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et alors

3 days in Tokyo with an adventurous 7-yr old

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My daughter and I are stopping in Tokyo, staying in Ginza, for three days on our way to Bangkok. This girl can eat. her father is French, and she was at Michelin restaurants since she was tiny. So manners and weirdness aren't obstacles. I'm worried some people will see a tiny blond person and not be so into her. In any case..

We both LOVE food, and plan to eat well while there. Any recommendations of places that are tasty, and close to headquarters in ginza, or major tourist areas (i.e. the Studio Ghibli museum,Harajuku, Senso-ji Temple, etc?)

I don't speak any Japanese so advice is so welcome. I've done Tokyo twice before, love roblechon and molecular tapas bars, as well as many awesome tiny places and the fish market... not fussy, just looking for awesome and able to get into at such short notice. (work overwhelmed me and I didn't have much time to plan.)

thanks!


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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If you are up for some great sushi with a price, try Hashiguchi in Akasaka. From Ginza Station, its only 4 stops away with a change to the Chiyoda line at HIbiya. Hashiguchi has no stars as they refused to accept any and are renown for the nigiri technique of having an air gaps between the fish and the rice, resulting in a 'dancing sushi' that is very light in texture. Your concierge should be able to get a booking for you.

Alternatively, if you are looking for something more rough and tumble with a great atmosphere, you can try this izakaya in Tsukishima near Ginza. Its ok if you can't speak Japanese because the locals who throng the place will be more than happy to help.

Have a great time in Tokyo!

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As in most of Asia, people are very accepting of children in most public places.

NickLam recommended an izakaya--those are first and foremost drinking establishments (they always have food, but the focus is on drinking) where children are not as welcome, especially later in the evening. That's not to say an izakaya would not let your daughter dine there, but whether she should be there is another question.

Studio Ghibli is out of the way. Not much in the area, iirc, in terms of food. You can have something at the cafe there, but something more like a snack. When i went there, I ended up at the McDonald's near the train station (because I wanted a fried apple pie). (If you don't already have them, make sure you make reservations for the Studio, plus investigate how to get there--which side of the train station the bus leaves from, etc. I think the bus is something like Y200. Or you could just take a taxi). Other restaurants that I remember near the train station were chain Italian places and the like. Not great food, but if you need something fast, it'll do fine.

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thank you both, especially the heads up on Studio Ghibli... Amelie has been trained by her fanatically french father to hate mcdonalds, so I don't want to be the one to breaks that 7 year run.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to get tickets, I leave tomorrow http://www.jtbgmt.com/eng/ghibli/TicketSystem.html#Regions no way to buy in Japan?

I'm not afraid to drop some money here and there. I did want to take her to sushi dai in the fish market, do you think that'll be okay? I've never seen a child there (not sure she'll put up with the line anyhow, but we'll see what an ipad can do)

I was eyeing these guys http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/827056 and thinking about Sankame, Ginza Toyoda, Kondo and especially Ginza Okuda. I think Amelie should have at least one tempura experience and I know a great little eel place near our hotel, so unagi is taken care of. and slurping ramen, of course!

thank you so much!


Edited by et alors (log)

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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I got mine at lawson's convenience store (the only way you can get them in Japan).

http://www.lawson.co.jp/ghibli/museum/ticket/english.html

for instructions. The machines are all in Japanese, but if the store isn't too busy, someone might be willing to help you out. Print out the page I linked above, and that will be helpful, anyway.

Ghibli is closed on Tuesdays, which would leave you Wed or thurs. From what I can tell, they have space available on those days. If you have a friend in Japan, perhaps that person (or your concierge) could get the tickets.

I think Sushi Dai in the market is not such a good idea primarily because of the waits. But another thing to remember about places like Sushi Dai and especially popular ramen shops--they expect quick turnovers. I eat really slowly, so I don't do well in places like those (when they're very busy/popular), and I eat about the speed of a young child. the last time I was in Japan I went to a famous ramen place and other seats turned over about 2.5 times during the time it took me to eat. If you're going to take her to a ramen shop, choose a less busy one even if it's "not as good." and maybe do one of the sushi places just outside Tsukiji proper. They're less busy and so will probably be more amenable to having children dining there.

I think tempura kondo would be fine. As would most high-end hotel restaurants. Many of my former students were quite used to high-end dining (and how to behave in such places) because they had been dining at places like that since they were young. Your daughter would probably fit in quite well.

For other places, you'll just have to wing it. I hear Ishikawa is really quite good--maybe you could ask your concierge if he would recommend it. And reservations can often be had with short-term notice there. the problem with places like that is that they are prix fixe, and it can be quite a lot of food for a young child (I'm not a young child, and it's a lot of food for me). But if she's used to long multi-course meals, then it should be ok.

sorry, i looked at ishikawa's website. No children under 12.

maybe stick to hotel restaurants if you want high-end food. I liked Michel Troigros, but you can get that in France. L'Atelier JR would be fine, too, but you can get that anywhere these days. if you're anywhere near Katsukura (there's on in Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku. Don't know about others), they do fine tonkatsu, plus you get to grind your own sesame seeds. That's always fun.

Otherwise, just duck into places here and there. It's hard to go wrong.

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One more thing--I assume your daughter is accustomed to using chopsticks? if not, I would recommend bringing some cutlery along with you (or pick up a cool set from Tokyu Hands). Some places might not have any available.

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My daughter was good at chopsticks, but she's been lazy lately and her skills have deteriorated. I'll bring a fork in case. good reminder!

Thank you for your help. Her manners are very good, and she can do many many courses (though gets full) but you are right about waits... she can't stand in line for very long. If we are so jet lagged we are up at 4, I'll try for sushi dai, but otherwise I'll skip. :( Do you have any place near by you like, or a street you think would have places?

We've done trois gros in france, and I've done roblchon in tokyo, so I think I'll focus on japanese food since it's such a short visit. I have shared multicourse meals with her other places, would that be frowned upon?

I haven't had many bad meals in Tokyo, so I think you are right, I wont' worry and we'll have fun.


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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I think high-end places would not be too keen on sharing. Many of them have so few seats a night (and only two seatings) that to allow you to share with your daughter would be akin to giving up a seat altogether. Two for the price of one does not go over well, especially given that they don't make a huge profit on their food.

I looked over my CH post from my visit to tokyo last year. I did mostly low to mid range places.

In Marunouchi right near Tokyo Station (so not so far from Shinjuku), there's a fantastic fish place called Aoyuzu. 6th floor of Tokyo Marunouchi building http://www.marunouchi.com/e/shop/detail/1105_index (the english menu tab is not quite accurate, and there's more than one Aoyuzu, but this is the one I went to). I had the gindara hohoniku set (gindara cheeks) http://www.susinippan.co.jp/mces/index/00123 is their japanese website. I don't think they have an english website and I don't recall seeing an english menu (but i didn't ask, either), but I think at lunch they have samples in the window so you can just point. I do highly recommend the gindara hohoniku set, though. A lot of food, and excellently prepared. (you can read a little more about that meal here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836988#7189666 )

(and it says, "Kids welcome"!)

Another place I went to was Nakajima in shinjuku--it's a Michelin 1-star that has a very cheap Y800 (maybe a little more now) iwashi lunch set. http://www.sunnypages.jp/travel_guide/tokyo_restaurants/traditional_japanese/Nakajima/2687 I got a little lost looking for it, so if you go, print out a map or have the Japanese address. Maybe even take a taxi, so the taxi can suffer finding it. (it's not that hard, but a little hard if you're not familiar with the area or Japanese addresses). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547379d is the chow topic where someone included pics of the restaurant (to make it easier to find!). I'm sure their dinners are lovely, but I don't know if they allow children. You might want to have your concierge ask.

I don't spend much time in ginza or any of those other places you mentioned, so I can't really make recommendations for them. When I'm in Tokyo, I'm there to visit friends so we very often do non-Japanese food, and my Japanese food fix is limited to solo dining. Sorry! But I hope you enjoy your trip!

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