Local Tokyo: This Is The Burger

Hey everyone! I’ve been away for awhile, but I’m back! While I have been away, I’ve been out searching and exploring Japan with the Kid (Aeva), and we have found some fun and exciting  places.

One of those places happening to be a restaurant called This Is The Burger in Kokubunji. We literally stumbled upon this restaurant while we  were  looking for a vegan friendly grocery store in the area. Now, you are probably thinking,” You were looking for a vegan store, and decided to checkout a burger place?” Well, yes and yes! I was curious about the place and wanted to see what was on the menu. And I’m happy I did…

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* This Is The Burger is located at2 Chome-16-21 Minamicho, Kokubunji, Tokyo 185-0021

After successfully locating the grocery store, the Kid and I headed  to This Is The Burger. To my surprise,right outside of the restaurant, there was a menu posted with a veggie burger listed!

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We walked in, and I fell in love with the  place! It’s a small, smokey place with cool objects coming from  of the walls and ceiling. The owner spoke English well and was genuinely happy to serve us. Even though, he did seem pretty bummed we only ordered the veggie burger.  I mean, I understand!  There were many things to choose from: An avocado burger,  chili cheese burger, fried chicken, buffalo wings, and much more!

The veggie burger  was packed with beans, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a green sauce. It was served with wedged fries, small pickles, and a small salad. For what it was, I thought it was delicious. The prices were decent and I’m looking forward to going back with my husband very soon!

So, if you are ever in Kokubunji, and need a bite to eat, I would suggest This Is The Burger to see how delicious it is for yourself!

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Life in Japan: A Day in Kawagoe

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Over the weekend I met up with my friend Emiko and her daughter  at her home in Kawagoe. I have always wanted to visit Kawagoe, so I jumped at the opportunity when she asked us (myself and my daughter) to visit her.

The trip was planned three weeks in advance, so I was ready to go no matter what may happen. I woke up Thursday morning and was disappoint when I checked the weather. It said it was going to be cold and  rainy all weekend. Bummer! So I sent Emiko a message asking her if we were still on for our plans, and to my surprise, she said yes!

So with the final go, that Friday, my daughter and I traveled 1 hour to visit our friends in Kawagoe and despite the weather we had a ball!

On our first stop, Emiko took us to walk through of  Honmaru Goten of Kawagoe Castle. It was my first time ever seeing a castle. It only took us about 5 minutes to stroll around, but I was able to absorbed all of its beauty.

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On our second stop, we visited Old Town and Candy Alley. Old Town is about one block long with shops and  cozy cafes housed in old Japanese buildings made of wood. Unfortunately, most of Candy Alley was closed when we arrived, so I wasn’t able to get many pictures.

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Furin 風凛 restaurant was our third and last stop of our tour. Furin 風凛 , also known as KazeRin, has to be the best place to get sushi in the area. I’ve eaten sushi before, but I never enjoyed it. Mostly likely because I never had  “real” sushi . Furin 風凛 changed my taste buds towards sushi. Everything was as fresh as it could possibly be. I think I saw I pond out back; that’s how fresh  it was! We enjoyed a 7 course meal  in a private room located in the back of the restaurant. The scenery was absolutely  gorgeous. I wasn’t allowed to take many pictures of the inside, but I took as many as I could.

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Due to the weather, we did not see as much as I wanted to, but I enjoyed my visit to Kawagoe anyway. I’m currently planning another trip as soon as the weather breaks. I can’t want to see Kawagoe in nice warm weather!


Have you ever been to Kawagoe?
What did you do? What do you see?

Local Tokyo: Kagetsu Arashi Ramen

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There are a lot of local Japanese chain restaurant that my family love going to, but our favorite is Kagetsu Arashi Ramen. Kagetsu (what we call it for short) is the best place, in my opinion, to get a quick, piping hot meal at a decent price.  My family goes to Kagetsu at least once a week!

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We enjoy the ramen, but the fried rice is the best. At around ¥500, the rice comes with onion soup, that is just as delicious as the rice. Sometimes when we want to splurge, we’ll order gyoza, which is  only ¥300 for 5. The  rice comes on a  sizzling hot plate with egg on the bottom, green onions, and butter on top! Once you get your food, there will be two big spoons to mix or cook your food with.

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Beside the food, the highlight for my 2-year-old daughter is ordering our food from the ticket vending machine! Not all Kagetsu restaurants  have them, but its so cool, that I wanted to mention it. Its fast and simple. Place your money into the machine, choose what you want, then a little ticket, with your order on it will pop out from the bottom!

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Kagetsu is fast, cheap, and just plain ol’ good! With so many Kagetsu restaurants around, I’m quite sure you will be able to find one without any troubles! Do you have a favorite Japanese restaurant? Let me know!

 

 

Local Tokyo: A Day at Hamura Zoo

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Since the weather has started to shape up a bit, The Kid and I took a trip to our neighborhood zoo last Monday, and like always, we had a blast! The Hamura zoo is very small, but a perfect place for a short trip out of the house, and at ¥300 for adults and free for children under four, you just can’t beat it.

Besides the fact that its cheap and near our home, we really enjoy that we can interact with some of the animals. There’s a petting zoo and for a  very small fee ( ¥100 to ¥200),  you can feed some of  the animals like, the penguins and goats.

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There is a large area where most families eat their lunches that has a  tiny snack shop,  picnic tables,  a few video game machines, and a space for children to run and climb on things.

If you are deciding to move to the Hamura area or have recently moved there, I would recommend you checking out the Hamura Zoo!

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Mickey D’s, Please!

Last weekend marked 3 years since my husband and I moved to Japan. I remember being very tired; I was almost 6 month pregnant and can you imagine the discomfort I felt on that 10 hour ride? I was miserable, but happy.

I decided to take a look  at the very first blog post I made; it was about McDonald’s and boy was I happy to discover how good it was! When I read this post it made me feel grateful that my husband and I were lucky enough to have this experience of being in another country.

So here it is, my very first blog post! ….

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Before arriving to Japan, one of the place my husband and I were most excited to try was McDonald’s. Yes I know, out of all the cool, and unique restaurants to try we were excited about McDonald’s. So, when we got off that 10+ hour flight, that was the first thing we ate!

Like many of the restaurants here in Japan, there are strange items on the menu. One burger had shrimp on it and another one had avocado, which probably isn’t bad, but the shrimp burger didn’t sound too good and I love to try new and strange things. One thing that I notice was the meal sizes. A large size meal is actually a medium size compared to America and a small is a kids size. It’s very tiny.

 

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I tried a Chicken Filet-o and it was tasty, but my favorite part of the meal was the drink. I ordered a cherry blossom flavored drink and my husband got a pineapple one. The drinks were made with cherry blossom and pineapple flavor syrup mixed with Sprite. I did not like the cherry blossom drink. It tasted like the flavored cough medicine your parents would try to get you to take as a kid. Yeah, that bad. The pineapple was great! It tasted exactly like pineapples and none of the cough medicine taste. There were other flavors but when we came back to try them, they were gone. Hopefully they will make a return, so I can share them with you!

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Food Stand Heaven: Commune 246

At the beginning of last summer my family and I took a trip to Aoyama. Aoyama is an upscale shopping and entertainment district not too far from Harajuku and Shibuya. While exploring, we found a small narrow alley that expanded into a larger sized space called Commune 246.

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*Commune 246 located at 3 chome-13 Minamiaoyama, Minato,Tokyo. Open 11a – 10p

Commune 246  is host to about 11 food stands, each having their own special style. I was so amazed by the area; it was stylish, cool, and hip. There were different varieties of stands ranging from: vegan, organic Hawaiian food, Indian, and Thai. 

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With so many places to choose from it was hard to pick just one place to try, but we agreed to try Brooklyn Ribbon Fries. The ribbons fries came in two different sizes: small and large. There were 4 signature flavors: Sea Salt & Black Pepper, All Spice, Cinnamon Sugar, and Onion Gratin Soup. My husband and I tried a large Sea Salt & Black Pepper, which cost about ¥550 each.

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The ribbon fries were delicious and fun to eat! If you decide to check out Brooklyn Ribbon Fries, I would recommend making it the first place on your list while in Aoyama; they run out of potatoes pretty fast. I cannot wait until we head back to try the other stands. I had my eyes on the organic Hawaiian food truck!

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Tokyo with Kids #1: Tokyo Toy Museum

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One of the many reasons why I love Japan is because there is so much to do here. I have a 2-year-old daughter and its never hard for us to find something new and exciting.  In my opinion, Japan is pretty much mommy and baby friendly. I can’t tell you one place that I have been to that did not have something to accommodate mother and child.

Recently, a friend and I took our kiddos to the Tokyo Toy Museum in  Shinjuku and we had a blast! The Tokyo Toy Museum has a gift shop and 3 floors. Each floor has about 3 to 4 rooms filled with unique and fun toys to play with it. Unlike some of the museums in Japan, there is not a place to eat lunch inside, but there is a Burger King near by.

When we walked into the first room, I was very nervous about  a toddler running around touching and accidentally dropping toys, but the wonderful staff assured me that it was okay. Every room in the museum was great, but I think the kids enjoyed the Wood Toy Forest the most; it was hard to pull them away! The Wood Toy Forest has a Wood Ball Pool, a tree house, and many other things off to the sides.

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My favorite part of the museum was the Good Toy Galley.  The Good Toy Gallery is a section of the museum where toys that are given the Good Toy Award for being the best for children’s development skills are displayed.

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We enjoyed the Tokyo Toy Museum so much, that we are planning another trip soon. The Tokyo Toy Museum should definitely be on your list to visit if you are traveling with children. They will love it and so will you!

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Breakfast In Tokyo

Before moving to Tokyo my husband and I loved to hit up our favorite breakfast spots. You know, everyone’s favorite breakfast spots: Denny’s, IHOP. When we finally arrived here we quickly realized there weren’t any places to get pancakes in our area, so we settled on making pancakes at home. Months had gone by and we were fed up (YES, fed up. Lol) with making pancakes and decided to search for a place. I mean, we live in Tokyo, there HAS to be at least one place to get pancakes, right?

Well, one weekend while exploring Harajuku we came across a restaurant named Eggs ‘N Things. Super excited about our find, we stood in line waiting to get our hands on some PANCAKES! We both ordered a pancake/omelet combo and dug right in. The pancakes were small (which is fine because we have gotten use to smaller portions here) but just what we needed to extinguish our cravings. Our omelets on the other hand, we didn’t like. But, overall I would still recommend stopping by to check it out for yourself.

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** Eggs ‘N Things is located at 4-30-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Open Mon-Fri 9am-10.30pm, Sat, Sun 8am-10.30pm.

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So back to the drawing board.. We found a place named Sunday Jam and we love it! The restaurant is small, located on the second floor at 4-28-27 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Open 9am – 10pm daily.

The atmosphere gave off a hipster vibe. The menu isn’t in English but it wasn’t hard to figure out what to get. My husband and I ordered the Honolulu Pancake Nuts and Maple and a mojito. Everything was DELICIOUS! Served with whipped cream  and your choice of Bacon ( I wish I would have gotten the bacon. I tried a bite of my husband’s and it was good) or sausage. The waiter also offered maple syrup! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting Tokyo looking for a good pancake breakfast!

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*Excuse the baby hand. She was going for the sausage! lol

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*Mint  mojito.

20150329_123229*Stairway leading to the restaurant 
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