With the 2020 Olympic Games rapidly approaching, Tokyo will be the center of everyone's attention. The venues will be split into 2 areas, known as the Heritage Zone, which hosts some of the original venues from the 1964 Olympic Games, and the Tokyo Bay Zone in Odaiba. Odaiba is an artificial island a short distance from Rainbow Bridge in central Tokyo, a short train ride away from Shimbashi on the Rinkai line.
Odaiba will play host to several of the events between July 24th and August 9th, many of which are located in the Tokyo Bay Zone. The Tokyo Bay Zone boasts a mixture of new, modern architecture and open areas for ample green space.
The Tokyo Bay Zone is comprised of 17 venues. Among those venues are the Aomi Urban Sports venue (which will host the basketball 3 x 3, skateboarding, and sport climbing events), Ariake Arena (which will play host to the volleyball events), Ariake Tennis Park (where the tennis events will be held), and the Ariake Urban Sports Park (where the BMX Freestyle events will take place).
Also included in the Tokyo Bay Zone are the Odaiba Marine Park, the Olympics Aquatics Center and the Olympic Gymnastic Center, which will host the triathlon, marathon swimming, diving, swimming, and gymnastics events respectively.
If you feel hungry after wandering around Odaiba and the Olympic venues, jump on the Toei Oedo line or the Yurakucho line to Tsukishima.
Tsukishima is a man-made island that dates back to the Edo Period. The island was completed in 1892, and renamed Tsukishima during the same year to avoid mix ups with existing areas on the mainland with similar names, such as Tsukiji and Tsukuda during that particular era.
Although Tsukishima is largely considered to be considered shitamachi, known as lower city, the area is increasingly becoming more and more densely populated with high-rise apartments and restaurants. Some of those restaurants are located on Tsukishima Nishinaka-dori.
Tsukishima Nishinaka-dori, a street in Tokyo that is home to over 80 monjayaki stores. This particular street is affectionately known as Tsukishima Monja Street, which you can find if you leave Tsukishima station using Exit 7, which will take you to the head of the street.
While most people are familiar with okonomiyaki, a savory pancake that literally translates to “grilled as you like it”, its cousin monjayaki is less well-known, but just as delicious. While both monjayaki and okonomiyaki are savory pancakes cooked on a griddle, monjayaki-sometimes known simply as monja-could be referred to as okonomiyaki’s runnier cousin. The batter is much thinner in consistency and is added at the very end of the cooking process, unlike okonomiyaki, which uses the thin, crepe-like base before adding cabbage, shrimp, pork, and other toppings of choice.
While it may not look as appetizing as okonomiyaki, we promise that monjayaki is just as delicious, and you don’t have to go to Osaka for it! Tsukishima has plenty of great monjayaki restaurants!
Be aware that this establishment only accepts cash. Prices range from 3,001 JPY to 5,000 JPY The restaurant is open from 11:30 to 21:15 Monday through Sunday.
For those of you who enjoy both okonomiyaki and monjayaki, Monjya Kobore-ya will fit your bill. The restaurant is open from 4:30PM to midnight Mondays through Thursdays and 4:30PM to 1:00AM on Fridays. The restaurant is open from 11:00 to 1:00 on Saturdays and 11:00 to 10:00PM on Sundays and holidays. Prices range from 1,190 JPY to 5,490 JPY.
Like Monja Kobore-ya, Monja Shinanoya serves both okonomiyaki and monjayaki. The restaurant is open from 17:00 to 22:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the restaurant is open from 11:30 to 15:00 for lunch, and reopens again from 17:00 to 22:00. Be aware that on Wednesdays and Fridays, the final order will be taken at 14:30 before closing prior to evening hours. On weekends, the restaurant is open from 11:30 to 22:00. Prices range from 1,000 JPY to 2,999 JPY.
Monja Warashige, which serves both okonomiyaki and monjayaki, is open from 11:00 to 23:00 Mondays through Fridays. The restaurant is open from 10:00 to 23:00 on Saturdays and 11:00 to 22:00 on Sundays. Prices range from 1,000 JPY to 5,580 JPY.
Yumeya also serves both okonomiyaki and monjayaki. Prices range from 1,000 JPY to 4,300 JPY. The restaurant is open from 17:00 to 22:00 on Mondays through Fridays and from 12:00 to 15:30 and 17:00 to 22:00 on weekends and holidays.