Today, one of my oldest friends in Japan, came up from Osaka to spend the day with me. The weather has been chilly and damp, so Keiko and I decided to do two of my favorite rainy day activities – visiting a great book store and eating delicious food.
We started out at the Yaesu Book Center, in front of Tokyo Station. They have an extensive selection of books and a whole floor devoted to foreign language publications. I was most interested in checking out the books on dreaming, to see how much interest there is in the topic in Japan. I was delighted to see so many titles by IASD members available in Japanese, including books by Kelly Bulkeley, Robert Bosnak, Roslind Cartwright, and Stephen Laberge.
After the bookstore, we headed out to Tsukishima, a part of Tokyo which is famous for monjayaki. It’s very difficult to translate this dish into anything that sounds half as appealing as it is, especially on a cold, wet day. One of the best things about monjayaki is that it is cooked at the table on a built in griddle which will warm you up right away.
We chose a stylish place with called Ataru for our lunch. The young woman who served us said that in addition to this shop, her family owned three other monjayaki restaurants in the area. At her recommendation, we ordered the most popular version which included roe, cheese and mochi bits mixed in with cabbage, flour and water. For a more detailed description of how to make monjayaki and the history of this delicious dish, please click here. It was delicious.
If you are travelling in Tokyo Tsukishima is very easy to get to on public transportation. Take the Yurakucho line to Tsukishima and exit at #7 which will take you right up to Nishinaka Dori. This covered shopping street has a very nice neighborhood feeling with a wide variety of Monjayaki shops to choose from ranging from the very modern and stylish to more traditional and more rustic shops. Bon Appetit!