Tokyo Restaurant Review: Kamachiku
In the backstreets of Ueno, Tokyo, there exists a hidden gem. Buried in a tangle of unnamed streets and residential alleyways lies a transcendental udon shop called Kamachiku. Behind a pristine grove of bamboo shoots lies a 100-year old traditional brick warehouse. The historical building has been restored and renovated by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma—the visionary builder famously designing the innovative Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.
The warehouse turned udon shop is a far less public statement, but nevertheless, inspired turn of form. The central dining room has been carefully crafted inside the walls of the historic warehouse. A modern, primarily glass outer dining room has been built out from the warehouse, in a space next to a picture perfect Japanese garden. A long, single wood dining table fills the main hall, with seating for up to about 14. When sitting at this table, you essentially feel as though you are dining in the garden outside.
Kamachiku’s signature dish are their traditional Japanese wheat flour, udon noodles. Made fresh daily in the traditional Osaka style, the chefs only serve the noodles for as long as the day’s batch lasts. The menu also features a variety of side dishes, including a precisely prepared assorted tempura dish.
Although hidden away, don’t expect to find a seat if you stumble upon Kamachiku on a weekend. As the lines begin to form well before opening at 11:30. It’s best to get there a half an hour early and sit in the row of chairs set up along side the bamboo grove and Japanese garden. You couldn’t wish for a more ideal setting to wait for a fresh meal in such historic, yet modernized surroundings.
2-14-18 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Boy band billboard drive by.
Blaring auto-tuned lemon drops of pop.
Spreading over-produced white noise.
Look at all them leather-clad pretty boys.
Angst over nothingness.
Sales over somethingness.
Bleaching all taste from the streets.
Preaching mediocrity with all the right beats.
You already know what the music video looks like.
Pushing every pixel further out from life.
Same retouched photos of the immediate cute.
Putting synths on blast.
Critical thinking on mute.
Stretching expectations and pin ‘em on a backpack.
Instagramming them to a hashtag laugh track.
Look at the art-directed bad boy glares.
Frosted-tip, mean-mug stares.
Get lost in the artificial sheen.
Who cares if we ever know what they mean.
Read the lyric sheets and grow your knowledge.
Hang around at the uni ten years after college.
Street snaps over street smarts.
Thumbs up and glitter hearts.
Nice sample, who cares where it comes from.
And just like that, the billboard’s gone.
As the next one rolls in.
Next verse, same as the first.
Wash it away with the fat straw bubble tea.
As you wait in this line for two times eternity.
By vending machine’s light.
Vision blurred and mind slurred.
Power-walking someone else’s steps.
Neon high of elevated window lives.
Laughing at the little shadow.
With the backpack and lost time to find.