Tokyo Attractions

Akihabara - The otaku freak capital of Japan!
Harajuku - Tokyo Extreme Street Style
Hon Komagome - Old Tokyo Temple Town
Morishita in Tokyo, home of metropolitan museums, and plenty of temples and old homes
Charming old Edo Period district of Nezu, in Tokyo
Roppongi and Roppongi Hills
Shibuya Streets
Ueno -- Homeless Heart of Tokyo

Rest of Japan

Jomon Japan
Jomon Japan
Kyoto, the most beautiful city in Japan
Matsumoto Castle, one of the highlights of central Japan
Yokohama City -- The City By The Bay

Best of the World

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Egypt in the 1990s
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Girl Hunting

Russian Girls in Japan -- Even Better than the Japanese Girls!
Russian Girls in Japan

IN A LOT OF BIG WESTERN CITIES LIKE SYDNEY, LONDON AND COPENHAGEN DENMARK, ONE OF THE BIG FEATURES OF STREETLIFE IS THE CORNERSHOP KEBAB JOINT. Suitably greasy and surrounded by threatening gangs of homeboys, these are the places where you fill up after a night on the town, and nothing compares to the taste of a piping hot kebab or fellafel when you are drunk or off your face. For budget travellers and backpackers, kebab shops are a lifesaver. Unfortunately for the budget traveller visiting Japan, the kebab fad hasn't caught on mainstream, although it is growing. There are a couple of doner kebab stands in Tokyo, all of them found in popular youth centers like Ueno and Akihabara and Shibuya. There are also a couple of vans that do the rounds in these youth areas, almost always manned by black or Middle Eastern guys who greet you with a friendly "Hey man" or "Hello, my friend". The range might seem disappointed to the average Australian or European -- usually there are just simple kebabs available, just chicken or beef, no vegetarian options, for a flat 500 Yen. Whatever you do, steer clear of the van at Yoyogi Park which serves banana fillings inside his kebabs. What kind of messed up sh!t is that -- putting mushed up banana gunk in a kebab! Then again, it would probably appeal to the warped tastebuds of the modern Japanese...

One interesting thing about Tokyo kebab stands is the amount of interest and curiosity they attract from passing Japanese. Eating at these stands can feel like being an exhibit at a crowded zoo, and elderly couples will frequently pause to peer intently at the spinning meat roll, dumbfounded and perplexed by this strange outlander food. It is kind of cute in a way -- but intimidating as well if you are a diner, to me even more intimidating than the homie gangs and hiphop crews who hang out outside the kebab shops at home. Because while I have gotten used to the stares earned by being a foreigner living in Japan, I don't particularly like being stared at while I am eating. And since Tokyo's kebab stands are at most just a hole in the wall with no interior seating, the only way to eat that kebab is to stand on the sidewalk with about 50 pairs of passing eyes scrutinizing your every move. If I mess up and drop a piece of beef on my shirt, people are going to be watching that. But anyway, enough bitchmoaning -- this is about the food. And here are the kebab stands and vans of Tokyo, the ones that I have dined at anyway, or the ones I have read about on the Internet, listed alphabetically...

Crowded WorldCrowded WorldCrowded World

Aidah's Journal writes: "Kedai king kebab akiba di akihabara menjadi kegemaran kami apabila berjalan-jalan di Akihabara. Tempat yang wajib apabila kami mengadakan lawatan di akihabara. Kedai ni ada laman web sendiri. Iaitu bole surf kalu nak tau maklumat lanjut. Tapi yang penting, kebab nya memang sodaaaaap hingga menjilat jari..."

Marmara: Takadanobaba 4-9-9 (on Waseda-dori).
Kebab take-outs from the stand up front, and full meals in the dining room downstairs.
Open 11am-11pm daily.

Moses's Kebab Stand in Ameyokocho, near Ueno, Tokyo Japan モーゼスさんのケバブ: 台東区上野6-10-7.
(Mouzesu no Kebabu: 6-10-7 Ueno, Taito Ward.)
Situated in the heart of Ueno's atmospheric Ameyokochou shopping district, literally underneath the Yamanote line (the city's most important railway link -- can you imagine a more Bladerunneresque location?) lies this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It purports to sell Turkish and North African style sandwiches, and in my humble opinion, this is the best kebab restaurant in Tokyo. 500 Yen for a kebab, and they also sell icecreams. This is in what I consider the black quarter of Ameyokocho, and there are plenty of Africans on the streets, trying to entice people into some of the nearby hiphop themed clothes stores. A mixed African/Middle Eastern/South American staff works the kitchen at Moses's Kebabs. Cries of "chikin ka biifu" ("chicken or beef?)" fill the air, or at least try to rise over the din of the twin Oriental Passage pachinko parlors on the other side of the street. A good place to grab a snack if you are shopping in Ameyokochou. Be warned -- some of the sauces offered here can be devastatingly hot!
Open 11.30am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 8.30pm on weekends.

The mobile Star Doner Kebab van in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan Star Doner Kebab: 外神田1−8−10 / TRUCK: つくばエクスプレス秋葉原駅の前.
(Main shopfront at 1-8-10 Soto Kanda, located in a small street opposite the Tsukumo PC III store. On weekends there is also a mobile shop parked on the street outside the Tsukuba Express Akihabara Station.)
Website: Map: This is said to be an institution in the Akihabara dining scene, and has plenty of fans. On the official website, the takeaway restaurant even claims to be the most famous doner kebab in all Japan. The website reads: "Since1999, we started our Doner kebab shop with a cooking car in Akihabara. in 2005,we opened a small kebab stand in there,so busy street the center of Akihabara."
Akihabara is becoming a multicultural place these days, with loads of Indian and even African tourists flying in to do their home electronics shopping, and many of them take a keen interest in this shop. But actually I don't dig it that much -- the kebabs aren't as good as the ones at Moses's stand at Ueno. Still, there is always a crowd around both the shop and the van on weekends, and they do seem to offer more variety than other kebab shops: gyros and shawarma are also on the menu. One blogger with business in Akihabara wrote: "We had an early dinner at Akihabara where the sumptuous Star Doner Kebab is located. It's soo yummy!!! We had 3 beef kebabs, each!! It's a bit pricey compared to Bangkok where one can buy a kebab for only 60 Baht. Here it's 500 Yen for a regular sized kebab and I can definitely say that even though it is 4 times more expensive than the one in Bangkok, it is 8 times more delicious. It was worth it."



beijing's top kebab joints 串串串 | tokyo hotels

  • Between 2000 and 2011 I blogged the food on the streets and alleys and high end towers and 5 star restaurants of Tokyo, Japan. Search the archives below...


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