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Moderately priced food near/in Shinjuku

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angie525 Jul 22, 2008 07:59 AM

My husband and I will be traveling to Tokyo in October for 2 nights (we are breaking up our trip to southeast Asia in Tokyo). We are staying at the Hotel Century Southern Tower, which is right next to the Shinjuku station. We will be getting into the Airport around 4, so anticipate we will not be to the hotel until 7pm. We would like a recommendation for a nice japenesse restaurant close to the hotel where non-japenesse speaking people like us could get by. We have never been to Japan and I have recently become aware of the vast price difference in a good meal here versus a good meal there. With this in mind, we'd like something moderately priced (for Tokyo), but we are not looking for anything cheap, so to speak. I love sushi, but also want to try other authentic japenesse food. We are most concerned about the quality of the food and experience, being able to get there and get back to the hotel with no problem, and being able to communicate with the people in the restaurant. Thanks so much for all your help with this.

  1. Robb S Jul 22, 2008 02:44 PM

    I don't know where you are, so I can't comment on the vast price difference from there, but generally Tokyo restaurants offer good value for money and are very reasonably priced compared to cities like London or Paris or New York.

    Keishoan is a nice yakitori (grilled chicken) restaurant very close to your hotel: http://www.bento.com/rev/2296.html
    although I'm not certain that they have an English menu or English-speaking staff.

    Even closer (in the same building as your hotel) but somewhat more expensive is Banyo, and I'm pretty sure they're equipped for English, since they have an English website:
    http://www.imahan.com/e-guide/banyoh_menu.html
    They're strictly beef-oriented though. The sukiyaki is fairly good.

    Across the tracks from you is a branch of a good, inexpensive tempura chain called Tsunahachi, on one of the top floors of Takashimaya. Ordering should be pretty easy because you order a set menu, so you just pick a price. Their website at www.tsunahachi.com seems to be down at the moment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robb S
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      lost squirrel Jul 23, 2008 09:38 PM

      I went to Keishoan about 6 months ago perhaps, it was good and fun. It can get a little smoky and crowded, but that just adds to the charm.

      They have a few different options for course menus or sets, starting lower and raising up to about 5800-7400 at the max (based on a very fuzzy memory).

      There is also a conveyor belt sushi place downstairs in Shinjuku station but if you only have a few meals I'd go for Keishoan over the sushi.

    2. u
      usapv Jul 24, 2008 11:50 PM

      Near the Kabuki-Cho exit of the Shijuku Station there are a vast number of restaurants nearby all of which seem to cater to foreigners. Most have some type of display, so you just point out what you want. One of the greatest places we found was a chain of sushi restaurants called standing sushi. Yes there are no seats but the quality of sushi and the price are outstanding. You stand and order (or point out) what you want and the chef makes it for you on the spot. You have to order three orders at a time. No dishes as well, just a clean leaf which he puts the sushi on. The only dish is for the soy sauce. Extremely reasonable and delicious. For a snack or a full meal this is the place.

      5 Replies
      1. re: usapv
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        angie525 Jul 25, 2008 10:41 AM

        Thanks for the tips. What about Midori Sushi? Has anybody heard of that/been there, because sometime told me that it is fairly close and good. What do you guys think?

        1. re: angie525
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          brendastarlet Jul 25, 2008 10:51 AM

          Here's a blog that might help you decide: http://www.bento.com/tokyofood.html

          A couple of cautions:
          1) The schlep into Tokyo takes about two hours at that time of night, at least by bus, if you are flying into Narita. If you packed light, it's a great idea to take the express train into Tokyo. You get it downstairs from the arrival terminal.
          2) Shinjuku is a very busy place, so wherever you go, make sure the hotel gives you a map so that you can get back. One reason is that there are no street signs, and very little signage in English (except for logos.
          )3) I've only heard mixed things about Midori Sushi so I can't recommend it. But really, you will be fine most places -- even the 24-hour convenience stores have decent tuna rolls.
          4) If you want to venture farther afield some night, we had a lovely meal at Sakura, near the Cerulean Grand Tower in Shibuya. It's a tiny restaurant but it has a little garden, and you can sit outside.

          1. re: angie525
            Silverjay Jul 25, 2008 12:19 PM

            It's a well known small sushi chain. Good quality to value place. But there is no branch in Shinjuku. There two closest ones are in Shibuya, few stops away on the Yamanote line, or in Umegaoka via Odakyu line express train from Shinjuku. You would probably have to stand on line if you went there around the time you're planning to dine. Might not be the best option.

            I recommend checking out the Kabukicho area, but be as a gentle warning, I would say that it can be a full on sensory experience if you've just arrived from an intercontinental flight and have never been to Japan before. It's a red light/ entertainment district.

            Midori Sushi website in Japanese- http://homepage2.nifty.com/sushi_no_m...

            1. re: Silverjay
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              angie525 Jul 29, 2008 06:27 AM

              Thanks Brenda and Silverjay. Brenda, I will definitely get a good map from the hotel, and a card with the name of the hotel printed on it, so worst case scenario, we can get a taxi back to the hotel. What type of food does Sakura serve? How are the prices? Silverjay, is there any particular restaurant in the Kabukicho area you would recommend? We will be coming in from Singapore, so we won't be quite as overcome by the sensory experience.

              1. re: angie525
                Silverjay Jul 29, 2008 12:10 PM

                I can't recommend a particular restaurant, but Kabukicho is one of the Earth's greatest concentrations of restaurants/bars. So it's worth checking out and you really can't say you've "done" Shinjuku until you do. Some interesting back and side streets. I'm not sure how much is in English. Many yakitori shops are around there though and they are easy to point and eat.

                Also, on costs, per Robb's comment above, I'm not sure there is "vast" difference on prices. Most dining in Tokyo is moderate in cost by American major city standards, particulary in terms of quality.

        2. E Eto Jul 29, 2008 07:43 AM

          For Kaiten sushi, there's Numazukou on the basement level near the west entrance of Shinjuku station. It's open till 11pm.
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/495328

          2 Replies
          1. re: E Eto
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            angie525 Jul 29, 2008 11:15 AM

            Thanks E Eto. Is this a place where not speaking Japanesse will matter? In other words, would my husband and I -- who both only speak English -- be able to get by there? Thanks!

            1. re: angie525
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              lost squirrel Jul 29, 2008 08:06 PM

              You'll be fine, it's conveyor belt sushi so mostly you can just pick things off the belt.
              They do have an english menu "eigo menu" they usually bring around whenever foreigners show up as well.

              You can use that to pick out other things if you don't see them move past your spot.

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