Who likes spicy food?
Asian cuisine is often considered spicy. Surprisingly, Japanese food is not really hot – rather the opposite. However, there are many people who love spicy food! The area that these people frequent is Shiba’s “Spicy Street” in the Shiba district!
Mecca of spicy food
The “Shibakara Gekikara Street” (Shiba’s Spicy Street) is right in the middle of JR stations Hamamatsucho and Tamachi, but it’s not that a row of restaurants with strictly spicy food line up so imagine that there are some hidden restaurants here and there that offer at least one particularly spicy dish.
In this area, there are many offices with hungry employees who go out for lunch during their lunch break. Most restaurants have therefore adapted their opening hours to this circumstance. If you want to visit this area, it is best to arrive during the day on a weekday.
Personally, a “taiyaki” shop near the entrance of the shopping street surprised me. Since 1909, “Shiba no Kotobuki-do” is selling taiyaki, the popular pancakes with a sweet bean paste filling that come in a fish shape. This shop has taiyaki with a curry filling. Does that really taste good? This is definitely something for those who do not like sweets. I did not dare to try it though…
During my walk through the shopping street, I discovered “Munch’s BURGER SHACK”, which has a particularly spicy burger. The “Bhut Jolokia Cheese Burger” contains Bhut Jolokia, the world’s hottest chili according to the Guinness Book of World Records. I went on…
A Chinese noodle restaurant, loved by local Chinese
The restaurant that I finally chose is called “Xi’an Dāoxiāomiān Restaurant Sakura” (In Japanese: “Shian Toshomen-shu Sakura”). There are Chinese noodles where the dough is cut with a large knife so that the noodles fall directly into the boiling water.
It was on a weekday at lunchtime and there was a long line of office workers in front of the store.
We did not have to wait long anyway. In the restaurant, we were led to a roundtable, which we shared with other guests.
The menu (which was in Japanese) actually said how spicy each dish is. From “mild” to “hot” – there is something for everyone!
Almost everyone around us talked in Chinese. Well, that’s a good sign, right? The noodles have to taste really good.
And then, the noodles were served. Lots of vegetables, yummy! The dish was flavorful and although it was a pretty big bowl of noodles, it didn’t get boring because of the different flavors on the soup and veggies. I will definitely come again!
“Shibakara Gekikara Street” Stamp Rally
In Japan, a game called “Stamp Rally” is often played. It is a game where you collect stamps in shops and establishments to win a prize at the end. By the way, in Minato City in Tokyo, there is the so-called “Embassy Stamp Rally”, which is extremely popular and takes place every spring (link).
The Stamp Rally of “Shibakara Gekikara Street” will be held for the fourth time this year. If you have collected 5 stamps from different restaurants, you get a Bhut Jolokia chili pepper! After eating at another five restaurants, you will receive a meal ticket worth 500 yen.
Spicy food is addictive. Once you visit the area, you will surely come back!
Shibakara Gekikara Street
Shiba no Kotobuki-do
Minato Ward Shiba 2-30-11
Hot noodle soup
Shian Toshomen-shu Sakura
Minato Ward Shiba 2-18-4
Bhut Jolokia Chili Cheese Burger
MUNCH’S BURGER SHACK
Minato Ward Shiba 2-26-1