‘Irasshaimase‘ means welcome in Japanese and you hear it shouted as you enter almost ever restaurant. The food is amazing and incredibly diverse. In Tokyo we ate at some phenomenal restaurants. Some I highlighted in other posts, but a few favorites I wanted to specifically share.
Inakaya - from the moment you walk into the restaurant it feels like you have entered a party. Inakaya is a robatayaki type restaurant which grills very fresh and delicious seafood, meat and vegetables – all of which happen to pair beautifully with sake and beer. Andy had gone there on a previous business trip and he thought the kids would love it. He was right!
Aidan Very Happy With Grilled Crab Legs
When we placed an order, the wait staff and cooks smiled and shouted excited phrases at each other. Even the drink delivery system was fun. Here is my Sapporo!
This place was a hit with kids and adult alike. It is the Roppongi area if you are in Tokyo be sure to check it out.
2. Ninja Alaska
Ninjas and food! What more could you want? As we entered staff dressed as ninjas led us into the restaurant through “training” over a draw bridge with hidden treasure.
The food was presented with “ninja magic”. Here a tap on the lid by Aidan helps turn a small egg into a fully cooked quail.
These are not “corks” but edible potatoes.
The grapefruit spilled out smoke when the sword was removed.
Best thing of all was the ninja let the kids hold the sword.
The most magical aspect was even with the ninja theatrics the food tasted wonderful. After a magic show we were led to a ”secret exit”. Here is a shot of the newly minted warrior family.
Japan already had the kids in love at “sushi,” and with these fun places they are now hooked for life.
Traveling with children adds many new variables to any journey. Of course there are challenges, but there are also lots of rewards. Some of my favorite times are when the kids become very excited about the journey.
Aidan has loved the thought of traveling to Japan for months. He adores sushi and trains. Japan happens to be famous for both and that is enough for him to consider it the “promised land”! Andy and I were actually anxious about having the country live up to his high expectations. Where to begin the adventure? We chose to head to the place where most sushi starts-the Tsukiji Central Fish Market.
If it lives in the sea it is probably for sale here.
They actually don’t just sell tuna sell a multitude of cuts and grades.
The main warehouse market is lively and chaotic. About 2000 tons of fish and seafood, worth US$18.5 million is sold here daily which amounts to US $5 Billion annually. There are vehicles buzzing about moving heavy tanks so it is potentially a dangerous place. Young children in strollers are not allowed so Sydney and I waited outside while Andy and Aidan took a quick look. Fortunately there is plenty to see in the area surrounding the busier main market.
Baskets of small dried shrimp and krill
We even saw a small parade with beautifully dress women in kimonos…
And the most adorable fisherwoman ever. She made a nice catch.
All of the touring made us hungry. We of course had to sample the wares.
After the market tour, we took a train to nearby Ginza. The subway was exciting in and of itself but when we exited the Sony building there was a surprise which could not have been more perfect for a train-obsessed preschooler.
A whole area of Thomas trains! We honestly had no idea this was here and there was no better ending for a first morning in Tokyo for Aidan.
He literally jumped up and down and shouted “I Love Japan!” Yes these are the times that make traveling with children truly special.