Sake + Shochu Talk

I have five more days in Tokyo. I am filling up on soba, genmai cereal and tan-tan men every opportunity I get. My dad always said, "Japan will always be around, America will always be around." So I am not totally distraught -- comforted by the fact that the noodles, sashimi and oolong-hais in Tokyo will be waiting for me the next time I visit.

The last part of town I lived in Tokyo was Yoyogi-Uehara (about a 15 minute walk from Harajuku and Shibuya). I would dub Yoyogi-uehara as an "oshare" (chic, fashionable) spot with prices that were noticeably higher than my ultimate favorite Tokyo neighborhood, Shimokitazawa.

During my short six-month Yoyogi-uehara inhabitance, my husband and I discovered numerous gems. One of the biggest dissapointments of our departure date is that we discovered this "oshare" izakaya in Yoyogi-Uehara just three weeks ago. After my husband read about this place in a book, and a local told us about this place, we finally spent our last free Saturday night in Tokyo here. It was well worth the above-average price.

The exterior of Sasagin suggests to the experienced Tokyo diner "expect to shell out at least ¥5,000 per person":


I love the interior of Sasagin -- well lit without being bright. The bamboo fitted on the ceilings under the lights added a great earthy atmosphere to the place:


The place is filled with lots of locals (we didn't see many people in their 20s):


Chopstick cover:


Otoshi (complimentary starter): Tofu made at Sasagin.


This guy was SO enthusiastic about all the drinks he served -- he even gave me a free taste of Nigori Umeshu.


Radish condiment to the sashimi dish we ordered. If I could name this photo, it would be "Party."


The sashimi was literally glistening.


More sashimi porn:


Shirako ponzu -- this post is the 4th post on UM to mention shirako, or fish gizz.


Crab and spinach with creamy sesame dressing.


The hotate (scallop) patties were a little heavy on the sauce.



Anago and mizuna salad with ume dressing. Unfortunately the sour ume dressing overpowered the delicate taste of anago.


The Sasagin age-dashi tofu was to-die-for. The tofu I had at Sasagin was quite possibly the best tofu I have had -- ever. The tofu was very silky and melted in my mouth almost immediately but had its own characteristic taste that was unforgettable long after it melted away.


Check out the grain in the tofu:


All these dishes plus five drinks total of sake and sochu totalled ¥12,000 - perhaps a little expensive for a weekday jaunt. But hey, that's the price you pay at an "oshare" part of town in Tokyo... and it was a damn fine meal.

Sasagin 笹吟
Kobayashi Building II, 1F

1-32-15 Uehara

Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Column: Tokyo JUNKtion


  • I think I've been in denial by not commenting for so long… could this be the last we'll see of Tokyo JUNKtion for a good while, but the one and only YOKUMA?


    It's the end of an era.

    Truly, it's been a pleasure. Can't wait to have you here in the Yay Area, where hopefully we will continue to report on fish jizz and such.

    LOVE YOU, have a safe move, see you on this side of the Pacific.

    kayoko on

  • Yum! Looks snazzy and delicious!
    The room looks super cozy too. The thing the Japanese have for using natural materials in restaurants (as opposed to their interior at home) is super cozy and great taste.

    Going out on a week night in Copenhagen for a small discount steak, fries and a beer would cost the exact same amount of money, so basically to me – your meal was a steal!

    Anders on

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