Kanazawa Katsuzo, Ark Hills, Tokyo, Japan

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!

Highly recommended.

Craft Beer Market, Toramonom, Tokyo, Japan

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.

Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten, Omote-sando, Tokyo, Japan

My final day in Japan had arrived and I jumped on the train and headed out towards Meiji Jingu.

I wandered up the slight hill from Meiji-jingumae Station towards Omote-sando Station with no firm intention other than to have one final great meal.

A quick recon of my map app showed me there was a highly recommended tonkatsu restaurant up in the side streets behind the Omotesando Hills shopping centre.

I took a leisurely stroll through the back streets past a number of upmarket shops and finally found Tonkatsu Maisen. I actually walked past it at first but soon the GPS had me doubling back.

The restaurant was busy when I arrived with most of the seats at the counter already taken. I was offered one of the spare seats. By the time I left there was queue of people waiting.

I ordered a beer while I looked through the menu.

If you like pork you will love this place. As the name suggests Tonkatsu is the house specialty.

I ordered a crumbed and deep fried Black Pork loin with rice, miso and cabbage.

It took about 15 minutes for my meal to be ready and it was worth the wait. It was one of the best tonkatsu dishes, and most memorable meals, that I’d had during my trip.

And with that final, splendid lunch my eating adventures for this Japan trip, apart from some small snacks and a couple of drinks in the JAL First Class Lounge at Narita Airport, are over for another year.

Rigoletto Bar and Grill, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

During my 3 trips to Tokyo I still had not been able to see Mt Fuji from the city. It’s at always been to mirky or cloudy to see much.

On my last evening in Japan for this trip I decided to head down to Roppongi Hills where there is an observation deck on the 52nd floor offering panoramic views of Tokyo. For an extra ¥500 you can go upto the rooftop and the most magnificent views. I was hoping to finally see Mt Fuji!

I finally got to see Mt Fuji from Tokyo… albeit a hazy view as the sun was setting.

After sunset I headed downstairs to find dinner and came across Rigoletto Bar and Grill. I found some standing room by the bar and had a dinner of Chicken Wings accompanied by a Kirin Hearland and a Premium Malts.

Certainly not the best meal I’d had in Japan but the beer was the right price!

Craft Tap Beer, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

For my 2nd lunch after the yakitori at Kanoya I went upto the restaurant floor at Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara and headed for Craft Tap Beer. I’ve been here once before and I thought it was overpriced that time… that’s now been confirmed.

I shouldn’t have gone back, but I knew they had a decent, yet very overpriced, selection of beers on tap.

I ordered the days special which was a quite decent ribs dish. It took about 30 minutes for my meal to be cooked – atleast I knew it was fresh!

The beers were OK but at ¥1250 for 330ml it’s highway robbery!

Much better, and economical, places to spend your hard earned cash on beer in Tokyo.