July 15, 2016
Oh yes! This is one of the chains we visit most in Japan. Almost as much as we visit Cococurry. Almost. Torikizoku: it’s amazing, and you’ll see it everywhere in Japan.
Our friends Zach and Becky in Kobe introduced us a while ago, and we fell in love with it. When they came to visit us in Tokyo afterwards and we were walking around Kichijoji they asked us if we went to a Torikizoku since we visited them in Kobe, and we said we didn’t because we didn’t know where to find one. Literally, we just looked up at the second floor of the building we were closest to, and voila, a Torikizoku was right there. We looked it up online afterwards and found that Kichijoji had three Torikizokus. Three! All of them right above us as we walked around town, and we didn’t even know. Now we do. Now, we always look up at second floors to see what goodies they have to offer.
Some great things about this place: English menus! And when the English might not make sense, then the menus have lots of pictures. Very tourist friendly. And, as you saw in the video, it’s not a quiet place. It’s loud and bumping, and has super great energy. And though it’s not entirely vegetarian, we’ve gone with some vegetarian friends and they at well there, even though most of the items have meat. That mochi-mochi cheese is divine, and the cucumbers are so delicious. In fact, the Torikizoku website has a whole chart that breaks every item on the menu down according to allergies, nutritional info, calories, and lots more. That’s probably the most useful chart I’ve ever seen since moving here to Japan. I hope there are more like them in the future!
A couple of things that are challenging: it can get really smoky in there, especially on a busy night, and with tables so tightly packed in there, the smoke can be hard to avoid. There are a few locations, however, that are non-smoking. There are four altogether, I think. Kichijoji has one of them! Also, because it’s so busy, if you plan on going on a weekend, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to wait. We had to wait for an hour once, so make sure you plan ahead if you want to go on the weekend. And because it’s so busy, going in larger groups is always more challenging than going with just two people. But you can book it in advance, fortunately.
If you’d like to go to one yourself, you can check out their website or you can look them up on Google Maps. Bring friends! And if you’d like to see some extra scenes from our night out, we’ve got them below!