Starting outside Shinbashi Station, we begin our tour by entering the chasm of eateries overrun on a nightly basis by the working class of Japan. You are instantly surrounded by thousands of salarymen and office ladies descending upon their favorite izakaya bar to grab a quick bite and cold beer before taking the long train ride home.
Not far into our journey we stop for local bites and an introduction to drinking and dining culture in Tokyo. Once we are finished with our grilled treats- we continue to wind our way through the maze of local eateries, we will head to another spot that specializes in Oden. This Japanese soul food consists of a variety of ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, vegetables and fish cakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth. Oden is a standard of Japanese home-cooking that just cannot be missed. At this small eatery you can also get a feeling for decades of history in the Shinbashi neighborhood. Stop by and rub the belly of the local Mascot Tanuki (Japanese Raccoon) for good luck and find out why he is the patron saint of restaurants across Japan.
Next up, Skewers! Yes, you will get to try Yakitori- world famous Japanese meat and veggie BBQ skewers grilled over charcoal in a classic, Shinbashi- Under the Tracks- restaurant. Feel the energy of the afterwork crowd as the busy trains pass by overhead. Unlike foreign barbecue, Yakitori is not marinated. It is seasoned once it is done coooking. Street stalls and down-to-the-earth establishments will have their own specialities, either preparing it tare (sweet soy sauce) or shio (salted).
One of the most popular Japanese foods, second only to Sushi– Our next stop you will have a chance to indulge in a perfect, rich, savory, bowl of RAMEN! These noodles are an adaptation of Chinese soupy noodles in broth that first hit Japan in the late nineteenth century. It wasn’t until the end of World War II that Ramen became cultishly beloved, when repatriated Japanese soldiers brought home with them a love for noodles they had tasted overseas. Many postwar families set up ramen businesses to support themselves, often cooking from pushcarts. From there, ramen quickly evolved and acquired regional characteristics. We will show you how to order, what the basics are, and the most important thing, we will help you practice your essential SLURPING techniques!
Finally we will try a special traditional Japanese dessert called Taiyaki, a fish shaped sweet food with choices of cream or azuki (bean paste) filling. You will have the opportunity to watch this being cooked in front of you. This is one of the best taiyaki places in Tokyo, this is an all-time favorite! You will definitely be full at the end of this eating adventure!
Taking our time at the last spot and once everyone has had their fill we will end the tour back at Shimbashi station for everyone to head safely home.