If you have ever been to a typical Japanese restaurant in the US, you would notice upon looking at the menu that you might be able to order tempura, sukiyaki, sushi, yakisoba and more *the more for me was usually tempura ice cream (which surprisingly does not exist in Japan!)
But in Japan, it is more common for each of those food items to have a restaurant dedicated to just that one thing. For example, tempura restaurants for tempura, sushi for sushi, sukiyaki for hotpot type restaurants.
Every food has its place. For these reasons, it only makes sense that Japan is a veritable paradise for “senmonten,” meaning stores that specialize in a specific thing.
While there are also a lot from overseas that have seen a lot of success here, but I am going to introduce you to a handful of home-grown ones:
Ippodochaho (一保堂茶舗) JAPANESE TEA
◆Closed during the end of the year/New Year’s (Dec. 31st to Jan.6th is pretty standard)
◆Access：5 minutes walk from International Forum exit of Yurakucho Station.
This tea shop has a main location in Kyoto and was founded in 1717. Green tea, powdered green tea, roasted barley tea, and many other varieties of traditional Japanese tea is here. You can also go enough a cup in the cafe area.
Yelo, SHAVED ICE
◆Address ：東京都港区六本木5-2-11 パティオ六本木1F
◆Hours：11:00～5:00 am (next day)、Sunday 11:00～23:00
◆Access: Roppongi Station, 4 minutes walk from exit A3
Just opened in April, 2014 but is now wildly popular. It remade the image of shaved ice into something modern and cool, that can be eaten year-round.
The standard flavors are tiramisu, caramel, mango lassi, strawberry, 4 types of berry, carrot, marscapone, avocado marscapone, chai, maccha, and cafe au lait.
米魂（BEICON） RICE BREAD
◆Closed every Thursday
◆Access: Asakusa Line, Togoshi Station, 5 minute walk
A bakery without a single grain of wheat! All the bread here is made with rice and rice flour. Come here for a taste of East meets West.
Organic Harmony, TOMATO JUICE
◆Weekdays: 11:30～20:00、Weekends and Holidays: 11:30～19:00
◆Access: Tokyu Toyoko Line, Jiyugaoka Station, 6 minutes walk from the south exit.
This tomato juice has been called, “so good that it is actually dangerous.”
It is made from 100% organically grown Hokkaido tomatoes
It is 600 yen for 180 ml and 2,200 for a liter.
Maru-san Foods, HEALTHY FOOD AND VINEGAR
◆Address：東京都世田谷区北沢2-8-5 ＡＮビル ３Ｆ
Lunch until 16:00
◆Access：4 min walk from Shimo Kitazawa Station
They take seasonal fruit and pickle it in vinegar that you can drink (don’t worry, it is better than it sounds and also healthy!). One of the most popular menu items is an omelette rice filled with mountain vegetables.
Mr.kanso（ミスター カンソ） CANNED GOODS BAR
◆Closed Sundays and Holidays
◆Access：7 minute walk from Shinjuku Station
◆Closed Sundays and Holidays
◆Access：Keio Inokashira Line, 5 minutes from Shinsen Station
◆Hours：Mon-Sat. 18:00～23:00、Fri. 18:00～Last
◆Access： 4 minutes from Asakusa Station
◆Access：5 minute walk from Nakano Station.
There are about 300-350 types of canned foods here. Pick whatever you like as a snack to have while you are enjoying a cold beer.