Close to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one finds Washoku Nada, a gem of a neighborhood restaurant. Yoko Araki opened Washoku Nada in 2009 after training at the Honke-Owariya soba restaurant in Kyoto, along with her brother, chef Tetsuya Araki (who also trained in Kyoto).
Washoku is the term for traditional Japanese Food and is recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible way of life” that helps define the island population. The 4 key elements present are:
1. Ingredients: rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, sea dwellers and seaweed
2. Culinary approach: raw, steaming, boiling or stewing
3. Nutritional content: balanced nutrients seen in the many dishes being offered
4. Hospitality: in the full sense of the experience and how it effects your life
The Hospitality above is a much more total concept then what may come to a typical western thought on the subject. One should include Yoko Araki’s background, as it is present in every detail. From the artfully displayed dishes to the carefully paired ceramics and cloths that accompany each dish. Each dish that is made lovingly and with a wholesome deliciousness that you feel in your soul.
If you are fan of over-the top Japan; then The Robot restaurant is a MUST!
“Restaurant” is a bit of a misnomer; more like “Sensory Overload Sensation that also serves beer and popcorn and sushi”
Going to let the visuals do the talking here, because no words can really do justice to this palace of pop.
Itinerary: Meet up at the Golden Gai bar neighborhood to get a little buzz; you’re nerves will thank you for a bit of haze! There are 3 functions daily in the underground theater. If you buy tickets online you get a bit of a deal. Also, arrive a bit early so you can enjoy the lounge
Go and enjoy! The Robot restaurant is one of those things that make Japan, Japan!
One can count the space age the black star temple of Reiyukai Shakaden Temple among the many places in Tokyo that seem straight out of a Science Fiction movie!
Completed in 1975, this red and black granite complex sheathed in electrochemically coloured black-steel shingles, is home to the Buddhist sect Reiyūkai (霊友会Spiritual-Friendship). Reiyūkai emerged as an offshoot of Buddhism in 1925 by Kakutarō Kubo and Kimi Kotani, focusing on ancestral worship without a priesthood.
The temple is open to explore and consists of: the Main Hall, the Plaza, the Kotani Hall, various conference rooms, a cafeteria, a child care room, and a nurse’s office.
In Japanese, “Shakaden” means the “House of Shakyamuni.” It is a place where anyone can seek to further practice the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra.
Interestingly, as Reiyūkai Buddhism has at its roots in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the temple houses a reservoir with 400 tonnes of drinking water for use in the event that Tokyo is struck by another major disaster.
Note: As this is an active Temple, no photo are allowed in the expansive interior.
Kyubey is a restaurant you may be better off never going to.
Since our meal, over a year ago, we have yet to be truly satisfied and happy at any other eatery. Kyubey was that good.
Everything about this flagship location is perfect. You feel at home at the sushi bar. It somehow remains intimate, even though 8 chefs line the bar and 10 private rooms co-exist over 5 floors above you. It is a t once high-end and relaxed; perfectly crafted and slightly debauched. Kyube proves that when you reach the highest perfection, you don’t have to put up any front.
Kyubey is considered the epitome of sushi restaurants in Japan. Rightfully so. It is a bit hard to describe how a piece of raw fish can be that much better then another piece of raw fish. Other then to say … The sushi and sashimi at Kyube is THAT much better then any other we’ve ever had.
Our experience began with a rousing welcome chant ” irasshaimase” and was just a ride of perfection. Piece after piece, laugh after laugh, sake after sake, it was a rock-concert of flavor.
It was only several weeks after when, again, we were walking away from another highly anticipated gourmet meal that we realized what was giving us this vague feeling of un-satisfaction. It was our meal at Kyube that raised the high-bar.
Tokyo Big Sight 11-1 Ariake, Koto,
Tokyo 135-0063, Japan
If you are in Japan, GO to the International Robot Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight!! You are witnessing the future of humanity (and not-humanity) at the beginning of its era – perhaps one day to get its own scientific classification? The Robotolithic age ?
Check the website for dates, as these change every year. In 2015 the show ran Dec 2nd – 5th. It was held at Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) on Tokyo Bay waterfront. The complex is worth the visit just for the experience of being in a futuristic city on the set of a Sci-Fi movie. It reminded us of Caprica from the modern Battlestar Galactica !
The International Robot Exhibition is the largest robot trade show in the World. If you find yourself in Japan try to attend, a window into the future. This is the reason you are in Japan!
IREX brings together roughly 500 domestic robot manufacturers and related businesses with over 50 international exhibitors. Participating are 100,000 domestic technicians and professionals.
IREX divides itself into two parts. Large Industrial robots (IR) and then the smaller, cuter service robots (SR), along side small production systems and robots deriving from R&D activities of government, industry and academia, Medicine, manufacturing, security, etc.