Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here
CIEE

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

« Seeing Japan by Seishun 18 | Main | presenting...an epic movie trailer! »

01/16/2012

Some of my food adventures in Tokyo

Happy 2012, it's hard for me to believe it is already the middle of January. Time really goes by quickly especially in the last month of the semester in addition to the scrambling to buy, eat and do as many things one can  before departure. Also with the customary final's stress creeping up on everyone the last week of my semester in Tokyo is even more dreaded and seemingly ominous.

One of the things I find myself doing a lot more here in Tokyo than in the United States...is that I am almost ALWAYS taking pictures of my food no matter where I go. I was never this camera/food crazy before, but there is just so many options on top of all the delicious looking food here that it is hard not to want a photo to remember it forever after you've already eaten it. Also in a city where food is slightly more expensive than average and you want to stay in budget (unless you live off combinis) taking photos makes shelling out for the experience even more worthwhile--for me anyway. Which is why I will talk about some of the foods I've eaten that I have really enjoyed thus far.

The first thing I must list is Miso ramen, I have always enjoyed eating noodles be it soba, udon, ramen, spaghetti etc. However, miso ramen instantly became my all time favorite when I started venturing into ramen stores in Tokyo. I usually like saltier and stronger tasting foods and although  miso soup itself is lighter in comparison to its ramen version it has always been a favorite easy to make soup of mine and I could not pass up trying its alternative. I have  heard of miso ramen but never had the opportunity to truly try the dish back at home in Oregon where Pho restaurants far outnumbered ramen shops in terms of asian noodle type cuisines. When you love miso ramen, there are literally hundreds of ramen shops to try while in Tokyo. Prices ranging anywhere from 500-1000 yen a bowl. Because I am not a seasoned ramen expert I turned towards the internet and recommendations by Japanese friends for my miso ramen experiences.

IMG_3336(Miso Ramen with egg and Nori near Koenji station)

Truly both beautiful to look at and scrumptious as well. Koenji's miso ramen was relatively affordable and a good size at around 500 yen. This shop was recommended by a Japanese friend after a game of futsal. Near Ichigaya station there is also a miso ramen shop that had decent reviews on both a Japanese food review site and an english one. The broth here was slightly thicker and saltier as the miso taste (and paste mixture) was heavier but not so overwhelming that it overpowered the whole dish.

IMG_3971(Miso ramen at Ichigaya)

Another food item I have been wanting to try and eventually did was anmitsu. Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert comprising of small white jelly cubes made from seaweed and juice. Usually they come served with anko (red bean paste) and seasonal fruit as well as a small pot of sweet black syrup.

IMG_3329
(
Anmitsu near Iidabashi)

I love fruit and anko so this was a nice experience for me. The jelly itself was not very sweet at all and almost lacked any taste by itself. It is also harder and less jello texture than I initially was expecting. Hence the syrup was a nice pairing to go along with it. Needless to say this was interesting but not exactly my favorite dessert I had in Japan, still nice to finally find out and have though!

Buffets (or vikings as they call it in Japanese) are my all time favorite places to visit and eat at in Japan. There are, as I mentioned in my first post, cake buffets in Japan. As a huge sweets lover this fascinating concept was hard to pass up and was definitely a love at first sight/bite. I have been to three different cake buffet places by now and my all time favorite is still Bitter Sweets in Shinjuku, they have the best selection of cakes as well as waffles and crepes, a nice interior design, and various teas to choose from.

IMG_4654(Berry waffle and mixed fruit crepe both with strawberry ice cream)

IMG_4664
(My first plate of cake that day)

Other types of all you can eat that you can find easily anywhere in Japan is Sukiyaki, Nabe and Shabu Shabu for those of us who crave and love the idea of different kinds of all you can eat beef, pork, tofu and vegetables simmered in various types of flavor based soups. Since my family is from Taiwan and hot pot is something I super look forward to eating every time I head back. Hence nabe and shabu shabu are both very similar to hot pot in that you simmer meats and veggies in a soup base or plain soup and use dipping sauces after its cooked they didn't super wow me aside from my craving for it, this doesn't mean I loved either less even though I have just had it similarities my entire life! Hence sukiyaki was the one out of the three that was truly a new experience for me which I loved! You use a shallower pot than either of the above two and the soup base is normally sake, soy sauce, sugar and water. Hence there is no dipping sauce needed as the stuff all comes out nice and flavorful. The only dipping sauce provided is raw egg which some (like me) prefer not to eat, however I have heard it is very very good eaten this way as well.

IMG_2650(Our pot of Sukiyaki simmering)

IMG_2547
(Kimchi based shabu shabu)

In addition there are also many all you can eat yakiniku places (grilled meat) where you may have all you can eat beef, pork and chicken brought to you so that you may grill and enjoy at your own pace alongside your hungry party.

IMG_3194
(Maple cream pancakes)

Again I am a huge sucker for desserts and pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast items. I miss being able to make my own and so I have researched and been wanting to visit a particular pancake chain (named Pancake Days) for weeks. I was lucky enough to stumble past one on our way to the Ghibli museum and was overjoyed that some other students were willing to eat there together as well!

IMG_3204
(Christmas special pancake platter)

There are numerous coffee shops here that also occasionally sell fruit parfaits and even premium fruit stores (such as Takano) that have a dedicated cafe just for fruit parfaits and desserts as well as places that specialize in just green teas and tea flavored parfaits. Near Tokyo Dome just inside Tokyo Dome City there is a nice green tea shop that sells matcha parfaits alongside there green tea.

IMG_4638

(Matcha parfait next to seasonal strawberry parfait)

I had the matcha parfait to the left. It was very strong in matcha flavor not the weak light stuff you sometimes get in matcha desserts or Kit-Kats which was nice in a parfait such as this. It came with matcha gelato slushie at the bottom, mochi, anko, a frosted cereal flake layer, green tea ice cream and cubed mochi covered in kinako (toasted soy) topped with whipped cream and green tea sauce.

Sadly, due to the current terrible exchange rates (ie. super weak dollar) many students have has to set themselves personal monthly budgets in terms of food as well. And because I am especially determined ( or super stubborn) I stick to this budget as close as I can. I am not going to lie and say I have never skipped come meals occasionally just to hit this goal. However, on the weekends I reward my good efforts, aside from shopping, by going to buffets and various other food places. I feel less guilty if its once a week as opposed to 4 days a week.

Also because I love food/cake and there is just so many different choices within choices here. There are way more photos of food and places I have taken that are not posted in fear that I will flood this whole page with just food photos. As I am nearing the end of my short semester in Japan I am more determined to revisit all the foods and places I enjoyed as well as hit up new places I have been wanting to eat at and not yet done so. Stay warm and see hope to see you in my last post coming up!

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Have you ever eaten this Miso Ramen?
This might be the best but you have to line up outside for a while.

http://www.men-kururi.jp/

日本語で、コメントをします。
円高であまりお金を使えないけれど、日本で楽しく生活してますね^^v

アメリカと日本では、食べ物も生活スタイルも全然ちがうでしょ?
実際に日本へ来て生活してみると、毎日がおどろきの連続だと思います。でも、良い経験だと思います。☸ヾ(◕‿◕)ノ☸″

日本を楽しんでください! 

I hope you'll enjoy Japanese food. (I'm a Japanese)
I was also surprised by American food, such as
Coca-cola served with huge bucket!
There should be a mass of sugar, isn't it?
It seems a sweet suicide! (^^;)

ARIGATOU!(^^)
MATA KITEKUDASAI v(^ω^)v

Thank you for your appreciating Japanese foods. And I am very happy to hear that you enjoy them.
We Japanese taste food not only by our tongue but also by eyes. So container for food, for example dishes, bowl, and so on, are also important. They play an important role in cuisine.

Please enjoy various Japanese food and life in Japan.
I hope your study and research in Japan go well.

Hello !! I'm very interested your Japanese Food/Camera blogs. You are enjoying Tokyo ways of life absolutely, as a mania of Miso Ramen & Sweets. Except Tokyo , local Japanese cities have their own specialties of products with long history, for example , old Japanese sweets Akafuku-mochi of Ise city has been hundreds of years since establishment. It suits for Japanese green tea. Next time , please try it. I hope you have nice days in Japan . bye .

hey u know where miso ramen originally come from? once you try that, i can guarantee you will find the one in tokyo is totally rubbish :)

If you like, you can make Miso Ramen by yourself.

This is Cookpad.com Please check it.

http://translate.google.co.jp/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcookpad.com

I mean, thanks to BB Social I could update even without wifi, and if there is, I could share photos of my food adventures and other things.

suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative for them also. Great effort.I love flowers...I am also interested to send flowers all over the world....

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out.

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out.

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out.

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out.

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out.

It’s a lucky that I found your bog sharing a new things to me, I think that because this is the first time to hear about them.

I like that you share the website because it is actually very happy for anyone to know a lot of experience to succeed in part thereby, I love this website

What do you often spend your time in free days? Let join to play free games to relax. They will help you feel that life is more interesting if we respect it, it’s also connect everyone to understand more about each other .

thanks for your sharing, I really like it. I often read these information, it helps me feel more relaxing after working.

One thing that I care in your post is the thing that I already learnt. Last time I have not fully understood it, but now it make me realize a lot of things and I do hope that I can issue my own book about this topic.

Your story is very interesting, my friends are also concerning about this topic. Your topic give me more knowledge to share with my friends. Thanks for that.

I was three and my older cousins convinced me that sand tasted like chocolate.
Point is, older cousins are jerks.

When this kid grows up and learns he is a meme,
I wonder if we'll get a new picture of him with this same caption.

I've seen this meme so many times, never spotted the sand.
There must be a meme for that?

I always thought it looked like he was pooing and that is why he was successful.
Because he could poo. Nevermind

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment