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Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Sun May 03, 2015 6:31 am

Once upon a time in Shinjuku...
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In a dark small alley near the Shinjuku station...
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"Go around the backdoor to reach the table in the back", the master said.
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Hmm...
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Down the rabbit hole...
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After opening several wrong backdoors by mistake, we finally found the right one...
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The place is so authentic, it will never pass fire department inspection and you'd likely die in case of fire. Girl to the right was so drunk she smacked her head against the bar shortly after:
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The only menu in the place. Yakitori is "omasake" (chef's pick of the day) costing 205 to 300 yen each.
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Love at first bite. Best yakitori I had in recent years!
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Guy in front of the photo ordered raw yakitori
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Here's their web site address so you can find them. I tried 3 different places in this alley and liked their food the best. They're even a place that serves horse meat around the corner.
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When you're done eating, they serve some veggies boiled in the broth and you can drink the broth as soup
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Round 2
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Word is that the local government wants to tear down the little alley and replace it with Starbucks to improve the "image" of the city. So if you want to try the food here, go quickly before it gets "modernized" like what they're doing to Tsukiji.
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Sun May 03, 2015 6:40 am

Obligatory sakura blossom photos. No I did not pack a bento. LoL.

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Our lives are short and fragile like the cherry blossom. A sudden breeze, rain shower, or a short passage of time, and the petals fall like blood drops. Do not waste your time on past failures or dumb excuses for inaction. For when the tree branches are bare, so ends your life.
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby xiongmao » Mon May 04, 2015 7:54 pm

Yay, piss alley, I remember it well.

I saw the cherry blossom in 2010, there were loads of geeky salarymen out with incredibly expensive lenses taking the perfect closeup. Also people got so drunk in Yoyogi park the whole place stank of alcohol - that would never happen in China.

October is also a good time to visit - if only because of the amazing mashed pumpkin deli thing you can get.

Well keep us updated - are you there for a holiday or going to live there a while? It is one option for me to go post-CELTA, although a Japanese girl at my school here said it was competitive. Well who cares about that because I'm competitive. And most people my age at stuck at home with their wife and kids, not roaming the world.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Tue May 05, 2015 2:59 am

xiongmao wrote:Yay, piss alley, I remember it well.
I saw the cherry blossom in 2010, there were loads of geeky salarymen out with incredibly expensive lenses taking the perfect closeup. Also people got so drunk in Yoyogi park the whole place stank of alcohol - that would never happen in China.
October is also a good time to visit - if only because of the amazing mashed pumpkin deli thing you can get.
Well keep us updated - are you there for a holiday or going to live there a while? It is one option for me to go post-CELTA, although a Japanese girl at my school here said it was competitive. Well who cares about that because I'm competitive. And most people my age at stuck at home with their wife and kids, not roaming the world.


Japan is competitive because there are too many Japanphiles. If Winston thinks Taiwan is an odd cult, he needs to interact with some hardcore Japanphiles, LoL.

Was there to visit some friends, one of the girls want to quit Tokyo and move back to LA, so we're in the process of helping her relocate and find a suitable spouse (my Taiwanese dentist). Japanese guys like 'em young so, as they get older it's hard to find a spouse.

The master at the yakitori bar spoke decent English, and mentioned that he only allows women to dine there if accompanied by men. Because, he said, a group of women would just sit and talk and not order as much food and alcohol. As he was saying this, one of the girls at the bar was so drunk she smacked her head on the bar. Too many glasses of Japanese wine, hehehehe.

I went the week after cheery blossom viewing season to dodge the tourists. In effort to off-set the Chinese tourists, Abe opened visa-free visit to SE Asians, so there's a huge demand for multilingual tour guides. In Tokyo area they are looking to build several department stores to cater mainly to China tour groups, and 80% of the employees to be hired need to be bilingual Chinese/Japanese. So for those with language skills, the tourism sector is booming.

It's also possible to buy used LV (or other brand name) handbags in Japanese department stores, and sell them in Taiwan for a profit. You'd need to be good at spotting fakes. What sells for $300 at Japanese department store can fetch as much as $600+ retail in Taipei. At one of the department stores by Shinjuku station, the top floor specialize in selling used brand name goods, and had an area filled with piles of older LV bags that are heavily discounted.

I miss old pachinko machines. :( The new ones just aren't as fun.


Ah, the joys of making monjayaki...
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And takoyaki...
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I actually suck at this X_X
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby droid » Tue May 05, 2015 5:43 am

Good job momopi, thanks!
I can tell there are japanese dishes we don't get to try in the west.
1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Tue May 05, 2015 6:40 am

droid wrote:Good job momopi, thanks!
I can tell there are Japanese dishes we don't get to try in the west.


For those in Los Angeles area, you can try Gaja in Lomita:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gaja-japanese-restaurant-lomita


A few photos from Kabukicho red light district:

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No I do not recommend going in to the shops here. They're quite infamous for ripping off tourists.


Mt Fuji!
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Do not go here... I repeat, tourist trap
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They'll put you on a stupid pirate ship and sell you souvenirs X_X
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby xiongmao » Wed May 06, 2015 5:35 pm

Ha ha ha,

4 visits to Japan and I never did go to Hakone.

I'm through with tourism after 5 pickpocket attempts in Barcelona so far.

There are lots of Japanophiles but there weren't huge numbers of Gaijin when I was there. Well I haven't decided where to teach yet or even if I will go into teaching at all. It would be interesting to live in Japan for a while though.

Sushi places are everywhere in Barcelona. I suspect most of them are run by Chinese though. Also there are a few Udon restaurants that do expensive noodle dishes. Oddly enough the best Japanese food I've tasted can be found in Bangkok.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby Jester » Fri May 08, 2015 2:34 am

Jesus what a great thread.

Thank you Momopi.

This is what I come to HA for.

(Ok, yeah, the girls too.)

Cant believe Japs are paying $20 to $30 usd for a skewer of meat? Admittedly it looked good. But if you guys want to do the skewer thing, then I think you should visit Armenia, Lebanon... or Glendale California.

BTW I am kind of dumb-founded that I didnt initiate a meetup (a la FSchmidt) when I lived on SoCAl. Who knows, maybe a little touch of the Orient might have kept me there.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Sun May 10, 2015 5:42 am

Current exchange rate is about 120 yen to the dollar. The exchange rate at the airport in Japan was pretty good, I got about 118.xx yen on the dollar. Much better than LAX. The Yakitori sticks were $1-$2 USD each.

Due to recent issues with food safety, some Japanese restaurants are listing origins of their ingredients:

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However, they can be pretty vague on exactly where in Japan the stuff is from. Some farmers have returned to Fukushima area and resumed farming:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/four-years-after-fukushima-nuclear-accident-local-farmers-struggle-for-viability-1425930543

"But finding customers is hard. Takehiro Makuta, 59, is a Fukushima-based middleman who used to help farmers in the prefecture sell to customers such as delis in posh department stores. He says he lost 80% of his business after the accident.
“High-end customers left us. Instead, shady people started approaching me, telling they would help us at 50% of market price,” he says.
People familiar with the market say buyers of Fukushima rice include inexpensive restaurant chains that pay below-market rates and don’t show the rice’s origin."



*cough* If you see "inexpensive restaurants" selling cheap rice bowls and wonder how they can possibly stay in business, well, now you know. ;p
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby Dragon » Wed May 13, 2015 8:50 am

momopi wrote:Current exchange rate is about 120 yen to the dollar. The exchange rate at the airport in Japan was pretty good, I got about 118.xx yen on the dollar. Much better than LAX. The Yakitori sticks were $1-$2 USD each.

Due to recent issues with food safety, some Japanese restaurants are listing origins of their ingredients:

Image

However, they can be pretty vague on exactly where in Japan the stuff is from. Some farmers have returned to Fukushima area and resumed farming:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/four-years-after-fukushima-nuclear-accident-local-farmers-struggle-for-viability-1425930543

"But finding customers is hard. Takehiro Makuta, 59, is a Fukushima-based middleman who used to help farmers in the prefecture sell to customers such as delis in posh department stores. He says he lost 80% of his business after the accident.
“High-end customers left us. Instead, shady people started approaching me, telling they would help us at 50% of market price,” he says.
People familiar with the market say buyers of Fukushima rice include inexpensive restaurant chains that pay below-market rates and don’t show the rice’s origin."



*cough* If you see "inexpensive restaurants" selling cheap rice bowls and wonder how they can possibly stay in business, well, now you know. ;p


If you eat enough of that rice, will you gain superpowers?
I am a terrible person.
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby Falcon » Sat May 23, 2015 5:20 am

Looks so much like Taiwan!
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:16 am

Some anti-pervert posters in Japanese subway :)

Japanese language lesson: 痴漢 (chikan) -- pervert, molester
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E7%97%B4%E6%BC%A2

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Most epic find on this trip, a sink over the toilet tank in the hot spring hotel room:
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Consider, every time after you use the toilet, you wash your hands and the water goes down the drain. Well! This will put that water to good use in flushing the toilet. What a great concept!

A few photos from resort, sorry could not take camera into actual hot spring area, but it was really nice and semi "open air" to the ocean:

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Notice how empty it was? The benefit of going after cherry blossom viewing week. ;) I had one area of the hot springs all to myself, LoL. Food was mediocre though. :(
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby Jester » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:39 am

Hot spring is interesting.

Can you advise about cost to stay in that area, do springs, do shiatsu etc?
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:05 am

Jester wrote:Hot spring is interesting.
Can you advise about cost to stay in that area, do springs, do shiatsu etc?


$_$ We stayed at Keio Plaza Hotel and I would not recommend it if you're on a budget. Try checking with Chinese/Taiwanese travel agencies in CA and see if they can get you a package deal.
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Re: Yakitori in a dark alley by Shinjuku Station

Postby momopi » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:09 am

American fast food chain menu abroad:

Subway Japan shrimp sandwich: (http://www.dramafever.com/news/12-subway-menu-items-found-only-in-japan/)

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KFC Japan Bistro Burger: (http://firstwefeast.com/eat/kfc-is-finally-launching-a-burger/)

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Japan based Yoshinoya in TW:

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