I’d made a lazy walk up the main drag of Nagano to Zenko-ji Temple before the temperature skyrocketed but walking back towards Nagano Station had me searching for the shadows due to the intense midday sun.
As I approached the station I jumped into the shopping mall adjacent to the station mostly to get some relief from the sun, but as I walked though I saw a good collections of restaurants up on the 3rd floor.
Towards the south end I noticed a tonkatsu restaurant that had a huge queue of people waiting… I wanted my pork schnitzel curry so walked up and got my name on the waiting list. I stood out like a sore thumb being the only westerner waiting.
After about 20 minutes or so, the staff worked out that I must be the next person on the list after noone was responding to them calling me in Japanese. I was shown to a seat at the counter just inside the front door. If you look at the main photo on the tripadvisor page for this restaurant I was sitting where the guy in the dark suit is sitting, next to the Christmas Tree.
I ordered one of the specials – tonkatsu curry, miso soup, pickles and salad, and the obligatory long neck of draft beer.
The beer turned up pretty quickly and I think I inhaled it due to being so parched. My lunch took about 15 minutes to arrive as it was freshly cooked.
The combination of the curry, schnitzel, salad and soup were just right and certainly filled my void.
I can certainly see why this place has been rated in the top 15 restaurants in Nagano, and why there was a queue of people waiting to get in.