[Kichijoji Town Walk Treasure Hunt] [Eating Tour] Edition
What do you imagine when you hear Kichijoji? Despite the fact that the area around the station is built up with many large-scale commercial centers, department stores, and shopping malls, this is also a community with individually-owned shops and shopping alleys with local roots that are tied closely with the lives of residents. Kichijoji is a part of town with a different kind of appeal from Shibuya or Shinjuku. Recently, it seems many foreign visitors have also experienced this warm atmosphere for themselves, and are visiting in droves.
We set out with reporter Danny in search of the deeply spots of Kichijoji. Here we present an “eating tour” of foods you can eat on the go, a crucial part of any town walk.
Serving as our reporter that day was Danny. A mix of Brazilian and Japanese, Danny speaks fluent Japanese, Portuguese, and English, making her trilingual! It was her first time really walking the streets of Kichioji,
and she was already in high spirits before heading out, saying, “I’ve been looking forward to this! I really love to eat!”
Enjoy this Freshly Baked Melon Bread, Winner of the Top Award in Japan! (Maple Melon Bread /Bonjour Bon)
How about some melon bread instead of the usual breakfast? Here, you’ll find Maple Melon Pan (¥175 tax included) from Bonjour Bon, winner of the gold medal in melon bread at the 2015 Pan (Bread) of the Year awards.
With its crunchy outer dough and generous use of maple butter inside, this no doubt revolutionizes what melon bread could be.
Look at all that maple butter inside!
Its sweet and crispy texture will have you hooked.
“Unlike ordinary melon bread, it’s filled with maple butter, making it very sweet and tasty! A thing to remember is that, since melon bread was created in Japan, you can’t really find it in other countries.”
Incidentally, this shop sells the 1.5 X Melon Bread (¥230 tax included) with 1.5 times the amount of maple butter inside on weekends only. This is recommended for those in search of something even sweeter.
Now, there is another big draw at Bonjour Bon. This is the Big Egg Curry (¥180 tax included), which contains an entire boiled egg. This not only comes with a hearty side of bread, but the spicy hot original curry and boiled egg create a delicious match made in heaven!
The combination of the spicy curry and mild egg is exquisite. This dish also won the 2018 Curry Grand Prix. It’s quite hearty.
Now that you’ve tasted bread that is top-tier both in terms of flavor and volume, let’s move on to the next place.
Boasting Distinctive, Juicy Red Bean Paste! (Monaka (Red/White Bean Paste) /Ozasa)
As you walk the streets of Kichijoji, you may start craving a little something sweet. If some light Japanese sweets sound like something you’d enjoy, we recommend monaka at Ozasa.
Ozasa is one of the oldest shops in the shopping alley in front of Kichijoji Station. Scenes of long lines as soon as the shop opens is a familiar sight in the neighborhood. Among the products its sells, the monaka is distinctive for its refreshing sweetness and juicy texture. The traditional techniques honored since the shop’s establishment that create the distinctive juiciness and long-lasting flavor are what sets these monaka apart from the rest.
This set of ten pieces is ¥915 (tax included). It contains five red bean paste and five white bean paste monaka.
These bite-sized monaka are stuffed with bean paste. Not overly sweet, these monaka leave a refreshing aftertaste. The juiciness the shop boasts also helps to create this impression.
Incidentally, another hot-selling item, the yokan, is a limited-edition item so popular that you can’t buy it unless you line up early in the morning.
Choose Your Own Authentically-Made Sausage and Bread (Hot Dogs /Koenig)
If you’re really hungry, come here for lunch! Koenig is where you can eat sausage that has won countless awards at SUFFA, a contest certified by the German Meat Association in Germany, the land of the sausage. It’s well worth a visit to try these authentic sausages made by the owner Chiyu Shimazaki.
Koenig Hot Dogs offers not only a wide selection of sausages, but also different breads to combine them with, meaning you can mix and match as you please. This is why Danny orders the most popular Spinach and Cheese Sausage on Lye Bread. We’re really looking forward to this.
We wait a few minutes... At last, our hot dog, which tells of its tastiness through its appearance alone! This particular combination is ¥850 (tax included.) The locals in Kichijoji are lucky that they can enjoy such authentic hot dogs at this price!
By the way, the sausages at Koenig are not boiled, but cooked over open fire for maximum flavor. Mmm, the scent really whets the appetite.
Unable to resist, Danny digs right in!
“This sausage, made with spinach inside, is juicy and brimming with the original flavor of the meat, but I like how it’s not overpowering and tastes healthy. This, plus the lye bread, the same bread used to make pretzels, is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, and has an addictive flavor.”
The other german bread, apparently the most popular for hot dogs in Germany, is recommended for those who want the real deal!
This Long-Loved Cheesecake Does Not Disappoint! (Baked Cheesecake /Lemon Drop)
Oh, Danny, all you do is eating... What? You’d like a 3 o’clock treat? Well, what can you do! How about this place right here?
Yes, this is Lemon Drop, a cake factory loved by the local people of Kichijoji for years. Something that people have eaten for such a long time means it must have appeal that people don’t grow tired of.
“Girls love sweets after all! That is universal!”
R-right...Danny’s excitement shows on her face!
With that, the most popular cake makes its appearance!
Ta-da! This is Lemon Drop’s most popular, infallible product, the Baked Cheesecake (¥497 tax included). Mmm, its simple appearance makes it all the more appealing. Let’s dig right in!
“Baked cheesecakes tend to be dry or heavy, but I like how this one is so soft and fresh that I can hardly believe it was baked! The sweetness is refreshing, meaning I can eat as much of it as I like. No wonder it’s so popular! Diet? I’ll start tomorrow, today’s a cheat day!”
What’s more, they also have the popular Lemon Pie (¥594 tax included). The sweet and sour lemon cream is exquisitely paired with crunchy pie crust, making it all the more delicious.
There’s even the hugely popular Fresh Cream Puff (¥410 tax included). Those who love sweets won’t be able to get enough of this hearty cream puff, where the cream isn’t so much spilling forth from the dough as the dough is just sitting atop a mountain of cream. This said, the fresh cream is not overly sweet, and its creaminess brings out the overall flavor, meaning it goes down smooth. All of them come highly recommended.
Take This With You on a Stroll through Inokashira Park! (Yakitori Skewer /Iseya Koenten)
All right, Danny, you’ve eaten so much today, are you starting to get full?
“What? I was just starting to get a little hungry. The sun’s already starting to set, so I thought I’d get something to eat for a more grown-up stroll...”
R-right... How about this place?
Situated at the entrance to Inokashira Park, Iseya Koenten is one of the oldest shops in Kichijoji. While it is also famous as an izakaya (Japanese pub), it’s also popular for its yakitori skewer takeout.
That’s why we’ve come here to buy three of their most popular skewers! All right, let’s eat these as we take a stroll through Inokashira Park.
A good thing about Iseya’s takeout is that they seal the bag so the sauce doesn’t spill everywhere. That’s what makes it so convenient for eating as you walk. All right, let’s open it up!
What we ordered this time was the three most popular items: chicken, chicken meatball (tsukune), and heart. It seems that sauce is the most popular topping choice (all skewers are ¥90 tax included).
“Mmm, munching on yakitori in Inokashira Park, with its pleasant breezes and lush greenery! What could be better! The only other thing I could possible want is...beer, perhaps!”
Now, now, Danny, we’re still at work... Oh, well, even so, all we’ve done today is eat.
Why not try a eating tour, so reasonably priced because it’s in Kichijoji?
Here, we've introduced great food to eat on the go that you can only find in Kichijoji.
An eating tour of Kichioji, a place with so many great spots for strolling around where you can relax and enjoy yourself--doesn’t that sound appealing?
Be sure to try it out for yourself, we really, really recommend it!
*Prices listed in the text are as of May 2019.