Sakae Chaya Soba Restaurant
Sakae Chaya is a soba noodle and seafood restaurant located on the road of traditional shops at the base of Mount Takao. This is one of the biggest restaurants on this small road, and you will notice it's cooks preparing soba noodles in the window along the street. Inside, there are about eight table on tatami mats and a few dozen small Western-style tables.
We sat on the tatami mats by the main windows. All three of us ordered the tempura soba, and we got a small whole grilled fish as an appetizer. The fish was tender and tasty. The soba also was great, and the tempura good and tasty.
Not a bad place for a meal, but it was pretty expensive at 1,500 Yen per soba dish, plus the appetizer (750 Yen) and beer (580 Yen each), coming out to about 6,500 Yen total.
Curry House CoCo
Japan's ubiquitous CoCo's Curry has a location just north of Shibuya Station, in a very lively shopping and nightlife neighborhood. We stopped here one afternoon after visiting the Hachioji Used Book Festival. We had pork tenderloin curry and beef katsu curry, for about 1800 Yen.
The British introduced Japan to curry in the late 1800s, when Britain still had a huge Indian empire, and curry has become one of Japan's favorite foods. In Japan, curry is usually called "curry-rice," and it can be served with grilled or fried chicken, beef or pork. Japanese curry is usually thicker and sweeter than Indian curry, making it a unique dish all its own.
Curry House CoCo is Japan's largest restaurant chain, and it features Japan's version of curry, served with rice and a variety of meats, in a casual fast food environment. Most of their dishes are versions of katsu curry, or curry with breaded meat, usually pork.
Curry House CoCo has about 1250 restaurants in Japan and 100 internationally, including branches in the US, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Niraikanai Hachiojiten Okinawan Restaurant
Niraikanai Hachiojiten (ニライカナイ 八王子店) is an Okinawan restaurant located just a minute north of the JR Chuo Line's Hachioji Station. This small, rustic restaurant is well designed to resemble a beach-side shack on the tropical island of Okinawa. And the food and drinks in this restaurant also bring back memories of Okinawa.
We sat at a table on the cozy first floor of the small restaurant and we got great service from the friendly staff. The menu was all in Japanese, but the waitress searched high nd low until she found the one English menu in the establishment. We scanned the menu and quickly settled on two bowls of traditional Okinawa soba, one with pork meat and one with fatty pork ribs. I also got a glass of Okinawa's own Orion beer.
Our meal started with a few sides of pickled vegetables with some seafood. Our soba noodles came out shortly thereafter, hot and full of a surprisingly large amount of meat. While just a simple soup, it was very good, in a comfortable and friendly environment.
Sumibi Yakiniku Mau - Hachioji
Sumibi Yakiniku Mau is a fantastic barbecue restaurant in Hachioji, at the western edge of Tokyo. It is located within a few hundred meters north of Hachioji Station, and there is a sign along the street in English, which makes finding the small restaurant relatively easy. The restaurant is located on the second floor, and it is relatively small, with a handful of tables and a counter.
We sat at a small corner table next to the windows overlooking the street. We scanned the menu, which was in all Japanese, and we ordered beers and a few meats to grill. The waiter brought our beer, and he hauled a ceramic barbecue cooker over to the table. Our first dish was beef, served in thin strips, so they cooked quickly over the hot grill. Next we had octopus, which was fresh and tender. The food was outstanding!
Lesson learned: unlike Korean barbecue, where all the side dishes are included with the meal, at Japanese yakiniku restaurants you have to order sides separately from the meat.
Kusidore Restaurant - Hachioji Station
Kusidore is the name of a simple Japanese restaurant located on the second floor near Hachioji Station in central Hachioji. We wandered into the warm, cozy establishment just because the sign looked inviting, and we had a great meal.
The menu was all in Japanese, and we were too lazy to translate, so we just pointed a the basic nabe stew for two. The small propane burner was quickly set up at the table, and before long a heaping pot of vegetables, mushrooms, and meat was delivered to the table. We let it cook for perhaps 10 or 15 minutes, and it was ready to eat. Perhaps the most unusual thing was that the waitress was probably the most attentive restaurant server I have ever seen in Japan, stopping to chekc on us every few minutes, never letting our glasses sit empty, and even taking our photo for us.
The menu also includes kushiage (fried meats and vegetables on sticks).
Excellent meal, with fantastic service.
Iijima Noodle Shop - Mt Takao, Hachioji
Iijima Noodle Shop is a soba restaurant located at the base of Mt Takao, near Takaosansuchi Station in western Hachioji. We stopped here is gas up before a trip to the top of Takao-san. The sign out front had pictures of the soba options, but the menu was only in Japanese, so I walked the owner out to the sign to show him what we wanted for lunch.
We decided to have four bowls of soba, with the shops signature thick broth. Four bowls of soup plus beer, cost about 5,000 Yen.
The restaurant has a handful of Western style tables, a room with Japanese-style seats, and some private rooms.
Vegetable Kitchen - Hachinosai: curry & ramen
Favorite Dish: (last date visited - June 10, 2007)
a. pork curry - 600 yen
b. seafood curry - 750 yen
c. hachioji ramen - 650 yen
- Food and Dining
Hoka Hoka Bento: Get something cheap 4€ Bento
near Kogakuin University. It is some kind of fast food japanese style. You can order all kinds of things. Don't ask me what, I always just point on the pictures :)
japanese-home-style: Why don't you cook yourself?
Get some fresh food at a local super market and have a little dinner party.
Favorite Dish: I just love Japanese Food! There are so many great dishes you have to try!
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