You find everything you need between Okachimachi and Akihabara...
We'll not be reviewing all of Tokyo's casual bars, but this one was also an interesting example in the field of good affordable spots for a few drinks. Believe it or not, it's again in the Ueno and Okachimachi sector. But anywhere you dig in Tokyo there's an unlimited pool of noteworthy eateries, and it's no surprise that the Michelin guide has awarded so many stars in Tokyo (even if we're obviously not dealing with the same category of restaurant in these stories).
Apart from the noisy shopping alleys of Ameyoko, Okachimachi is also where you find an atypical depato (department store) with lots of good deals : Takeya is spread on several builldings east of the Yamanote line, easily recognizable because the main building is purple from bottom to top. A bit messy at first glance, it has almost everything you can need and countless clerks will help you locate the right building or story for your intended purchase. I went there to buy a couple of Japanese saws which I've been using regularly for years in the countryside. There's something with a japanese saw, you have a hard time using another type of saw after you tried one once : is it because of the unique mixed-teeth design or the patented hardness of the Japanese steel, I don't know, but you can saw wood like you would cut into butter with these tools. With their frail appearance, flexible thin blade and their old-style rattan handle you wouldn't suspect what a terrific job they can do including on relatively thick trees. I usually buy double-edge Ryoba-type (両刃) saws. I tried to buy some on amazon.co.jp as the prices are good too but for some reason they don't ship the saws out of Japan, even though they're very easy to ship as they're light and the blade can be taken apart from the handle.
Takeya had like I expected some good deals and I stocked, buying two saws at 1350 Yen apiece. I later bought another model in Tokyu Hands, Tokyu Hands being another specialty depato located in Shibuya.
I didn't pay attention to what the waiter was pouring to this couple next to us here, but I don't think it was just cold water....
As you can see Kei and Mao were having a mug of this green drink called Aojiru, shame on me again for not having tried that (even though I may find it sommewhere in Paris I guess). I wonder if the success of Aojiru in Japan is somehow related to the health worries linked to the Fukushima consequences.
We had also some spinach served with a sugary/salty dressing, I liked that, very unusual. On the whole, Mamada said that from several details he noticed on the menu he could say that the restaurant was Korean in style, and the tripes were among the type of dishes favored by Koreans.
If you read Japanese, click on the picture on right to see the menu with the side dishes, there are plenty of them, grilled on charcoal fire, be it chicken, fish or beef, with prices from 180 Y, 300 Y, 350 Y to 450 Y, many being actually at 350 Y (100 Y cost 0,92 € or 1,12 USD). Here is another venue where you'll not bankrupt yourself.
The interesting thing about this izakaya is that according to Mamada initially there was another, much smaller, izakaya named Daitoryo, which was always packed but really too small. This first izakaya still exists and it is located in the vicinity, but the owners decided to open this larger version with more comfort and amenities, and it became very successfull too and tends to be packed.