A fire broke out on Monday morning in a Ginza building housing the Michelin Guide 3-star sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Police said the fire started at around 11:30 a.m. in the B2 floor of the 9-story building at Ginza 4-chome. According to TV media, the fire started in a storeroom for restaurant supplies. Firefighters were quoted as saying that a sushi chef at Sukiyabashi Jiro on B1 floor had been using straw to smoke bonito and that the straw most likely ignited after he returned it to the storeroom.
Firefighters said the ceiling of the storeroom was destroyed but there were no injuries caused by the fire which took about an hour to extinguish.
Sukiyabashi Jiro has received 3 Michelin stars for six years in a row.
The National Police Agency has taken the unusual step of telling the operator of the Sukiya gyudon beef bowl chain to tighten its security measures–again–after its outlets were targeted in 90 percent of robberies on such restaurants in the first nine months of this year. The NPA has instructed operator Zensho Co. to increase staff numbers at night and take other crime-prevention steps at its 1,699 outlets nationwide, police said. According to the NPA, 63 of the 71 robberies and attempted robberies of gyudon outlets between January and September targeted Sukiya restaurants, with thieves getting away with about 6.6 million yen. The rival Yoshinoya gyudon chain suffered six robberies during the same period.
Sushi, Tempura, Ramen, Yakisoba … You probably know these dishes. But what about Ishikari-nabe, Hiyajiru, Funazushi, Fukagawa-meshi? Unless you decide to live in Japan for the rest of your life (and even then it may not happen), you’re never going to experience, or even hear of every dish the Japanese have invented. After all, this is the land that (according to my Japanese father) encourages the consumption of 30 different types of food a day, so they have built up quite a culinary repertoire.
The best way to experience Japanese cuisine is to go to Japan. Forget Paris and New York. Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants then the two gastronomic powerhouses combined. And if ‘haute cuisine’ isn’t your thing, there are curry houses, soba and udon stalls and tempura joints ready to feed your appetite for 800 yen (around ten bucks) or less. The myth that Japan is an expensive place to visit doesn’t hold much water when it comes to eating.
Japan’s largest sushi chain restaurants have started a price war that is making dining out on the nation’s most famous delicacy more reasonable than ever before.
With the economic downturn continuing to bite and fewer people opting to eat out, operators of "kaiten-zushi" restaurants – where small plates of sushi roll past diners’ tables on conveyer belts that are constantly replenished by the chefs – are looking to appeal to a new consumer base by cutting prices.
The three largest restaurant chains in Japan – Kappa Sushi, Akindo Sushiro and Kura Sushi – have reduced the cost of most platters to Y100 (€0.90) in a bid to attract families to replace the high-spending businessmen of the past.
Dentsu Facility Management Inc will start taking orders for the "Chef’s Farm," a small vegetable plant that can be installed in, for example, a restaurant, in June 2010.
The vegetable plant, which will be released in the summer of 2010 in Japan, was exhibited at International Food Machinery & Technology Exhibition 2010 (FOOMA JAPAN 2010), which took place from June 8 to 11, 2010, in Tokyo. It is priced at about ¥8.3 million (approx US$90,552). Dentsu Facility Management claims that it is possible to harvest 60 heads of lettuce per day (20,000 per year) and recoup the investment in about five years.
The Chef’s Farm comes with five nutriculture beds, each of which is 2,750mm in width and 1,270mm in depth. Each bed is installed with long and thin metal frames on which lettuce seeds can be planted in sponges (one piece of sponge for a seed).
You can’t beat Japan for variety and quality of native cuisine. Here are some of my favorite types of restaurants, followed by a few recommended Tokyo spots.
A little more than an hour off my plane from the U.S., I was starving and had some time to kill, as my ride was going to be late to Shinagawa station. It is a very busy, somewhat bewildering train station. I’m a noodle fanatic, so I naturally homed in on a noodle shop.
For a minute or so, I studied the action: People lined up at little machines, dropped some coins in, got a ticket and entered. I followed suit, punching a button next to a picture of a bowl of udon and a small bowl of rice with some yellowish stuff on it.
With many people expected to flock to Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, during the Golden Week holiday period, ward officials and police officers will be on alert around the structure. The Sky Tree became the highest structure in the country in late March, and since then the number of visitors to the area has sharply increased. According to the Tokyo Sky Tree Info Plaza, an information center near the tower, there had been more than 17,000 visitors in April as of Saturday.
About 200 people lined up on Saturday for the early-morning opening of the first official “Gundam”-themed cafe, based on the popular sci-fi animation series. Female staff members dressed as characters from the series greeted customers to the cafe in Tokyo’s Akihabara district when its doors opened at 8.30 a.m on Saturday.
Accessible from the JR Station at the “Denkigai Exit” and just below the Yamanote line, Bandai Gundam Café is the ultimate stop for Gundam fans. The cafe is filled with Gundam memorabilia, TVs showing Gundam episodes, and even serves Gundam-shaped cookies, commonly called Taiyaki (waffle-like pastries often filled with red bean paste).
In Japan, a good restaurant will display replicas of what’s on the menu. Craftsmen perfectly reproduce the food – it takes as much skill as the real thing. Now, if only they dusted these every now and then once they were in the windows.
Standing Bars are not only for middle aged men any more. They once were as they were used by salarymen to drop in after work. They would drink, perhaps have an appetizer, and talk there around the big barrels discussing what ever it was that happened to be happening around the office. That was yesterday. Not today. Today standing bars are a lot more hip and diverse.
For a stylish Standing Bar near Azabu Juban Station, try the Bistro Juban Stand. It is open for all and has a regular fair of many young women and internationals, too. But, besides all those wonderful people being around…well it’s really affordable with 390 yen jugs of beer, 500 yen sake and so-chu, and even appetizers that go for 300 yen, like the Shrimp Peperonchino…did I say yummy? Yummy.
Out late? Don’t like to go home? When you’ve missed the last train, you can just stay there until 4 a.m. the next morning. No biggie, no hassle. They’re open late. If you like to sit and drink, they have a table in the back (Charge 500 yen). But after a few that might be where you want to end up.
During the daytime, they serve their own original curry. It is 490 yen and tasty. They serve 100s of dishes of curry each and every day. I’ve been there and I know you will enjoy just drinking or meeting new friends there. Try it out. But, hey it’s getting cooler outside you say for a standing bar…more reason to find someone and stand a little closer.
Hint: If you need a landmark look for the big barrels placed in front of the bar.
For More Information:
Address: 2-1-9-1F Azabu Juban, Minato-ku
1minute walk from Subway Nanboku line, Oedo line “Azabu Juban” exit 4