Category Archives: Food

I love Japanese food! Sushi, ramen, yakiniku, nabe…. oh god the list goes on! And I’m here to review places I’ve been to. You’d know by reading my posts that I love sushi. I never ate sushi when I was a kid but here it’s so fresh that I came to love it! And then there’s ramen… I have a different craving every week and I will try my best to post reviews of good places!

Tsukiji Market: Watching the Tuna Auction Successfully (plus Tips!)

It was not my idea, first of all. If you had read my other post on Tsukiji, you would know that me and my friends tried and failed once, even though we got there around 3:40 am. I had no desire to try it again when it’s just a bunch of men screaming for some fish. But fish that I dearly loved to eat, nevertheless. Anyway, it was my brother’s idea, who watched it on TV already and probably saw all there is to see. He just wanted to see it in the flesh. I had no choice but to oblige, and hey, what do you know, we succeeded! And so I compiled the things you should know to successfully do it as well.

1. Be there by 3:30 am. How? Get a taxi, or stay in a nearby hotel, or a nearby Manga Cafe, or karaoke. We went there by taxi from Shinjuku Kabukicho area at around 3:00am, costing 4,000 yen. We got there 3:20 and we were at number 37 on the line. Consider that it was a Tuesday morning in summer. The last slot that day was filled at 4:15 am. Lucky guy.

2. “Tsukijishijo, Kachidoki Mon made kudasai.” That’s what you’re gonna tell your taxi. The entrance is at the KACHIDOKI entrance, not the main entrance. Study the map before going so that you know where to go. Not all taxis know where to drop you off, since there are other entrances. This is one reason why we failed last year, we got off the main entrance, so precious time was wasted looking for the actual entrance.

The map of Tsukiji Market. You should go to the Kachidoki entrance.
The map of Tsukiji Market. You should go to the Kachidoki entrance.

3. You wait outside the Kachidoki entrance right beside the Kachidoki bridge, until they let you in when the number of waiting people reaches around 60 (first batch). We got in around 3:45 am. Keep this in mind when you attempt to go to Tsukiji in horrible weather.

4. You get green vests when you successfully become one of the first to witness the auction for the day. You get blue vests when you are on the second batch.

The staff will hand you the coveted green vest if you're lucky!
The staff will hand you the coveted lemon-colored vest if you’re lucky!
The first people donned in their cool yellow green vests!
The first people donned in their cool neon vests!

5. You need to kill time for at least an hour. There’s a small waiting room where you all sit like fish in a can.

People chat and sleep, while most are on their phones.
People chat and sleep, while most are on their phones.

6. At 5:25, you are ushered to the auction area. You go through the usual market scene of moving trucks and workers. It’s business as usual for them, so they are prioritized on the streets. It’s important not to hinder their work. Second batch goes in around 6.

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7. There are two auctions in the auction area, left and right. (5:25/6:00) And when you enter the auction area, ask the staff which side is first. Ours was the one to the right.

8. The auction area is a fridge. Meaning, it’s a bit cold.

9. Tuna are big! Probably bigger than me. Then there are the smaller ones… They’re all frozen by the way.

Tuna that is larger than a human
Tuna that is larger than a human. A wholesaler inspects the tuna quality by checking the tail area.

10. The auction starts soon after the wholesalers have inspected the fish. You might not understand what’s going on, so please read about the auction before you go.

Tuna auction in action
Tuna auction in action

11. The fattest fish is auctioned off first. And they know it by looking at the meat near the tail of the fish. The inspectors have already touched and even tasted the fish they’re interested in bidding on.

12. The size of the fish does not relate to how fat it is. I thought the biggest fish would be the most expensive per gram but no, apparently not.

13. There is an inner market, and an outer market. The inner market is where you watch the auction. The place is usually off limits to outsiders. Go around the outer market after the auction. There is a huge assortment of seafood goodies to purchase!

This tamagoyaki is quite famous among Japanese! After tasting it, I wasn't so sure what was so special about it. If it's because of the freshest ingredients or the technique, then I'm not the best judge about it.
This tamagoyaki is quite famous among Japanese! After tasting it, I wasn’t so sure what was so special about it. If it’s because of the freshest ingredients or the technique, then I’m not the best judge about it.

14. Have sushi! And try out the street food available all around the place.

My brother, who doesn't eat raw fish, enjoyed a plate of cooked sushi and some aburi-salmon. I had my usual plate of good old raw fish and rice.
My brother, who doesn’t eat raw fish, enjoyed a plate of cooked sushi and an aburi-salmon. I had my usual plate of good old raw fish and rice.

If you want to know where to eat, check out my post on Tsukiji Market Sushi!

Must Try Food in Kyushu

Fukuoka, considered heaven for food-loving people like me! I’ve made a list on the things I tried in Fukuoka, and Kyushu in general, so here is my count down starting off with my favorite!

Kyushu Food

  1. Motsu nabe. Delicious hot pot that has a soup like no other. Hands down one of the best things I ate in Japan. You only see the vegetable toppings here but underneath it is beef meat and innards. I nearly cried out of sheer bliss from eating. (budget: 1,500yen)motsu nabe
  2. Tonkotsu Ramen – Tonkotsu means pork bones, and Fukuoka is the birthplace of tonkotsu ramen. The soup of this ramen is no where near the the soup of other ramen like Nagi. I hear that Ippudo will be opening in Manila, but I always preferred Ichiran over all others that I’ve tried. (around 800 yen)

    Ichiran ramen
    Ichiran ramen
  3. Sushi – It’s number 3 because it’s my favorite Japanese food, and surprisingly, sushi in Fukuoka is extremely cheap but very high quality. (1200 yen)

    Sushi always makes for a great meal!
    Sushi always makes for a great meal!
  4. Food stalls. On weekends, the streets of Tenjin are full of these stalls, serving ramen, gyoza, yakitori, and other food that go well with drinking. (from 1000 yen)

    Food stalls being set up at around 6 pm. Nakasu in Fukuoka is famous for its food stalls.
    Food stalls being set up at around 6 pm. Nakasu in Fukuoka is famous for its food stalls.
  5. Toriten – A kind of fried food with a tangy sauce  (600 yen)

    Chicken cutlet in Ponzu sauce
    Chicken cutlet in Ponzu sauce
  6. Jigokumushi – Steamed in Hell. Interesting term for cooking food using onsen steam! Only in Beppu, Oita. (500 yen)

    Cooked sushi using onsen steam
    Cooked sushi using onsen steam
  7. Champon – What I think of as their chicken mami (1000yen)

    No. 1 Champon in Nagasaki is from Kataoka  just on the other side of Nagasaki station
    No. 1 Champon in Nagasaki is from Kataoka just on the other side of Nagasaki station
  8. Castella – Their version of a very classy Goldilocks bar! (1000 yen/box)
    Fukusaya Castella is the oldest castella maker in Nagasaki
    Fukusaya Castella is the oldest castella maker in Nagasaki

    If I had to choose only one out of all the above, I’d choose the motsu nabe! Yum!

Kyushu Travel: Nagasaki

Nagasaki Day Trip

Day 4 of my Kyushu trip, I decided to go to Nagasaki. Ah, the victim of the atomic bomb. That’s what Nagasaki is to most people these days. But before recent history, Nagasaki had a different, more positive role in Japanese politics and culture. It was where the Dutch ships first landed in the middle of the 1500s and started trading goods with Japan.

Nagasaki has a lot of that history still intact even when most of the city was annihilated during the war.

A short 2.5 hour  ride from Fukuoka with busses running twice an hour, it is such an easy day trip!

While on the bus, I started reading up on things to see and eat in Nagasaki. I was pleased to find out that it is very easy to go around the city by tram or walking, and most spots are near to each other.

So first was lunch! Champon at the number 1 spot on a Japanese ranking site. It was good but reminded me of the Philippines’ chicken mami but with seafood and vegetable toppings instead. I guess I will always be a ramen/udon person!

No. 1 Champon in Nagasaki is from Kataoka  just on the other side of the station
No. 1 Champon in Nagasaki is from Kataoka just on the other side of the station

Energized, I was ready to go to my first destination.

Tram stop at Nagasaki Ekimae
Tram stop at Nagasaki Ekimae

Dejima was a man-made island built during the Tokugawa era that served as a trading port. Now, since areas around it have been reclaimed, it is no longer an island, but easily reachable by tram. It’s an open air museum now with reconstructed houses and recreations of rooms of the captains complete with furniture and other details.

I enjoyed the place so much that I spent 2 hours in the small area. Buildings have Japanese architecture but decked with Dutch furniture. I love the result!

The main street in Dejima
The main street in Dejima
Scale for weighing products
Scale for weighing products
Bedroom with mosquito net!
Bedroom with mosquito net!

 

Tatami mats with complete Dutch dining set
Tatami mats with complete Dutch dining set
Japanese dressed up as people back in the days
Japanese dressed up as people back in the days
For a thousand yen you can go around dressed up in a kimono
For a thousand yen you can go around dressed up in a kimono
Miniature Dejima
Miniature Dejima

And it’s really amazing how they designed the place. It was pleasing in all senses! They had audiovisual guides beside the rooms, and some places had temperature control as well. Highly educational as well as great for photo ops.

Next on my list was Glover Garden. It’s the preserved foreign settlement area in Nagasaki near Dejima. When Japan was forced to open up trade with Western countries, land was reclaimed here to accommodate the growing foreign population. Glover Garden is named after Thomas Glover, a Scottish trader who was based in Nagasaki. It’s a sprawling property on top of a hill with great views as well. The idea is the same as Dejima, preserving what could be preserved while helping us imaging the actual homes by leaving the furniture there.

Here, they offered services to dress you up as a foreigner of that time. I personally enjoyed dressing up! 500 yen for 30 minutes. Very reasonable! But excruciatingly hot in summer.

Nagasaki Harbor
Nagasaki Harbor

glover garden house glover garden house 2 glover garden house 3

After returning my dress, I went in this coffee shop, which apparently is the remains of the oldest Western restaurant in Japan. Good thing I entered!

I had castella and iced tea overlooking the Nagasaki Bay to cool myself in the excruciating summer heat.

Jiyutei, the remains of the oldest Western restaurant in Japan built in 1878
Jiyutei, the remains of the oldest Western restaurant in Japan built in 1878
Castella at Jiyutei, which tastes just like a Goldilocks cake in the Philippines, but 10 times more expensive
Castella at Jiyutei, which tastes just like a Goldilocks cake in the Philippines, but 10 times more expensive

Back to exploring the place.

An ice cream maker from those days
An ice cream maker from those days

 

Glover's house is a huge mansion with extremely large doors
Glover’s house is a huge mansion with extremely large doors

That was the end of the garden, and so I headed back to Nagasaki through some shops and passed by a church.

Shops outside Glover Garden selling Castella and all sorts of souvenirs
Shops outside Glover Garden selling Castella and all sorts of souvenirs
Oura Church, an iconic church in Nagasaki.
Oura Church, an iconic church in Nagasaki.
I bought Fukusaya Castella, the oldest castella maker in Nagasaki. I checked the ingredients and it had no artificial ingredients!
I bought Fukusaya Castella, the oldest castella maker in Nagasaki. I checked the ingredients and it had no artificial ingredients!

I finished sightseeing by 6, and could not wait for the night views since summer meant that I had to wait until 8 for the sky to completely get dark. My bus was scheduled to leave 7:45pm so I had to go back already. I didn’t expect to enjoy Nagasaki this much. So happy I went!

 

Nagasaki JR and bus station vicinity
Nagasaki JR and bus station vicinity

Kyushu Travel: Beppu and Yufuin

Day 3: Driving around Beppu and Yufuin

 
The next day we started early for the Jigoku Meguri. Beppu is well known for interesting onsen and we went to three onsen tourist spots we found interesting on the list of Jigoku.
 
Oniishi Bozu was very interesting! It was my first time to see onsen like mud! Like little blobs of cement, actually. The place was in a park with a foot onsen available to enjoy.
Mud Onsen
 
Right beside it was the Umi no Jigoku that we skipped since I’ve already seen blue onsen before. Thought it best not to waste 400 yen :))
 
Tastsumaki no Jigoku, next on our list was a really strong geyser that shoots up water for 10 minutes with 30 minute intervals. It’s a bit interesting if you get wowed by the science behind it. For a tourist spot, it’s not as pretty as the others.
Tatsumaki Jigoku, a world-renowned geyser
Tatsumaki Jigoku, a world-renowned geyser
Chi no Jigoku, beside Tatsumaki, was huge. And very red because of the magnesium in it. The foliage around it has red barks. Apparently very deep as well at 30 meters. I would have loved to enter it if it’s a bathing onsen!
Chi no Jigoku meaning "Blood Hell"
Chi no Jigoku meaning “Blood Hell”
It has a very huge souvenir shop as well that was air-conditioned properly, so I stayed for a while sampling things for free and thoroughly cooled myself. 
 
And with the 2-hour tour of Beppu’s hells, our Beppu leg is finished. Beppu is nice, although it doesn’t have the usual lively street lined  with shops and restaurants I find typical in major Japanese onsen towns like Hakone, Kusatsu, etc. So it’s better researching beforehand so that you can enjoy the gems in Beppu.
 
And then off to Yufuin we go! Another onsen town but with a different atmosphere since it is in the mountain. It was such a pleasant drive! Less than an hour from Beppu away via roads going through and above mountains. Mt. Yufu is a very nice grassy mountain. I love the shade of green as well. 
Mt. Yufu seen from the car
Mt. Yufu seen from the car
 
I found a nice place for lunch that was number 2 on tabelog for really good Italian with a view of Yufuin. And when we got there goodness there were 30+ groups in line. Thank god they serve take-out! We had our pizza and ribs from the brick oven in 10 minutes. Yum!
Really delicious Roman-style pizza
Really delicious chewy Roman-style pizza
 
And of course, onsen! We went to a beautiful milky cobalt blue outdoor onsen. I was so silky smooth after! There was no other pool but it didn’t matter. I was very satisfied. I love milky baths!
 
Cobalt blue onsen Shoya no Kan, taken from mapple.net since I couldn’t take it with people in it. It may look photoshopped but this picture doesn’t lie!
I would have loved to stay more, but we had to go back to Fukuoka already due to some time constraints. This time we took the highway, and we were in Fukuoka in under 2 hours. 
 
Back in Fukuoka! 
 
We arrived just in time for dinner. Ramen at the original shop of Ichiran in Tenjin was a must. And here, aside from the usual Ichiran at the second floor, they had a regular izakaya-looking restaurant on the first floor. You sit on actual tables and chairs, talk to people, and you have gyoza on the menu! 
My favorite ramen, Ichiran
My favorite ramen, Ichiran. This is their main branch with offices on the upper floors in quite a tall building.
Gyoza in Ichiran
Gyoza in Ichiran
The ramen! Same as the branches in Tokyo. I think they made sure all their ramen tastes the same.
The ramen! Same as the branches in Tokyo. I think they made sure all their ramen tastes the same. But it sure feels great eating it on tables instead of the lonely counter!
 

Kyushu Trip: Driving to Beppu

Driving in Kyushu: Beppu

Rented a car from Toyota Rent-a-Car for two days! After a hearty breakfast of sushi for two with a bill costing less than 2,500 yen total, we were so ready to drive off to Beppu.

We chose to go the regular roads via Usa to Beppu, not the paid highway. We thought we’d see the country. And I was thinking we would stop by Usa Shrine. However, we didn’t realize that there was not much to see along the road, if you’ve lived in Japan for three years already, and we didn’t have time for the shrine. The road became interesting only after three hours since we started seeing nature. We just stopped by a random place for late lunch, and arrived in Beppu in the afternoon.

Arrived in Beppu!
Arrived in Beppu on a beautiful sunny day!

Beppu is an onsen paradise beside the sea in Oita. While the beaches aren’t really for swimming, the bay is actually nice!

Beppu Bay seems empty on this side, but on the other side is where ships dock.
Beppu Bay seems empty on this side, but on the other side is where ships dock.

Since we came by car, I got curious on how the station looked like. I’m not surprised finding random hot spring water coming out from a geyser.

JR Beppu station is a relatively big station with lots of shops inside.
JR Beppu station is a relatively big station with lots of shops inside.
Spa goods in the station.
Spa goods in the station. Soaps, creams, and other nice smelling things.
Small geyser in front of the station
Small geyser in front of Beppu station

Next, we went up Asia Pacific University which is on top of a hill, to see the commanding view of Beppu. We went by car but I think it’s easily reachable by bus from the station as well.

Random onsen steam coming up from places
Random onsen steam coming up from places

The campus is breathtaking! They have a lot of nature. Outdoorsy students would definitely enjoy being there. I heard that majority of the students there are international students.

APU amphitheater reminds me of Misibis Bay in Albay, Philippines.
APU amphitheater reminds me of Misibis Bay in Albay, Philippines.
View of Beppu Bay from APU. The students here are so lucky!
View of Beppu Bay from APU. The students who live in the dormitory here are so lucky!

For dinner we tried the popular toriten (chicken cutlets) and some Jigokumushi, or food steamed from the onsen heat. Good thing the restaurant at the onsen we went to was open until 9pm! Well, there was 7/11 nearby just in case.

Chicken cutlet in Ponzu sauce
Chicken cutlet in Ponzu sauce
Jigokumushi. Food is cooked from the onsen steam.
Jigokumushi. Food is cooked from the onsen steam.

Onsen was great! Personally I did not fancy the dark ambience much of Hyotan, but this place is so popular and has history so we had to try. I enjoyed the outdoor onsen and the waterfall onsen similar to what monks in tv use. Even in summer, onsen is enjoyable if you alternate hot and cold water.

hyotan onsen

Next day: more Beppu and Yufuin

Kyushu Trip: Fukuoka

Came back from a 5-day Kyushu trip! I enjoyed it so much, and I’ll be summing up the memorable moments from this trip, and in a separate entry will be the suggested itinerary and some tips.

Day 1 Fukuoka Food and Sightseeing Trip

Even before coming, I knew that Fukuoka food would be great! And now that I have sampled it, I sure hoped Tokyo and other cities have food as good as Fukuoka.

I have my favorites when it comes to Japanese food, and everywhere I go I have to try it. Particularly when the place I’m going to has fresh catch from Hakata Bay.

First stop, sushi! Sushi here is extremely CHEAP. And crazy good! I got red tuna or akami at like 68 yen but with the quality that is top notch Tsukiji level. And my favorite bintoro. And scallops. And so I decided to come back again.

Sushi always makes for a great meal!
Sushi always makes for a great meal!

I went around basically by foot, and when I got tired I got on the bus from Tenjin to Hakata for just 100 yen. My hotel was right in the middle of Tenjin, the place for exploring Fukuoka. Tenjin reminds me of Osaka Shinsaibashi area. Hakata I realize has mostly office buildings.

Spotted a small temple while walking around Fukuoka
Spotted a small temple while walking around Fukuoka
Bus cost 100 yen from Tenjin to Hakata, arrived in under 10 minutes
Bus cost 100 yen from Tenjin to Hakata, arrived in under 10 minutes
Hakata station, very modern and big
Hakata station, very modern and big

I arrived at the Canal City and was curious at this mall. It had an interesting architecture inside, with a small fake canal, and they had some water show when I was there. It’s just a mall, there’s really no need to go there.

Canal City, a shopping mall in Fukuoka
Canal City, a shopping mall in Fukuoka
Plants covering the walls of a shopping mall
Plants covering the walls of a shopping mall

When it was starting to get dark I crossed the river to Nakasu, and saw that the food stalls were already being set up. 

Food stalls being set up at around 6 pm. Nakasu in Fukuoka is famous for its food stalls.
Food stalls being set up at around 6 pm. Nakasu in Fukuoka is famous for its food stalls. You can have ramen, yakitori, oden, beer, among others.

But I had another thing in mind, since I read some reviews on Tabelog about a really cool tempura shop in Tenjin.Good tempura tends to be really expensive in Japan, so I didn’t expect much from the place. 

Tempura Hirao at 1F of Toho Cinema building. There is a ticket machine on the left of the entrance.
Tempura Hirao at 1F of Toho Cinema building. There is a ticket machine on the left of the entrance.

I got an ebi tempura set for around 900 yen.

The tempura restaurant only has counter seats.
The tempura restaurant only has counter seats.

Upon entering, it seemed very popular with the locals! I sit at the counter and show my ticket. They immediately put the rice, soup, and tempura tray for me. While waiting for my tempura I could have unlimited side dishes, and I can’t believe that included spicy cuttlefish! The hint of lime was perfect. I could eat this with rice for a meal.

Tempura set comes with rice, soup, and unlimited condiments
Tempura set comes with rice, soup, and unlimited condiments
Spicy lime cuttlefish (ika) was so good I would have eaten an entiere meal of cuttlefish if the tempura didn't come.
Spicy lime cuttlefish (ika) was so good I would have eaten an entiere meal of cuttlefish if the tempura didn’t come.

And then the tempura kept coming. They serve when it’s been cooked, like a high-class tempura specialty shop. The shrimp is amazingly tasty for the price. It’s a bit sweet and very juicy. 4 shrimp and 3 veggies. I think the quality of the food is really superb. They cut costs on the ambience and the service and concentrated completely on the taste and quality. No problem with me at all! I really wish we had this in Tokyo.

Big shrimp tempura was very juicy
Big shrimp tempura was very juicy

After that, I walked around Fukuoka City at night. Food stalls filled Tenjin already! It was such a fun atmosphere.

So my impression of the city for the first day is, during the day it looks like any other small Japanese city, think of Fuchu or Tachikawa or Hachioji in Tokyo, but more laid back and with a lot of food choices. But come night it’s really like Shinsaibashi in Osaka, very lively and laid-back.

View of Fukuoka near Nakasu at night
View of Fukuoka near Nakasu at night

Next post will be day 2 at Beppu!

Tsukiji Market in Tokyo

Basic Info for Tsukiji Market

What: best sushi, seafood market

Where: near Ginza in Tokyo

To do: eat sushi, watch the tuna action

Budget: from 1000 to 5000 at least

Station: Tsukiji (Metro Hibiya Line), Tsukijishijo (Toei Oedo Line)

My first post! And I am not surprised that it’s about sushi. My blog will probably have posts all about sushi. Since I think I’ve eaten the crazily expensive ones to the cheap conveyor belt sushi, I feel I have good reason to have an opinion about it.

I’ve been to Tsukiji not too many times, around 10? Maybe because I have my other favorite sushi places that I will most probably write about later. (I eat good sushi once a week.)

So here are important points for you all to keep in mind when wanting to sample the best sushi in Tsukiji, Tokyo!

Q1. Should I go to Daiwa/Sushi-dai?

A. Ah, the top 2 most popular sushi places in Tsukiji. Totally depends on your priorities. If you love lining up for the hyped up food joints, go ahead. I did once for both and honestly I did find the sushi very good. But I also paid for it at 4,000 yen a set. Would I go back again? No, because I know other places just as good where I don’t have to line up more than an hour, plus I can choose the sushi and not just the “omakase” set.

sushi dai, tsukiji
Line at Sushi Dai

Q2. Should I watch the tuna auction?

A. I tried and failed once. Went there as early as 4am but unfortunately slots were filled up. My friend was lucky and he said it was a cool experience but not as memorable since he’s not that much of a fan. Hey, if you are really interested, sure, but if you are just a regular tourist, save your energy for other more interesting things 🙂 (update! I went there the other day. it was okay, but if I had better things to do I woudn’t do it.  My brother really found it interesting. check out the post I did on the auction)

Q3. This is a morning market, what time does it close?

A. Yes this is a morning market. So if you are interested in the market part that one closes by around 2. But restaurants in the outer market, such as Sushi Zanmai, are open until dinner time.

Q4. What should I wear?

A. Depends on the season. If you are gonna line up, make sure to be dressed for the season. Don’t worry. It’s Japan. No one is too overdressed or too weird.

Q5. I don’t wanna spend too much. Are cheap places good as well?

A. You don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy sushi in Tsukiji. I’ve only been to Sushi Dai, Daiwa, Sushi Zanmai honten, Sushi Zanmai conveyor belt (not expensive), Tsukiji Ichiban honten , and they have all been very good! Price range when I eat is 1500 above. Difference lies in the soy sauce, rice, size of the fish etc. In the end I think they are all quite decent. I’ve tried cheaper stuff, like a 900 yen seafood bowl at a “shokudo” like place and haven’t had luck. I do want to try the cheaper ones next time.

So there are my tips! I put it out first before I talk about my experiences. At first I got lost in Tsukiji. I mean, it was around 3pm and there was no hustle and bustle I tend to expect from markets. And I was not aware that there was an outer and inner market. Oedo line Tsukiji shijo is nearer to the inner market, while the Hibiya line Tsukiji station is nearer to the outer market.

Tsukiji Market
Map of Tsukiji (from http://www.japan-guide.com)

Sushi Dai and Daiwa sushi are in the inner market restaurants, but you can’t go shopping in the inner market.

I tend to frequent the outer market which has a lot of sushi restaurants and some shops.

This is the time I had lunch at Sushi Dai. Chuutoro (mid-fatty tuna) is to die for!! And everything else! 🙂 but was it 4,000 yen well spent? Hmmm, I felt rushed though. But I always prioritize the taste of the food in judging a restaurant, so that doesn’t take away much points :))

heavenly fatty tuna
Heavenly fatty tuna!
Uni (sea urchin) and tekka maki (tuna roll)
Uni (sea urchin) and tekka maki (tuna roll)

And of course there was a whole lot more to this that just went into my mouth. :))

On another day, I chose to go the outer market, to a restaurant called Tsukiji Ichiban, which means Tsukiji number 1. I ordered a lunch set, under than 1500 yen, and ordered an additional salmon because the set didn’t have it.

Lunch set at Tsukiji Ichiban at the Tsukiji outer market
Lunch set at Tsukiji Ichiban at the Tsukiji outer market
Menu at Tsukiji Ichiban
Menu at Tsukiji Ichiban

The good thing about lunch sets is that they have chawan-mushi (delightful steamed egg dish) and soup. Good deal!

I do want to suggest Sushi Zanmai as well, the honten (main branch) is really good! I’ve eaten in about 5 branches all over Tokyo, but since this one is right in Tsukiji, it’s really got the reputation to uphold, and they do. For someone like me who used to have salmon as a favorite, I’ve been a total convert to tuna. And the akami (red meat) of the tuna in Sushi Zanmai, in any branch but most of all in Tsukiji is really top-notch. And the lunch sets are not that expensive! 1,500 yen!

Anyway, after some eating, it’s also nice to do shopping sometimes.

Wasabi root!
Wasabi root!
Tuna in sweet soysauce
Tuna in sweet soysauce

Enjoy your sushi and your shopping!