It’s never been so cold in Shizuoka City, the mildest area in Japan after Okinawa, and although we don’t have snow in our city it is chilly and windy. But cycling around is certainly a great way to get warmer!
The Aoba and its prolongation the Tokiwa Park streets start from behind the Shizuoka City Hall, rebuilt after the Mayor of time, a sister idot called (I will have a few words against our mayors in this article! Soory!) Ogino decided he would build a city hall higher, even by a single metre that the Prefectural Hall standing across the street. True!
They’re everywhere, ain’t they? (like the spammers?)
Aoba Koen means Green Leaves Park. That is until another beauty of an idiot Mayor called Shingo Amano was long enough in office before a finacial scandal forced him into early retirement had all the trees uprooted and the whole park redesigned as a concrete walking area!
Nonetheless, Shizuoka People took it in their stride and made do with what was left and trued to add a touch of olour. This very popular cake shop (has branches in Tokyo and Kyoto, although it from Shizuoka City) is called “Qu’il Fait Bon!” (should have been called “Que c’est Bon!”….)
The entrance of LOFT, probably the best odds and ends shop in town.
Just loved this izakaya sign, Daikon!
Is thi fish edible? I can imagine what the French would use it for on the First of April!
Happy New Hair!
Sumarutei, one of the most conspicuous standing noodles counter shop.
Sushi Ko, my favourite Sushi Restaurant!
The greatest vegan sushi in the Prefecture!
Not a church, but a beauty salon!
Aka Kara/Red Hot! Cheap and hard on your ulcers?
Encounter of the third kind?
Pets are kings (and queens) in Japan. This shop is cafe where owners and their pets can enjoy a coffee and buy all kinds of gadgets (and clothes!) for thei dogs in particular!
Now, that wasteful idiot of (kickedout) Mayor Shingo Amano had a French (tears…) artist build that contraption which rolls over when full of water.
And how much did that cost the taxpayers?
500,000 US$ (at the time!), and to think it will probably roll away for good when we have THE earthquake we all expect!
Well, we already had a “coyote”!
Aoba Oden Row.
22 minuscule restaurants specializing in oden/Jpaanese pot au feu.
The shops were asked to move all into that alley when new hygiene rules forced them out of the Park!
View inside in daytime.
As for night time it will have to wait as I’m planning a special posting!
As far as it goes that is not too bad as a piece of art….
The local winged food connoisseur!
The local Shinto Shrine.
And its guardian lion.
Beware, or it will make minced meat of you for dinner!
SIESTA Love Hotel!
Day time and night time prices….
Do be careful, it is slippery. The city just does not the money to scrub it!
Hara Donuts! The best donuts in Shizuoka and most probably in Japan!
The healthiest donuts, anyway!
Whereas shinto shrines are open to everyone, why do the big money-spinning temples need to surround themselves with high fences or walls?
An ecological solar battery dolphin illumination objet!
A bit tacky though…
Talking of illuminations, that’s what Aoba park looks like at night. Cheap….
This is not a Love Hotel, but the Aoba Police Box!
A real musical fountain park at the Tokiwa end.
Lighting and waterworks synchronized until 9:00 p.m.
Not easy to take with a mobile phone.
The real Tokiwa Park is located behind the fountain.
If you go around, get off your bicycle and climb to the top of the Fountain.
You can enjoy the fullview over Tokiwa and Aoba Park Streets.
The Fountain stands in the middle of an amphitheater, a favourit place for lovers (and drunks!)
Good fashion are open late along Aoba Koen!
Just slong the Tokiwa Park and behind the fountain, discover Cia del Borgo, one of the top Italian restaurants in the Prefecture!
Have you ever tried Venison Ragu Tagliatelle?
Or black truffles risotto?
Probably a street parallel to Aoba Park Street!
6) Genan Street
As promised in the last article, I would like to introduce a parallel street to Aoba Koen/Green Leaves Park Street. It is called Genan Street and is actually the real “Shizuoka by night” street where you will discover some of the oldest restaurants in town.
Actually it makes for one of the three main parallel streets at the heart of what I call the “Gastronomic Grid” of Shizuoka City, at least the original one as it was known just after WWII. Now, restaurants of repute are found in all corners of the city.
Next time I will cycle across those three arteries to cover the whole “grid”!
The street itself is nothing much in daytime although it pays to cycle a few times along:
Hairdressers and beauty salons’ boards are always a great source of funny English. “Brow” actually means “Blow”, “Perm” means Premanent” and “S.Perm” (Holy Macaroni!) means “Special Permanent”!
The street starts with the ubiquitous “chain company cafes”,
“chain company restaurants” usually the “all you can eat and drink” genre,
and another one again, but I’m afraid their value solely resides in photography!
Still more of them!
There are other shops such as Takarado, the oldest jewelry store in town.
Now, people from all over Japan come to this restaurant!
Gentil is the oldest French restaurant in town and probably in the Prefecture.
They serve the best cheese tray in the Prefecture!
Keiko Kubota, the “chief” of the establishment is the sole Japanese individual holding the title of Grand Chevalier Taste Fromage and chose and served all the cheese at the G8 meeting in Hokkaido!
You also have to be on the lookout as all kind of new places are opening for all those that disappear too quickly. Mando will open on March 1st.
That particular sign for the same establishment is only for pre-opening parties!
You do have to keep your eyes open for those narrow alleys hiding some beauties. Always look around for those small red lamps!
Some shops have quaint names: “Undefeated” for a sport and shoes store?
Shops for everybosy and every priority: Herb Boutique!
The oldest Curry restaurant (Japanese-style curry) in Shizuoka City (sorry for the fuzzy pic!)!
Rouge et Piquant is a rarity as far as cafes and cake shops go! Open from 14:00 to 24:00.
Certainly the best cake and coffee offering at this time of the night!
All non-smoking as a bonus!
The Chinese are slowly and steadily coming: Shikinjo/Forbidden City. The owners and staff are all from Beijing. This is their second restaurant. Above average.
Nothing to do with food, but have youheard about Korean Masage? I haven’t!
Taking of Korea, Juju isthe oldest Korean Restaurant in Shizuoka City. Good stuff there!
As for this Korean Restaurant, only the sign is worth the effort!
Karaoke was supposedly (at least the term) invented in Japan, right?
There is no Shinto Shrine in this particular street, but this izakaya might have the right idea!
A novel way to attract customers?
Imposing even from behind.
Must be at 3 metres high. All hollow and palstic-made. Certainly not “Made in China”! I wonder how big the mold was!
I just love these “noren”/Izakaya curtains!
For night owls!
This one too is a beauty!
The beautifull all wood sign for Tomii Restaurant and building.
The same building owned by the same family hosts Tomii Japanese Restaurant onthe first floor, my favourite in Shizuoka Ciy,
And Aquavite, the best Italian restaurant in Shizuoka!
Liquor shops (2) in that particular streets are open until 24:00 whereas other similar shops all close before 21:00 in this city.
The name “Aruco”/アルコ stands for “Alcohol”!
Not many signs in that street, but this one is a beauty for its concept and horror English!
“Deep Eross Virsion Mouse” stands for “Deep Eros/Erotic Vision Mouse”!
Any IT nerd interested?
Fashion boutiques are also open very late!
I told you to keep an eye open for those intriguing narrow alleys, didn’t I?
This particular one holds the Shizuoka Vegan and Vegetarian aradise, namely Yasaitei!
Going back to signs: “Crow Bar”!
Great name for a bar, isn’t it?
I have promised myself to investigate it!
We’ve seen that guy before, haven’t we?
Are we supposed to drink twice there?
You still can find a very few old traditional restaurants inthis particular street.
The same place.
Only problem is that it is bleeding epensive and patronized by old rich people! (I’m old, but not rich!LOL)
Another new Japanese Restaurant, saying they serve North-East Chinese Gastronomy. Why do they advertize Taiwan ramen, then?
On the other hand their prices are reasonable. Might have to investigate.
I found this place hidden in the corridor behind the above Chinese restaurant.
It’s called “Yozhik” in Russian, meaning “Hedgehog”!
I must say I was quite iuntrigued.
It is a beautiful little shop/cafe full of hedgehogs!
I decided to keep that one for a single posting!LOL
7) Koya machi District
I did follow the Koya-Machi street in a previous posting.
The problem is that in Japan cities are not clearly divided into streets or districts. Very often names were given to main streets (only main for that matter) only recently as an indication of the main thoroughfar going through a district of the same name.
Acoordingly I had to cycle around and away from the same Koya-Machi street to give a good indication of the area.
In daytime, the entry to the other street belonging to Koyama-machi has nothing particular about it, but keep an eye open even in daytime (whereas at night, you will need both!LOL).
Gyudon/bowl of rice topped with shredded beef is making for brisk business, especially at lunch time for restricted budgets. As for the taste, I wonder….
Now, this is THE important spot: the oldest wasabi store in the world: Tamaruya since the middle of the 17th Century!
Just in front is the local shrine.
A place you must visit on the second Sunday every month as a big flea-market is staged there!
Beware the guardian lion!
Kani-Tei is the only restaurant in town specializing in crab although it has a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant annex just next door.
In daytime, the crab is moving its legs!
But at night it will stay quescient, unless struck by an earthquake!
Check the plastic displays!
Pity it’s all plastic!
Next door they serve Oma Honmaguro/Blue Fin Tuna from Aomori Prefecture!
Check their susuhi displays!
Sushi set displays!
Next door is an invitation to hell. At least you will know how to read it in Japanese. Not bad as an art pic, though!
Toraya, the oldest bag store in town. Ladies should definitely pay it a visit!
Parco, which took over the defunct Seibu Store.
Not a bad place as far as department stores come.
It does have a great merit, though, at it includes an all-organic food stand in the basement run by Mr. Matsuki of Bio Farm in Fujinomiys City!
Organic vegetables grown by the same!
Great organic bentoes!
Parco’s pizza restaurant used to serve good enough pizzas. That is, until the Italian chain owner went back to Tokyo to open more diners….
Parco has its own restaurants to compete with the cheap shops in the area.
If you stretch your neck, you will discover izakayas at all levels. “Ikkyu” means “Take a little rest”!
All nationalities seem to have their massage parlour. This one is Chinese…
Judging from the rates, it seems good business!
The area is replete with relatively cheap izakayas. I can’t say anything about their food, but they make for good pics!
A Cafe bringing up memories of the past….
Some fashion clothes store are definitely worth a pause!
Great spot for taxi-drivers to take a rest!
Not many signboards, but you still find them!
At first sight, this new ramen restaurant look much like those everywhere in the country.
The originality resides in the fact they show their menu through a hi-tec computer display screen!
The only place harbouring the Basque flag. A Tapas restaurant, naturally! Sorry for the fuzzy pic, but not that easy to take on a windy night!LOL
A cheap yakitori.
Nakajimaya Hotel, one of the better hotels in town. Its particular location makes very practucal for night owls!
The interesting thing about this cheap izakaya is the old sign board advertizing insectiside! Ought to be clean inside!
Cheap and garish diner.
Now, what do they mean by “Paris care”? Notwithstanding the mistakes!
Cheap chain izakaya do make for good pics, though…
This place has just closed. They must not have had enough of them…
One more reason for me to avoid the place…
Don’t be fooled by that sign!
They only mean that you can drink all the wine you want for a determined time and price!
Wedding companies are BIG business in Japan!
Couldn’t find the entrance of that bar…serious!
That shop exclusively sells junk sweets!
As for this one, it sells only socks!
This shop specializesin “kamaboko”.
Kamaboko (蒲鉾) is a type of cured surimi, a Japanese processed seafood product, in which various white fish are pureed, combined with additives such as MSG, formed into distinctive loaves, and then steamed until fully cooked and firm.
I was about to finish with this fruit parlour,
but I noticed the sign of that “convenience stire. “Cosme” stands for “cosmetics”…