Something Fishy: Nihon Sengyo Kokakurui Dokokai Shinjuku Ebi-dori Honbu
In the hot and bothered streets of Kabukicho, you can ease your spirit just by gazing on the fresh seafood on ice at this casual 24-hour izakaya. The shop, part of a chain, receives its wares directly from ports around the country—with no markets in the middle. Look for the red lanterns adorning the upper windows of this three-story building.
Seasonal sashimi is the best way to appreciate the freshness of the seafood. Shichirin (table-top charcoal grills) are perfect for grilling skewered whole shrimp, hamaguri (common Orient clam) on the half-shell, or sazae (turban shell) in their shells. There is also a hearth with charcoal for grilling skewers.
As the seafood selection changes daily, menu items are written in Japanese script on large papers hanging from the walls. This time of year try some awabi (abalone) or benizuwaigani (red snow crab). Some seafood is butterflied and hung up to dry in the restaurant, a classic himono technique. Drinks to pair well with seafood include fuguhirezake (blowfish fin in hot sake), local sake, and shochu. The restaurant is open 24-hours-a-day if you find yourself in Kabukicho craving seasonal Japanese seafood.
1-3F Kabukicho 1-22-3, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-5287-2568. www.hamakura-style.com/work/koukaku.html