Posts Tagged Restaurant

Nagata-ya, Hiroshima, Japan

About 50 metres from the Atomic Bomb Hypocentre memorial is an okonomiyaki restaurant that always has a queue.

I stopped by this restaurant on my first visit to Hiroshima in 2015, back then I just walked in at lunch and was quickly seated and served.

My how times have changed! When ever I walked past, even before it opens at 11am, there was a queue.

So when I decided to visit for dinner I wanted to make sure that I got there before the dinner crush.

Walking around the corner my heart sunk as I saw a queue of around 25 people already waiting, in 35 degree heat, to get in. The queue moved slowly but surely and I was getting closer to the door. While I was in the queue I was given a menu, and was able to place my order.

About 25 minutes after I’d queued up I was ushered to a seat at the counter overlooking the huge hotplate where I would watch my Pork and Garlic okonomiyaki being crafted, and about 15 minutes later my okonomiyaki was placed in front of me and I dived in.

A pint of Asahi Super Dry was a welcome accompaniment after the long wait.

Once you taste your meal you will understand why there is a queue to get in. An absolutely magnificent meal that is worth the wait.

Their website is

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Shinchan, Hiroshima, Japan

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake mainly associated with Hiroshima and the Kansai area.

While you can get Okonomiyaki at any number of restaurants in Hiroshima, the mecca is the vertical village called Okonomi-mura in central Hiroshima that houses 24 Okonomiyaki restaurants all cooking the dish in their own special way.

I made the walk from my hotel with the help of Google Maps. It wasn’t too far.

I walked up to the second floor that has 8 outlets (there’re 8 on each floor). All were busy in the early evening which was a good sign. I headed towards the back and found a spare seat at Shinchan.

I asked for, and received, an English menu from which I chose one of their special Okonomiyaki dishes which included “double meat”. When I ordered I thought that this meant double pork, but as was to become apparent once my meal was delivered, the two meats where pork and oyster.

While I didn’t overly enjoy the oyster, once I worked out what the taste was, I was able to eat around it and eat the rest of the dish.

I was disappointed that I hadn’t read the menu properly, so I can blame the restaurant. Just remember to ask if you’re confused before you order.

Once you try Okonomiyaki you’ll keep wanting to eat them.

The Okonomi-mura website is here.

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Beer Komachi, Kyoto, Japan

I visited Beer Komachi on my first visit to Kyoto a couple of years ago. I checked the reviews to see if 1) it was still in business, and 2) if the craft beer bar still had good reviews, which it did, so decided to make a second visit.

Beer Komachi is in a small laneway about 20 metres from the western exit of Higashiyama subway station. If you hit a set of street lights you’ve gone too far.

It’s a very small bar, maybe 4m wide and 10m long with a small number of seats along the bar and opposite wall and a couple of small tables towards the back.

Both times I’ve visited there’s been a decent number of people here for the size, but was able to get a seat.

There’s an extensive beer list which changes often – even while you’re sitting there! As one keg of beer runs out they tap a different beer.

I chose a number of local brews which quenched my thirst in the warm summer evening.

The food menu is small but very tasty. Offering dishes such as pork with ginger, which was superb. They aren’t meal sized, more snacks size, so you’ll be getting several different dishes while you work through the beer menu.

Staff are very friendly – happy to chat and talk about the beers.

A great place to visit if you are in Kyoto.

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Yakitori Akiyoshi, Kyoto, Japan

I’d been waiting for my first yakitori, aka barbecue meat on a stick, meal since I’d landed in Japan.

A quick perusal of the usual review websites lead me back towards the area I’d eaten a couple of nights before.

My target was Yakitori Akiyoshi.

The restaurant was already quite busy when I arrived around a quarter past 5 but there were a couple of spare seats at the counter towards which I was pointed.

An English menu was proffered which was good which allowed me to order a vast number of yummy (i.e. no offal!) food.

I was seated in front of the charcoal grill so could see all the action as the chef wove his magic.

Looking back at the bill I managed to demolish the following over about an hour and a half.

  • 5 sticks of beef with leak and onion
  • 5 sticks of pork loin with leak and onion
  • 10 sticks of chicken
  • 5 sticks of pork belly
  • 5 sticks of deep fried green peppers
  • 2 friend chicken drumsticks
  • 4 pints Japanese beer

It wasn’t a cheap night, around ¥4800, but I do think for the quantity and quality of the food it was excellent value.

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Musoshin Gion, Kyoto, Japan

After a morning exploring the temple area to the east of Kyoto, I started walking through the Gion area looking for lunch.

Using Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google I noticed a quite well reviewed ramen restaurant not too far from where I was so decided to give it a try.

It looks like a typical Japanese ramen shop when you enter where a majority of the small number of seats are at the counter behind which is the kitchen. There were probably only a dozen seats or so in total.

There were several seats available when I arrived, so I ordered the eponymous ramen from the ticket vending machine and took a seat.

It took about 5 or so minutes for my ramen to be cooked, and I would have to say that this meal turned out to be one of the best meals I would have in Japan. The soup was just sublime, with a taste that’s making my mouth water just thinking back.

If you are in Kyoto, get to Gion and have a ramen at Musoshin Gion – you will not be disappointed!

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