Sometimes it’s those places that you just randomly pop into, after a wretched 14 hour plane flight, 1 hour train ride, while carrying your backpack, just desperate for a place to sit down and drink a beer. Well, here we were, first night in Japan, not even checked into our room yet, and we were all of the above: tired, hungry, lost, etc… The bright lights in Shinjuku with the homey atmosphere and cool night life made this a fantastic stop. So fantastic, we had to find it again on our last night in Japan.
The place is called Maruko, you can look it up using this address: 新宿 丸港水産 新宿本店
– or just click the link.
Why so amazing? 2 reasons:
The extremely wide variety of seafood, cooked right at your table in front of you. You walk in and it smells salty. This is a truly authentic Japanese restaurant with a rustic feel, tiny stools to sit on around a table, baskets to put your shopping items in, and it is busy! But do not worry, they have an entire second floor of seating for overflow. We ordered a variety of seafood, from Crayfish to Scallops to Shrimp, to Tuna. Anything you can imagine, and it will come out fresh to you, likely with bone or in it’s respective shell. And you know that it is fresh because you are more than likely sitting right next to the seafood tanks. The food is cooked on a mix between propane or butane grills that definitely got their use out of them right next to you. You snack on free snails or eel, depending on the night. It is surely exciting.
The Sake! There are about 10 to 15 choices of Sake. While it may not sound like a huge selection, ask yourself how much Sake you think you can really drink. And then look at the way they are served. While pouring the Sake into the shot glasses, we thought the waitress was over pouring because the the boxes the shot glasses were in were also filled up all the way. But, that is the tradition. My favorite was the Spicy Sake. Of-course there is a full selection of Japanese, Chinese, and other South East Asian beers. And it is quite youthful inside, 20′s and 30′s. Being American, we regularly got the hidden phone pics and all that…
If you are ever in Shinjuku, or anywhere in Tokyo for that matter, give this one a visit. It’s very close to the Shinjuku train station and Metro.