Cooking Across 4 Generations

Using recipes collected from 4 generations of one family



Day 8 Tokyo 2018: Tsukiji Market, Omiya and Shimbashi After Dark

The weather was a bit iffy in the morning and by the time I walked over to Tsukiji Market the heavens opened. With the heavy rain coming down I decided to keep my visit to the outer market. After wandering around I bought myself some new knives, a Yanagiba and a Deba. I also bought a super fine mesh skimmer,which had mesh finer than I could get at home.

Yanagiba and Deba from Aritsugu at Tsukiji Market

The rain cut my visit short so I dropped my purchases at the hotel before hopping the train out to Omiya.

I had planned on eating at my usual restaurant but when I entered  I thought I had gone to the wrong place. All the retro kitsch was gone and the lovely old people who ran it were nowhere to be seen. The new owners are a very pleasant couple of similar vintage to myself. Gone are the olive green banquettes and no more Karaoke. The place has been given a new life and a new name. I had my usual, Kari Raisu, served with a small salad with a cheese croquette, crumbed fish and miso soup. A small chocolate marquis and tea was also served.

Kari Raisu, cheese Korroke, miso soup
Chocolate marquise and tea

Then it was time to hit the second hand shop across the road. By now the rain had finished and blue sky was peeking through the clouds.

Note to self: big suitcase must be practically empty when departing Australia. You would think I would have learnt by now wouldn’t you. It was 13kg when I checked in at Sydney, but obviously I need to put less in it next time. Or fly Qantas over and JAL back( 2 x 20kg suitcase with JAL).

After a first walk through, I picked out a set of lacquered fan shaped serving plates, some fabric offcuts, two white and blue plates and two little chawan with lids. I paid for my purchases and then while waiting for them to be wrapped I spied a bronze vase with a frog on it. The body of the vase is matte and the frog has been polished, umm it sort of jumped in to my hands. I couldn’t pass it up. So that was a successful expedition, although I was hoping to buy a regular sized chawan or a mizusashi, I just couldn’t find any that spoke to me. Next time maybe.

Lacquer fan plates, Chawan, plates
Frog vase, bronze maybe?

Then back to the hotel again where I unloaded my goodies and headed out into unknown territory, the other side of Shimbashi Station.

I have only previously looked down from Platform 6 to the other side of Shimbashi, so this was a new adventure for me. The lights were all starting to come on as I arrived and people were starting to pour into bars, izakaya and restaurants as their week came to an end.

I strolled around ducking and weaving through the crowds taking photos here and there.

I found a whisky bar and headed up stairs to find 2 now rare bottles of whisky, The Hakushu and The Yamazaki 18 Year Old. At Y2400 per glass, the rarity factor was too good to pass up. I think I impressed the barman by ordering my whiskies straight with a glass of water on the side, of which I then put two drops in the whisky. Guess he was expecting me to go with onzarokku.

Moon Shine Whisky Bar
Yamazaki 18Year old
Interior, Moonshine Bar
Interior, Moonshine Bar

I decided to head back to the tracks and try my luck for some thing to eat. I found a great place downstairs, noisy, smoky and lots of activity.  Even though the menu had photos and I was happy to just pick and point they bought me an English menu.

I think I may have overdone it though. Pickled shallot, grilled chicken skewer with Ume paste, pork belly with negi, Mozzarella korroke, spicy chorizo skewer and karaage chicken. So much good food!! My drink of choice was plum wine with soda. A big glass came out which was quite surprising, I am used to a more genteel sized glass being served.

My mystery restaurant, no English name
Yakitori chicken skewer with ume paste and pork with negi
Mozzarella Korroke
Chorizo skewer
Chicken Kara age

With my hunger sated I waddled back out in to the night and the sad realisation that the next day would be my last full day in Tokyo, my Shiny town.

Tokyo – Day 1 Omiya

Waking early I headed down stairs for a Japanese style breakfast buffet, checked the weather forecast, partly cloudy, high of 33 Celsius with high humidity expected. Back in the room I made sure my cameras were in order(empty memory card and fully charged) then it was out in to the wilds of Ginza and a short walk to Shimbashi Station via Doutor Coffee Shop. Even though I had a coffee at breakfast I really needed a cappucino…oh and a Mont Blanc while I was at it.

IMG_1013 (2)
Cappucino and Mont Blanc – Cafe Doutor

Over breakfast I had decided I really wanted to revisit Omiya to see the Bonsai Village again. Platform 6 at Shimbashi is the one required for the JR Keihin Tohoku line. Takes close to an hour, but it is fascinating watching the city go by and then before you know it you have left Tokyo Prefecture and crossed in to Saitama Prefecture. At Omiya you need to change trains for the Tohoku Main Line and go two stops to Toro station. When changing at Omiya you can go to the information booth for a map and guide pamphlets before getting onto the next train.

IMG_1177 (2)
The red line is my route starting at Toro Station and working down to Omiya Koen Station

First stop was the Omiya Bonsai Museum.

Exterior Omiya Bonsai Museum

Exterior Omiya Bonsai Museum

Each season sees a change of displays inside and out. This time I saw a fascinating display of Bonseki, the art of creating landscapes on black enamel trays using sand, pebbles and small rocks. Unfortunately unable to take photographs but here is a link (Wiki Bonseki ) for more information. Suffice to say for me it was something new to discover. Out side the display had changed from my last visit and I was able to get photos and video of the whole outside display from the up stairs viewing balcony.

Some of these bonsai are very old and a lot larger than what we generally expect bonsai to be.

Bonsai viewing at Omiya Bonsai Museum

Bonsai viewing at Omiya Bonsai Museum

Then it was off to the bonsai nurseries, fairly easy to find when you have the guide map. there are 5 all up and none allow photographs when you visit. Below are the entrances to two that I visited.




Seiko-en, Shoto-en, Fuyo-en all sell bonsai supplies as well as bonsai of all different sizes. I was looking for some planters this year and even though there was a great range of new and used planters nothing really grabbed my eye.

I also stopped in to the second hand shop I found last year and had lunch at the little restaurant across from it, having the same meal as last year, kari raisu (カレーライス). Delicious lunch again. I also bought some more tea related items: wooden natsume (tea caddy), chawan (tea bowl) and a futaoki which has dual purpose, to rest a lid on or to rest the hishaku (bamboo water ladle) on.

IMG_1043 (2)
Kari Raisu, miso soup, pickles, salad, fermented fish

IMG_1045 (2)
Natsume, chawan and Futaoki

Then it was a short walk to Omiya Koen Station and the journey back to Tokyo. I decided to pop in to Kappabashi Dōgugai and do a little kitchen ware shopping. On my list were some plates to add to ones I bought last year, some glasses to match one I bought last year and what ever else caught my eye. I have been to Kappabashi Dōgugai many times now but some how managed to miss this statue of a Kappa.

Kappa Statue

Kappa Statue

Then it was back to the hotel via a noodle shop and an early night after all that walking.

Stay tuned for day two where I visit (quelle surprise!) two historic gardens, Koishikawa Kōrakuen and Rikugien.


Blog at

Up ↑