A Stone Quarry, Yakitori, Michelin Stars, and Incredible Coffee.
In this issue we’ve got some fantastic things for you to discover. Yes, even a rock quarry you can explore.
Get hand-picked Tokyo content (like this issue) delivered directly to your inbox; TokyoSpark is me and my local Japanese friends delivering cool Tokyo info. Totally free; no spam. Promise! Learn More
1. Visit a Stone Quarry in Gunma
I know the idea of visiting a stone quarry while you’re in Japan probably isn’t on the top of your to do list. Well if you want to sense of discovery — as if you found the lost world, this would be a great day trip.
A couple of hours north of Tokyo in Gunma, you’ll find a little abandoned rock quarry with nature overtaking it — making for a great escape from the bustle of Tokyo, and an interesting hike.
“There’s something special and mystical about walking through a wood or forest and discovering a lost world of sorts but that is exactly what happened at this place just a couple of hours north of Tokyo.” (TokyoFox)
2. Dive Into a Mountain-Hut Themed Yakitori Restaurant
Yakitori Arakiyama is a new izakaya in Shinjuku with a bit of a throw-back appeal to simpler times. It’s modern, but the design also gives a nod to the traditional Japanese hunter.
Besides, it’s a new izakaya with an interesting selection of yakitori. Do you need more info than that? 😉
“In addition to serving up chicken skewers sourced from Kawamata, Yakitori Arakiyama also supports the dwindling community of traditional hunters, and offers up special gibier (game) meat dishes such as wild boar and duck.” (grapeJapan)
3. English-Speaking Michelin Starred Japanese Cuisine
Ginza Kojyu is one of those ultra high-end Tokyo Michelin-starred omakase kaiseki restaurants that will cost between $200-$300 per person. Where the Japanese cuisine will knock your socks off — and hopefully you can find a friend to foot the bill.
But it’s also a restaurant where the chef speaks English! And explains each step of the course he’s skillfully crafting for you.
We need to get this shop added to our “best restaurants in Tokyo” guide.
“Since it was just my friend and I, we were seated at the counter, which ended up being the best possible outcome since we were able to chat with the chef and watch him prepare our food in front of our eyes.” (JapanTravel)
4. Help Sending Packages in Japan
Japan has several ways of sending packages, with multiple companies. How do you use them? What’s the difference? Well here’s a guide that will help you with that.
It covers the three most prominent delivery companies in Japan — Kuroneko Yamato (Black Cat), Sagawa, and JapanPost. And even explains the unique differences between them.
It really is quite a helpful guide. And don’t miss their follow-on guide of how to actually send the packages from Japan.
5. Find Your New Favorite Coffee in Kichijoji
Kichijoji is a fantastic area in Tokyo just west of the epicenter of downtown. This gives it a half big city feel while retaining some of the niceties of a more rural life.
And it just so happens to have incredible coffee shops too — and here you can find 8 of the best picked by locals.
“A few minutes’ walk from Kichijoji station, this sliver of a house serves great specialty single-origin coffee. The espresso-based drinks of Ryumon are top-notch, served along with cakes and muffins in a clean, minimalist space.” (TokyoWeekender)
Enjoy this issue? Do us a favor? Please share.