It Doesn’t Get More Japanese Than This
If you crave an authentic, Japanese experience, Kushiro-ya will not let you down. It is a small underground izakaya (closest English translation is ‘tavern’). Their delicious food menu offers Hokkaido dishes made with fresh ingredients delivered directly from Hokkaido. English menus are also available upon request, so you’ll know what to order and what you’re putting in your mouth. You’ll also be served an otoshi, an appetizer of sorts that makes up for the 500yen entry charge. When we went last time, our otoshi was a delicious potato salad.
Their drinks menu is typically Japanese. Try a ‘sour’ (pronounced ‘sawa’ in Japanese), which is a drink that mixes shochu, soda water and a fruit juice of your choice. Lemon sours are most common in Japan and are great first drinks.
Kushiro-ya is small and cozy with wooden walls and wooden tables. Don’t be surprised if you end up staying in Kushiro-ya much longer than you expected, especially if you’re in good company.
Speaking of company, you can call Kushiro-ya ahead of time and make a reservation for up to ten people, and, if you do, you’ll be privy to their menu of raw oysters and crabs.
Kushiro-ya is hard to locate as its name is written in Japanese and it’s also on the basement floor, keeping it out of sight from the main street. However, there is a building guide outside of it and you’ll find their name in Japanese (九四六屋) on it. Good luck!