There are not a lot of restaurants I remember by name throughout Japan, but this one I do: Kushimura. Located off of Roppongi-dori, near the Roppongi crossing area of Tokyo, it is a small yakitori restaurant that is known by both locals and travelers alike.
It’s hard to beat the smell of a charcoal grill cooking up delicious meats and the clanking of beer glasses when looking for an easy yet amazing meal in Japan. This is what yakitori is all about and why this little restaurant in Roppongi holds a special place to me. Grilled meat on sticks, cheap beer, and good memories are what izakayas are all about and why this place holds a special place in my heart.
This was the first real meal I ever had in Japan back in 2017 and a place I had to return to in 2019. It was still the same, still amazing, and glad it hasn’t changed. I have no idea how this place stacks up to the top yakitori places in Roppongi, but this is my favorite spot because of the good food and even better memories.
I remember being so nervous, walking into a Japanese restaurant in 2017 by myself and barely speaking the language, but it all worked out. The staff and I could communicate enough, the menus were in English, and I was able to find some incredible food along the way (including some great cold beer). This is why I had to return to this little place in 2019 when my friends and I were able to make it here.
I hope small restaurants like this are able to survive after all of the Covid shut downs and economic impact that is hurting everyone across the world these days. It will be interesting if they are able to keep going and maintain what makes them so incredible. Perhaps a 2021 return might happen (fingers crossed).