One great pleasure in Tokyo, and Japan in general, is exploring the variety of restaurants and small food shops tucked away into the various corners of the city. More often than not these places not only have an incredibly limited amount of seating but tend to be quite busy, particularly the popular ones. In a city that has an incredibly high population density this can lead to some longer wait times, certainly longer than I’d be used to back in Canada. However that is a rather small price to pay for some of the experiences and most of all, the atmosphere that these places have to experience. Though, I suppose the food itself should be a big factor too.
One of the places I went to recently is a tiny tempura shop hidden away on the back alleys of Koenji. After a lengthy wait we got in and got a chance to not only watch the rather amusing chef prepare some amazing food but also sink our teeth into some unique dishes and drink in the atmosphere. I am really growing comfortable with the way most of these places are set up. You see in full view the chefs hard at work preparing your meal and the speed and finesse of it can make up a big portion of the experience, one that is becoming a rather integral part the more time I spend here.