In this edition, we welcome Mr. Kazuhito Kawase, Executive Director of Ginza Isamiya, which has specialized in baby and children’s clothing for 96 years. Kawase-san sells designer clothing from over thirty brands for children ranging from newborns to grade school students, striving to create “Japan’s favorite store.”
Our first stop was Pour Café.
Pour Café is a café and bar that also serves authentic Yamagata Ramen. Kawase-san comes here every week during his lunch break.
Kawase-san’s favorite item on their menu is their Tomato Ramen. It has a chic appearance and looks like pasta in tomato soup, but once bite and you are fully convinced that it can be nothing but ramen. According to Kawase-san, the ramen is so addictive that you are tempted to return even in a white shirt.
The ramen is topped with crispy bacon, fresh Edona (a type of Japanese mustard spinach grown locally in Tokyo) and basil over melted cheese. The richly textured tomato sauce clings to the noodle and is outstandingly delicious.
A special way of enjoying it, as recommended by the chef is sprinkling grated cheese and powdered hot pepper to add a punch to it. The spiciness helps bring out the flavors of the tomato soup.
The ramen is 1,050 yen (at lunchtime) with a drink included in the price. It is the perfect place to go for a lunch break.
Other café-style meals on their menu include Locomoco, soy milk curry, and pasta of the day. Pour Café also offers organic sprouted brown rice.
When you want to stop for a small break in Ginza, Pour Café is the perfect destination for casual dining.
Our next stop was Kobikicho Yoshiya, a long-established confectioner and tea house that Kawase-san, who insists he does not have a sweet tooth, strongly recommends with confidence.
Their long-selling Dorayaki (a popular snack with adzuki bean paste sandwiched between two small fluffy pancakes) has been introduced on TV and in magazines. It has bee formally designated one of the select gifts from Tokyo. Having enjoyed the spotlight in foreign media, the savor and artisan techniques passed down from past generations has been highly accredited worldwide.
Walking into the store, you can find a large display of branding irons, which I was told was only a small portion of their collection. They accept special orders to burn Dorayaki with names and logos for companies and events.
Kawase-san says that he was overwhelmed when he first had their Dorayaki. The pancakes have a moist and yet chewy texture and the elegant “anko” inside, made from highest quality adzuki beans produced in Tokachi, Hokkaido, are not too sweet.
One can see their efforts to keep the taste and techniques unchanged since their founding from the way the pancakes are carefully baked one by one.
Since everything is handmade beginning with the dough, they can only craft a limited number each day. Therefore, it would be safer to reserve the number you wish to purchase before you go.
There is a tea house next door where you can enjoy seasonal sweets, including “Anmitsu” and “Shiratama Adzuki ice cream.” Their “matcha with selected sweets” is another very popular item I asked the young master, who engages in tea ceremony as a hobby, to prepare a bowl of matcha for me.
You can reserve a Dorayaki for 140 yen (excluding tax) each. I would highly recommend treating yourself to a Ginza tradition.Kobikicho Yoshida
Kawase-san had mentioned a sushi bar in Ginza that we could stop by for a casual meal, so our final destination was Sushiya no Kanroku.
Kawase-san comes here both by himself and with business counterparts or friends.
A restaurant located on the first floor in Ginza is enough to make one feel reluctant to open the door, but Sushiya no Kanroku is run by a very friendly chef around the same age as Kawase-san. With twelve seats at the counter and one table, the sushi bar is open until two o’ clock after midnight.
They announce the seasonal fish and vegetables of the day through social media. Asking the chef about the ingredients and listening to him share his wealth of knowledge can be quite an illuminating experience.
Sushiya no Kanroku is the perfect destination when you want to have a bite in Ginza, or when you want to treat yourself to delicious fish and Japanese sake.Sushiya no Kanroku
2017ミスアース群馬代表・全国大会4位ミス・ファイアー受賞。同年2017Miss Tourism queen of the year世界大会へ日本代表として出場し、各国の出場者達の投票によって決まる、ミスフレンドシップ賞を受賞。現在はモデル・MCとして活躍中。