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Nov 22, 2010 06:14 PM

2 Nights in Tokyo


I have 2 dinners, 2 lunches and a breakfast in Tokyo coming up from this Friday. I already sent out a post looking for mid-price options but here are some thoughts so far:

Breakfast: Daiwa Sushi
Lunches: Butagami or Tonki, Izu-Ei or Nodaiwa
Dinners: Birdland, Tsunahachi Rin or Asagi

I'm staying in Shinjuku and would prefer not to travel too far to get to restaurants.

Any thoughts?


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  1. Define "far". All your choices except Tsunahachi aren't in Shinjuku.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Uncle Yabai

      Let's say no more than 20-30 minutes by subway, ie, Central Tokyo

    2. It's actually "Butagumi", which is like "The Pork Group" or "The Pork Corps"...."Butagami" would mean something like "Pork God"....And I guess "Tonki" would be "Pork Spirit" if we were being really literal...

      12 Replies
      1. re: Silverjay

        Any thoughts on which is the one to go to? regarding Tonkatsu at least... Having been to Japan a few times before I usually stick to my comfort zone and go to Maisen where I usually have a pretty decent version... however I'm willing to try somewhere different this time.

        1. re: RickBehl

          Try tonkatsu at Katsukura on the 14th floor of Takashimaya Shinjuku. Very good, better than Butagumi, in my opinion.

          1. re: RickBehl

            I like Katsukura a lot, but Butagumi would get my vote. Tonki doesn't even come close IMO.

            1. re: Robb S

              I think I may have been to Katsukura before. Is it a chain? If so, is there one in Roppongi Hills? If there is then I have been to it. It was very good but didn't have a 'Wow' factor...

              1. re: RickBehl

                They are a chain, based in Kyoto. None in Roppongi Hills, but you may have seen one in Shiodome City Center or Shinjuku Takashimaya.

                Roppongi Hills has a branch of Wako.

            2. re: RickBehl

              Skip tonkatsu, tempura, yakitori and the standard gaijin eating circuit and eat real Japanese food. You'll be there for the best dining season of the year.

              1. re: Silverjay

                and what is real Japanese food? Kaiseki? and would access to Real Japanese food necessitate a Real Japanese language skill? if so, I'm a little scuppered...

                1. re: RickBehl

                  I suspect Silverjay is suggesting you try foods you can't get outside of Japan. Tonkatsu, tempura, yakitori, ramen, etc. are all foods you can get Japanese restaurants all around the world, so you may as well try to work in a few seemingly atypical Japanese meals. (by atypical, I mean foods most non-Japanese don't know about or think about when they think of Japanese food)

                  I'm not saying I agree or disagree with Silverjay, just explaining what I think is his POV.

                  1. re: prasantrin

                    Maybe the point is that this is a great time of year for certain seasonal foods. Tonkatsu, tempura, yakitori, ramen = not seasonal.

                    Also, interestingly most or none of these foods are strictly speaking originally Japanese (not sure about yakitori, but certainly ramen, tonkatsu and tempura), though by now I would have thought the Japanese think of them as being as Japanese as sushi (who would think of tempura as Portuguese these days, etc.).

                    1. re: Asomaniac

                      Don't get me wrong. I didn't take offence at Silverjay's suggestion. I would love to try 'Real' Japanese food. However I have to be practial so with time and language constraints I have to see what is possible... like I said, happy to be proven wrong that I can have real Japanese food with these constraints... Just show me where :-)

                      1. re: RickBehl

                        Nobody thinks you took offence - just trying to explain about the seasonal thing etc.

              2. re: RickBehl

                One lone voice in the wilderness says '11 minutes on Toei Shinjuku to Ogawamachi will get you to Yamaichi.'

                An offbeat suggestion that might meet Silverjay's standards is Hanakago, in the same neighborhood.
                For Y1000 you can pick from the very good sake in the fridge plus get three side dishes. Finish the drink, do it again. It's very Japanese and the food is very good in the genre (but you have to call ahead to order sashimi).

                I'd love to see you go to real Japanese places too, but without any language I'm not sure how you'd enjoy it. Plus I have to imagine the ramen and tonkatsu and such are better here than in any other country, so don't feel bad if that's what you eat.

                Speaking of which, 5 minutes on the Yamanote line gets you to great ramen in Takadanobaba...