Saturday, August 27, 2011

Onomichi Ramen

I've introduced Ramen shops in Akihabara, and it was because I often went to the area. But you know, when you keep going to the same area for more than one year, you wouldn't easily find really good restaurants that you haven't tried yet.

 So I came to Suidoubashi, which is two stations away from Akihabara. This is the platform and the right ad is about the electronic money "Suica" that you can use on your smartphone. We call smartphones "Sumaho".

 This is the Suidoubashi area. The economics faculty of Nihon University is in this area. It is one of the well-known universities in Japan.

 And this is the Ramen shop where I had lunch today. Its name was "Onomichi Ramen". Onomichi is a port town in Hiroshima that is facing the Seto Inland Sea.

 These were the covers of the magazines that introduced this Ramen shop. It is very rare that one Ramen shop was featured in so many magazines.

The name of this Ramen was "Tamashii no Ramen". It would be translated like "The Ramen with a soul". The broth was based on soy sauce, and it also tasted a bit like fish oil. It came with a bowl of rice. We call this kind of rice "Han-rice", or half-rice. As you can see the amount of the rice was small compared to the Ramen. 

It was the best Ramen I had this year. The former pro boxer "Hatakeyama" also visited this Ramen shop, which is also a rarity.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Let me introduce a bagel shop today. There aren't many bagel shops in my neighborhood, and this is the only one in a nearby city. In my opinion, its elastic dough lets you feel the unique texture, and I kinda like it. But people seem to prefer bread over bagel.

This bagel shop is in the corner of an outlet mall. The mall was advertising that almost all of the shops were giving much discount. For instance, an Adidas shop was handing out a 40% discount ticket to customers.  

So I was thinking this bagel shop would be crowded, but as you can see the seats were scarcely occupied. 

But the scarce people had nothing to with the tastes. This set I ordered was "Yankees Burger", and it came with tomato soup, salad, and coffee. As it had a patty sandwiched, it tasted much like a hamburger and was really good. The white cube is cheese cake. 

I don't remember if this bagel had a distinctive name, but it had cheese and salmon sandwiched. I believe sets like the Yankees Burger alone wouldn't make you feel full. 

Here's a link to the official website of BAGEL&BAGEL. Even though you don't understand Japanese, some words on the site are subbed in English.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tokyo during Obon

 I said in the previous post that people go back to their hometowns during Obon (the period around the middle of August), but it was reported on TV most people were going to a nearby place to enjoy themselves this year. Tokyo was crowded, but I think it was because those living in the Kanto Region chose to stay in or come to Tokyo during the Obon.

 My friend wanted to buy an ipod in Akihabara. As I'm a music freak, I want one too, but usually I don't take a train, and instead play CDs in the car. So I doubt I'd use it frequently.

 Can you see the girl dressed in the unique costume? This street is where maids are soliciting people to come to their cafes. You'd be spoken to by them several times if you walk down this street on the weekend.

 I came to Ochanomizu from Akihabara to have something cold. This cafe "Delifrance" is basically a bakery, but you can have a soft drink only. I didn't see any "French" things except for cafe au lait in there. 

 Some of my CDs are burned ones, so I sometimes buy real copies in Ochanomizu. It is a place where there are many instruments shops. And the CD shop I visited was giving a 100-yen-discount to people who brought the guitar.
Btw, these were mango smoothie.

There is a Japanese girls' group "Happiness" and this truck was advertising their 3rd single "Wish", which is going to be released on the 17th. Here's a short version of the song.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Papageno (A buffet restaurant)

I don't know whether you remember this, but there is a period called "Obon" in the middle of August, and people take a vacation and go back to their hometowns. Of course almost all students have a summer vacation from July, but what is special about this Obon is that even workers are on vacation.

 Most people do something "special" during this period like going to an amusement park, but basically it's not for me. I'm not sure if having a buffet lunch can be called "special", but as I have very little for lunch, this was a bit extraordinary. The name of this restaurant was "Papageno". 

 When this restaurant opened several years ago, I had to stand in a long line. But as it was very hot, there weren't many people. And it was a little before noon. 

 As this restaurant is Italian, pasta and pizza were of course available. Do you think hamburg steak to be Italian too? It's been always served here. 

I felt strange when I found out I could order sushi as well here. From top to bottom: prawn, tuna, and salmon. I think people are easy to get tired of similar menus, so the restaurant manager would have had to come up with something unique that would keep people coming back. 

The price per person was about 17 US dollars. You might think it's a bit expensive, but the yen is soaring close to a historic high against the dollar nowadays. You have to take that into consideration.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tokyo is still enjoyable! -4-

My friend was studying Chinese on TV, when he saw an ad of the Chinese movie "Ocean Heaven". But the nearest movie theater where it could be seen was in Ginza, Tokyo. So, we came to Tokyo again on Sunday.

Ginza is renowned as the place where the land price is the highest in Japan. There was a Doutor in this area too, but as you can see the outside look was as chic as this. And an iced coffee cost as much as 4.8 dollars. Usually it's 2.5 dollars in the other areas. 

You can see very popular movies like Harry Potter series everywhere in Japan, but very minor movies are available in very populated areas like Tokyo. This movie theater's name was "Cine Switch". You can come here from Akihabara by taking advantage of the Hibiya Line.  

 The Japanese title of the movie we saw was "海洋天堂", but it was translated as "Ocean Heaven". It was about a father and his autistic son, and because it was so emotionally gripping that some audience was weeping endlessly. It was more than worth the price. 

And after seeing the movie we came to Akihabara. I was looking for a shop where they sell the OS "Windows 7" cheaply and we dropped by a Sofmap. This was an ad of "Toaru Kagaku no Railgun" dvds. You can see the word "ソフマップ" or Sofmap on her right chest.  The 7th floor of the Sofmap sells Otaku goods mainly. 

 And I saw these Gundam figurines today on the same aisle where I saw this the other day. I was a bit surprised when I heard Gundam was popular among many Chinese too. 

 This is the Ramen shop where we had lunch. Its name was "九州じゃんがら" or Kyushu Jangara. You can see the location of Kyushu by clicking this

Does it look yummy? I always wonder how many of you could imagine the taste. Hope you can visit Japan someday. 

 It was about 33 degrees Celsius (92 F), so we had coffee after walking around in Akihabara. This cafe is an "Excelsior Cafe", and it's the more expensive version of Doutor. 

I'm glad the summer regained the heat it's supposed to have. It's going to be as hot as today next whole week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

4 months until K-ON movie!

Some of the people who follow this blog would know that a K-ON! movie is going to be released in December. I had known that too, and the K-ON coffee I bought a little while ago was a part of the movie campaigning. I'm lucky to live in Japan as I can see it soon after it's premiered.

In Japan new movies often come out on Saturday. I suppose it's because people would feel like going out at the beginning of weekends. The Haruhi movie was released on Saturday too. This is the brochure I got at a nearby movie theater.

And these are the other side of the brochure and the ticket. The limited versions of the ticket were already sold out, so this one is not special. But you can click this and look at the other versions as well. Can't wait for the winter but I don't want this summer to end...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tsujiri (都路里)

I'm Japanese and both of my parents are Japanese of course. I really like foreign countries and visited some in the past, and I appreciated good sides of those countries. But as I'm Japanese I tend to think no country is better than Japan.

My friend likes Japanese sweets, and in order to have a good one we came to Tokyo station. It is vast like Shinjuku station, so if you have something to do here you should know beforehand where exactly your destination is. 

The shop is called "Tsujiri" or 都路里. It was on the 10the floor of the Daimaru Building. Kyoto is known for its Japanese beauty, and this shop originated from the city.  

As it's on the 10the floor, you can command a good view from your seat. It was forecast it was going to be rainy on the whole day, but it turned out to be sunny in the afternoon.  

 There was this tiny Japanese garden in the corner. You'd see how high the floor is. 

And the one I ordered was "Shiratama Anmitsu". Shiratama is the white balls in the bowl, and they're made from rice powder. There were green ones too, and they had the taste of green tea. And the brown stuff on the surface was Azuki, which is beans sweetened with sugar. 

In my opinion, Japanese sweets are as delicious as cakes. There were many other choices as well, and you can click this link to see them.