Eat and Drink

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Conversation with Ginza Aster Grand Chef images

Conversation with Ginza Aster Grand Chef

The other day I had the pleasure to interview Minakawa san, the Grand Chef of Ginza Aster. He is a genuinely all round nice guy and it was a great insight to speak to someone in his position. We spoke about various aspects of his time at Aster Ginza, their concept and what he does specifically. H…(273 words)

Adstev73 image

Adstev73

15kinds of ONIGIRI (or OMUSUBI) images

15kinds of ONIGIRI (or OMUSUBI)

The rice ball (Onigiri and Omusubi are the same meanings)of the Japanese minisuper (KONBINI)has too many kinds now and continues still increasing day and night. I think that it is a barrier for a foreign tourist most to keep the contents that it is difficult for even a general Japanese to know …(208 words)

FRITZ image

FRITZ

Food to eat in the Autumn images

Food to eat in the Autumn

A must eat dish in Autumn is "matsutake gohan" which is pine mushroom rice. Pine mushrooms are in season during the fall so is definitely the time to eat it. They also have "matsutake soup". It is slightly expensive but very much worth eating. Also persimmons are the in season fruit during the fall…(64 words)

Jules image

Jules

Wasabi images

Wasabi

Have you tried fresh wasabi? To me, wasabi is a type of art, defines and type of essence of Japan. I am not talking about the green paste or stuff that comes in a tube or packet with your obento, or at the kaiten sushi. If you can, please try to experience real, freshly grated wasabi. This is a…(137 words)

Yobochusha image

Yobochusha

An easy-to-understand video on how to use chopsticks images

An easy-to-understand video on how to use chopsticks

I came across this video on YouTube while I was trying to explain a friend of mine how to use chopsticks.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK60ApqvKUsIt's easy-to-follow and also tells you what you're not allowed to do when you're eating with chopsticks, like stabbing your food.I recommend …(82 words)

marinyan image

marinyan

Nomihoudai are economical and great if you are in groups.. images

Nomihoudai are economical and great if you are in groups..

Normally Nomihodai are timebound. It is for 60 min or 90 min or 120 min etc and this is told /decided initially when you enter the shop. There are set of drinks which you can have as much as you like in these 60 or 120 min. Drinks not included in this list have to be purchased separately at norma…(192 words)

suku image

suku

Yakitori in Japan? Iseya in Kichijoji is Definitely one of the Most Popular images

Yakitori in Japan? Iseya in Kichijoji is Definitely one of the Most Popular

At the corner of Inogashira Park in Kichijoji, you will notice the old two storied old school house-ish venue : Iseya is one of most popular yakitori venues in Japan and on weekends, there is queue at the front( except rainy days, perhaps ). Inside the venues, no much of fancy or sofisticated impre…(74 words)

lenamum image

lenamum

Nakameguro is very Female Friendly! images

Nakameguro is very Female Friendly!

The neighborhood of Nakameguro (nickname Nakame) is packed with great little boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. The beautiful tree lined canal (cherry blossoms in hanami season) is perfect for a day out with friends, or a lovely afternoon on your own. The range in this small neighborhood is amazing…(124 words)

LShannon image

LShannon

Handle your sushi like a pro images

Handle your sushi like a pro

Ignoring preparation (which can be an intensely meticulous process on the part of sushi chefs), nothing about the actual consumption of sushi needs to be complicated, at least in my experience. After all, it is only a slab of fish over a block of rice. Sushi is meant to be eaten in one bite, so han…(172 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Elaborate onigiri is king images

Elaborate onigiri is king

Traditional onigiris have a nice healthy appeal, and retain the "classic" Japanese dietary elements, such as rice, fish, and pickled veggies, but let's not limit ourselves to just the classics. Every convenience store has its own brand (or at least brand that is made for that convenience store), an…(178 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

If you like potato chips - you MUST try "Jagariko" "じゃがりこ” images

If you like potato chips - you MUST try "Jagariko" "じゃがりこ”

I don't know why these are not in the States yet. Just think of a potato chip but shaped like a french fry. Many flavors, easy to eat, and they don't crumble all over you or your keyboard!I know Japanese who swear they are best dipped in mayonnaise.(49 words)

JiyugaokaPaul image

JiyugaokaPaul

Mixed Sandwhich images

Mixed Sandwhich

When you want something easy, try a sandwich. A mixed sandwich at a convenience store is usually made of 3 standard sandwiches: tuna fish, ham and cheese, and egg salad sandwich. For a visitor to Japan that might be tired of having exotic food and wants something simple and inexpensive, a mixed san…(58 words)

Sweet42.195 image

Sweet42.195

Taste over tradition images

Taste over tradition

A late night gorge at a typical Japanese junk food restaurant just can't be beat. One thing which I always go for is ramen, but not just any ramen. Taste over tradition is the key concept, and many older or more traditional Japanese people scoff at some of the wild creations that downtown ramen sho…(133 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Good for the teeth, wallet, and diet images

Good for the teeth, wallet, and diet

Japan certainly has some interesting snacks, some that may seem a bit outlandish and wild; mostly of the seafood variety. It may take a bit of courage and a bit of time to stomach some the stranger ones, but once you get used to the smell, texture, or flavor of some of the more "unique" snacks, the…(172 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Making tasty okonomiyaki images

Making tasty okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki means, literally, "cooked to your own preference." At a restaurant, take a look around and see how others cook it. Making a pancake and letting the first side cook is reasonably easy, But taking the special spatulas in both hands and flipping it in a single motion takes practice. Ord…(58 words)

mikekato image

mikekato

Soup Base images

Soup Base

Soy sauce seems to make its way into all of Japanese cuisine one way or another. Often times just as a replacement for salt in cooking. I find that my bottle in my apartment most commonly makes its way into soups. I usually boil green onions and other stuff like a chicken carcass or fish flakes, an…(108 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Try not to eat or drink while walking and riding trains! images

Try not to eat or drink while walking and riding trains!

The generally accepted rule of conduct is to not eat or drink on the train and while walking (taking a sip of water or tea is fine). This is because Japanese people tend to be very considerate for other people on the train and streets. They also want to keep the trains and streets clean by not spil…(86 words)

RieS image

RieS

Refresh Yourself with Green Tea in Japan images

Refresh Yourself with Green Tea in Japan

If you go to the drink section in a convenient store in Japan, you will find that about 20% of the drinks are different types of tea! The tea is very delicious and some even have actual tea leaves in them. When I was at school, I would drink green tea every day. When you come to Japan, I definitely…(70 words)

GenS image

GenS

Catering can be extremely easy! images

Catering can be extremely easy!

Take-out can be very easy as long as you know how to say several information in Japanese or simple English. Let's say that you want to take-out pizza. First, you should pick the soba you want by looking at the menu online or on the flyer. Before you call, you should know how to write the addres…(232 words)

RieS image

RieS

Separate Sticks images

Separate Sticks

Yakiniku at a restaurant will always be grilled by your party, and not by employees. This is different from yakitori (grilled chicken) which is always done by chefs, as it is a more delicate process.One thing to keep in mind, especially when eating in groups where people will be communally tak…(159 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Teppanyaki at Seryna! images

Teppanyaki at Seryna!

My family and I enjoy going to Seryna, a teppanyaki (cooking with an iron griddle) Kobe beef restaurant in Kannai, Yokohama. You will get high quality beef with excellent flavoring and service. The chefs have to train for a decade before being able to cook in front of the customers. In this restaur…(118 words)

RieS image

RieS

How to Maintain the Perfect Balance Between Noodles and Sauce in Japan images

How to Maintain the Perfect Balance Between Noodles and Sauce in Japan

A key when eating zaru-udon (udon on a bamboo net that you dip into sauce) is to avoid dipping the udon too much. This does require some chopstick skills but what you want to aim for is dipping your udon in the sause just enough so its tasty but not too much that all you taste is the sauce. The noo…(147 words)

GenS image

GenS

Make sure they serve the flavor ramen you like! images

Make sure they serve the flavor ramen you like!

The most important thing to consider when looking for a ramen shop is what to make sure they serve the ramen broth flavor you prefer. As a basic guideline, there are three common types of ramen broth: Tonkotsu/Pork FlavorShoyu/Soy Sauce FlavorMiso FlavorWhile some Ramen restaurants serv…(89 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Vinegar, the cure all! images

Vinegar, the cure all!

When you go and eat ramen, at almost every single place, you will notice that they have 3 bottles of sauce at the table. One is dark, which is soy sauce, one is red chili oil, and the other clear one is vinegar. When I eat ramen, I always take a small spoonful of soup and pour some vinegar in i…(162 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Check out Lipovitan! images

Check out Lipovitan!

Lipovitan is a small energy drink that comes in a bottle with a gold cap. They cost under 200 yen and are an effective energy drink without all of the liquid that western energy drinks have.(35 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Try Okonomiyaki and a Chuu Hai images

Try Okonomiyaki and a Chuu Hai

Okonomiyaki is an awesome Japanese dish that is basically a pancake filled with cabbage, meats, and whatever else you'd like. In the Tokyo area, okonomiyaki tends to be thinner, whereas in the Kyoto/Osaka region they get much thicker.Chuu Hais are a japanese interperation of the Highball drink …(72 words)

KurtisW image

KurtisW

Before you leave... images

Before you leave...

When staying at the park or street with cherry blossoms, you should not take up excessive amounts of space, especially if it is a popular location. Take a picnic sheet that will fit your friends and/or family members with whom you will be doing hanami. Also, you must remember to throw out your own …(106 words)

RieS image

RieS

Royal Host - a cozy environment images

Royal Host - a cozy environment

My all-time favorite family restaurant is Royal Host, a family restaurant that is more upper-class than others. My family usually go there just to relax, because the have comfortable booth seats. They also have a drink bar and therefore it's a great place to hang out and talk with your friends!…(137 words)

RieS image

RieS

Sakuramochi hits the spot images

Sakuramochi hits the spot

My favorite dessert during the spring time is sakura-mochi, which is a pink and sweet rice cake with red bean paste and a sakura leaf wrapped around the mochi. It is delectable and is perfect after any meal. I love how the saltiness of the leaf complements the sweetness of the mochi. This is th…(68 words)

RieS image

RieS

How to Get the Freshest Sushi in Japan! images

How to Get the Freshest Sushi in Japan!

One tip I think you should know is to try and avoid taking sushi from the conveyer belt and order it directly with the sushi chef instead. Although its fun to take sushi from the conveyer belt, ordering it directly from the “sushi master” will ensure what you get is the freshest sushi possible. Som…(103 words)

GenS image

GenS

Kimono Wine Bar and Grill in Japan images

Kimono Wine Bar and Grill in Japan

There is a small restaurant in Nogizaka called Kimono Wine Bar and Grill that I go to sometimes when I’m craving for some good food. I especially enjoy their steak and greek salad. One problem, though, is that it's a little difficult to find. But that's what makes it a nice hideaway spot! Here is a…(69 words)

GenS image

GenS

Yatai while doing hanami images

Yatai while doing hanami

Yatai or open-air food stalls are seen at festivals and big events. I love stopping at several yatais when I go do hanami at Gumyoji. During the sakura-blooming season, there is a row of yatai along the river in Gumyoji. Along the river, there are also cherry-blossom trees! Therefore, it is a great…(131 words)

RieS image

RieS

Don't worry! images

Don't worry!

I've sometimes been in a dilemma in that my friends want to eat sushi, but I can't eat raw fish. In that case, I order inari-zushi and tamago-maki - my two favorite dishes. Inari zushi is vinegar rice stuffed in fried-tofu, brown bags. The sourness of the vinegar complements the sweetness of the fr…(133 words)

RieS image

RieS

To warm your body... images

To warm your body...

During the winter, I like to warm my body up with a hot nabe, which is a big pot filled with vegetables, meat and fish. As a person who eats little meat, I love cooking a mountain of vegetables in the soup stock. The vegetables that I always put in are daikon, nagaimo (type of yam), shiitake mushro…(92 words)

RieS image

RieS

Specialty Ramen Stores in Japan images

Specialty Ramen Stores in Japan

First of all, its important to know that it is rare to have bad ramen. Any ramen in Japan should be tasty. So when you are looking for your favourite ramen, you should first think about what kind of taste you like. Do you like a shoyu (soy sauce) base? Or tonkotsu (soup made from pork)? Miso? Sea f…(186 words)

GenS image

GenS

Fans of Green Tea, Listen to This Helpful Tip images

Fans of Green Tea, Listen to This Helpful Tip

Ryokucha is my favourite type of green tea. I still drink it regularly and when I used to go to school, I would drink 500 ml a day. At any convenient store or supermarket, you will have a range of green tea brands to choose from. Any of them are good. If given the choice, I would probably choose Ay…(173 words)

GenS image

GenS

Great Sashimi in Japan images

Great Sashimi in Japan

At the tsukiji fish market, you would naturally assue that the best delicacies are made from fish. In fact, there are many other delicacies, unrelated to fish, that you should not miss. All of these are comparatively cheap and have a lot of volume. These places exist to provide cheap but tasty and …(177 words)

GenS image

GenS

Mochi - different experiences with different flavors images

Mochi - different experiences with different flavors

My favorite O-kashi are mochi (Japanese rice cakes) of all different shapes and flavors. These are so fun to eat, because the selection of mochi change depending on the season. During the spring, there is sakuramochi (pink rice cakes with anko inside and a sakura leaf wrapped around the mochi); dur…(140 words)

RieS image

RieS

KURI-GOHAN! images

KURI-GOHAN!

My favorite food during the autumn is kuri-gohan, which is sticky rice mixed with sweet chestnuts and red beans. The stickiness of the rice and the sweetness of the chestnuts go perfectly together. It tastes even better if you sprinkle some salt or sesame seeds! I definite food you must purchase or…(86 words)

RieS image

RieS

Try the Ramen Specialty Dish In Japan images

Try the Ramen Specialty Dish In Japan

All of the options you have to personalize your ramen at a ramen shop make it really tempting to add things to your ramen. However, I recommend any first time user of a ramen shop to try the house specialty, without adding anything extra. The ramen master at ramen places has spent years finding the…(187 words)

GenS image

GenS