Tokyo JUNKtion

The capital of the Umamisphere, Tokyo is a cluttered jungle of JUNK. Yoko reports.

After four years in Tokyo, Yoko recently relocated to the Bay Area. She loves dips, dashi and deals.

November 22, 2011

Tokyo JUNKtion: Cateriam Cat Cafe

by Yoko Kumano

A cat cafe is not a place that serves cat sandwiches. It is a cafe… with cats. Cat Cafes in Japan were very popular in the early-mid 2000s and still remain peppered throughout Tokyo. Building on the otaku culture of manga, maid and mimikaki (ear cleaning) cafes, cat cafes provide solace for people who love […]

March 17, 2011

Tokyo JUNKtion: After the Quake (The Supermarket Edition)

by Yoko Kumano

These photos my friends in Tokyo sent me gave me a glimpse of what is going on there. The images have also reshaped my idea of what to include in my pathetic earthquake kit consisting of some nonperishable food and 4 gallons of water. (Note to self: buy sweet things and dried foods). Most of […]

January 13, 2011

Tokyo JUNKtion: Hitsumabushi at Unagi Ochiai

by Yoko Kumano

While my husband is away in Tokyo this week, I dig myself deeper everyday into a dark hole of despair and yearning. With emails from him like “I am going to Bar Tender in the day then Sasagin and Saburo in the night,” missing him is eclipsed by missing the food in Tokyo. To torture […]

October 7, 2010

Tokyo JUNKtion: Fuku, a Yakitori Joint

by Yoko Kumano

Raw Chicken at Fuku Fuku in Yoyogi-Uehara was a last-minute discovery I made before my escape from Tokyo. It was a five-minute walk from my apartment and served yakitori in a style much trendier than Tori-ina. Tori-ina brings in the 40s and 50s crowd, whereas, Fuku is patronized by people in their 20s and 30s. […]

July 27, 2010

Tokyo JUNKtion: Corpse Candy

by Anders Arhoj

It’s funny how when you mention Japan and food in the same sentence, there only seems to be two options. You can take the fabulous gourmet-cheering, sushi-adoring, heavenly-graced and experimenting Michelin-guided way. Or, you can choose the back alley into the world of eyeball-abusing, crazed up, disgustingly weird nastiness that freak the shit out of […]

July 13, 2010

Tokyo JUNKtion in New York

by Moto Yamamoto

My friend Futoshi came back from Japan and brought some of the newest and weirdest junk food from the motherland. In recent months, the most popular food item in Japan is apparently the edible chill-infused oil or 食べる辣油.  I saw articles about it in newspapers everywhere– Japan’s major condiment brand Momoya, came out with this […]

January 8, 2010

Tokyo JUNKtion: Sasagin (Yoyogi-Uehara)

by Yoko Kumano

I have five more days in Tokyo. I am filling up on soba, genmai cereal and tan-tan men every opportunity I get. My dad always said, “Japan will always be around, America will always be around.” So I am not totally distraught — comforted by the fact that the noodles, sashimi and oolong-hais in Tokyo […]

December 24, 2009

Tokyo JUNKtion: Usaya

by Yoko Kumano

Update May 10, 2012: This location has since closed.  Shimokitazawa is hands down my favorite part of Tokyo. It’s teeming with youth and the elderly, shopping for knick knacks in a part of Tokyo that has no high-rise buildings — preserving a quaintness that is absent in the major hubs of the city like Shibuya […]

December 6, 2009

Tokyo JUNKtion: Green Tea Umeshu

by Yoko Kumano

One of my favorite drinks I discovered since living in Tokyo is Kishu Ryokucha Umeshu (Green Tea Plum Liquor). I am a sucker for green tea anything, and when I discovered that there was a drink that fused green tea with one of the other things I am a sucker for — umeshu, I was […]

December 4, 2009

Tokyo JUNKtion: Ichimaru Unagi Bone

by Yoko Kumano

I went to visit my dad’s grave yesterday and on my way there, we had to transfer trains at an adorable little station, Surugaoyama in Yamanashi Prefecture, at the foot of Mt. Fuji. At the kiosk, I spotted a snack named “Unagi Bone” made by Ichimaru foods. I loved the retro packaging and that there […]