Tokyo is a city of fantasies, from the current cosplay rage (dressing up in costume, in public, mostly anime characters) to hyper-sexualized maid cafes. When I called the “Tokyo Fixer” Shinji Nohara, I had my own specific fantasy in mind (albeit a foodie fantasy): a wild night of izakaya-hopping. An izakaya is a Japanese gastropub, churning out a variety of small plates with an endless supply of drink. They come to life after dark, when the salarymen hit the town. Picture that scene in “Kill Bill: Volume 1”, you know the one – the restaurant slaughter… THAT is an izakaya (although the actual izakaya that inspired the film is now overrun with tourists, overpriced and allegedly serving subpar food.) I wanted an entire evening dedicated to eating and drinking my way through the real Tokyo-by-night. Read more
Following A Food Expert’s Guidance on Tokyo’s Best:
Tastes of Ramen, Tonkatsu Fried Pork and Late-Night Organic Fare
Every great adventure has a jumping off point, but where does a foodie even begin in Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolis; a city housing more than 100,000 restaurants?
Because of spoken and written language barriers, it’s difficult to immerse one’s self in the local food culture without a guide. It’s nearly impossible (but for luck) to stumble across some divine, out-of-the-way eatery, or to go where the locals go. Master chefs, foodies and even Anthony Bourdain have sought the assistance of one man in particular: Tokyo’s most famous gastronomic guru. His name is Shinji Nohara but he’s known throughout the culinary world as the Tokyo Fixer. Read more
Osaka, Japan: a sprawling metropolis that makes up the country’s third largest city. Osaka is like Tokyo’s bolder (and grittier) little sister with an affinity for junk food and punk rock. I was planning on skipping Osaka altogether on this foodie trip, but was convinced to change my itinerary by a friend who had recently spent a year in the city teaching English. I’m glad I detoured to the city known as the culinary capital of Japan, famous for it’s foodie philosophy of Kuidaore which literally means “eat until you drop.” Intriguing, right? Read more