It’s no secret that Tokyo has some amazing restaurants and the food culture to back it up. Japan it self can be an interesting place when it comes to dining out. The food is quite simply fantastic, as one can imagine. The experience itself can be just as gratifying, from the ambience to the service. Often having an opportunity to watch the chefs and cooks at work can be a dazzling display owning up to half the experience. Ramen, for starters often involves sitting at a bar facing the open kitchen where you get a full view of everything that goes on in preparing your meal. Not only is is dizzyingly efficient but down right interesting to watch.
One of my favorite places, Kikanbo, one that i frequently get pulled back to regardless of how much I try and adhere to stricter eating habits, has a venue that sets a very unique atmosphere. As with practically any other place in Japan, the service is fast, courteous and thorough (further exemplified by the fact Japan has no tipping culture) but the main draw, delicious food aside, is the atmosphere of taiko drums playing in the background. The countless demon masks and demon clubs lining the walls simply adds to the experience. Stone faced business men, sweat dripping off their brows as they slurp down spicy and numbing ramen noodles brings the whole package together.
I would likely just sit there and soak in the atmosphere if there wasn’t a line forming practically any time of day the place is open. These kinds of slices of life can be found all over the world of course. Japan has it’s own unique flavour that for me is not one I grow tired of. While I have no doubt those that travel through here will explore many facets of the experiences surrounding this country be sure to step away from the chain restaurants and tried and true eating experiences and sneak into the small restaurants hidden around corners. There a lot of good experiences to be had.