Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tokyo's Piss Alley

So we stumbled upon Memory Lane (Omoide Yokocho) by chance while we were strolling Shinjuku. Mike and I were both undecided where to eat. Memory Lane is an alley filled with eateries and bars serving Japanese street food mainly yakitori, beer, sake and the like. It is near JR Shinjuku train station's east exit. The ambiance is like old-world Tokyo. The locals refer to this place as Piss Alley (Shonben Yokocho) because the area originally had no public restrooms until it burned down in 1999 and got rebuilt. During the early post-war days, they say it was a drinking den frequented by criminals. Foreigners call this place Yakitori Alley and was also featured in A Mind of a Chef, one of my favorite TV shows in TLC.

While deciding among these places to eat, a cook from one of the bars approached us and said "Mazarap". (Masarap means delicious in Tagalog)  Apparently, he identified us to be Filipinos. We had to squeeze in with the regulars mostly men wearing business suits and carrying briefcases often referred to as "salarymen". The place can seat about 6 - 8 persons. We ordered a big bowl of ramen and gyoza to share. We got our wishes. The food was delicious. I literally felt like one of the locals. This is a perfect place to soak up some Japanese culture.

Best. Gyoza. Ever.

The smells here are enticing. The prices are affordable.

Sigh! I love Japan! I wish I can live here. =)

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