice on its dessert menu. I had a green tea shaved ice. The green tea is rich and bitter, but when mixing with the syrup, it tastes so good on a hot day.


Chimoto
東京都杉並区阿佐谷南1-14-13

I enjoyed my day at the Tanabata festival and the food very much. Traveler and eater in Japan during summer should not miss the Tanabata festival celebrated between July and August.

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Sugamo

Another Lifestyle of Japanese at Sugamo

Sugamo is no doubt the grandmas’ Harajuku where mama(s) hang out and shop, and I, an explorer, have to visit this neighborhood in Toshima. After exiting the station, I saw Jizo Dori right away, the famous street to all mama(s). The street lines with shopping stores, and more importantly, restaurants to eat, which are mostly traditional and modern Japanese cuisines.

Exploring the neighborhood, I found Tendon Tenya, a place serving Tempura Donburi (Bowl). I had a tempura lunch set which has varieties of vegetables and seafood on my plate along with a side dish and Miso soup. The tempuras are fresh and tender and not greasy at all. It goes perfectly with its sauce. The set is tasty!


Tendon Tenya
3 Chome-27-7 Sugamo, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0002

I also found Tokiwa Shokudou, a restaurant serving seafood dishes. I got the Mackerel simmered with Miso sauce set, which is very rich in flavor. The fish was cooked well done, and the miso went perfectly with it. Together with rice, the taste is very delicious!


Tokiwa Shokudon
3 Chome-14-20 Sugamo, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0002

Sugamo also has great desserts, too. One thing to not miss is the traditional Japanese confections, and Iseya has all to offer. I had Sakuramochi (left) and Wagashi Ajisai (right). Sakuramochi, which represents the Sakura flower, is filled with red bean paste and wrapped with Sakura leaf, and it tastes different from other mochis I had because the leaf gives it a unique flavor. Wagashi Ajisai is filled with white sweet bean paste and covered with jelly cubes. They look cute and taste very delicious!


Iseya
東京都 豊島区 巣鴨 3-21-17

Another dessert store to eat is Kanroshichifukujin where it serves dessert soups. I had salt Anmitsu (Jelly), Mitsumame red bean paste topped with soymilk ice cream, and syrup is given on the side to adjust the sweetness. The saltiness and sweetness balanced each other very well to bring the flavor of the soup to another level.


Kanroshichifukujin
東京都 豊島区 巣鴨 3-37-5

Last but not least, I got a black sesame ice cream at Sesame Fukudo. The store makes black and white sesame ice cream. The owner uses a traditional method to grind the sesame. The ice cream tastes delicious, and who could have thought that sesame can be ice cream. Matcha is already blown my mind and now sesame.


Sesame Fukodo
東京都豊島区巣鴨3-19-13

Visiting Sugamo, I got to see another lifestyle of Japanese. It is a great spot to visit and get away from a bustling city. I had an amazing day here as you can see I enjoy rubbing Sugamo ducky butt for lucky.

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Kagurazaka

With a Surprised at a Random Station in Japan

Today, I randomly chose a station to go to and found myself at Kagurazaka. You won’t believe what I found out there the moment I leave the train station. There is this road (Waseda Dori) line with restaurants to eat from traditional to modern Japanese to western cuisines. The road also is decorated with lanterns lining straight and hanging on both sides. Look so pretty and reflect the beauty of Japan!

I want to go traditional, so I had a traditional Japanese lunch set at Ritoukicchin. One thing I like about this set is that I get to try many dishes. So, on my tray, I got Gyoza, fresh octopus, marinated squid,… Some of them I do not even know what they are, but they all are tasty.


Ritoukicchin
東京都 新宿区 神楽坂 6-23

After savory food, it is time for dessert. I found Baikatei, a traditional Japanese confection store and had a lemon Daifuku, which is very delicious. The mochi has a lemon flavor, and it goes so well with the filling, red bean paste. I am surprised that these two ingredients work together, the sourness balance the sweetness. You can choose other sweets, and believe me they all look cute.



Baikatei
東京都 新宿区 神楽坂 6-15

Another traditional Japanese confection store is Isuzu where I had buckwheat and rice powder Manju, filled with red bean paste. I had them with tea to lighten their sweetness since they are meant to compliment each other. Believe me, the balanced they brought out is satisfied.



Isuzu
東京都新宿区神楽坂5-34

I am so delighted with authentic traditional Japanese food, and you do not want to miss it while you are in Japan. Check out this area and the eating spots I had been.

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Shimo-kitazawa

Me, Travel and Dine at Shimo-kitazawa

My day at Shimokitazawa was no way a disappointment. Just getting off the station, I found myself in a local Japanese district, where shopping for vintage and fashionable clothes are popular and dominated. However, there are more to do than shopping. Food is what should not be missed. There are many food selections ranging from Japanese to western styles and from drinks and desserts. Roaming around, I found Nagi ramen noodle store. It is a small place where the owner serves Niboshi dipping noodle. What is good about Nagi is that eaters can choose the size of noodle to eat from 200g to 1000g without additional charges.


Nagi
〒155-0031, 2 Chome-12-7 Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0031

I also found Hand Drip Coffee restaurant where “Omu” souffle on tomato rice aka “Omurice” is served. The souffle melted once I put into my mouth, and with the tomato rice, the dish brought the balanced taste. Very delicious!!!


Hand Drip Coffee
東京都 世田谷区 北沢 2-12-12 桑田ビル B1F

After savory food, it is time for sweet treats. I found the cutest cream puff of all time at Shirohige’s Cream Puff factory. It is a Totoro cream puff. I got the peach cream puff in which its texture is so rich in flavor.


Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory
代田5-3-1
1F・2F Setagaya, 東京都 〒155-0033 Japan

Another dessert place is Shimokita tea garden where shaved ice is served. There are many shaved ice flavors, but the best is creamy green tea shaved ice–the only one in the district. Since this shaved ice is unsweetened, I got to choose one sweetened sauce, which is brown sugar from five different sauces. The green tea, of course, had its bitterness and once adjust with brown sugar, I tasted the bittersweetness [FYI, the store closes on Tuesday and Wednesday and go there before the store opens to get the calling number].


Shimokita tea garden
東京都世田谷区北沢2-30-2 丸和センター 2F

Last but not least, I made my last stop at Toyonchi-No-Tomago store where egg products are sold. The store has the best egg pudding. I had an egg and a green tea pudding, and OMG! they are so creamy and tasty.


Toyonchi-No-Tomago
東京都世田谷区北沢2-37-16 富士喜ビル1F

At the end of my day, I feel so delighted with Shimokitazawa. Travelers and eaters should have these places on your list when staying in Tokyo for its vintage and fashionable shopping and delicious food.

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Kanagawa

Food and Adventure: Big Buddha and Hase Diner at Kamakura

kamakura food adventure

Kamakura-Enoshima in Kanagawa is one of the most beautiful seaside areas in Japan, home to rich culture and historical heritage with its significant Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and numerous festivals.

The most famous of all these attractions is arguably the Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan’s second largest bronze Buddha statue located in the Kotoku-in Buddhist Temple. Kotoku-in is just a 10 minute walk from Hase Station on the iconic Enoden train line, and though the original temple buildings that held Great Buddha were destroyed by natural phenomena, the statue still towers in the open air at an absolutely colossal height of roughly 11.3 meters.

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Kanagawa

Food Adventure: Hakone Yunessun Spa and Hakone Kappei

hakone japan

Hakone is a gorgeous mountainous town in Kanagawa prefecture, known for its Shinto shrine with the famous red gate overlooking Lake Ashi, and its various hot springs.

Perhaps one of the most frequently visited of these springs is Hakone Yunessun Spa; reachable via the Hakonemachi line bus directly from Otemachi Station. The bus will pull up directly to the door!

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Nagoya

What to Eat in Nagoya: Breakfast to Late Night Munchies

what to eat in nagoya

This rustic city in the Kansai region may often be labeled as “the most boring city in Japan,” but the fantastic local cuisine is anything but. With so many mouth-watering dishes, Nagoya firmly belongs on your food bucket list. Here’s our tasty guide to what to eat in Nagoya that has some of the best stuff Nagoya has to offer for every meal of the day!

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Niigata

Niigata Prefecture: The Foodie Paradise You Never Knew

famous niigata foods

If you’ve heard of Niigata prefecture before, it might be only in the context of ski resorts – the area gets dumped with one of the world’s largest amounts of snowfall each year, so they’ve got perfect powdery slopes that are fantastic for all manner of winter sports.

The prefecture also has a reputation for producing some of the country’s best sake, but what isn’t as well known is the unique food you can find in the region. Wondering what Niigata has to offer the foodie? Wonder no more. Here’s five of the best tastebud tantalizing Niigata specialties you’ll find in this charming part of Japan.

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Osaka

3 Delicious Vegan Places in Osaka to Get You Going

Vegan places in Osaka

Japan’s first capital city is a gorgeous place filled with sights: flashy Dotonbori street, tranquil Osaka Castle, and Shitennoji Temple; one of the oldest temples in Japan – just to name a few! All the exploring is bound to work up an appetite, but where should you go if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet? Thankfully, when it comes to vegan places in Osaka, there’s a ton of options available! Here are our favorite 3 start:

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Akihabara

Akihabara’s Maid Cafes: A Crash Course

You’ve probably seen them as you stroll through the streets of Akihabara, Japan’s otaku paradise – cute girls in pastel-coloured maid outfits lining the pavement, handing out leaflets as they beckon to you with their high-pitched voices. What are they all about? Here’s a crash course to Akihabara’s maid cafes.

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