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Price: 5000 yen
I found this ‘hormone’ (intestine etc) restaurant, a bit of a distance from ‘otaku Mecca’, Akihbara. It’s super delicious! 33 Banchi. The ‘salt’ hormone is the best, but the other meats are good, too. With prices set between 300 - 800 yen, the cost-performance is also good. When it gets full here, it can get pretty smokey. The staff at 33 Banchi are cute. It can get pretty full, so I recommend making a reservation.
In the Area
The Ochanomizu area of Tokyo might be good for outdoor sports shops and massive hospitals, but it's pretty crap when it comes to sitting down over a coffee and a bite to eat. Pleasing to see then a NEW YORKER's Cafe about half way between the outdoor sports shop street and Ochanomizu Station (the cafe is on your right as you go up the hill, before the Nikolai Church).This expat isn't from New York so can't verify the authenticity of the New York cheese cake here. It is however, very nice. On this occasion I went with the Cookies & Cream cake, and downed that with a large blend coffee. A slice of cheese cake here is around 400 yen. It's expensive given the small slice, but this doesn't detract from how delicious it is.As was mentioned in the title of this piece, this NEW YORKER's Cafe is welcome option for a sit down and a bite to eat in an area which doesn't have a great deal to offer in that field. The interior is simple but comfortable and warm, and I find it hard to believe that you'd ever struggle for a seat here. There's a smoking room and does a good job for both smokers and non smokers alike (i.e. the smokers will know it's there, the non smokers won't).NEW YORKER's Cafe is about 3 mins walk from Ochanomizu Station.
The 6th floor of the luxurious Palace Hotel offers affordable afternoon tea with a stunning view of the Imperial Palace Gardens. I recommend visiting in November to behold the resplendent trees in their Autumn foliage. At the end of November you can witness the gingko trees in their finest yellow. You can see the Imperial Gardens from all seats facing the window in the bar, or for a better view I recommend you step out into the open terrace smoking area. The afternoon tea is as impressive as the views from the comfortable and quiet Bar Privé. The afternoon tea is the pièce de résistance of the culinary delights on offer and surprisingly affordable, given that you are in the elegant and opulent Palace Hotel, within in a stone's throw of the Emperor's residence. It is served beautifully and it is an experience as much as it is a light meal. The staff are very welcoming and also very friendly, as were the other guests around us. The tray comes with bite size selections of sandwiches, hors d'oeuvre, soup, desserts and my personal favourite; scones. The scones are a lot better than most and you get little glasses of fillers to spread on or in the scone. The tea is fantastic and they have a huge range to choose from. Most of us went for the Irish Malt tea not because it contains whiskey (but yes that was a factor!), but because the 12 of us are from Ireland! They are well able to cater for groups and we were suitably impressed by the efficiency in which they served us. The website and the menus in the hotel are bilingual. The restaurant website suggests that this bar is casual, but you need to walk through the hotel lobby to get to the 6th floor and the attire is far from casual. I would say smart casual or semi-dressy is the safest bet. The opening hours are Bar Privé are 11.30 am to midnight, but the Afternoon Tea is only available from 2 to 4.30 pm. I recommend you book in advance.
Kokyo Gaien National Garden or Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace are the part of the palace grounds that require neither money nor a reservation to enter. The park is at its best in November and I really recommend visiting it then to see the autumn leaves and/or gingko trees.I enter from Sakuradamon station over Iwaida bridge to get a prime view of the moat. You can also enter from three other gates, each very picturesque. The park has roads going through it, but it is often pedestrianized at the weekends. This part of the park is home to the famous statue of Kusunoki Masashige on horseback. There is a restaurant near this statue and the management offices are the park are here too. There are some really nice lawns in the area and you often see people lying out. However, there are some areas where you are not supposed to walk on the grass. They have those areas fenced off so you know not to enter. There are plenty of benches in the park. Some of them are under cherry blossom trees. There is a lovely free rest area Fountain Park with a water feature with a fountain show. There are seats in this area. It is in front of Wada Kura Fountain Park restaurant. This restaurant has a great view of the fountains. On the North West end there are often ducks in the moat and it is a popular spot for a photo as you can see the remains of a guard house of the Edo castle on Kikyo moat. This part links up with the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. This part of the park is open twenty four hours. There is no parking for cars in this part of the park. (Tour buses can park).
I really think that this is one of those "must visit" places for both tourists and long-termers in Japan, if you like gardens that is! You can do a paid tour of the gardens, but the free parts of the gardens are just as stunning. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are one of the free parts. Another is Kokyo Gaien which is open 24 hours, but unlike Kokyo Gaien this park has restrictions as to when you can enter. Also, you need to announce yourself at the gate and pick up a number which you drop back to the gate when you are leaving.You can enter the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace from Ote-mon Gate, Hirakawa-mon Gate and Kitahanebashi-mon Gate. Ote-mon gate is the one from Kyoko Gaien. The park is absolutely breathtaking. I personally particularly love the Ninomaru gardens. The East Gardens are home to the Sannomaru Shozokan, the Museum of the Imperial Collections. It is a very small museum, but it is free! There are some interesting exhibits and they have some special pieces sometimes. The park and the museum open at 9 am all year round. The parks closing time depends on the month with 4 pm being the earliest closing time (in Winter) and 5 pm being the latest opening time (in summer). The museum typically closes 15 minutes before the park does. You can't enter either within 30 minutes of closing time. This part of the Imperial palace grounds, including the museum, is closed on Mondays and Fridays and on sometimes on other dates if there is an event on.
One of the oldest character theme cafes in Tokyo. Moomin cafe and bakery opened for business in May 2003. It continues to be one of the most popular theme cafes in Tokyo for people with young children and / or Moomin fans and character cafe enthusiasts.The shop is split into a bakery on the left and restaurant on the right. You can order from the bakery and bring it to a table, if there is one free, and eat in. If you order a drink set with the bread you buy, they will serve the drink to you. If you want to have lunch there I advise you arrive early as people started queuing up for lunch from before 11 am! The selection of bread is very good and they have some bread in the shape of Moomin characters. They have some Moomin books that you can borrow and they have giant sized stuffed toys of the Moomin character that you can have sit with you at your table. The cost is quite reasonable. A kid's plate is 670 yen, a kid's bread with one drink set is 350 yen. They have latte art of the Moomin characters. However, once the lunch time menu starts you can't do this. They have a cup dessert for 600 yen that comes in a Moomin designed cup which you can bring home with you.Moomin bakery and cafe opens from 8 am to 10.30 pm Monday to Saturdays and until 10 pm on Sunday. There is no parking specifically for the restaurant, it is shared with Laqua.