A Cozy Tavern in Shibuya, offering Local Cuisine of the Mt. Fuji Region.

Shibuya is known as an exciting town, a center of the latest culture. This city attracts both young and old.

This reputation for new and cutting edge is perfectly true, but the other side of Shibuya is historical and retro. A small town with a never-changing atmosphere, people and stores thrives on Shibuya’s back streets and hidden alleys.

"Sin Kaya", a cozy tavern in Shibuya located in the Hyakkenndana “100 Store” district of Dogenzaka, perfectly represents one of these older places with the “taste” of Shibuya in its atmosphere and its bowls of piping hot Yamanashi-style Udon..

Despite being only a few minutes walk from Shibuya station, it makes me feel like I traveled for decades. As well as its atmosphere, it offers traditional cuisine of Yamanashi prefecture. Yamanashi is to the west of Tokyo and is well known as the area tucked into the base of majestic Mount Fuji.

Personally, I adore Yamanashi and often visit there not only to explore the famous Mount Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes area, but also to visit Katsunuma town and enjoy the many wineries. Nothing can beat a sip of wine in Katsunuma or a visit to friends to enjoy Houto noodles in Kofu town.

Houto is also a specialty we can enjoy here in Sin Kaya. The owner Shin-san (thus the name “Sin” for the restaurant) offers several options. Houto noodles with pumpkin in miso broth (\950) is the most popular one among the locals.

Katsunuma Town in Koshu City, is one of the biggest producers of wine in Japan. Another is the renowned Koshu white wine and Koshu wine beef is also another of the local specialties. Cattle are fed grape skin and this gives the beef a very unique and fruity palate. Koshu beef is prepared in a variety of recipes and today I ordered Koshu beef steak (\1000).

During our visit to Sin Kaya, we also enjoyed koshu miso gyoza dumplings (\500) and garlic fried five-variety mushrooms direct from the farms in Yamaashi (\800). Both of them are prepared with local Yamanashi ingredients. We can drink wine and sake brewed in Yamaashi as well.

In Shibuya, It is easy to find restaurants specialized in Italian, Spanish, Indian, Chinese as well as Japanese cuisine. But there are few restaurants that stick to local cuisine of a specific district in Japan. The parents of the shopkeeper, Shin-san were born and raised in Yamanashi and he decided to offer the local cuisine of Yamanashi. He personally developed the trade between local food producers and makes Houto noodles from ingredients everyday here by hand.

In addition, this place is so cozy. The day we visited was actually Halloween and a wild Friday night. A lot of zombies and nurses were rushing to the main and back streets in Shibuya. Sin Kaya, though, was keeping its atmosphere calm and cool as usual. Many friends of mine do not like going to Shibuya because it is always crowded with rowdy fun-loving (somewhat noisy…) kids and it is not always easy to find a calm place to settle. We have discovered one now... Sin Kaya. This quiet treasure combines a rarity of old and the young, locals and international visitors can enjoy unique cuisine in this space. Just like having a yummy, warming meal in Shin-san’s private dining room.

Sin Kaya
SG Building 2F, 2-17-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

by Hagi

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