WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine

07.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.

Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.

WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.


The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.

 

Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.

The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.

The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.

Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.

 

As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.

There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.

The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.

As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.

The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.

Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.

 

All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.

So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Taste Authentic Japanese Matcha at Asakusa’s New Matcha Specialist Shop Kaminari Issa

    23.October.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusa welcomed the newest and third branch of matcha dessert specialist shop Kaminari Issa on October 2, 2020, which opened its doors along Dempoin Street. The shop is just a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station and 2-minutes from Kaminarimon.

    Signature delights on Kaminari Issa’s menu include the Okoicha Warabi Latte and Okoicha Gelato. Everything on the menu is made with rich, high quality matcha, from the matcha tea lattes to the matcha beer, parfaits, ice cream, dacquoise, and more. If you love matcha, and you’re in Tokyo, this place is a must-visit.

    There are plenty of items to get your hands on in this newest store, which also has its own eat-in space, tea leaf display, and more.

    They even sell kits so you can make your own Okoicha Warabi Latte and Wakocha Brown Sugar Warabi Latte at home.

  • Japan’s Hello Kitty Themed Hotel Rooms Open at Asakusa Tobu Hotel in Tokyo

    16.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Tobu Hotel Management are set to welcome Tokyo’s only hotel rooms based around Sanrio’s popular character Hello Kitty at Asakusa Tobu Hotel when the hotel official opens for business on October 8, 2020.

    There are two different room types, of which there are three rooms for each for a total of 6 rooms: “Cherry Blossom Maiden” and “Japanese Modern,” both centred around Hello Kitty.

    The Cherry Blossom Maiden room brings together Japanese cherry blossoms with Hello Kitty dressed as a cute maiden. Decorated in pastel pink, this room is all things kawaii, and even comes with a raised flooring area to add to that Japanese vibe.

    On the other side of the kawaii coin is the Japanese Modern room. The design here combines Asakusa-style colours with traditional Japanese elements, resulting in a stylish interior.

     

    Reservations for the Hello Kitty Rooms open on August 24 at 10:00 (JST) via the hotel’s official website. If you’re staying in Japan anytime after October 8, make sure to book your room ASAP!

  • Inari Sushi Restaurant Tsurigitsune to Open in Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese food and confectionery company Bijuu is opening a new restaurant called Tsurigitsune inside Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal on August 5, 2020. The restaurant will specialise in inari sushi, a type of sushi packed into pouches of deep-fried tofu.

     

    Bijuu is known for producing and selling such products as Kyoto’s famous coarse sweet red bean paste-filled yatsuhashi otabe crackers.

    Tsurigitsune will serve “Kyo Dashi Oinari,” a type of inari sushi made with fried tofu Saga Tofu Morioka—a long-standing tofu shop in Sagano, Kyoto—soaked in lots of sumptuous Kyoto-style dashi. The restaurant will also serve a special type of sweet otabe cracker which cannot be eaten anywhere else.

    Kyo Dashi Oinari (Includes 15) | ¥3,240 (Tax Included)

    The dashi that the Kyo Dashi Oinari are soaked in take up all the delicious flavour of kombu, sababushi smoked mackerel, iwashibushi pilchard, and katsuobushi dried bonito, all of which serve to add that authentic Kyoto flavour.

    Tanto Otabeyasu | ¥930 (Tax Included) *Served 6:30-10:00

    As well as Kyo Dashi Oinari, Tsurigitsune’s menu includes a line-up of dishes that celebrate the flavour of dashi, including soba, dashimaki tamago omelette, and more.

     

    If you’re travelling to Osaka, why not get an authentic Kyoto experience too by dining at Tsurigitsune?

  • Flower Miffy Juice Garden Asakusa Now Open and Serving Adorable Drinks

    22.July.2020 | FOOD

    The new “Flower Miffy Juice Garden” opened as a permanent addition to Flower Miffy Asakusa on July 21, 2020. Flower Miffy is a Miffy-themed flower and merchandise shop.

    Colourful Jelly Soda – Gerbera/Tulip/Sunflower/Lavender: ¥580 Each (Before Tax)

    Four new Miffy drinks are being served for the opening of Flower Miffy Juice Garden. Each is a soda beverage is filled with colourful jelly, elderflower syrup made from real flowers, and a soft, bouncy kind of jelly. Each drink itself looks like a colourful bouquet.

    Miffy Cream Soda: ¥680 (Before Tax)

    Flower Miffy Juice Garden will also introduce the “Miffy Cream Soda” on Saturday August 1 which is a colourful jelly soda topped with ice cream, a Miffy wafer, and flower-shaped chocolate.

    Lemonade: ¥480 (Before Tax)


    Apple Juice: ¥480 (Before Tax)

    Other available drinks include sweet and sour lemonade made using lemons grown in the Seto Inland Sea, 100% apple juice, and other cute delights.

  • Japan’s New Eel Burger is Made in Collaboration With the Theatrical Entertainment Sushi Bar Teruzushi

    03.July.2020 | FOOD

    Matsuya Foods, Gastroduce Japan, and Teruzushi have all joined hands to cook up the new “Eel Burger” which will be sold exclusively in Japan via Matsuya Food Court on Rakuten and Matsuya PayPay Mall starting from 8:00pm (JST) on July 4, 2020.

    Like all countries around the world, Japan’s food industry is suffering at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic, with less customers dining in restaurants and eateries. That’s where Matsuya Foods comes in, which has launched an effort to collaborate with fellow restaurants to release exquisite dishes online. That begins with the “Eel Burger,” the first of many foods to come.

    Teruzushi is a sushi bar famous for its “theatrical entertainment” style of sushi serving which has earned it the spotlight in the news and on social media in Japan. They serve high-grade sushi which can have the average person easily spending over ¥30,000 during their visit.

     

    The restaurant, located in Fukuoka, is also famous for its “Unagi Burger,” which uses 220g of eel that is prepared in the kabayaki-style and wrapped around sushi rice. That itself is then wrapped in high quality domestic seaweed, resulting in a unique burger-style of sushi. The Eel Burger is an amalgamation of flavours and textures, with the crunchy seaweed complementing the soft eel.

  • KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS: Asakusa’s New Artist Lounge and Hotel Fusion

    20.June.2020 | SPOT

    KAIKA TOKYO by THE SHARE HOTELS is set to open on July 15, 2020 as the 8th branch of THE SHARE HOTELS, a chain of renovated hotels which aim to find and share new beauty of the local area.

     

    KAIKA TOKYO is renovated from a 7-floor 1966 warehouse building and is comprised of an artist lounge and a hotel. It aims to become a new hub for contemporary art in Japan.

     

    The name “KAIKA” is derived from several Japanese words, all of which are read as kaika: “開架” which means open-access i.e. giving open access to the warehouse, “開化” which means enlightenment i.e. to spread and make known Japan’s art culture, and “開花” which means blossom, i.e. to bring out the talent of future artists.

     

    Sumida is a city popular amongst local and foreign tourists for its many art and cultural facilities. It is a promoter of art and culture in many ways, and KAIKA Tokyo aims to be a part of that process. One way in which it will do this will be with the new “KAIKA TOKYO AWARD.” The judge for awarding the prize is Yūji Akimoto—the director of and lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts—and Japanese artist Noritaka Tatehana. The prize itself will be having your art piece displayed inside KAIKA TOKYO. To commemorate the grand opening, an exhibition by Noritaka Tatehana himself entitled FORM AND COLOR will be displayed until August 16, 2020.

    The downstairs lounge which is accessible to guests will include the art storage area as well as the KAIKA TOKYO AWARD winning pieces. There are also appliances and amenities for guests to freely use too, like kettles, microwaves, plates, cutlery, washing machine, and a vending machine.

    Rooms have a relaxed vibe to them thanks to the colours and materials used. There are 73 rooms in total split across 10 different types which can cater to 2, 4, and even 6 people.

    The 1st floor bar lounge is open to non-guests during the evenings where they sell Japanese tea cocktails, coffee, Japanese finger food, and more. The coffee served uses single-origin beans from a local cafe in Sumida, Tokyo. The bar is open 19:00 to midnight, with last orders ringing in at 23:30.

  • Tokyo’s New Sake Ice Cream Shop Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Ship Ice Cream Around Japan

    03.May.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    SAKEICE is an ice cream shop that offers a new kind of ice cream experience, combining Japanese sake and alcohol together with the frozen treat. The shop opened in Akusaka, Tokyo in March this year.

     

    However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the store has had to close temporarily. SAKEICE wants to cheer people up during these turbulent times with their ice cream, and has therefore announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign so they can set up a website where people can order ice cream in Japan and have it delivered to them.

     

    I tried out their ice cream

    Otokoyama / Nihonshu Ice

    SAKEICE’s ice cream is laced with lots of Japanese alcohol. I tried the Otokoyama and the Nihonshu Ice, the latter of which is an original ice cream flavour exclusive to SAKEICE. They both contains around 4% alcohol. I were curious exactly how they would taste.

     

    I started with the Nihonshu Ice. The moment the ice cream hits your tongue, your taste buds are met with its smooth texture, and your nose is filled with the full bodied flavour of nihonshu. The velvety texture on your tongue as it melts is to die for. The Otokoyama has a refreshing kick to it when compared to the Nihonshu Ice. It’s creamy, but the aftertaste is refreshing, so we recommend it for people who aren’t a fan of sweet treats. Both are sure to leave you feeling satisfied, and maybe a little flushed afterwards.

     

    These ice creams contain alcohol, so keep that in mind when coming here with minors, kids, pregnant women, or if you’re driving.

     

    They have non-alcoholic flavours too!

    Matcha / Cherry Blossom

    Of course, they have non-alcoholic options too. I tried out the matcha and cherry blossom flavours.

     

    The matcha one has an irresistible bitterness layered inside the sweetness. You get that real rich matcha taste too. The cherry blossom ice cream is a cute light pink colour and has a subtle sweetness to it. If you don’t like alcohol then you’ll definitely want to try one of delights.

  • mūya: Tokyo’s New Cafe Opening by ‘Bread, Espresso &’ Serving Fluffy Mū Bread

    25.March.2020 | FOOD

    Bread, Espresso & is a cafe chain with 17 branches in Japan, including Omotesando. The company is set to open an entirely new cafeーspecialising in Bread, Espresso &’s popular mū breadーcalled mūya on April 17, 2020 in Asakusa Mizumachi.

     

    Bread, Espresso &: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/254815

    Mizumachi is a new shopping centre also opening on April 17, 2020. It’s near Solamachi in Tokyo Skytree Town, and sits betwixt Kaminarimon and Tokyo Skytree.

     

    Mū is an original bread recipe baked up by Bread, Espresso & that’s made with lots of butter, giving it a rich taste. The word means “soft” in French. When you break a piece off the fluffy loaf, that rich buttery smell fills your nose.

     

    inside the cafe

    The mū loaf is a cube shape, and the interior of the shop has cube designs all over it.

    Customers sit at tables with chairs that stack up like cubes – a unique and original design.

     

    French toast

    Mū is the main dish at mūya, which can be served as it is, as a sandwich, as French toast, or even in a parfait.

     

    When you’re passing through Asakusa, be sure to pop into mūya to try the famous mū bread of Bread, Espresso &.

  • Japanese Tea Crepe Cafe OCHABA Opens Second Branch in Asakusa

    01.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    OCHABA opened its first branch in Shinjuku in March last year as the first cafe in Japan specialising in Japanese milk tea. The cafe has announced that it will open its second branch in Asakusa on February 22, 2020. The new cafe will introduce a new item to the menu: crepes. The chewy wraps are made with matcha and Japanese tea and filled with mascarpone and fresh cream.

     

     

    Plain Tiramisu – ¥600

    Kogashi Houjicha Puree – ¥650

    Strawberry Daifuku – ¥730

    The cafe will also serve OCHABA’s famous Japanese milk tea topped up with warabimochi, made using carefully-selected tea leaves from Maruzen Tea, a Shizuoka-based tea company with a history spanning more than 70 years.

     

    If you love Japanese tea, you’ll love OCHABA’s desserts made using all different kinds of teas.

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Hello Kitty Sushi Cakes For Hinamatsuri

    01.March.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    Hinamatsuri is almost here, and I’ve got the perfect treat for this year’s festival: Hello Kitty Sushi Cakes. These Hello Kitty decorations can be made with basic Japanese ingredients, so follow along and try making them yourself.

     

    1: Equipment/Ingredients

    15cm cake tin

     

    1 cup vinegared sushi rice

    200g tuna

    200g salmon

    3 Japanese rolled omelettes (dashi-maki tamago)

    20 beefsteak plant

    Ikura salted salmon roe

    Hanpen pounded fish cake

     

    2:

    Line a cake tin with baking sheet paper like in the photo. Use a cake tin with a detachable bottom spanning 15cm. In the case that you don’t have a cake tin with a detachable bottom, cover the bottom of your tin with cling film which will make it easy to remove everything afterwards.

     

    3:

    Cut Hello Kitty, flowers and other shapes into some hanpen pounded fish cake.

     

    4:


    Slice the tuna, salmon, and Japanese egg into cubes about 1.2cm each.

    Pile the ingredients in this order: rice→tuna, salmon, and egg→rice. Refer to the photo below.

     

    5:

    Leave the ingredients exposed around the outside like so

     

    6:

    Top with the rest of the ingredients as you like.

     

    7:

     

    Finish by adding your Hello Kitties and flowers which you can decorate with leftovers, like the noses and middle of the flowers. I also used cucumber and crab sticks for the head decorations.

     

    Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!

     

    Kaori Kubota (@kaopan27)
    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→@kaopan27

  • Hanami in Japan 2020: Bite-Size Sushi Hanami Bento Lunch Box Releasing in Ginza

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    SHARI and SHARI THE TOKYO SUSHI BAR in Ginza, as well as CRAFT in Ariake, are releasing the perfect accompaniment to your hanami flower-viewing experience in Japan this spring: the “Hanami Roll Sushi Bento” lunch box, which consists of 36 bite-size sushi pieces made up of 12 different kinds of sushi. It will be available February 18 to April 30.

    Hanami Roll Sushi Bento (36 Pieces/Serves 3-4): ¥4,500 (Tax Included)

    As soon as your take the lid off this colourful assortment of rolled sushi, you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a photo for Instagram. Each piece is 3cm in diameter and so is deliciously bite-sized. The line-up includes four new kinds of sushi rolls conceived for this release which use seasonal spring ingredients, like sakuradai cherry blossom sea bream, sakura ebi, rape blossoms, fuki giant butterbur, green beans, and moreーas well as eight other types of sushi that are popular classics at each of the three restaurants.

    Shrimp Roll

    From the four new rolls, we have the sakura ebi shrimp roll, which is served with a gorgeous cherry blossom colour. It’s made with shibazuke pickles and vinegared rice, which gives it its colour, and contains, rape blossoms, okra, Chinese yam, and egg. The rape blossoms add a springtime bitterness to the sweetness of the sakura ebi, creating a wonderful combination of flavours.

    Beef Butterbur Miso Roll

    Then there’s the sakuradai roll is wrapped with vinegared tobiko flying fish roe, okra, and cucumber, which is topped with sashimi-style sakuradacherry blossom seam bream and salty cherry blossom leaves. The spring vegetable and tempura roll has shrimp and green bean tempura mixed with yuzu kosho paste; and finally, the beef butterbur miso roll, which contains beef rib seasoned in a sukiyaki style, finished with sesame seeds, and seasoned with butterbur miso.

     

    The eight popular classics include the wagyu roll sushi seasoned with luxurious truffle oil, Italian roll, duck roll, salmon roll, spider roll (soft shell crab), and more. All of these varied picks go great with wine or champagne.

    Hanami Roll Sushi Bento (9 Pieces): ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    The “Hanami Roll Sushi Bento” comes in various sizes. As well as the 36 pieces of 12 sushi types, there’s also 18 pieces of 9 types (serves 1-2), and the 9 pieces of 9 types (serves 1).

     

    Reservations are available until 15:00 the previous day. Order yours for your Hanami cherry blossom flower-viewing this year in Japan.

  • Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space

    23.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.

     

    This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?

    The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.

    The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.

    The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.

    Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.

    Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.

    This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.

     

    There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.

    Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.

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