I took this snapshot of the gorgeous Cocoon Tower in the heart of Shinjuku West, 西新宿. This building is home to 10 000 students in three universities during the daytime but at night it serves as the perfect waiting spot for the long distance coaches going from Tokyo to cities all over the country. Is there a better view from a bus stop in Japan? I think not. Here is a high resolution image if you would like to use it for your computer desktop.
Move over Yoshinoya, there’s a new king of Japanese Fast Food in town! Sometimes it pays off to be impulsive. While walking down a back street in Shinjuku West’s (西新宿）”Little Akihabara” district I came across a new rice-bowl fast food chain store I had never seen before. The signs looked fantastic and the prices were incredibly low, without doubt the cheapest “don” (rive bowl) set you can get in Japan. I just had to try it out, even though the surroundings where less than tempting and the shop itself was packed with the usual kind of fast food customers noisily attacking their food. But the food was very tasty, I had grilled beef with a bowl of rice, a corn salad and bowl of miso soup for 480 yen (4.6 Euro or 6.3 USD, and that at a very expensive exchange rate). Amazing. At that taste, that speed and that price, I doubt you can eat better in Japan right now. My set at 480 yen was one of the most expensive on the menu, the regular meals were even cheaper at 320-380 yen.
Chikara Meshi, which could be translated as “Power Grub” or “Strength Food” is a newcomer on the chain store scene, with famous regulars such as Yoshinoya, Matsuya, Sukiya and others. There’s still only eleven stores in and around Tokyo (with one each in Kawaguchi and Omiya, Saitama) but expect to see these popping up every where in the coming months. The shop I was in had people waiting along the walls, and amazingly over half of the customers were women (it’s usually rare to find women in these kind of fast food shops).
So there you have it, if you are on a budget (and even if you aren’t – this food is just too good to be missed) in Tokyo and spot one of these, make sure to give it a try! And I am happy to announce that I have new number one on the list of favorite budget eating places in Tokyo!