Monthly Archives: June 2009

Hakobune Ginza

I went to Hakobune, which they call a “slow food” izakaya. They serve only locally grown ingredients in season and the style is becoming a rising trend among Tokyoites who are looking for an oasis in their first-lane environment. I had been curious about the restaurant and asked my friends to go. The sake there was exclusively from the West Coast of Japan, Niigata, Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui prefectures. They display hundreds of bottles of sake in the refrigerated “sake” cellar and I was overwhelmed by the quantity and the quality. I enjoyed the fried Toyama white shrimp and Ishikawa chicken with Niigata sake. Each table was equipped with a concealable Irori grill, which I think I should try the next time. Hakobune literally means an ark ship. Please help them a lot by unloading their stuff.

New York Grill Tokyo

To my shame I must confess that I’d never been to New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo. I finally made it there last week. I really enjoyed the cuisine and the spectacular night view of Tokyo.

The hotel is located in Shinjuku, which literally means “new lodgings.” In the old days, Koshu Highway, which was one of five major highways in the Edo Period, was a very important route to the Kofu area(that is currently Route 20.) The road started from Nihonbashi, the center of Tokyo, and many people complained that the first lodgings were a ten-mile-walk away from the starting point. Therefore, the government established new lodgings at the halfway point in 1699 and they were called Shinjuku.

Nowadays, Park Hyatt Tokyo has become the first lodging for many Western travelers in Japan, made famous by the Sofia Coppola’s movie, Lost in Translation.

Located on the top floor of the 52-story hotel building, New York Grill restaurant offers a splendid view from your dining table. You can see Mt. Fuji on clear days. And, the great Japanese beef such as Kobe, Sendai, Yamagata, and Yonezawa are impeccably selected by the house and served to perfection. I’m sure that you’ll be literally on top of the world. But, the bill for the grill may be a thrill if you drink too much good wine. Please don’t get lost in translation on who’s in charge of the bill. That’s my two yen(two cents)…