Going around Tokyo: Kagurazaka (神楽坂)

Kagurazaka according to my grandmother was once part of the outer edge of the Edo castle. They were known for their geisha houses and until today you will still see people walking around in their Kimonos around the area, and there are still some houses and geisha houses that remain preserved here since the Edo period. The long slope filled with different Japanese shops are also known to have a lot of French influence as well. The  l’Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo is located near here and because of that there are many French living around the area. If you go up the slope you will notice plenty of french cafes and restaurants. My friend Solene will take me to the best one on Sunday since she says that they serve, and this is according to her “Real french food that you can’t even find in all of france”.

Along with french food, cafes and bakerys, there are also famous Japanese Ryoteis around the different streets. Ryoteis are places where you can eat inexpensive “kaiseki” or Japanese cuisine. On July they have a festival here along Kagurazaka road so if you are visiting Japan on July I believe that it is the best time to go here.

Try getting your omikuji here if you would like. ;)

Try getting your omikuji here if you would like. 😉


Its a very long street! Try walking it from Iidabashi and you will not get bored!

Its a very long street! Try walking it from Iidabashi and you will not get bored!

How to get there: If you would go down at Iidabashi you will soon find Kagurazaka street, you will see a Starbucks at the end of the street and going up hill will be Kagurazaka. Another way would be to use the tozai and toei oedo lines which gets down at Kagurazaka.

What to try: There is this famous Japanese “nikuman” shop called 五十番. I would recommend that you try their original Nikuman. Also after I visit the french restaurant that my friend is recommending here in Kagurazaka I will include it again in my blog. (wink. wink)

The red shop is the nikuman shop!

The red shop is the nikuman shop!


You must try their Nikuman!

You must try their Nikuman!

瞬 Toki, Bonifacio Global City

瞬 Toki, Has been awarded by Philippine Tatler as one of the best restaurants for 5 consecutive years. They opened in 2008, and are known for their authentic Japanese cuisine. We read about them in a Japanese food guide to Manila dining and decided to eat here for my brothers birthday.  The kanji 瞬 (syun) or what they call Toki, meaning “this moment” or “this instant” is what they named the restaurant because according to the manager. As the guests walk in they want the guests to remember the place Toki as this moment or this instant. My mom told me that in Japan they have this Japanese philosophy 一期一会 (ichigo ichie) meaning a once in a lifetime encounter, hence should be cherished as such. It’s a philosophy that says that you value every moment that you meet someone new or are brought to something new.

The food here I could compare to Tsukiji makati. The prices were also as expensive but the food really impressed me and it impressed my mom, and anything that my mom loves. Especially if it is Japanese food to me is good. I value her opinion a lot as a Japanese.

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House Sake, Php 250 for 180 ml , My dad ordered the house sake and so did my brother since it was his birthday.

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California Maki, the typical filipino favorite. My sister loves this.

My father wanted to try this Kaiseki chefs special course, but it was only available upon advanced reservation. Meaning you’d have to call a day before to order this, because they told us that they chef would like to have the food cooked fresh. So instead my mom and my dad both ordered different set meals. You could get a set meal such as they did here, since they serve them in courses. So you first get tons of different appetizers and end with the best dish. My brother got the Sukiyaki. This restaurant is actually really known for their Sukiyaki and their Wagyu beef to be one of the best in Manila. Really melts in your mouth and is incredibly soft.

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Appetizer of the Kaiseki course meal.

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Sukiyaki with egg, the beef was really soft and I loved that it was not salty like sukiyaki served in local Filipino restaurants. This sukiyaki was really good, the tofu was cooked beautifully and I loved the small mushrooms or Shimeji (シメジ) in it.

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This was the end to my dads set course meal. The wagyu beef with vegetables and the fried rice that came with it. Amazing the beef of this dish was the star and the vegetables were a great compliment to it. I really loved the cook on the vegetables.

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Udon, this was the last dish on my moms set course. She told me that the udon was surely made there. As it was a bit hard and squishy in texture. She told me that if you purchase udon at local stores they would easily crumble as you’d eat them and that really good udon is like the udon here. Where it is a bit hard and chewy. This was delicious.

I would come back here again and again if not for the price. Maybe for special occasions this would be a perfect place to come to with your family, business meetings and probably for small dates. They even have separate rooms for big gatherings and small ones. The location though of the place is quite inaccessible and they have free basement parking on first come first serve basis. Which can only be accessed from behind the building. We were just lucky that there was still space for parking.

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Finally the dessert of the meal. Pudding, green tea ice cream, fruits and angko at the bottom of the pudding. The dessert was not so sweet just as the Japanese would like it.

I would come back here again and again for their Wagyu beef. It is really something special. We also made a reservation before coming here. It seemed like we didn’t need to as the place is very big, but just in case I would make a reservation before coming here again.

Budget: We spent about Php 8000 for all 5 of us and we shared most of the meals. It really depends on what you would order but just in case be prepared to spend about Php 2000 per head.

Toki Japanese Fusion and Fine Dining
2nd floor 32nd and 5th Building corner
32nd St. and 5th Avenue Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig, Philippines
telephone: +63 2 856 7295
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