Eating Veal Kidneys at Pissenlit!
Venturing into side streets might be tantamount to tempting fate in some countries, but in Japan, and particularly in Shizuoka, it is more like opening an intriguing Pandora box!
The side street is called koya Machi and is parallel to the traditional merchant artery called Gofuku-cho.
Japan does not have fire hydrants but fire “holes”. Keep an eye at ground level and you are bound to discover some interesting “manhole covers”!
Koya Machi Street entrance in day time.
Any city in Japan shows two distinctive faces in day time and at night.
The same spot might look drab and even decrepit in the afternoon but come dusk and you enter another world.
Koya Machi entrance at dusk.
Koya Machi Street starts across from Shizuoka JR Station and is only a few hundred metres long (the continuing and busy Ryogae Street is much, much longer) but pack enough for investigation.
At the very beginning on the left side stands Fugetsuro, the abode of the klast Shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Yoshinobu who retired there after the failed Bakufu Revolt.
It has then been transformed into an expensive restaurant-hotel by his descendants. It surrounds the best private Japanese garden in the city, complete with pond, bridge and guest house.
View of the garden from the Ukidono Izakaya.
One of the annexes was transformed seven years ago to accomodate a better-class izakaya, Ukidono, but still cheaper than the unaffordable Fugetsuro Restaurant, a renown, if somewhat old-fashioned, kaiseki restaurant.
Ukidono is worth paying a visit because it has a very extensive list of Shizuoka sake!
Just across the street is Lavigne Wine Shop.
Lavigne seels exclusively French wine you can also savour at the standing pay cash on delivery bar until 10:00 p.m.!
Walking past Lavigne, you will see this small curry restaurant with a somewhat strange name, Kabocha, written as “Kabo Cha/Kabo Tea” instead of the real name, “Kabocha/南瓜/Southern Gourd”.
just a little further up stands the oldest Izakaya (founded in 1922!), Takano!
Notice the real flower arrangement outside!
More real flowers outside!
The entrance at night.
Takano has recently been voted one of the best true izakayas in Japan!
It serves true local food such as sakuraebi kakiage/sakura shrimps tempura.
The present generation speaks fluent English!
The sashimi plate is simply a bargain!
And the Japanese sake is exclusively from Haginishiki Brewery in Shizuoka City!
Go across the street again and you will find Life Time, the other place owned by Fugetsuro.
It is a cafe opening late until night with a selection of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and the jazz concert place in Shizuoka City!
Life Time on a cold winter night.
On the right at the next corner, stands a thin building.
on the second floor you will find an izakaya called Ichi. Never been there but must be very old, because…
the sake, Kikugenji/菊源氏, advertised on their sign was brewed by a brewery called Toyo Shuzo (Izu eninsula), which disappeared more than 10 years ago!
The sign makes clear you have to climb the stairs up to the second floor to Ichi in case you don’t know!
Ichi at night.
The sushi bar on the first floor has not much interest unfortunately.
A litle further up and you notice people busy delivering bottles of sake and beer to this busy and cheap izakaya.
The same place at night.
The name means “Showa Era Hormones”! (hormones are actually animal intestines).
Another ubiquitous “Ramen Shop”.
“Five Bucks Bar” or “Fine Bucks Bar”?
I wonder what customers drink there!
Beware! The larger and the most colourful the poster, the more forgettable food!
back again to the Showa Hormones Izakaya for more investigation!
I found this “notice” pinned on the wall at eye-level in the men’s toilets.
The notice says:
“Genki no nai Otoko ha mamushi sake!”/Viper Sake for people (men) not feeling energetic!”
This is real sake in which a snake was marinated!
The note says above that you should be careful not to drink too much, or you will suffer from nosebleed (Japanese men supposedly go through this predicament when their libido is overstimulated!).
Actually, orders are limited to a single glass. It had better work as it costs a whopping 22 US$!
Last, but not least, as if men needed more incentive, they added a picture of a “well-endowed” man (face not shown!) wearing snake skin pants!
N.B.: A lady friend told me that there was nothing hanging on the wall inside the ladies’ facilities!
More seriously, the place also serves “oden/Japanese pot au feu”. Shizuoka Oden is famous all over Japan!
Behind the place I found this notice.
It says, “Open form 15:00. The earlier you come, the fresher the food!”
Thank you for telling us!
The same place at night. Empty…. I wonder why….
On the first floor of the next building stand this sign introducing no less than 26 watering holes!
Some names are worth a second look!
Oratoire, in French! I wonder what people are visiting this place for!
Lay back maybe?
Back across the street you will find a horror show of a restaurant (?) sign! Interesting grammar notwithstanding…
The sign in question to prove I’m not kidding you!
Now, for the horror show!
Take your time and read slowly!
I definitely trust you!
At night….. empty…..
Next: Ryogae Street!
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