Sushi is my weakness and it’s really hard to say no to sushi. So when in Japan, you gotta get some conveyor belt sushi or kaitenzushi as it is called. They are so common in Japan I wish we had some back in Vancouver again! There was a time back in the day when we had them if anyone remembers… Also, it is very common in Sydney as well. While we were in Akihabara, we decided to Google a conveyor belt sushi restaurant and found Ganzosushi located close to Akihabara station. It was small restaurant where you seat yourself at the counter and most of the other diners seemed to be dining solo. This meant it was pretty quiet so it was just my friends and I chatting.
We didn’t actually know too much about the prices of each dish but there were a few signs that showed some of the prices of certain items so we guessed that most things were around that price or 125yen-250 yen. Ganzosushi had a lot of good reviews on Yelp so that’s how we found them. Continue reading →
I know we have a Saboten location at the Aberdeen food court but it never looked particularly appealing to me. I guess I never felt like snacking on some deep fried pork cutlets and I didn’t understand the appeal. Also, I prefer fried chicken! We were in Yokohama and stumbled across Saboten in a shopping centre as we were trying to decide what to eat. Saboten serves set meals featuring tonkatsu as well as rice bowls.
There is a sheet at the table with detailed instructions on how to eat tonkatsu.
Step 1: Ground black and white sesame seeds four or five times and add three ladles of tonkatsu sauce for dipping
Step 2: Choose from Yuzu dressing or Sesame dressing for the sliced cabbage.
For my first authentic ramen experience in Japan, I went to Ichiran. This ramen chain specializes in Tonkotsu ramen. I didn’t actually know much about Ichiran except that everyone seems to go when they’re in Japan. They only serve one type of ramen here and I was surprised by that because I’m used to having a variety to choose from. However, that does make the ordering process a lot faster!
As usual, you order from a vending machine like the one pictured above. You insert cash and then select one of the options and then the machine will print an order ticket for you. If you need to add sides, you will need to insert money again and get another ticket. The ramen is very affordable and only costs 890 yen. There is also an option to order a set which comes with ramen, a chashu rice bowl and an egg. Continue reading →
Matsuya is one of the fast food chains in Japan that specializes in gyudon. Apparently this is a popular lunch option for salarymen who want to come in, have a quick lunch and then get back to work. Another similar chain that specializes in gyudon is Yoshinoya. Gyudon is a Japanese dish that is literally a bowl of beef (gyu) on rice (don). The beef comes in thin slices and is usually cooked with onions in a mildly sweet soy sauce. As with many other quick service restaurants, you order at a vending machine and then when there is a free seat at the counter, you sit down and hand over your order ticket to the server. There is water, utensils and a small variety of condiments on the counter for you to serve yourself.
I had the most basic bowl which was the beef with onions on rice and it also came with miso soup. I found the beef to be very tender and mildly fatty. Similar to what you would use in hotpot. You can also get the bowl in different sizes as well. It was quite delicious considering it was so simple!
Mister Donut is a popular donut chain in Japan and I’ve seen many people post about the popular “pon de ring” donut from Mister Donut and I knew I had to try it since I’m a fan of donuts. What makes this donut special? The texture is chewy and similar to eating mochi! If you like mochi, I recommend you try this too!
The location I went to was in Akihabara but they have over 1100 stores across Japan. For some reason I can’t take their logo font seriously. Continue reading →
Yokohama is a good place for a day trip if you’re visiting Tokyo. We had activated our JR Pass so it was only about a 30 minute ride on the bullet train or less. We didn’t have a lot planned for our day in Yokohama besides visiting Yokohama Chinatown, Osanbashi Pier, Cosmo World and the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. The ramen museum is just a short 10 minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station. We were surprised that admission was only 310 yen which is about $3.50 CAD. I noticed they even offer an annual pass for people who want to visit often! The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum was opened in 1994 and is the world’s first food-themed museum.
The ramen museum features specialty ramen from 9 different regions in Japan. Once you buy your ticket and go in, you will be in a lobby area with a small gift shop and slot car racing for kids. This is also where you can learn about the origins of ramen through some large poster panels on the wall. At first I wasn’t very impressed because there wasn’t much on this floor but the ramen eating area is actually located downstairs. You can get a glimpse of the waiting times for the various ramen restaurants from a TV screen in the lobby. Continue reading →
This past year I’ve seen a few trending videos of Japanese souffle pancakes so I put that one my bucket list for my Japan trip. After doing some research, the place I found was called A Happy Pancake. This pancake specialty restaurant originated from Osaka but they now have a few locations in Tokyo as well. The one I went to was in Ginza, not too far from Ginza station. It was slightly tricky to find as the entrance to the building is in an alley way but they have a small sign located outside. On another note, I also noticed that elevators in Japan seem to be smaller.
My friend and I came around 4pm and there was only one group waiting ahead of us. I was quite ecstatic as I hate lining up! It was actually a spontaneous visit so we got lucky with the timing. The cafe looks really new and you can watch them make the pancakes while you wait. A Happy Pancake offers a few sweet pancake options as well as some savoury ones as well. There is a disclaimer on the menu stating that the pancakes are different from normal pancakes and will take about 20 minutes to make. The menu is also available in English. Continue reading →
I recently went to Japan for the first time! I swear every week someone I follow on Instagram goes to Japan so finally it was my turn. I started my trip in Tokyo and I didn’t actually plan a lot of places to eat but everything we had was delicious! I did watch a ton of Youtube videos on Japan though and learned a few things. For example, did you know it is rude to walk and eat at the same time? They prefer you stand to the side and eat outside or eat at a designated seating area. Also, there are very few garbage cans around! I’m assuming because people aren’t walking around and eating there is less trash created or they just take it home and throw it out later.
One place I did hear about was Gindaco which is a chain restaurant specializing in takoyaki, grilled balls filled with octopus. I spotted a Gindaco when I was in the Roppongi area and decided to try it. They offer a few variations of takoyaki with different fillings or toppings but we just went with the classic one which was also the cheapest option at 580 yen. Continue reading →