New Year’s Soba … ‘Chya!

If you live (or have lived) in Japan, you are no doubt familiar with toshikoshi soba (年越し蕎麦 or New Year’s soba). If not, it is Japanese tradition to eat soba on the last of the year, letting go of the hardships endured, with the buckwheat plant representing strength and resiliency. The tradition started sometime during the 250 years…

A Southern Neighbour (Sometimes)

Koenjagaya has some neighbours of note and it would be remiss to exclude them based solely on geography. Therefore, I should on occasion remark on noteworthy places adjacent to Koenjagaya (ie: Nakano, Ogikubo, Nerima and others within Suginami). Qjitsuya (pronounced “Kyu-jit-su-ya”) is one such neighbouring establishment. Still within Suginami-ku, it is further south, well-hidden deep within a…

Soba by Day…

Izakaya by night, soba shop by day, Kakizawa Soba is located a few steps down a side street off the Asagaya Pearl Shotengai. They’ve got a great lunch set for ¥1,150 that includes three pieces of lightly fried tempura, soba, rice, tsukemono and tea. A high ceiling, modern interior and background jazz make for a…

Hidden Handmade Soba

On a small side road running parallel two streets west of Nakasugi Dori is Yanoshin, a great little soba shop hidden among the neighbouring homes. The soba is teuchi (handmade) and the tranquil atmosphere conveys a similar unhurried, attention to detail. Two tables sit along large windows opening to a small yard with enough greenery to obfuscate…