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Scene from a Japanese restaurant

soba shop restaurant tokyo japan bunkyo-ku

Waseda University has the largest number of international students in Japan at almost 3,000. Although the vast majority are from Asia, and hence don’t stick out in a crowd, it isn’t as uncommon to see Caucasians walking between Waseda University and Takadanobaba Station as it is in most other parts of Japan. There aren’t nearly as many gaijin faces as you’ll see in Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Hiroo, or Roppongi though. That said, shops on Waseda Doori, linking Waseda University and Takadanobaba Station, aren’t very surprised to see us. However, if we stray off the beaten path a bit, things change rather dramatically.

We live on the border of Shinjuku-Ku and Bunkyo-Ku. A three-minute walk to the north puts us in Bunkyo-Ku. Outside of Ikebukuro, there don’t seem to be many Caucasians in Bunkyo-Ku. So when we walked into the above restaurant in Bunkyo-Ku it felt like we were the first foreigners to have ever entered their doors.

The couple that ran the place seemed slightly worried until they realized I could communicate with them just fine. The lady was so sweet. She kept bringing more and more side dishes over even though we hadn’t ordered them. We received the “special” treatment.

sukiyakidon japanese food

I ordered sukiyakidon (thinly-sliced beef with raw egg, onions, and a sweet sauce over rice). Everything else you see in the above photo was a free “gaijin” bonus.

ebi soba shrimp noodles soup japanese food

My wife ordered ebitenpura soba (battered and fried shrimp in a soup of thin noodles) and had a few freebies tossed in as well.

2 Responses to “Scene from a Japanese restaurant”

  1. 1

    hahaha! That’s so funny! And to think that when we go to Tokyo, anywhere in Tokyo, we just want to scream “there are gaijins EVERYWHERE here!”.

  2. 2

    these 2 guys were not very bothered it seems 🙂