The review sites and the map of Japanese craft beer bars pointed me towards Oeuf so I jumped on the tram from outside my hotel and around 25 minutes later I was walking down the side street towards Oeuf.
It was getting dark as I walked up the stairs at around 5:30 and then I entered an empty bar – just me and the staff. Oh well…
I perused the beer menu and wasn’t overwhelmed but I thought I should stay and see if the place picked up a little so I ordered a Minoh Peach Sour Ale and a small dish of 3 sausages.
The beer was OK and quenched my thirst. The sausages were so-so.
As I finished my beer around 6:15pm I was still the only person in the place so I decided to settle up and find somewhere else for dinner. Stay tuned!
After a bit of a look around Toyama I was ready for lunch.
In Japan nearly all shopping centres more than a couple of stories tall will have a floor (or 2) of restaurants. There will be a floor somewhere towards the top of the building and quite possibly another in the basement. At the Marier Toyama next to Toyama Station I headed upto the 6th floor where there are a dozen or so restaurants for a quick recon.
There was a reasonable selection of katsu, noddle soup, curry and non-Japanese restaurants.
I chose Okaman which was offering a set menu for lunch.
Just before midday it was fairly quiet as I walked in and was easily able to get a table and was given an English menu.
The set menu was a chicken katsu (fried crumbed cutlet). soup, side dish and salad.
The side dish was tuna which I wasn’t a fan of – more for the fact that I’m not a seafood eater than anything else.
The main, the chicken katsu with rice was good with a decent flavor and not oily.
With the meal I drank a Kirin.
As I left about an hour later the restaurant was quite busy.
After the ~330km trip from Tokyo to Toyama on the Shinkansen at a top speed of ~265km/h I was looking for somewhere to have dinner.
Close by to my hotel I noticed an Izakaya (a Japanese tavern) that had some decent reviews.
I arrived around 5:30 and there were already plenty of people tucking into their meals along with the requisite beers, sake & shochu.
I was given a seat at the counter and an English menu while I ordered Kirin.
The menu had a decent selection of chicken, pork, beef and seafood as well as salads and vegetables.
My mission for the evening was yakitori, and eat yakitori I did.
For around an hour and a half I had a feast of chicken skin, chicken thigh, pork and beef yakitori skewers and really good potato croquettes.
Towards the latter stages of my meal the patron who’d sat next to me offered me some of their shochu.
It was very nice of them. The drink itself was quite nice over a block or 2 of ice. We tried to have a conversation but I have almost zero Japanese, and his English wasn’t much better but were were able to make small talk. To thank them I shared my beef skewers with him.
If you are in Toyama and are after a typical Japanese dinner experience then Hosokawa is a great choice.
When I first stayed at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo several years ago I stumbled across a great little katsu restaurant, Tonkatsu Wako, in the adjacent Ark Hills complex but when I went looking for it last year I found that it had closed.
Good news though, another great katsu restaurant, Kanazawa Katsuzo, has recently opened up in the complex.
I walked into Kanazawa Katsuzo early evening and there were a decent number of people already dining.
The Set Menu gives you several choices of Noto pork cutlets, rice, cabbage, seaweed miso soup and pickles. One of the pork choices is a rib roast which is what I ordered.
The pork rib was exquisitely cooked and tasted superb!
I’d arrived in Tokyo the previous evening for my 4th holiday in Japan and after exchanging my JR Pass I’d hopped on the Yamanote Line heading towards Shimbashi Station and started walking back towards my hotel.
As I was heading through Toramonom I bought up the magnificent map of Japanese craft beers to see what was on offer and open for lunch in the area which pointed me towards a bar that I visited during my last trip, Craft Beer Market, Toramonom.
I was the first in the door around 11:45am and was offered a seat at the bar. Within about 15 minutes though the place was packed!
There were several lunch deals available so I chose the spicy curry (which was pork), salad and soup. The soup and salad turned up pretty quickly, and the curry about 10 minutes later. The meal was extremely tasty and not over-the-top spicy.
Of course you can’t eat at the Craft Beer Market and not have a drink, so I chose a New England IPA from Sennan Schinken Factory based in Kakuda in Miyagi Prefecture. It was a relatively good brew.