Local Food Tasting Tour in Asakusa, One of Tokyo’s Oldest Areas Called Shitamachi’

Local Food Tasting Tour in Asakusa, One of Tokyo’s Oldest Areas Called Shitamachi’
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Asakusa is the traditional district where an old taste still remains. Tokyo’s oldest temple, 'Senso-ji' and Japan’s oldest amusement park, 'Hanayashiki', are the two most famous sightseeing spots in this area. However, as for me (a ‘foodie’, Ruma Yamada), I’m rather interested in exploring its local food. So, I introduce ‘local food tasting’ in Asakusa, which will hopefully bring you good luck!

昼からスタート

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Start from Asakusa Station Exit A4 (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line,Station No. G19)

Start from Asakusa Station Exit A4 (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line,Station No. G19)
Asakusa Station

Asakusa Station is served by the following lines: Tokyo Metro Ginza line, Tobu Skytree Line, and Toei Asakusa Line(Station No. A18). Also, another Asakusa Station located about 600m to the west is served by Tsukuba Express Line. This means Asakusa is easily accessible from anywhere! Well, I can’t wait to start the food tour. Let’s go!

Start Off with its Juicy ‘Menchi-Katsu’ (Minced Meat Cutlet) at ‘Asakusa-Menchi’

Start Off with its Juicy ‘Menchi-Katsu’ (Minced Meat Cutlet) at ‘Asakusa-Menchi’
Asakusa-Menchi

This shop has been introduced on TV and magazines many times. Their ‘Menchi-katsu’ is so juicy the wrapping paper bag gets so wet / greasy with the meat juice!

Let’s eat. Ouch! That’s too hot! (Note: you can get freshly-fried ‘Menchi-katsu’ after lining up to get these, and if you bite into it, you will burn your mouth with the hot meat juice coming out. Be careful!)

I’ll see how juicy it is. Wow, this is perfect! They use the rare breed pork called ‘Kouza-buta’ (Kouza pork) from Kanagawa, and it is known to its fine-textured meat fiber, tenderness, good quality fat and its savor. Well, that makes sense.

Head to a ‘Nikuman’ shop called ‘Kappamura-Ippinten’, (with My Mouth Greasy with the Meat Juice!)

Head to a ‘Nikuman’ shop called ‘Kappamura-Ippinten’, (with My Mouth Greasy with the Meat Juice!)
Kappamura-Ippinten

‘Nikuman’ means a Chinese steamed bun with meat filling, and ‘Kappa’ means a river sprite. Someone has told me about ‘Kappa Nikuman’ before, which brought me to this shop. It is located in Kappabashi district, Japan’s biggest kitchenware town. Here I enjoy eating their Kappa Nikuman and talking with the friendly shop owner who has a great sense of humor.

This Nikuman has a Kappa mark print on it. So cute! (Note: according to the owner, this mark is made with CAD system. ‘That’s why it’s so symmetrical, right?’ says the owner. Well, I’m not really sure what CAD system is and how good it works for the mark…)

This greenish Nikuman is made from spinach. They also have pinkish Nikuman, too, which reminds me of cherry blossoms. I’d love to have one when spring comes.

Want to Eat Pancakes in Asakusa? Then, ‘Coffee Tengoku’ Is Definitely the Place to Visit!

Want to Eat Pancakes in Asakusa?  Then, ‘Coffee Tengoku’ Is Definitely the Place to Visit!
Coffee Tengoku

This place is well-known for its pancakes, one of Asakusa’s specialties. Their pancakes and hot dogs have ‘Tengoku’ print, the sign of good luck, which makes you feel happy as in heaven. Taste is good, too, of course!

First came black tea. Can’t wait for the pancakes! (Note: the pancake and tea combo is the best value here.)

Here it is!

Let’s eat! I’ll bite into 2-layer pancakes at one time! The maple syrup comes with the cake, so I put it so much until the cake gets soaked in the syrup!

These fluffy pancakes taste like heaven!

Their hot dogs have the ‘Tengoku’ print on the bun as well. The plate is cute, too. Moreover, the crispy sausage tastes heavenly!

To Burn Calories, Visit a Batting Cage Called, ‘Asakusa Batting Dome’.

To Burn Calories, Visit a Batting Cage Called, ‘Asakusa Batting Dome’.
Asakusa Batting Dome

This is a full blown batting cage located on the second floor of the game arcade building called ‘Taito Station Asakusa’.

Okay, I’ll roll up my sleeves! (Note: at this moment, I thought it would be a piece of cake…)

But I found out it wasn’t. I can’t even hit the ball! (Note: this state-of-the-art batting cage has a virtual pitching machine that let you hit against live pitching. When the virtual pitcher winds up, the machine shoots a ball through perfectly in sync with the video image.)

My batting stance. Pretty good, right? I feel like I’m a major leaguer, with the song ‘Wild Thing’ (absolutely!) playing in my mind!

Just one game makes me tired and sweaty! It doesn’t matter if I am a good batter or not, since at least I could burn some calories, which is the purpose of coming to this place! (Note: if you are male and are on a date with your girlfriend, however, hitting a ball matters most!)

Free wet hand towels offered at the cash resister. I really appreciate this service, being soaked in sweat. (Note: again, if you are on a date, you shouldn’t wipe your face with it, no matter how much you are tempted to.)

Now I’m Craving Some Sweets after the Exercise! Let’s Head to ‘Milk-no-ki’ (Milk Tree).

Now I’m Craving Some Sweets after the Exercise! Let’s Head to ‘Milk-no-ki’ (Milk Tree).
Milk-no-ki

This shop is known for its flavor-free sweets that you can enjoy the taste and flavor from natural food ingredients. A very friendly shop owner gave me detailed explanation about their sweets. Thank you so much!

The shop is filled with customers as always. Also, it has been introduced on TV before. Well, that’s totally understandable, for their sweets taste so good!

I will have their specialty, ‘Hachimitsu-ringo-pai’ (honey apple pie), his masterpiece after making improvements over and over again.

Let’s have a bite! Crispy outside, moist inside. (Note: these small pies are just the right size for a gift, or a snack when feeling a bit peckish.)

Next, Visit ‘Sekine’ for its Juicy Nikuman.

Next, Visit ‘Sekine’ for its Juicy Nikuman.
Sekine

Ending today’s food tasting tour at ‘Sekine’, an old Nikuman and Shumai (steamed meat dumpling) shop established more than 80 years ago. (By the way, today’s tour is real budget meat extravaganza!)

I'm so happy, eating Nikuman. (Note: it’s so good with rich, savory taste with ginger, I almost feel like shouting ‘Viva, Asakusa!’ )

Inside Nikuman appears a meatball totally separated from the outer bun. Also, between the meatball and bun is tasty meat juice filling up the space! This means the Nikuman has 3 layers (bun, juice, and meatball) inside! (Note: first I thought this meatball looks pretty small for that thick bun, but now I think this is the right size, keeping a good balance with the juice.)

Try Comic Foregrounds in Asakusa. I’m Not Fitted at All, Though.

Try Comic Foregrounds in Asakusa. I’m Not Fitted at All, Though.
Comic Foregrounds

Finally, let’s find comic foregrounds in Asakusa and take photos in them! As one of Japan’s busiest touring spots, Asakusa has many comic foregrounds throughout the area.So, I'm sure you can find the perfect one that suits you well.

I look perfect in this, probably.

Is Ruma Yamada a good singer?

Well, I’m not fitted at all. (Note: don’t worry. Only a few people can fit in it.)

That’s it for today! I’m so full and satisfied.

That’s it for today! I’m so full and satisfied.
azumabashi

The places I visited today: 1. ‘Asakusa Menchi’ for ‘menchi-katsu’, 2. ‘Kappamura Ippinten’ for ‘Nikuman’, 3.’Coffee Tengoku’ for pancakes, 4. Asakusa Batting Dome, 5. ‘Milk-no-ki’ for natural sweets, 6. ‘Sekine’ for Nikuman again, 7. Comic Foregrounds. I thank everyone I met today and really appreciate their cooperation! (Note: as today’s course is real meat extravaganza, workout at the batting cage is added to burn some calories!)

Finish! Nice outing!

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