Dining with Kids in Tokyo: Hot Griddles and Ninjas

Irasshaimasemeans welcome in Japanese and you hear it shouted as you enter almost ever restaurant.  The food is amazing and incredibly diverse.  In Tokyo we ate at some phenomenal restaurants.  Some I highlighted in other posts, but a few favorites I wanted to specifically share.

Inakaya – from the moment you walk into the restaurant it feels like you have entered a party.  Inakaya is a robatayaki type restaurant which grills very fresh and delicious seafood, meat and vegetables – all of which happen to pair beautifully with sake and beer.   Andy had gone there on a previous business trip and he thought the kids would love it.  He was right!

Aidan Very Happy With Grilled Crab Legs

When we placed an order, the wait staff and cooks smiled and shouted excited phrases at each other.  Even the drink delivery system was fun.  Here is my Sapporo!

This place was a hit with kids and adult alike.  It is the Roppongi area if you are in Tokyo be sure to check it out.

2. Ninja Alaska

Ninjas and food!  What more could you want?  As we entered staff dressed as ninjas led us into the restaurant through “training” over a draw bridge with hidden treasure.

The food was presented with “ninja magic”.  Here a tap on the lid by Aidan helps turn a small egg into a fully cooked quail.

These are not “corks” but edible potatoes.

The grapefruit spilled out smoke when the sword was removed.

Best thing of all was the ninja let the kids hold the sword.

The most magical aspect was even with the ninja theatrics the food tasted wonderful.  After a magic show we were led to a “secret exit”.  Here is a shot of the newly minted warrior family.

Japan already had the kids in love at “sushi,” and with these fun places they are now hooked for life.

Kamakura (Part II): Zen Temples, Tempura and Trolleys

Kamakura, Japan has an astounding abundance of lovely sites. We passed so many shrines that it was difficult to stop taking photos and admiring the beauty. There were certainly too many details for one blog post so here is part II…

There are five major shrines in Kamakura, Kencho-ji  was the first and grandest of the city’s zen temples.

Detail of the dragon on the temple ceiling

The beautiful gold decorations on the doors particularly fascinated me.

Meticulous landscaping contributed to the peaceful atmosphere.

Kencho-ji is home to gnarled cypress trees that arose from seeds brought from China by the founding priest 700 years ago.  It is amazing to think these trees were planted before Columbus set sail for America.

No matter how beautiful, man cannot feast his eyes on temples alone, so we found a lovely restaurant. We sat on tatami mats which the children thought was a fun treat.  Aidan loved the tempura and Sydney adored the noodles.

For dessert we tried a local Dorayaki and ice cream treat.

The kids liked the ice cream but were not so convinced that bean-jam tastes as good as chocolate sauce.

Aidan loves Japan and trains are a big part of his fascination. A ride on the trolley was one of his favorite parts of the day trip.

This thrill was only surpassed by the trolley toy we found which runs on  a puzzle track of Kamakura including the famous “Big Buddha”.  Now we have more than just memories to take away with us.  What more could you want in a single day trip?