Group Dinner in Tokyo
Ippin Ryori and Koryori are a style of eating in Japan like Spanish-style tapas where you are ordering side dishes or single servings of small plates. Basically there are a few bites of each thing on a plate. Ordering bigger portions or multiples of tapas dishes is common for groups and what we ate for dinner on our last night of the tour in Tokyo.
Beer and seasoned cucumbers started off the night. This one is a Kirin beer. I think I prefer Asahi but both are good. The cucumbers were amazing- I have to try to figure out how to make them at home.
Our fantastic guide from G Adventures, Kozo, gave a lovely speech and proceeded to order a vast array of delicious dishes.
I sat next to the non-fish eater again on purpose. I let him have all the chicken and boring stuff while I took more of the fish and crazy-fun dishes.
Salmon summer roll that fell apart:
Kozo ordered us Okonomiyaki again because some people didn’t get to try it in Hiroshima like I did (and didn’t really care for). In Tokyo, it wasn’t as thick and I enjoyed it so much more. If at first you don’t succeed, try again!
Gyoza again, delicious again:
There was fried corn fritters accompanied by wasabi powder for dipping. This was pretty awesome and not like anything I’ve had on this trip. The corn fritters reminded me of hush puppies.
My all-time favorite dish of the night were Takoyaki, ball-shaped octopus fritters. They were perfect- slightly fishy, salty, but creamy at the same time. If I see these on any menu in the future, I will be ordering them. You should too!
After dinner, we needed to walk around so Kozo took us on a non-touristy walking tour to one of the streets of Tokyo that hasn’t been modernized, called Ebisu Yokocho in Japanese. It was full of restaurants and little shops.
The street was so narrow no cars could fit down it making it the perfect pedestrian area.
I would have loved to have picked a spot to sit down and eat at one of these tiny 8 person restaurants, had I not just eaten my weight in octopus balls
The Godzilla Building, Shinjuku Toho, wasn’t too far away so we stopped by to see the giant Godzilla head mounted the building in honor of the movie’s Japanese release 60 years ago.
Drunkard Alley, or Nonbei Yokocho, was slightly run down and slightly seedy but Kozo’s favorite spot to have a beer. They also had a Baltimore Jazz Club on the street. Unfortunately it started to rain again (shocking I know) so we cut our tour short and walked back towards our hotel.
I have never seen so many people crossing the street at once! There was an unfortunate incident on my part where I was clotheslined by a tiny Japanese person holding her umbrella really low. I still laughed and held on to my new friends for dear life, so I wasn’t swept away by the crowd.
Sunshine and more to come from Tokyo!
Reader Question: Have you ever had Takoyaki? Any desire to try them or any other fun Japanese food?