Shinbashi Tokyo food tour

Tokyo Food Tour

Explore the hidden gem of Shinbashi

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Have you ever heard of Izakaya – the casual Japanese pubs where people hang out after work? As visitors should try tapas when visiting Spain, drinking at Izakaya is one of the must-do activities when you travel to Japan. But how to find good izakaya in Tokyo? Thanks to the excellent guide from Arigato Japan food tour, I could experience Tokyo like a local and explore Shinbashi area with different eateries and izakaya.

 

Meetup

We started our tour at the meetup point outside Shinbashi station – the railway station located 10 minutes walk from Ginza shopping district. The station was huge and crowded, filled with thousands of commuters.

places to visit in Tokyo Japan
There’s an old model train in front of Shinbashi station. Our meetup point was next to it.

The tour was on the evening of Friday night, and it made the atmosphere even more chaotic. However, with the clear instruction from the email, I could easily reach the group on time.

 

Robatayaki

Leaving the station, we began exploring the Shinbashi area. Following the flow of salarymen, we walked along the small alleys to restaurants and izakaya area. Our first stop was at the restaurant which offered Robatayaki cooking style.

things to do in Tokyo food tour
Our first stop at Robatayaki restaurant

 

What is Robatayaki?

Robatayaki is a traditional cooking style which was originally from Hokkaido but it now can be found in other parts of Japan. Traditionally, Hokkaido fisherman grills fresh seafood and vegetables on the charcoal so it’s fresh and tasty. It’s quite similar to barbecue cooking method but there’s a well-trained chef preparing the food for you. Robatayaki is a unique experience that I would recommend to anyone traveling in Japan.

> Read: Best Japanese food you should try!

 

Entering the restaurant, we gathered around the “kitchen” on the little chairs and observing the “performance” of the chef. There were some guests sitting in the next tables drinking and talking already even though it was only around 6 pm at the time.

Robatayaki cooking style Japan
It was awesome to experience this cooking style!

Back to our “kitchen”, the chef started selecting different types of seafood and vegetables to grill on the charcoal. Some types of fishes, oyster, shrimps were grilling when we chose our drinks.

It felt like gathering around the campsite and grill food on the campfire. The chef then gave each of us some dishes to enjoy with our drinks. The seafood was fresh and tasty and it was interesting to observe this cooking style.

Japanese food Tokyo food tour
I had oyster, grilled fish, and fried rice. They were really fresh and tasty.
Tokyo food tour
Another grilled fish dish!

 

Oden

After finishing our grills, it was time to try some Oden. Leaving the small alleys full of izakaya, we walked into a building with lots of small bars on the ground floor. Passing bakery shop, sake bars, and others, we reached the standing-bar Oden.

I hadn’t been to a standing-bar restaurant without chairs before, so it was a new experience. According to my tour guide, no chairs would make customers eat faster within 30 minutes so the restaurant could sell more to more customers.

things to do in Tokyo
Visiting Oden standing bar is an interesting thing to do in Tokyo!

 

What is Oden?

Oden (おでん) is a Japanese one-pot dish consisting of different ingredients such as fishcake, boiled eggs, Atsuage (deep fried tofu), vegetables. Instead of using miso soup, Oden soup is made from Dashi soup stock.

Just entering, I could recognize the fresh and tasty smell of Oden. The owner gave us a big smile and instructed us to our stand. The place was quite small, so our group filled up easily. We then selected the dishes and got served quickly.

Japanese food tour

We had Beef Oden, Tofu Oden, and Chicken Sashimi. At first, I hesitated to try Chicken Sashimi because it was raw chicken, but after trying it, it was okay.

weird Japanese food
I hesitated to try Chicken sashimi but it tasted okay after all.

 

Finished Chicken Sashimi, we left the standing bar and went to the next food stop. On the way, our guide showed us the vending machines and some cool information about them.

vending machine in Japan
We learned some cool information about vending machines in this tour too!

 

Izakaya

Although you can find izakaya everywhere, they gather mostly around the train station. The guide showed us to the izakaya place which was located underground.

Izakaya Tokyo

Entering the izakaya, I had the feeling of traveling back to the old-time Tokyo. This izakaya still reserved the nostalgic design with many old posters around. As most of the guests were Japanese, our group could experience Tokyo like a local. Eating along with the Japanese working class was a great experience in this Tokyo food tour.

drinking at Izakaya Tokyo
These posters brought a nostalgic feeling.

So what did we eat here? Because this Izakaya is famous for its Yakiniku dishes, we had many different grilled chicken skews.

tasty Japanese food
Tasty Yakiniku and shrimp dish

 

Taiyaki

In our final stop, we visited the Taiyaki shop. Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake which filled with red bean or cream.

Taiyaki shop Tokyo food tour
We had our final stop at Taiyaki fish-shaped cake. It was great to see how Taiyaki was made!

It was really interesting to see how Taiyaki was made in front of us. Each of us received one fresh and hot Taiyaki. Not only smells good, the fishcake was tasty too.

Taiyaki Tokyo food tour
I had a Taiyaki with cream filling

 

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Are you interested in taking this tour? Click here to check out!

Disclaimer: I was invited by Arigato Japan to participate in this Hidden gem food tour but as always, the opinions are my own.

Pin it for later

What are the best things to do in Tokyo, Japan? Explore hidden gems of Shinbashi area in Tokyo Japan in a tasty way. From trying skewers with Robatayaki cooking style, trying Oden to drinking sake in Izakaya, this experience will bring you a great memory in Tokyo. #japan #tokyo #japanesefood #yummyfood #foodguides #foodlover #food #yummy #delicious #deliciousfood #foodie #foodiegram #foodtour #budgettravel

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Final thoughts
Hidden gem food tour from Arigato Japan is an excellent tour to experience local lives and enjoy amazing food.
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