With the opening of second and third buildings of Coredo Muromachi, in March 2014, Nihonbashi area known by the start of Old Tokaido and some time-honored department stores will attract much more people. Newer buildings have initial Tokyo branch shops or some kitchen counters where you can eat in or take out historic shops" exclusive menus. Now let"s take a closer look at Coredo Muromachi 2 introducing up-to-date Japanese food culture.
Here We Are at Nihonbashi, Edo
Nihonbashi is the start of Five Major Highways established during early 17th century, the early Edo Period(1603-1868) by the order of Tokugawa Shogunate. Since then, the area has thrived not only as the center of economy and commerce but as the hub of finance and distribution. Nihonbashi has a lot of restaurants and food shops headquartered in the area retaining the essence of traditional Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years.
Currently, Nihonbashi has been undergoing a project called “Nihonbashi Redevelopment Plan” so that “Old-town Tokyo” and “Modern Tokyo” live together without ruining each other. This photo shows Coredo Muromachi 2 with entrance with traditional Japanese taste with exterior norens (shop curtains). Nakadori-street with stone pavement next to the building is adorned with noren-hung shop entrances and Japanese lanterns giving the feel of Old Edo-Tokyo. You can also find some shops showing items what you might be expected of Nihonbashi.
Lunch at NIHONBASHI DASHI BAR, Hanare
Ninben, one of the leading katsuobushi (dried and smoked skipjack tuna) manufacturers with more than three hundred and ten years" history recently opened bar restaurants at Nihonbashi, headquartered at the #1 building of Coredo Muromachi and its branch shop named as Dashi Bar Hanare (originally meaning detached house) was just opened in March 20 2014 at Coredo Muromachi #2 building. Hanare is located right in front of the entrance and you can enjoy eating at the restraurant with Japanese style decor.
Its lunch is a typical Japanese set menu with one soup dish with three groups of dishes, which consists of A: rice dishes, B: soup dishes and C: side dishes. You can choose among the set menu choices combining with A, B and C groups. This photo shows one of the set menus, Dashi Soup Zen with set of dishes: takuniwan soup with tofu skin rolls, rice sprinkled with katsuobushi (dried and smoked skipjack tuna) and side dish. Taste the aroma of what Japanese call “dashi” and savor the wide variety of ingredients that are also good for your health! Incidentally, katsuobushi is one of the fermented foods just like miso and soy sauce. It is rich in protein, low in fat containing large amount of vitamin and minerals.
Rare Sun-Dried Japanese Spiny Lobster
Second shop of Himonomaru, also known as Sun Dried Fish, is headquartered in Sugamo area of Tokyo. The stockfish shop deals with best of best fine sun-dried fish products and furikakes (dry Japanese fish condiments).
Have you ever seen dried Japanese spiny lobster? Even native Japanese have no idea what it is. The shop became widely known to nationwide because it has unique sun dried fish much larger in size or unique things you would never find in other marine product shops such as huge sun-dried toro-aji, rosy seabass, sliced tuna steak. These dried fish products are also good as Tokyo souvenirs.
Imo-Kempi (striped candied sweet potato) Tastes Best When Fried Fresh
Imoya Kinjiro is best known for sweet potato snacks called “Imo-Kempi by Imoya Kinjiro”, headquartered in Kochi in Shikoku Island. Imo-Kempi is one of the specialties of Kochi area made from sweet potatoes (kogane-sengan cultivar) produced in Shirasu-Daichi upland in southern Kyushu area including soils with volcanic ashes. The snack was made with no food additives and sweeteners, purely with sweet potatoes, sugars and vegetable oil, aiming to achieve solely of its best sweetness the ingredients can provide. Imo Kempi shop in Coredo Nihonbashi 2 has live kitchen so that you can eat them fresh fried. Its really great and the snacks keep the delicate balance of sugar sweetness and that of potato.
Its first Tokyo branch shop also tries Imo kempi using olive oil and that from baked potatoes (exclusive in Nihonbashi branch shop). Sweet potato coated with sweet cream melts softly in your mouth.
Unique Satsuma-age (Fried Fishcake)
The last shop is Q-Jiki, which deals with Kagoshima local food, Satsuma-age (fried fishcake). It also carries both traditional Kagoshima fishcake products as well as new lines of products. To preserve the taste of the ingredients, they put moderate sweetness so that you can savor both elegant and subtle fine taste. When I visited the shop I bought some ears of roasted corn. The corn had nice fragrance and sweet. I highly recommend them. With some luck, you could also find fresh half-boiled egg tempura, with its warm runny yolk.
Coredo Muromachi, Hot Spot in Nihonbashi Tokyo
As you find in our previous reports, Coredo Muromachi 2 introduces Japanese traditional food culture in state-of-the-art manner. The newer building not only brings in delicacies from all over Japan (some of the branch shops are new in Tokyo) but exclusive menus only you can taste there. The building also features newly opened “Toho Cinemas Nihonbashi” from third to sixth floor the first cinema complex in Nihonbashi. Newer Coredo Muromachi buildings give a lot more reasons for people to visit Nihonbashi where the old and new Tokyo match with each other.
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