Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

New Route Again! Downtown Riverside Ride

March 10, 2016

 

荒川サイクリング<Arakawa Cycling Road>

Yes, we will launch a new route again! – Tokyo Downtown Riverside Ride.This tour takes you to the east side of the city, where we will ride a lot along the river and canals. Very relaxing 26 km long course is relatively flat and there are cycling roads and parks, and you will see local people walking with their dogs, playing tennis or cycling with their beloved bikes.

CIMG4681 旧中川 やまゆき<Nakagawa>

Beautiful cherry blossoms trees are planted along the river, so the scenery in the end of March to early April is stunning!! But other seasons are also enough lovely 🙂

We’ll pick our food at popular local shopping street, called Sunamachi Ginza. This shopping street has about 180 small individual and unique shops. It is very interesting to have a fun chat with the owners of those retail shops and this is the reason the street is still bustling even a new big supermarket chain was built in the same area.

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We will walk pushing our bikes and buy our food to take those to the river side for our picnic lunch.

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Of course, we will stop at some sightseeing attractions, like Japanese Garden, Shinto Shrine etc. The below picture is in front of Kameido Shrine.

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We will ride again along rivers and canals to back to our office.

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If you want to try this new route with us, please send us a booking request through our website. The website is not ready yet for “Route F” but please tick “special” and mention “Route F” on others column.

Tsuyu …. Rainy season is not fun at all but…

June 12, 2014

plum

 

As you may already know, it is the middle of  rainy season in Japan. This year it has been raining a lot, Tokyo has the most rain in the last 1/4 century… Oh, just too much… we look outside of the window with the bitterness when we need to cancel the tour.

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Rainy season is called “Tsuyu (梅雨)” in Japanese, it literally means “plum rain”, and actually this is a season for Japanese plum fruit. You can easily find the light green or yellowish fruits on the trees in the gardens, shrines or temples even in Tokyo.

With these plum fruits, someone make plum jam, another make pickled plum (Umeboshi) or maybe plum juice. For us it is definitely, “Umeshu (梅酒)”!!  Umeshu, or plum wine is a Japanese liqueur made from steeping Ume into “Shochu” (Shochu is a kind of Japanese distilled beverage) and sugar. After three months or more maturing in the jar, it becomes very smooth and mild Umeshu, normally Umeshu contains about 10 % of alcohol.

On the other rainy day, we made TGCT home made Umeshu, we may be able to start tasting in this winter, so please come to our shop to try them before we finish them all by themselves :-p

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Tokyo’s Great Restaurant Vol. 6 ~ by Kazu ~

September 25, 2013

Restaurant Name: New Kayaba  (ニューカヤバ)

Area: Kayabacho

Address: 2-17-11 Nihonbashikayabacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Category: “Izakaya”, Japanese Tavern

Business Hour: 17:00-21:00 Monday thru. Friday

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Hello, this is Kazu. I would like to introduce my favorite Tachi-nomi (Stand and drink in Japanese) style “Izakaya”, a Japanese tavern, near our office. It’s only 3 minutes walk from our office and a wallet friendly tavern.

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The tavern has counter tables with no chairs, so that customers stand and drink. What makes this place different from others is that there is a small BBQ
grill in the center, where customers can cook their own yakitori.
Yakitori is all self-service, so you can season with as much yakitori sauce
or salt as you wish!

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Drinks such as draft beer, bottled beer and “Hoppy”, and foods including yakitori (raw), sashimi, salad and more dishes at @300 yen or less / each are served cash on delivery basis by shop employees. Sake (rice wine), wheat “shochu” which is a distilled alcoholic beverage, sweet potato “shochu”, and buckwheat “shochu” are supplied by vending machines. You can have enough drink and food there with 1500 yen or less. Of course, you can drink more, but you may feel tired after 6-hours bike tour and stay standing 🙂 Now it’s a good time to go back to your hotel with good memories of the day. If you are interested, please try this place!

M.N.YKanpai!! Together with other guides, Masa, Natsumi and Yukiko

Seasonal Sweets, Seasonal Tours

March 6, 2013

Do you like Japanese sweets? I do! Japanese traditional sweets are called “wagashi (和菓子)”. Wagashi has developed along with Japanese tea ceremony, and wagashi craftsmen try to express seasonal beauties in every piece of sweets to please your eyes and palates. Now cherry blossom season is just around the corner, “Sakura-mochi (桜餅)”, cherry-blossom flavored rice cakes are on display.
There are two types of Sakura-mochi; one is named “Domyoji (道明寺)”, the other is “Chomeiji (長命寺)”. Roughly speaking, the former was from Kansai area (around Kyoto and Osaka) and the latter originated in Tokyo. People have their favorites of the two, but both have a perfect combination of a sweet soft mochi with a scented cherry leaf. Then, how about leaves? To eat or not to eat? (That is the question.) The leaves are edible and I like to eat a lightly salted leaf together with a sweet mochi. But some people do not eat it.

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This is a “Domyoji” type.

To celebrate one of the most festive seasons in Japan, we have arranged special tour weeks in the peak bloom weekends of cherry trees. Besides our regular bike tours, kayaking and running tours are scheduled in late March and early April. Choose your style and join us!
For details and reservation:
 Tokyo Great Cycling Tour HP  
 Tokyo Great Kayaking Tour HP
 Tokyo Great Running Tour, see Facebook page.

Setsubun, just before spring

February 2, 2013

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This is the season when you find packs of beans with paper masks of funny goblins at supermarkets. Those are for Setsubun (“節分”) festival.

Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in the Japanese old lunar calendar, the name of which literally means “the day between seasons”. This year it falls on February 3rd.
On Setsubun day, people throw beans out of their houses, saying “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! (Devils out! Good luck in!)” to expel evil spirits. At home, Fathers put masks playing an Oni (“鬼”, devils) and children throw beans.
One more event of this day is to eat sushi-rolls. Sushi-rolls for Setsubun are big, thick, and served uncut. Oddly enough, you have to eat it silently, facing to the direction designated as lucky one for the year. (Imagine that all your family are eating big sushi-rolls without a word facing the same direction!) The lucky direction of this year is south-southeast, and you can buy Setsubun sushi-rolls at convenience stores, supermarkets and take-away sushi shops. So why don’t you buy one and try this Japanese tradition?

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In Tokyo, Zojo-ji (“増上寺”) and Ikegami-honmon-ji (“池上本門寺”) are very popular for the Setsubun events and collect thousands of people. Many local temples and shrines will also hold some small events. If you join our cycling tour tomorrow, you may come across one!

The sushi roll lunch in Washington D.C.

July 13, 2012

Hi there! Today, I would like to post a picture I’ve taken in Washington D.C., at the lunch time today.

I’ve ordered a sushi roll lunch menu at a sushi restaurant. The taste was nice, and I liked it very much. On the other hand, I’ve found it rather interesting.

 

 

First, having rice in addition to sushi (or californian roll) is not usual to see in Japan since sushi itself has rice around it. Second, having gyoza (the fried meat dumbling) along with sushi is rather new combination for me.

They are different from Japanese custom, but it does not necessarily mean bad. I’ve seen many customers there, and they seem to be enjoying eating that. I believe these customization was necesary to provide customers more satisfactions here.

This recalled my past experience with my friend who came to Japan. Since I wanted him to enjoy Japanese meal, I’ve invited him to a very expensive sushi restaurant in Japan.

Though he said he liked it, he ended up with going to McDonalds after that, since he couldn’t feel full regardless of the amount of sushi he has eaten.

By providing these customized menu, I think customers here can enjoy the meal and can feel decently full.

Indeed, these interesting combination created a good harmony, thus I really enjoyed the lunch.

Well, if you would like to see how the sushi menu is in Japan, please come to Japan 🙂

Mercedes’ restaurant in Roppongi

July 2, 2012

You know, Mercedes is one of the popular brands of luxury cars. Japan also has many Mercedes dealers. Among them is a dealer in Roppongi, where customers can enjoy lunch / dinner / cafe.

The dinner might be a bit pricy, but the lunch is affordable. Since this restaurant is designed for advertisement of Mercedes’ brand, the interior design of the restaurant is very nice. Below is the photos of the restaurant.

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It costs between 1200-1800 JPY for one meal at the lunch time (excluding drinks). You can have a buffee (salad and desserts), and can have one main dish of your choice.

This brand restaurant is open only by the end of this year. Hurry and enjoy the lunch there in Tokyo !!

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Tokyo’s Great Restaurants Vol.6 ~ by Take ~

June 6, 2012

Hi there,

Well, this is already Volume 6 of the series, so I would like to provide a different taste here. I believe people would like to try something special in Japan. The other guides have already recommended some restaurants that are nice in terms of taste. Different from them, I would like to suggest 3 restaurants that provides you unforgettable experiences rather than tastes.

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#1

Name: “Ninja Akasaka”

Area: Akasaka

Have you ever met any Ninja before? here, you can meet ninjas, who could kindly serve you a meal. I have used this place for both private and business, and this place was very much appreciated by my guests in both cases.

URL: http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/

#2

Name: “The Lock Up”

Location: several places in Tokyo

I have long wondered how prisoner enjoys meals in jails. This restaurants gives you a chance to experience the meal in jails. Note that you need to go there with a partner since you and she/he will be handcuffed. If your heart is not that strong, please do not consider going there. (This place is not recommended for business use, but is very entertaining if you go there with your partner)

URL: http://www.kitanokazoku.jp/lockup/index.html

#3

Name: “The story of Taketori”

Location: several places in Tokyo

The theme of the restaurant is a Japanese fairytale-like story. Very cozy place with inexpensive menu.

URL: http://www.diamond-dining.com/taketori/index.html

That’s for now. I’ll come back to the blog from time to time. till then ^^;

strawberry picking

May 3, 2012
Strawberry picking at Chichibu

Strawberry picking at Chichibu

It was such a rainy day today, but I took a day trip from Tokyo in order to enjoy strawberry picking. The venue was in Chichibu, which is a popular day-trip destination for Tokyo locals. I enjoyed eating strawberries as much as I can within 30 minutes there, and all of them were surprisingly sweet. I think I’ve eaten more than 40 strawberries within the 30 minutes, and it was more than enough for me. You can enjoy different species of strawberries there, but I was unable to distinguish their tastes since all of them were equally tasty for me.

Well, if you are tired of the city tour in Tokyo, you could consider taking this kind of day trip around Tokyo.

“Zundbar” – A Ramen Bar

April 23, 2012
Inside Zundbar

Inside Zundbar

Japanese noodle, known as “Ramen,” is one of the most loved food in Japan. Various Ramen restaurants exist all over Japan, and each of them has different tastes. I am one of the Ramen-lover, and I think I have been to most of the major Ramen restaurants in and around Tokyo area.

Today, I have been to a very popular Ramen restaurant near Tokyo, called “Zundbar.” It was my first time to go there. The restaurant gave me an impression of a bar, though it serves Ramen instead of any alcohols. The taste of the Ramen was also very enjoyable.

Zundbar's entry menu

Zundbar's entry menu

It is very difficult to access the restaurant. You cannot reach there by train, or by bus. You need to use a car, or taxi to reach the restaurant. Yet, the restaurant is very popular. Though I came to the restaurant a bit before the opening hour, there were many others waiting for the opening of the restaurant.

I am pretty sure that you will enjoy Zundbar, for its design, and for its Ramen’s taste. Try it when you come to Japan.