This is entry-level Japanese dining at its most casual and accessible. Don't expect any heights of refinement or creativity, nor to hear deferential keigo from the helpful young waiting staff. What you can expect is good food that is satisfying, affordable and not too ...

Like the priests at Kenchoji Temple and many of the visiting faithful, Hachinoki Honten observes the precepts of shojin ryori, the traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. This means that not only are all meat and fowl shunned, so too are fish, eggs and dairy products. ...

Is it an izakaya that just happens to serve unpolished rice? Or is it a genmai specialist that forgot to get uptight? Who really cares?

This is gourmet yakitori (and that's no longer a contradiction in terms) for the Dancyu generation -- well-heeled men, predominantly, with educated taste buds, who are no longer content to squeeze into raucous, smoke-filled plebeian nomiya or squat under the arches at Yurakucho quaffing ...

Because the noodles are te-uchi -- freshly rolled and chopped by hand by a white-clad assistant who works nonstop in the glass-fronted booth at the back of the room -- aficionados prefer to eat them unadorned, either mori (cold, with a dip) or zaru ...

Sadly, the food does not live up to the expectations generated by these atmospheric surroundings. The cuisine is country kaiseki of the kind you might have found at a rural ryokan in the least enterprising years of mid-Showa. It has neither the hearty wholesomeness ...

The food is based around simple, traditional fare -- yakitori; beef tongue grilled over shichirin burners; pork shabu-shabu; simple nabe hotpots; plenty of vegetable dishes -- but all produced using ingredients of unimpeachable quality from rural Kyushu.

Besides its repertoire of izakaya standards, Shinpachi has established a name on the strength of its seafood, much of which is trucked in from ports in Toyama Prefecture on the Sea of Japan. On any given day, there are likely to be dozen different ...

Sasa-no-ha is a simple natural foods restaurant housed in a venerable wooden shack. They serve vegetarian and fish-based set meals, some featuring genmai, others with white rice.

In hanami season, one of the most pleasant views is from the cozy second-floor dining room of En, which overlooks an ancient pond in front of Engakuji Temple surrounded by cherry trees. Lunch is a fixed-price 3,500 yen kaiseki-style set meal. In the evening, ...

An entire section of the menu here is devoted to dishes featuring negi in all its many shapes and forms, prepared in virtually every way known to Japanese cuisine.

Sushi-bun is a classic hole-in-the-wall operation, with barely room for a dozen to perch elbow-to-elbow on stools along the narrow counter. Isogai keeps everything spotlessly clean, though, and needless to say his fish is of the best quality -- it could hardly get much ...

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