Tokyo may well be blessed with an incredible train network that crisscrosses the metropolis, but the city is also surprisingly walkable, so on good days, meanders between specific locales have a lovely habit of conjuring up more surprises than the main destination. Such walks also provide the option of popping into a local neighbourhood eatery, and for the time being at least, that can very often mean an old school machi chuka. A type of Japanese-style Chinese restaurant that was ubiquitous in the post-war period, but the with the owners of such places invariably getting on in years to say the least, they are slowly disappearing.
While they last, however, they are places frequented by all kinds of people. Somewhere anyone can feel comfortable due to their relaxed, down to earth ambience. A sort of home from home feeling that is further added to by the fact that looks-wise, and despite many decades in business, many of them haven’t changed much at all. And with those elements in mind, this little glimpse of one such place ticks all the requisite boxes. For starters there’s the older couple with the man doing almost all the cooking. Then it’s also patched up with tape, the decor and menu haven’t been altered since inception, and perhaps most of all, there’s the pretty much standard, and now beautifully faded, red counter. A little sanctuary that, like the vast majority of such restaurants, is as full of soul as the food that’s served.
As I never learned to read many Kanji I did not eat in these place much when I lived in Tokyo. The prices look pretty reasonable for today’s world. I bet they have gone up a lot over the years, however.
I bet very few of the younger generation want to take over these places from their parents!
Yeah, I think pretty much only the prices have changed. Everything else has remained the same. Like you said though, they are still very reasonable.
That’s the problem. And why they are disappearing. But it’s understandable. Long hours with few days off, and presumably not a huge amount of money to be made.
That’s a very dirty look the old guy is getting!
Yeah, it did seem that way. He also didn’t seem the least bit bothered!
What a great looking place. It may be old but at first glance it looks bright and clean.
I tried my translation ap on two sections (vertical lines 13 through 22) of the menu and it took the top line of characters rather than reading each vertically – so kind of acrostic I guess. What is said was “La Shimajima Yasu Meat Villa” , which could easily be the name of the place 🙂
They invariably have so much character and lots of lovely little details. Do like those counters too.
Haha, that would be an excellent name. Nonsensical, but also very intriguing.
I look at this place and am immediately craving some grilled chicken or beef with some noodles.
What kind of food did they serve there? Would love to see a plate of food from this place.
It looks very clean compared to some of the other joints you’ve featured.
Pretty much the standard Japanese-style Chinese food all these old places serve. Ramen, fried rice, gyoza etc. All fairly simple but really good.
And yes, a clean one. Most of them are to be honest. Dated, parched up, but clean enough.
Another surprise:- noting the popularity of chicken snacks, it was both surprising and interesting to find Genki Sudo, the councillor, recently ask MAFF about chicken welfare. It is great to know he wants them to ‘Have a Nice(r) Day’ too.
(Wish his books were in English.)
Had no idea about that. And yes, very interesting. Definitely not your average politician. Something Japan needs a lot more of.