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ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS TOKYO, GOTH VERSION! SHIBUYA PIANO BAR, ISHINOHANA, TSUKIJI CHEAP SUSHI.


Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode. Ishinohana, Piano Bar in Shibuya, Sukiyabashi Jiro best sushi in the world. Japanese cute Goth girls, Tokyo Gothic Lolita models

If you watch my Twitter (for the sake of anthropological research… yikes!) then you’ll know I am a tiny bit obsessed with Anthony Bourdain’s food travel show, No Reservations. Tony did an especially kick-ass episode about Tokyo, so the J-Goths and I decided to visit the exact same places he hit on his show.

Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode. Ishinohana cocktails in Shibuya, best cocktail bar in Tokyo Japan. Japanese cute Goth girls, Tokyo Gothic Lolita models, Discovery Channel travel food show Tony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

Since we’re all kind of cash-strapped, our alcohol usually comes in cans from the convenience store. But that night, we splurged on hand-crafted cocktails at Ishinohana, a woodsy bar in Shibuya. The wasabi, ginger, and award-winning Claudia (which Bourdain ordered, top left) were out of this world! Unless your goal is to get thoroughly trashed, it really is worth paying a bit more ($15-18 a drink) to have a cocktail properly made.

Tsukiji Market sushi, cheap fresh best sushi in Tokyo. Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode. Cute Japanese Goth girl eating sushi, Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour Japan

We were on our way to Sukiyabashi Jiro, rumored to have the best sushi in the world (Bourdain raved about it) when we realized it was in ritzy Ginza. How much was this going to set us back? A quick look at the website… $300 a head? We immediately switched to the train for Tsukiji.

There are many sushi restaurants surrounding the market (remember my video tour of Tsukiji?). As soon as he spotted us, this fellow ran up and gave us the used car salesman hard-sell: “One, two, three, let’s go!” 64 yen (64 cents) for market-fresh tuna nigiri? Sold!

The restaurant is a little coarse and spans several floors, but my meal of market-fresh fish and sake came to under $20. It may not have been Bourdain’s ritzy joint, but it was one of my best Tokyo sushi experiences so far.

Piano Bar in Shibuya, red walls and gold frames, deer heads. Coolest Tokyo dive bar. Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode, Cook's Tour, Kitchen Confidential book. Discovery Travel channel food show, Japanese cute Goth girls, Tokyo Gothic Lolita models

Back to Shibuya for drinks at Piano Bar, one of the many cramped dive bars near the train tracks. Like Bourdain, we marveled at the red walls and gilded bric-a-brac. (The design is similar to Trump Room, which you may recall from Fashion Ramone’s “Horror Vacui” party.) I ordered the rosewater and wine cocktail. The stairs were so narrow that most of the American population could not get to the upper level.

Tank top: Black Peace Now, from Closet Child Shinjuku
Skirt: Westmend, a Chinese Lolita brand

Piano Bar in Shibuya, red walls and gold frames, deer heads. Coolest Tokyo dive bar. Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode visit best sushi in world, bars, cocktails. Discovery Travel channel food show

We listened to the roar of the trains and pondered our fate if there were suddenly an earthquake. (Head bashed in by a gold chandelier and birdcage? Impaled by deer antlers?) Some Australians on the other bench made some rather ignorant comments. “Do you guys drink blood?” “You’re Goth so you aren’t supposed to smile in photos.” So we gave them this pose.

Anthony Bourdain in Tokyo Japan, No Reservations episode. Ishinohana, Piano Bar in Shibuya, Sukiyabashi Jiro best sushi in the world. Japanese cute Goth girls, Tokyo Gothic Lolita models

Thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s TV show, we discovered some new Tokyo gems and had ourselves a righteous adventure. Might any of you have food or shopping recommendations for me? There’s always something new to discover in this city!

Song of the Day #152: Gackt – Jesus (Also in my head after hearing Gackt perform this live at Saitama Arena… it was the opening number.)

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60 Comments

  1. Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I've heard about that Tokyo episode a lot, but I've never actually caught it. I've only seen the Osaka one.
    I love Bourdain's show! I like his sense of humor, and it's educational as well. :)

    Hmm, food or shopping recommendations…Not really much I can say for shopping. If you haven't seen the chandeliers in Hanjiro (used clothes store in Urahara), you should. They're gorgeous!

    As for eating…In Ikebukuro there was this bar/restaurant place called Los Cabos that we enjoyed (though we only visited the bar, which was in the basement). It's not very big, and was never crowded either. It seemed like a 'relaxed' place. There was also a fun little Italian restaurant near Sunshine City; I can't remember the name but they had this riceball thing with cheese and such in it that was delicious. In Shinjuku there was an English pub we had fun at, though it was a bit crowded. And again I don't remember the name. I'm not much help. -_-

  2. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard about that Tokyo episode a lot, but I’ve never actually caught it. I’ve only seen the Osaka one.
    I love Bourdain’s show! I like his sense of humor, and it’s educational as well. :)

    Hmm, food or shopping recommendations…Not really much I can say for shopping. If you haven’t seen the chandeliers in Hanjiro (used clothes store in Urahara), you should. They’re gorgeous!

    As for eating…In Ikebukuro there was this bar/restaurant place called Los Cabos that we enjoyed (though we only visited the bar, which was in the basement). It’s not very big, and was never crowded either. It seemed like a ‘relaxed’ place. There was also a fun little Italian restaurant near Sunshine City; I can’t remember the name but they had this riceball thing with cheese and such in it that was delicious. In Shinjuku there was an English pub we had fun at, though it was a bit crowded. And again I don’t remember the name. I’m not much help. -_-

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      Ooh, I haven’t been to Hanjiro – that’s a great suggestion. I’ll see if I can swing by!
      I’m off to a neat little restaurant today… I’ll have a full report :P

  3. Posted July 14, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    omg the lacing on the back of her dress :O i love it!

    love the red specs aswell ^^

    and I just adore your outfit :)

  4. Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    omg the lacing on the back of her dress :O i love it!

    love the red specs aswell ^^

    and I just adore your outfit :)

  5. Posted July 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh that's so embarrassing… what those aussies said *facepalm* they must have been the rednecks we love to call bogans here. Would just like to let you know that not all aussies are as rude and idiotic as them

    Anyway for sushi, tsukiji will definitely be my place to go. Can't afford Ginza anyway -__- And the interior for that bar looks amazing! A little steampunk… I love it! Reminds me of The Victoria Room here in Sydney.

    Can't wait to read more!

  6. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Ditto what Ria said about the rude Aussies. Most certainly the “bogan” variety – how come they get to go overseas all the time and bring down the tone of the entire planet..?

    Piano bar looks amazing – just how much stuff can be crammed onto the walls ?
    Loving your travel adventures !

  7. Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh that’s so embarrassing… what those aussies said *facepalm* they must have been the rednecks we love to call bogans here. Would just like to let you know that not all aussies are as rude and idiotic as them

    Anyway for sushi, tsukiji will definitely be my place to go. Can’t afford Ginza anyway -__- And the interior for that bar looks amazing! A little steampunk… I love it! Reminds me of The Victoria Room here in Sydney.

    Can’t wait to read more!

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      Ditto what Ria said about the rude Aussies. Most certainly the “bogan” variety – how come they get to go overseas all the time and bring down the tone of the entire planet..?

      Piano bar looks amazing – just how much stuff can be crammed onto the walls ?
      Loving your travel adventures !

      • Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:00 am | Permalink

        Bogan – a new word for me!

        I didn’t mention that one of them asked me out… I said no… and then he followed up by email. Sigh. NO.

        • Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:57 am | Permalink

          when a lady says no, she really means no haha

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      Loved the decor. The Gothic Lolita cafe in Shinjuku, run by Kokusyoku Sumire, is also great; full of Victorian toys and trinkets. I photographed it for my Theme Restaurants book!

  8. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    i LOVE this! makes me want to go galavanting with you…

  9. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    lucky! i love the panda ring

  10. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice!! I love No Reservations (ooh its on right now~ xD), but Tony doesn't pay for anything! His producers do haha lucky guy >_>
    Ooh even though I'm not a very huge fan of Andrew Zimmern(he's so annoying to me), you should do a bizarre foods J-Goth style omg :DD

  11. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I SERIOUSLY just watched this show yesterday. Anthony Bourdain is BADASS, and I love when he appears on Top Chef.
    Way to give 'em all the finger!

  12. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Gackt… she faints. Lovely food and drinks!

  13. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    them painting look like some thing i would draw as for the blood thing that just shows you the only good person is a dead one

  14. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I am going to rent the DVDs and have a marathon later on! His Korea episode is one of my favs.

  15. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    There's so much cute yummyiness here… :D

  16. Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, we would eat a $300 sushi meal if we didn't have to fork out the yen!

    I'm not a fan of the Zimmerman show either. Maybe we could do a show where we DRINK different types of BLOOD??

  17. Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Bogan – a new word for me!

    I didn't mention that one of them asked me out… I said no… and then he followed up by email. Sigh. NO.

  18. Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Loved the decor. The Gothic Lolita cafe in Shinjuku, run by Kokusyoku Sumire, is also great; full of Victorian toys and trinkets. I photographed it for my Theme Restaurants book!

  19. Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    :D

  20. Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, I haven't been to Hanjiro – that's a great suggestion. I'll see if I can swing by!
    I'm off to a neat little restaurant today… I'll have a full report :P

  21. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    i LOVE this! makes me want to go galavanting with you…

  22. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    lucky! i love the panda ring

  23. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Nice!! I love No Reservations (ooh its on right now~ xD), but Tony doesn’t pay for anything! His producers do haha lucky guy >_>
    Ooh even though I’m not a very huge fan of Andrew Zimmern(he’s so annoying to me), you should do a bizarre foods J-Goth style omg :DD

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      Yeah, we would eat a $300 sushi meal if we didn’t have to fork out the yen!

      I’m not a fan of the Zimmerman show either. Maybe we could do a show where we DRINK different types of BLOOD??

  24. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I SERIOUSLY just watched this show yesterday. Anthony Bourdain is BADASS, and I love when he appears on Top Chef.
    Way to give ’em all the finger!

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      I am going to rent the DVDs and have a marathon later on! His Korea episode is one of my favs.

  25. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Gackt… she faints. Lovely food and drinks!

    • Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:58 am | Permalink

      There’s so much cute yummyiness here… :D

  26. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    them painting look like some thing i would draw as for the blood thing that just shows you the only good person is a dead one

  27. Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    No Reservations is definitely one of my top 2 favorite Tv shows.

  28. Posted July 15, 2009 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    No Reservations is definitely one of my top 2 favorite Tv shows.

  29. Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    <<======= cute ring… ^^ *love it…

  30. Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    <<======= cute ring… ^^ *love it…

  31. Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    when a lady says no, she really means no haha

  32. Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I love the back of your friends dress!
    I've watched Bourdain for quite some time and I never get tired of his show. I mean how can you not love a sarcastic, well traveled foodie who also happens to be a former Ramones listening to punk stoner :-p

    Zimmern, in theory, has a show I'd like to watch. and I try sometimes (gedomono bars I really enjoyed. I prolly spelled that wrong lol). but he gets on my nerves, all I can hear is him chewing and smacking bleh.

    one major difference for me between these two shows is that Bourdain seems to actually enjoy (for the most part lol) immersing himself into the place he's visiting. while Zimmern imho doesn't seem to get the cultures or even care about them. he's strictly there to exploit whatever tidbit he can put into his face.

  33. Posted July 16, 2009 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I love the back of your friends dress!
    I’ve watched Bourdain for quite some time and I never get tired of his show. I mean how can you not love a sarcastic, well traveled foodie who also happens to be a former Ramones listening to punk stoner :-p

    Zimmern, in theory, has a show I’d like to watch. and I try sometimes (gedomono bars I really enjoyed. I prolly spelled that wrong lol). but he gets on my nerves, all I can hear is him chewing and smacking bleh.

    one major difference for me between these two shows is that Bourdain seems to actually enjoy (for the most part lol) immersing himself into the place he’s visiting. while Zimmern imho doesn’t seem to get the cultures or even care about them. he’s strictly there to exploit whatever tidbit he can put into his face.

  34. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  35. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  36. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  37. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  38. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  39. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don’t think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  40. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don’t think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  41. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don’t think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  42. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don’t think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  43. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don’t think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  44. Posted July 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Piano Bar! My favourite!

  45. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  46. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  47. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  48. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  49. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Very nice. ;) I want to go back to Tsukiji. Anthony Bourdain also goes to a Soba place and a yakitori. I don't think those will be as expensive as the sukiyabashi jiro

  50. Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Oh, Piano Bar! My favourite!

  51. Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Oh, Piano Bar! My favourite!

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