Posts Tagged With: Chuo

Things to do this week in Tokyo September 9 – September 15

‘Embrace the Animal, Strive for the Human’

Until Sat Sep 21, 2013 Vanilla Gallery

Embrace the animalYou generally know what you’re going to get from a trip to Vanilla Gallery, which specialises in work that flirts with the erotic, sadistic and fetishistic. True to form, this solo show by controversial American artist John Santerineross will feature 58 ‘dark magic’ photographs that delve into Greek mythology, religion and the spiritual world. As the title suggests, the contrast between our animalistic, primitive desires and the notions of compassion, love and understanding that make us human is also explored.

Details

Open Until Sep 21 Closed Sun

Time Mon-Fri noon-7pm; Sat & hols noon-5pm

Admission ¥500

Address 4F, 6-10-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Ginza, Marunouchi, Hibiya lines)

Stitch Show Launch Exhibition

Until Mon Sep 16, 2013 Spiral
stitch showArt, design, illustration, handicrafts, and traditional crafts will be on display at Spiral Gallery, in celebration of new book Stitch Show, edited by Junko Yazaki. The launch exhibition will feature a variety of creations and designs by 20 of the craft makers featured in the book.
Details

Open Sep 10-16

Time 11am-8pm

Admission Free

Venue Spiral

Address Spiral Bldg 1F, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando station (Chiyoda, Ginza, Hanzomon lines), exit B1.

The Fashion

Wed Sep 11 – Thu Oct 10, 2013 Ricoh Photo Gallery
b19b78e13bcdf134d1818134a81300e06effb84e_tn482x298The work of six fashion photographers – Terry O’Neill, Jeanloup Sieff, Helmut Newton, Willy Maywald, Sheila Metzner and Bettina Rheims – will be on display at this dedicated photo space. The exhibition will include pieces created for commercials and also for the pages of fashion glossies from around the world, with each shot capturing not only the image of the clothing, but also the personality of the model wearing them.

Details

Open Sep 11-Oct 10

Time 11am-7pm

Venue Ricoh Photo Gallery

Address Ring Cube Building, 5-7-2 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Marunouchi, Hibiya, Ginza lines)

Yebisu Beer Festival 2013

Wed Sep 11 – Mon Sep 16, 2013 Yebisu Garden Place

yebisu beer festivalAfter the summer onslaught of Oktoberfests, here’s an outdoor beer-a-thon that doesn’t feature oompah music, sauerkraut or ludicrously overpriced drinks. It’s held at the sight of a former brewery, and, unsurprisingly, it’ll be strictly Yebisu on tap – if you’re looking for interesting brews, you’d probably be better off heading to the Great Japan Beer Festival 2013 in Yokohama instead. That said, if you get bored of the beer there will be also be a variety of cocktails, iced coffees and snacks to sample in the square.

Details

Open Sep 11-16

Time Sep 11-12 5-9pm, Sep 13-16 11.30am-9pm (last order 8.30pm)

Venue Yebisu Garden Place

Address 4-20 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (JR Yamanote Line), East Exit or (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), exit 1

Michael Rother: the music of Neu! and Harmonia

Thu Sep 12, 2013 Unit
michael rotherGerman musician and Neu! founder Michael Rother will be putting in an appearance at Unit tonight. As the title suggests, the evening will include music from both Neu! and Harmonia, as well as selected solo works, with guest drumming from La Dusseldorf’s Hans Lampe.
Details

Open Sep 12

Time 8pm-11pm

Venue Unit

Address Za House Bldg, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

140 Years of Levi’s

Fri Sep 13 – Mon Sep 16, 2013
140 years of Levi'sMarking 140 years of the iconic blue jeans, the focus of this exhibition will be the brand’s biggest sellers – the 501s, designed in 1890. There will be a gallery displaying images of 501s from around the world, as well as a photo book for fans to buy.

Details

Open Sep 13-16

Time 11am-9pm (Sep 16 until 6pm)

Venue  T-SITE GARDEN GALLERY

Address 16-15 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

Hilltop Hotel Beer Garden (2013)

Until Fri Sep 13, 2013 Hilltop Hotel
hilltop hotel beer gardenOchanomizu’s ‘hotel with personality’ houses its summer beer garden in the same space it uses for wedding ceremonies at the weekend. With pews flanking the long tables, it’s like getting drunk in your school chapel, if your school was actually a Butlins holiday camp. The prices are above average (¥840 beers, party courses from ¥5,800, including food and 90 minutes of all-you-can-drink booze), but there’s little about the setting to warrant paying that much.

Details

Open Until September 13 Closed Sat, Sun & hols

Time Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm

Address 1-1 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ochanomizu station (Chuo, Marunouchi lines), Ochanomizubashi exit.

Intergalactic

Sat Sep 14, 2013 Womb
intergalacticEven if you can’t stand his work with M-Flo (er… guilty), it’s hard not to admire Taku Takahashi’s dancefloor nous. The brains behind web radio station Block.fm also hosts his own party at Womb, propagating a just-don’t-call-it-EDM mix of electro, house, techno, hip hop and all points in between. The latest will feature Yasutaka Nakata, DJ Yummy and the CyberJapan bikini dancers, among others.

Details

Open Sep 14

Time Doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥3,000 with flyer

Venue Womb

Address 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exit 3A.

Vietnam Festival 2013

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Yoyogi Park
Vietnam FestivalSome of Yoyogi Park’s nationally themed fests do a better job of staying on message than others. Although the annual Vietnam Festival can always be counted on to supply ample quantities of bánh mì, 333 Beer and pho, its lineup of live entertainment is rather more schizophrenic: last year’s live performers ranged from V-pop singers Phuong Vy and Dan Truong to homegrown Goth-Loli act Die Milch and Queen tribute band Gueen. Er… just take it as it comes. The festival’s 2013 edition marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam, so you can expect something a little bit special; watch this space for details.
Details

Open September 14-15

Time 10am-8pm (TBC)

Admission Free

Venue Yoyogi Park

Address 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizounocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku Station (Yamanote line), Yoyogi-Koen Station (Chiyoda line), Yoyogi-Hachiman station (Odakyu line)

Body & Soul Live in Tokyo

Sat Sep 14, 2013 Harumi Port Terminal
body & soulDanny Krivit, François K and Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell have acquired the aura of elder statesmen on the New York club scene – hardly surprising when you consider that the former two have been rocking the Big Apple’s dancefloors since the 1970s. The trio started their Body & Soul parties in 1996, holding them on Sunday afternoons at the now-defunct Vinyl club in Lower Manhattan. They described the event as ‘like a house party that got too big for someone’s living room’, although you’d have struggled to find a house party that drew such a wide-ranging crowd. While it’s no longer a regular concern, Body & Soul still rears its head from time to time, not least in these annual outdoor parties in Tokyo. Taking place in Harumi Port Terminal, the outdoor Body & Soul Live in Tokyo remains a strictly daytime-only event, starting at 11am and running until 8pm. As ever, visuals come courtesy of New York lighting supremo Ariel.

Details

Open Sep 14

Time Doors 10.30am

Admission ¥6,000 on the door; ¥5,000 adv

Venue Harumi Port Terminal

Address 5-7-1 Harumi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Katsudoki Station (Oedo line), Shin-Toyosu Station (Yurikamome line)

Market of the Sun

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Tsukishima Second Children’s Park
market of the sunJapan’s largest regular urban farmer’s is kicking off this month, and will feature more than 100 vendors from around the country. In addition to a vast range (more than 50 types) of Western and local vegetables, such as baba eggplant and sanjaku cucumber, each month the market will feature a different seasonal fruit or vegetable. For the first market in September, tomatoes will be the chosen ones, and vendors will sell around 50 varieties from around the globe – including heirloom tomatoes and black cherry tomatoes. Farmers will also hold workshops and let visitors get involved with harvesting, making it a great option for parents hoping to sneakily educate their kids.

After September, the market will be held on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month.

Details

Open Sep 14-15

Time 10am-5pm

Address 1-11-14 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kachidoki Station (Toei Oedo Line, exits A4a, A4b)

JATA Travel Showcase 2013

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Tokyo Big Sight
jataThis annual trade fair of all things travel related is one of the biggest in Asia, featuring more than 1,000 booths representing over 150 potential destinations. This year’s theme is ‘Energy in Japan’, and there will be plenty of hands-on activities for visitors to get involved in, and plenty of opportunities for souvenir shopping.

Details

Open Sep 14-15

Time Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Venue Tokyo Big Sight

Address 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo

Transport Kokusaitenjijo Station (JR Rinkai Line) or Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon station (Yurikamome Line)

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to eat: Food worth the wait, restaurants and shops that keep Tokyo lining up for more

 

banner-nieuwe-website

Qeueing

Once a year, around the time that Michelin publishes its Tokyo guide, headlines roar about this city being the dining capital of the world. And it is. But it’s not just the arm-and-a-leg, mortgage-your-kids dining scene that makes Tokyo great. The fanaticism for detail and dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients trickles all the way down to the places we actually eat at: the ramen shops, the gyoza dumpling joints, the udon noodle restaurants and the confectionary stores. And these everyday eateries have their own version of the fine dining restaurant’s waiting lists: lines. If a meal is good enough, Tokyoites will stand in sun or rain to get to it. Here are some of the current favourites.

Wating in line in front of Ramen Jiro

Wating in line in front of Ramen Jiro

Ramen, Ramen Jiro Mita Main Branch

It’s a ten-minute walk from one of the Yamanote Line’s dreariest stations. The façade isn’t pretty and the grease-stained interior is grim. Yet people line up around the block every day in every kind of weather for lunch here, because Jiro may well be the city’s best-loved ramen store. It serves a heavy, fatty soy-sauce soup loaded with thick noodles, cabbage and slices of pork. Since it opened in 1968, the shop has spawned thirty sister branches, run by former apprentices of the Mita branch, but each has its own recipe and none come close to the original for the hearts and stomachs of ramen lovers.

Wait: 30 mins for lunch, but can be up to 1 hr
Address: 2-16-4 Mita, Minato, Tokyo
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm

Sushi no Midori

Sushi, Sushi no Midori Ginza store

There are six main branches of Midori sushi, and they all come with queues. The original branch opened in Umegaoka in 1963, but these days the Ginza branch usually has the longest lines. Courses start from as little as ¥840 for the ten-piece umenigiri plate, which is about as cheap as it gets for sushi in Ginza, but the biggest draws are the anago ipponzuke, a ball of rice with a whole eel draped over it (¥630), and the daimyo midorimaki, an oversized maki roll stuffed with cucumber, egg, and mashed, seasoned whitefish (¥1,890). In the winter months, the store hands out hot pads to customers in the queue.

Wait: up to 1 hr
Address: Corridor Dori 1F, 7-108 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5568 1212
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 4:30pm-10pm (LO 9:30pm)
Sat 11am-10pm (LO 9:30pm) Sun 11am-9pm (LO 8:30pm)

Setagaya main store (Full details & map)

Niku no Sato

Beef cutlets, Meat Shop Sato

It’s a ball of beef, onions and lard, and it creates lines of up to 200 people in the middle of Kichijoji. To be fair, it’s juicy Matsuzaka beef and it’s cooked so perfectly that you need to wait a few minutes after purchasing the cutlet to let the heat reach the middle. So popular are Sato’s cutlets that customers are limited to 20 pieces each on a weekday, and 10 each on a weekend or holiday. They often sell out by mid-afternoon.

Wait: around 30 mins
Address: 1-1-8 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino, Tokyo
Telephone: (042)222 3130
Open: Mon-Sun 9am-8pm

Youkan_mizuyoukan

Youkan, Ozasa

They call it maboroshi youkan, which roughly translates as “bloody-hard-to-get-hold-of bean paste jelly”. Ozasa makes just 150 blocks per day, and if you’d like to try one, you’re advised to start queuing from around 5am on a clement day, or around 7am if it’s pouring with rain. At 8:30am, staff distribute tickets for the ¥580-a-piece jellies, up to five per person, and ask you to return between 10am and 6pm to pick up your purchase. Is it worth the effort? We’ve never been tempted to devote half a day to buying jelly, but we hear that they taste much like any other youkan.

Wait: 3-4 hours
Address: 1-1-8 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino, Tokyo
Telephone: (042)222 7230
Open: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-7:30, closed Tue
Website: www.ozasa.co.jp/

minatoya

Soba, Minatoya

In a piece of angular, modern minimalist architecture, with Chopin playing in the background and an interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a bar, customers stand to slurp soba. The setting is unique, as is the soba. The hot chicken bowl is the biggest draw, with lines around the block at lunchtime. Luckily it’s a fast moving place where customer slurp and leave, but if you really don’t want to wait, come for dinner, when it’s much easier to get in. Be warned though: the shop closes whenever they run out of noodles. (Full details & map)

Wait: around 30 mins

Yanagiya

Taiyaki, Yanagiya

Back in 1916, Yanagiya began making taiyaki (fish-shaped griddle baked pastries with fillings), and with over 90 years of practice, they’ve gotten pretty good at it. The batter is made fresh daily and is used sparingly, which gives the snack an unusually thin and crispy shell (so eat them fast, before they go soft). Inside, there’s koshian (skinless azuki bean paste): sweet but not cloying. Yanagiya is one of the Big Three taiyaki outlets in Tokyo (along with Wakaba in Yotsuya and Naniwaya Souhonten in Azabu Juban) and uses moulds that pre-date WWII.

Wait: about 45 mins
Address: 2-11-3 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3666 9901
Open: Mon-Sat 12:30pm-6pm, closed Sun

Tamahide

Oyakodon, Tamahide

This is the birthplace of oyakodon, the chicken-and-egg rice bowl. It was founded in 1760 as a chicken hotpot specialist, but the wife of the fifth generation chef created a dish that became a Japanese classic and came to define the restaurant. If you’re seated for dinner at Tamahide, you’ll need to wait until the end of the meal for the famous dish, when it stands in for the traditional miso and pickles as a finale. At lunch, though, you can dive straight into the oyakodon as long as you don’t mind the wait. If you don’t start queuing by noon, you won’t be getting in.

Wait: up to an hour
Address: 1-17-10 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3668 7651
Open: Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm (LO 1pm)
Dinner Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm (LO 9pm), Sat 4pm-9pm (LO 8pm)
Website: www.tamahide.co.jp/

Baumuchen

Cakes, Ginza Department Stores

Matsuzakaya

Each of the three big department stores on Ginza’s Chuo Dori has a confectionary stand that draws big queues. Matsuzakaya has Nenrinya baum cake, which debuted in September 2008 and still draws lines of up to an hour. Last New Year the line stretched up to the fourth floor of the department store.

Website: www.nenrinya.jp/

Mitsukoshi

Mitsukoshi

Mitsukoshi has Mon Chou Chou, which serves a variety of cakes, but it’s the Dojima roll, an ultra-soft fresh-cream-filled Arctic roll, that the ladies line up for. It debuted in August 2007 and there has been a line during opening hours ever since. On peak days, they sell out within two hours of opening.

Website: www.mon-chouchou.com/

 

Gouter de roi

Matsuya

At Matsuya, the big draw is the Gouter de Roi, a sugared rusk from Gateau Festa Harada. For a while, the popular biscuits were also offered online, but sales were suspended when they became overwhelmed with orders.

Website: www.gateaufesta-harada.com/

Categories: Japanese customs, Must see, Things to do, What to eat, Where to eat, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tokyo bars for train nerds (yes, they exist)

IMG_2312

You thought your grandfather was a train buff?

Sorry to break the news to you, but ol’ gramps would have been a mere caboose in the train of railway geeks in Japan, where hard-core train aficionados are referred to by the somewhat affectionate term “densha otaku,” or train nerds.

They’re famous for feats like memorizing phonebook-size timetables and visiting every single one of the country’s almost 10,000 stations.

When they aren’t trying to increase their encyclopedic knowledge of all things rail, they’re out looking for like-minded people to impress with it.

As it turns out, Tokyo offers the densha otaku a wide selection of railway-appropriate watering holes — or perhaps we should call them bar cars?

IMG_2343_2

1. Ginza Panorama

Ginza Panorama is the model train lover’s dream bar.

Not only does the counter have four separate built-in electric tracks, allowing patrons to watch trains zipping by while sipping their cocktails, but a large glass case directly opposite displays about 700 model train carriages for sale.

The drink menu has the standard beer, wine and liquor options, but visitors will likely be tempted to splurge on a train-themed cocktail, like the Romance Car, named after the Hakone-bound express, or Doctor Yellow, the nickname for the diagnostic high-speed test trains used on shinkansen routes.

There’s also a full food menu.

With its mellow ambiance, mature crowd and the gentle clacking of trains as they whirl around the bar, Ginza Panorama is a relaxed place for a drink — even if you don’t get giddy debating the relative merits of the Tokaido and Tohoku Lines.

Ginza Hachikan Building 8/F, 8-4-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku; +81 (0)3 3289 8700; Monday-Friday, 6 p.m.-3 a.m., Saturday, 6-11 p.m., closed Sunday; 420 yen seating charge; www.ginza-panorama.com

2. Kiha

All aboard for canned food and sake in a jar!

All aboard for canned food and sake in a jar.There are two things all visitors need to know about Kiha.

One, the second floor has been lovingly kitted out to look exactly like the inside of a Tokyo subway car, complete with advertisements, hand straps, emergency call buttons and luggage racks.

Two, the only thing on the menu is canned food and one-cup sake.

From salted pork to seafood to curry, Kiha stocks an impressive selection of things to eat right out of the can. This is meant to recreate the nostalgic experience of a long train journey in the days before meal services were offered.

Most of the customers are dyed-in-the-wool otaku, as evidenced by the closet full of timetables and the rare ticket stubs adorning the tables. Like all train obsessives, of course, they’re more than happy to chat with newcomers. You’ve been warned.

1-6-11 Horidomecho, Chuo-ku; nearest station: Ningyocho; +81 (0)3 5651 5088; Monday-Saturday, 6-11:30 p.m., closed Sunday; Kiha-sake.com

3. LittleTGV

Service of a maid cafe, ambiance of a train.The world is already familiar with Japan’s maid cafes and those are certainly popular with otaku of every stripe.

Real rail buffs have their own version at LittleTGV near the geek paradise of Akihabara.

The restaurant bills itself as the world’s first rail-themed, moe-style pub. Instead of a pretty girl in a maid costume calling you “Master,” you’ll get a pretty girl in a conductor’s uniform telling you to board her train. No joke. And no jokes (please).

The walls are covered with train photos and memorabilia, so even if you don’t know your SLs from your JRs, the girls will be happy to chat with you and teach you a bit about their world.

LittleTGV offers a full food and drink menu with foreigner-friendly pictures, including several different courses that include all-you-can-drink options.

Isamiyadai 3 Building 4/F, Sotokanda 3-10-5, Chiyoda-ku; nearest stations: Suehirocho, Akihabara; +80 (0)3 3255 5223; Monday-Friday, 2-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon-11 p.m.;Littletgv.com

4. Mistral Bleu (Train Bar)

Soundtrack? Ozzy Osbourne’sCrazy Train,” naturally.Often referred to simply as “Train Bar,” Mistral Bleu isn’t just a hang-out for train nerds, but it is a bar made out of a train.

Somehow a train carriage was crammed into the first floor of the ROI Building close to Roppongi Crossing and transformed into a hole in the wall bar for classic rock fans.

As the Aerosmith blasting out the front door might attest, the bar is a nostalgic pleasure for drinkers of a certain age.

In addition to the novelty of boozing in a converted train car, you can keep yourself entertained by checking out the international currencies plastered all over the walls and ceilings.

It’s the kind of place where it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you — a rarity in Japan.

ROI Building 1/F , 5-5-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Roppongi station; +80 (0)3 3423 0082Monday-Saturday, 6 p.m.-5 a.m., closed Sundays; www.trainbar.com

5. Cafe & Bar Steam Locomotive

Even--or maybe especially--buttoned-up salarymen can't resist the appeal of choo-choo trains.

Even buttoned-up salarymen can’t resist the appeal of choo choo trains.Not every train nerd likes to booze it up. Indeed, some of them aren’t even old enough to do so.

Luckily, there’s a family friendly option called Cafe & Bar Steam Locomotive, which is appropriate for train lovers of all ages.

Located on the ground floor of a Yurakucho office building, this venue is more suited to a coffee over a lunch break than an after-work bender, though the place does serve alcohol.

The center of the cafe is dominated by a massive model train display that includes several tracks and recreations of famous sites like Tokyo Tower.

The endless details — tiny pedestrians crossing the street, a little grove of cherry trees in bloom — will keep the youngsters entertained while the grownups enjoy a latte or glass of sake.

Shinyurakucho Bldg 1/F, Yurakucho 1-12-1, Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho station; +81 (0)3 3211 0610; Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; www.steamlocomotive.jp

 

If you enjoyed this article then please like my facebook page www.facebook.com/tokiotours

 

Categories: Japanese customs, Must see, Things to do, Where to drink | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.