In the Ueno area, just off the metro, I ran into a Hard Rock Café. I went in. The truth is it's pretty small, but it has all the same scenery as an average Hard Rock. It's an interesting place if you feel like changing up a bit with your food choices in Tokyo while listening to good music along with the belongings of some of the greatest stars of the music world.
This restaurant debunks the myth that Japan is expensive, especially eating in Japan. On the contrary, eating here can be much cheaper than in Spain and we're not talking about eating hamburgers or pizzas, but traditional, authentic Japanese food. If you're sightseeing in Japan and want to eat good food cheap, healthy and fast, this place is for you. The Ootoya is an economical Japanese food chain. Although there's a set menu, three or four new dishes emerge every few months. Here you can eat grilled fish, Japanese fish, breaded meat, soba or udon noodles, sweet vinegar chicken or pork, etc., all for less than 800 yen. Every entree comes with rice (you can ask for a larger serving), and miso soup. This restaurant is easy to find because the the signs are usually written with Latin characters (sometimes they're not, but in the picture you can see how they spell the name). You can find these restaurants all over Japan (and in Tokyo it's easy to stumble upon one) but if you want to find a specific location, its website (in Japanese)lets you see where the restaurants are by area.
If you travel to Tokyo and want to eat premium Tsunahachi tempura, I recommend this restaurant. There are several in Tokyo but I usually go in Shinjuku whch is about five minutes from the east exit. There is another on the top floor of the department store Takashimaya Shinjuku (exit South terrace). In case you are not aware exactly what it is, tempura is a Japanese food which originated in Portugal. It was first discovered by Portuguese Jesuits missionaries during the fifteenth century. It was a meal of vegetables and battered fish. Normally, on holidays or in evenings of public holidays, there is a big queue so it's best to go another day. Once inside, you can eat at the bar or on tatami. Although eating in Japanese tatami seems like a good idea, perhaps it is best to choose the bar because the idea is to eat the tempura as soon as it comes out of the oil, and you cannot do this in the tatami area. Also, if you eat at the bar you can watch them preparing the cooked food. In Tsunahachi there are several menus but the cheapest is called Tempura Zen and has a good range of things to try. It includes: 1) miso soup, rice and pickles. 2) A first batch of shrimp tempura two large and one type of fish, a mollusc and two green spears of asparagus 3) Anago. This is a small type of eel. 4) A mixed tempura with some vegetables and a lot of small shrimp.
Sai-sai is one of those neighborhood restaurants that specializes in good old-fashioned Ramen. The place is run by an elderly couple and, due to the location of the restaurant (near the more commercial area of Higashi-Awaji), isn´t really visited by too many foreigners. They were super helpful though and eager to assist me, which isn´t too much of a surprise since Japan is one of the best countries in the world in terms of customer service. The menus are fairly inexpensive and the ram is very well prepared. They also offer soba and udon. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to try it!
The Mister Donut chain is widespread throughout all of Japan, but the one that I went to most was the one in the Asakusa district, near the Tawaramachi station. We were staying at the Ryokan Asakusa Toukaisou and every morning we would have breakfast there, because we had to pass by it on our way to catch the subway. It has a variety of donuts and pastries and in my opinion they are better than the Dunkin' Donuts. The prices are very affordable and they were the perfect solution to fill an empty stomach. My favourite order: chocolate covered donuts served with a nice, cold orange juice.
In Tokyo you can find the restaurant where they filmed the fight scene between Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Outside looks good, but as soon as you go in you can see the place that you saw in the film. It had a bar downstairs where you can watch the chefs cook from directly in front. But the best place is at the top where you can enjoy, in addition to food, a magnificent panoramic view of the whole place. The waiters shout all at once when someone asks for a special dish or when someone leaves. The atmosphere is second to none, but the prices are a tad more expensive than a traditional izakaya. Still, I recommend going, make sure that you're hungry and bring and camera for pictures!
Kinryu (金 竜), which means golden dragon, is one of many Ramen stands that are on the streets of major Japanese cities. This one in particular is right next to the Namba station, one of the busiest areas of Osaka. These stands are designed to optimize the lunch hour, and are mostly used by men called "salary-man". It has a Ticket machine where you choose what you want to eat, pay and it gives you change, so that you only have to give it to the waiter, ve prepares it right then and there and serves you at the bar (on the same street) . Once you finish the food, leave the dishes there and go on your way, thereby minimizing the time spent on eating.
Hanamaru Udon is a fast food franchise mainly using udon, a type of thick noodle made from wheat that may be eaten with different things, tofu, tempura, vegetables, algae ... Specifically, this corner is the one that is located in the Shinsaibashi Shotengai. It's a very cheap semi-self service type of place where, upon entering you take a tray and choose your drink and a side that you want for your noodles. Then you get to the kitchen window where they ask what style of noodles you would like.
The day we arrived in Kyoto, we were with a Japanese friend who took us to this place that was inside the station. The decor is strange, based on the "hashi" Japanese chopsticks. It was great because you could try a lot of different things that aren´t so normal to the average Western person who wants to try Japonese food. The desserts and drinks are included. It's not very cheap, 2600 yen per person which is about 23 euros or so, but it is a good restaurant so the quality offered is a reasonable compared to what is in Japan. A place worth a try if you go visit Kyoto.
Although the real name of this place is "Silk road Shuchaku no eki" (シルク ロード ノ 終着駅) all of the foreigners ve live in the area call this restaurant "Densha Nara Café" (densha means train in Japanese). Since it is simple, it is easy to remember. As the name suggests, this cafe-restaurant is a unique place in that in addition enjoying a drink (either coffee, tea or a bowl of curry-rice - the specialty of the house) you can also see the giant model trains that are in the middle of the restaurant. The train is driven by a control that is on the table, as you can see in one of the photographs or video. The food and drink are fairly average, but the curry is very good, yes, the best thing about it is the interesting atmosphere ... Priceless!!.
This is one of the restaurants that I like the most in the center of Osaka, in front of the Glico poster. It specializes in chicken (chicken skewers for the most part, which in Japanese are called yakitori), hence the name (tori means chicken in Japanese). They also make very good salads, salmon in particular. It is a place I recommend for dinner for its location and quality design. Regarding price, it's a little more expensive than normal, but affordable.
This restaurant is a small place near the Kintetsu Nara Station and specializes in Ramen. The interesting thing about this place is that they have unique Ramen with names of famous monuments of the city of Nara, for example have the daibutsu Ramen (Ramen Big Buddha) and Todaiji Ramen (Memorial Todaiji temple ). The truth is that the soup with noodles is quite juicy and has a lot of flavor, so this restaurant can be quite comforting to have some noodles before going to visit the city or just pass by it when we return.
Nagasakiken Ramen is very near the Nagasaki Station in behind Eki Mae. Is a typical Ramen restaurant that is very small but authentic. It is Full of hanging paper posters announcing the dishes available on the menu and their prices and junk everywhere. The ramen flavor of these place is usually very good, and here the rule is re-confirmed . A lot of broth and noodles it just right. I definitely Recommend to come for a visit!
This restaurant is very close to the Kintetsu Nara Station. It is small but the food is very good and the atmosphere is quite nice. The dishes are fashions, but it is clear that the base is oriental, especially Japanese. Besides Japanese dishes, we find different types of salads, Okinawan food, a Korean dish and even some money for the most skeptical. The owner, ve also serves in the restaurant, is Japanese and a very bohemian man ve will give you good service and prepare each of the dishes with care. I recommend a visit. The average price ranges from around 15Euros per person.
When we think of the best Japanese beef Kobe always comes to mind as it is the most famous in Japan and one of the best known in the world. However, there is another beef as tasty as Kobe. This is Hida beef, whose epicenter is Takayama and Gifu Prefecture, and it is of the highest quality. We tasted some very thin slices with marbling and small white dots. The combination of veal with vegetables and the flavor of a piece of fruit is one of the greatest culinary pleasures of my life. And I'm not exaggerating, the veal was superb. Our experience of Hida beef in a small Takayama restaurant was the best of our last trip to Japan. In addition, anyone who is interested can visit farms in the area to see how they care for these fortunate cows. The quintessential pleasure of traveling makes this a trip worth making.
In this beautiful Shibuya basement you can try ramen and tsukemen a la tonkotsu (pork bone).
In terms of price it's pretty good, about 5 euros for ramen and 7.50 for the tsukemen, and given the location, about 10 minutes from the Shibuya station and the famous Hachiko statue, you really can't complain.
In this place you pay a set price and you can choose the amount of pasta you want, and the largest size (Chou) is truly enormous. In each table there's a basket of hard-boiled eggs to put on the ramen and each one is about 40 euro cents.
For those who don't know, the main difference between the ramen and the tsukemen is that in the ramen the noodles go in the soup while in the Tsukemen they give you the soup and noodles separately and you dip the pasta in the soup. You can also choose whether you want it hot or cold.
I had already been there on my previous visit to Tokyo and I liked it but this time I was a bit more accustomed to japanese food and I have to say that this was my favorite restaurant of the trip. The Tsukemen is delicious and it comes with a spicy wasabi-type sauce but with a type of spice that you put in the proper portion the soup comes out delicious and so do the noodles when you dip them
If you don't want to put spicy stuff directly just in case, I recommend that you put it on a spoon, mix it a little and then dip the noodles on a spoon. It's more complicated and requires a bit of practice, that that's the best way to eat it.
I liked it so much, this time I went a whopping 4 times... hahaha. And even though I like to try new and different places, I liked this one so much...
It's delicious with a great ambiance and music!
Juicer Bar is a small franchise of juice stands found in many of the suburban train stations throughout Tokyo and Osaka. Although the company is from Osaka, the quality of its juices and smoothies made soon also spread through Tokyo and there may also pop up in suburban train stations in other cities. To me the juices were tasty but a bit pricey (about 2.5 - 3euros per quart)
When you are in the Montana cafe, although it is situated in the center of Kobe, you would never think that you were in Asia. It is located on the second floor, with a narrow staircase leading to the street. There, we ordered from the extensive menu of coffees they have and then you can decide whether to stay on that floor (which, admittedly, has little space due to the bar) or go up to the third floor where there are 4 or 5 tables and there is more space. It is a cafe with a very "Western style". Ideal for protection from the cold and enjoying a good atmosphere.