[Kameido, a Mecca for Horumons]

Kameido, Koto-ku, Tokyo is home to Kameido Tenjin Shrine, famous for its wisteria flowers. Did you know that more than 10 famous horumon restaurants stand side by side in the deep, narrow alleys around Kameido Station?

There are various theories as to why horumon specialty stores have gathered in Kameido, but the most popular theory is that it is because the area is close to Sumida-ku, where there are many leather products and meat processors and sellers, and therefore, good quality horumon can be obtained at low prices. Among the many horumon restaurants in Kameido, there is always a long line of people waiting to get in line at "Kameido Horumon Honten", "Horumon Aoki", and "Horumon Yoshida", which are also known as the "three major horumon restaurants in Kameido". I have visited all of them, but the one I visit the most is Horumon Aoki.

Horumon Aoki has an aged appearance, and the two-story, sepia-colored interior is always crowded with people. The names of the various parts of the horumon are listed on the menu, and you will be surprised at the size and freshness of a piece when it is brought to you, and surprised at its flavor and lack of odor when you eat it. You can choose from salt, sauce, spicy miso, and other flavors, and depending on the meat, they will serve you a sauce that goes with it. This makes me happy. The ponzu (citrus juice) selection of beef horumon is a must-try. The fatty, hearty horumon is grilled thoroughly and dipped in grated ponzu (Japanese sauce made from grated radish and citrus juice). The hatsu and liver come with sesame oil for salt, the beef tongue comes with negi shio dashi sauce, which is excellent, and the ume gatsu is also highly recommended. The combination of the original sauce with the already delicious and high quality meat creates a synergistic effect.

One of the reasons why I like Horumon Aoki is that the other items on the menu are also unique, and basically anything you order is delicious. The first drink you must order is the lactobacillus high. The two-layer dish is said to be a drink of plum wine mixed with yogurt, but it has a refreshingly sour taste with a thick consistency that you will not find anywhere else. The second drink I always order is the Nama Shibori Lemon Sour. Aoki is no ordinary lemon sour either, with crispy shochu, frozen lemons, and coarse salt on the rim of the mug. You can't go wrong with the meat, and then pour down a glass of this lemon sour, which is ice-cold. The side menu also has a variety of excellent supporting characters. I always order kimchi with daikon and cucumber kakuteki, a pile of bean sprout namul with spicy black pepper, barley rice, and cold noodles. The cold noodles also have a unique visual appeal, with thick, firm noodles and a clear, golden broth topped with a lot of shiso leaves, myoga, cucumbers, and sesame seeds.

I can't tell you how many times I have gone here because I miss the lactobacillus high, the horumon, and the cold noodles. Incidentally, once you visit, you get a coupon for an unusually good deal that you can use the next time you visit, so I suspect that there are many repeat customers who live in the neighborhood. This is one of the restaurants that showed me how good and fun downtown Tokyo can be. Delicious horumon, sometimes eaten in a smoky atmosphere, is a good thing. If you are a resident of Tokyo, please visit Kameido to try horumon as a way to enjoy your trip to Tokyo or as a way to open a door to the unknown.

Horumon Aoki Kameido Honten
Kameido Horumon Honten
Shodai Yoshida Kameido Honten