you want healthy eats, try Otoya
– it’s a fast-food style, healthy Japanese food
restaurant – the sets are great value – you
can get soup, rice, fish, pickles, drinks and sometimes
dessert. Otoya was designed for women who lunch alone, so
all branches are located on the second floor of buildings,
to give women more privacy. Every station will have a branch
of Otoya nearby, off the street level. Look up!
is still the only non-smoking coffee shop in the city.
While others may have a non-smoking section, it’s
probably set right next to the smokers.
naturally want to try some sushi – it’s the
best in the world. Look for a kaiten (revolving) sushi
shop and plunk yourself down at the counter. You make
the green tea yourself, set out a little ginger and happily
pick away from the revolving counter. The different plates
are color-coded according to price. Posted on the wall
behind the chef and on the counter near you, should be
a price list with the color-coding. Some dishes are quite
cheap ($1.50/plate/2 pieces) and you can request some
miso soup or pickles for the side. When you are finished,
the waitress will rush over and count your dishes, giving
you a receipt to pay at the till. In the newer sushi places,
they have a scanner that counts the dishes at once.
like to recommend two great cafes – both in Shibuya
and both run by friendly, welcoming American women. The
first is the Pink Cow.
Open for several years now, it offers vegetarian food,
western tex-mex and plenty of events – film nights,
Stitch-n-Bitch, art shows, visiting cyclists, charity
nights, costume nights, etc. The owner, Traci Consoli,
is a Tokyo favorite and the atmosphere is fun and eccentric.
It’s in the basement, so you need to print off a
map however whether you're a local or a visiting Journeywoman,
you will be greeted warmly. Website: http://www.thepinkcow.com/
The same goes for Cozmos
Café, located nearby. Owner, Ronna
Wagamier, hosts a lot of live music, performing arts,
belly dance shows and she has a great menu to chose from
which changes daily – curry, pies, nachos, etc.
Open from 5pm, it can really get hopping. Again, print
off a map and if you are lost, you can call for directions
(as both are Western-owned). Great place to meet Westerners
who work in Tokyo and to hear live music. Website: http://www.cozmoscafe.com
in Tokyo are the best value in the city – for 1200
yen ($12), you can get a full set of soup, salad, main,
dessert and drink. This is a great chance to try a famous/expensive/unique
restaurant without having an enormous bill. Indian restaurants
offer all-you-can-eat buffets, sushi shops offer a set
of fish, and even the hotels offer lunch sets –
if you can, always chose that option – it’s
the best value and best chance to try a variety of dishes.
favorite restaurants in Tokyo are TY
Harbour in Shinagawa and Cicada
in Hiroo. Both are owned by the same company and serve
their house beer, brewed at TY Harbour. The July 4th bbq
is the best deal of the year – out on the water,
3,000 yen and all the food you can eat for the day –
ribs, chili, corn bread, etc. Always great service, lots
of English spoken. Take a taxi from Shinagawa station.
Cabana (Ebisu) French/Californian
is another choice with lots of vegetarian dishes and great
service in English. A little pricey (my meal with appetizers,
wine, and a main was 5,000 yen). It's located near the
Westin Hotel. Website: http://www.cabanacc.com/
is the healthiest izakaya (A definitive feature of an
izakaya is that it serves food as well as drink. Patrons
typically sit on tatami
mats and dine from low tables in the traditional Japanese
style.) It's a chain that serves lots of sashimi and fresh
options. You'll find them open until the wee hours at
almost every station.
also has many locations. The one in Daikanyama is quite
large, also Ebisu and if you ever go out to Tama
Plaza, theirs is huge with an outdoor
garden, waterfall, mist. The food is mixed Asian and drinks
are very well-mixed.
serves French/Japanese. Their chef studied in France and
speaks French. This restaurant is small and hard to find,
there isn’t really a proper sign outside but it
serves excellent food and has a huge wine selection. Shiroganedai.
Tel: 03 3445 2880
located in Ebisu Garden
Place is impressive if you have guests.
Expect minimal design and a reasonable menu. If you print
off the map/coupon from the internet, you can have a free
drink/dessert. Print one coupon per person and you can
do it every time you go there. It’s easy for people
arriving on the limousine bus at the Westin. Address:
Ebisu Glass Square B1F, 4-20-4 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku (Yebisu
Garden Place) Tokyo 150-6090, Tel: 03-5791-7666.