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If you are a Major League Baseball fan, you might have heard of "Tokyo Dome". It is the first indoor baseball stadium in Japan, the home of the Yomiuri Giants. It is not just for baseball games, as it is often used for various indoor events, such as American Football, Snowboard X-Games as well as music concerts. Just recently, this stadium hosted the season opener for the Boston Red Sox and The Oakland Athletics. The nearest station is the JR Suidobashi station or the Tokyo Metro Korakuen station. It is in a very convenient location, very near the JR Tokyo Station. This week's restaurant, "I-Kousya" is just a few minutes walk from the JR Suidobashi station.

It is not a restaurant to seat large number of people; I-Kousya only seat about 15 people at the maximum. But once you step into the world of I-Kousya, you will get a feeling that you are about to get something very good. The hamburgers come in three different sizes, so that it will satisfy every appetite.

One thing I-Kousya stands out is that they offer very unique hamburgers, which are rarely seen in other hamburger restaurants. The one burger that will stimulate your taste buds is the Blue Cheese Burger. It is not just a hamburger that uses blue cheese instead of the ordinary cheddar cheese. As an added bonus, it also comes with a crisp fried onion topped on the patty with blue cheese.


The first joy of eating this hamburger comes when you are preparing to eat this hamburger. Since the hamburger comes in open-style, you will have to put the vegetable side of the burger on top of the patty. Then you will realize that the hamburger’s height is too high for eating. That's when you will have to squeeze the hamburger to fit your mouth. When you squeeze, you will hear the crisp onions breaking into pieces, and that sound will definitely stimulate your appetite. Dig in, and you will be surprised with the unique collaboration between the rich flavor of the blue cheese and the fried onion.


Another interesting hamburger is the G.M Mushroom burger. G.M. stands for "Grilled, Marinated". It is a hamburger with grilled mushrooms with Swiss cheese. Although it doesn't have the instantly-stimulating taste like the Blue Cheese Burger, but the richness of the juicy mushrooms with the Swiss cheese and the perfectly-cooked beef patty makes this hamburger something special.


Since I-Kousya offers both fried onion and barbeque-sauce topping, I tried something special with my hamburger. When I was still growing up, my favorite hamburger place was Carl's Jr. (yes, I know, it is a chain restaurant). My favorite hamburger was the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, which comes with cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon and onion rings. Since there are no Carl's Jr. restaurants in Japan, I ordered the hamburger with the same topping, to imitate the Western Bacon Cheeseburger. Of course, this is a restaurant hamburger, and it costs a lot more than the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, but I will have to admit that this hamburger is a lot better than the one that is served at Carl's Jr.

So next time you are going to a baseball game, you might want to arrive at Suidobashi station early, grab I-Kousya's hamburger, and enjoy the game while eating a very delicious hamburger. But be careful, since the hamburgers are carefully cooked, it might take some time during the peak hours.

The salsa burger.


The Swiss Cheeseburger.



Official Homepage: NONE

Hours: Monday to Friday 11:00-15:00, 17:00-21:30
         Saturdays: 11:30-18:00  (Closed on Sundays)

Address: 1-4-8 Misakicyo, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo Japan.

Nearest station: JR Suidobashi-station

How to go: Get off at JR Suidobashi-station, head for the East exit. Turn right (away from the Tokyo Dome. You will see a bookstore on your left. Turn left on the small street before the bookstore, and you will find I-Kousya.

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The Imperial Hotel

Established in 1890, the Imperial hotel has served an important role in introducing foreign food culture into Japan. Located near the Tokyo station and Ginza area, it is a perfect place for foreigners to stay in Tokyo. Because of its long history serving very important foreign visitors, the Imperial Hotel has served an important purpose introducing foreign food into Japanese culture. Because of Imperial hotel's grace and dignity, it is still a very popular place to have wedding parties. It is one of the most respected hotels in Japan. There are two restaurants that serve hamburgers in the Imperial hotel, The Parkside Diner, and The Old Imperial Bar.

The Parkside Diner, which opened on March 2007, is an American-style diner which is designed to satisfy the visitors from the United States. During lunchtime, you might have to wait for a while to be seated. Of course, as with any other restaurants inside the Imperial Hotel, the price is pretty steep for a hamburger, but you are sure to get a hamburger made from the best beef and vegetables in Japan. Each hamburger takes approximately 20 minutes to cook, so be sure that you have enough time to dine.



This is the chili cheeseburger, Imperial hotel style, complete with French fries and onion rings. When I imagine a chili burger, I imagine a burger with chili dropping. However, I guess the Imperial Hotel doesn't allow that to happen, and the chili is nicely hidden inside the bun. However, when you take a bite of the burger, you will experience a very tasty yet very dignified chili cheeseburger. You can have refills for your iced teas, so if you have spare time, you can use this restaurant to chat with your friends, without worrying about the drinks.

The Old Imperial Bar is located on the second floor. It is an old-fashioned bar, with dim lighting. The overall design is designed to make the 1920's atmosphere. You can have a seat at the bar counter, or take a seat at the comfortable sofa. On the menu, the hamburger is labeled as Hamburg Steak Sandwich. You will have to wait for about 30 minutes to get your dish, so you might want to order a beer and some light snacks with your hamburger, but don't over-eat before you get your hamburger!



It is a very simple burger, only with the beef patty, onions and lettuce. On surface, it seems like it is well-done beef patty, but the surprise is when you take a bite into that beef patty. On your first bite, you will notice that the beef patty is amazingly filled with meat juice. You have to be careful on your second bite, because the juice simply shoots out from the part which you took a bite. When I ate this burger, the hot meat juice hit my cheek, and I didn't understand what happened, until I realized that it was the meat juice that hit me. It is well-cooked on the outside, but on the inside it is like a sponge that absorbed water. This is the juiciest beef patty that I've ever had in my life. Enjoy!


Official Homepage: http://imperialhotel.co.jp/

  Hours: Breakfast: 6:30a.m.-11:30a.m.
           Lunch: 11:00p.m.-5:00p.m.
           Dinner: 5:00p.m.-11:00p.m.

  Hours: 11:30a.m.-12:00a.m.

Address: Imperial Hotel
Nearest Station: JR Yuraku-cho Station
              Tokyo Metro Hibiya Station (Y18)
How to go: Please follow the official map to the hotel.  MAP

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AS Classics Diner

AS Classics Diner, located near the Komazawa Park, is another high quality hamburger restaurant. The concept is simple; the good old 60's atmosphere. The atmosphere of the restaurant will remind you of the classic American diner, and might make you homesick. You might wonder what the name "AS" stands for. The owner, Mr. Minakami has two explanations, one is that it stands for "American Style" and the other is "A's", meaning that the restaurant serves "AAA" quality food. Because the "American Style" explanation is much easier to explain to the customers, the owner often opts for that answer when he is asked the question. You will have to walk for a while (about 10 minutes) from the Komazawa-Daigaku station, but it is well worth the walk. While it is possible to walk from the Jiyugaoka Station, I would not recommend it, because it will take much more time than walking from the Komazawa-Daigaku Station. Since it is near the Komazawa-park, there is a patio outside the restaurant, so that people can bring their pets while eating good American food.

Believe it or not, Mr. Minakami was a systems engineer before he entered this business. After he completed his training, he started AS Classics Diner on December 2006. For the second anniversary of the restaurant, he created a special T-shirt, displaying not only his restaurant, but 28 other privately-owned hamburger restaurants throughout Japan. You can see him and other employees wearing that T-shirt as a uniform of the restaurant. The anniversary T-shirt is still available for purchase at 2,700 yen.

The burgers that they serve are all charcoal-grilled, and made from selected materials. The buns that they use are simply outstanding. You can choose from the original buns or the rye buns. If you want to make the hamburgers tastier, choose the original buns. If you want to taste the ingredients, try the rye buns.


The marquee hamburger is the "ASC Hot-Rod burger", which is enormously huge. From the top, it is filled with chili, fried egg, bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese, beef patty, grilled onion, tomato and lettuce, and tartar sauce. Because of its height, it is extremely difficult to eat. But the fun of eating hamburgers is when you open your mouth as much as you can (without dislocating your jaw), and dig in. You can feel the taste of the hamburger changing with each bite. I wouldn’t recommend having a big hamburger like this on your first date, but you will definitely want to try it once. The "ASC Hot-Rod Burger" was once featured on the cover of the well-respected restaurant magazine in Japan.


AS Classics Diner is also famous for its homemade bacons. It is so popular that sometimes it sells out during evening hours. So, if you definitely want to eat that high quality bacon, you should get to the restaurant as early as possible. The bacons are crisp on the edges, but very juicy on the inside. The smoke flavor is excellent. This is a picture of the bacon cheeseburger. Try it, and discover a whole new world of bacon cheeseburgers!


When you are thirsty for some barbeque taste, my suggestion is to try the BBQ pork burger. The special thing about this mouthwatering burger is that it has baby back pork ribs on top of the beef patty. There are other hamburger restaurants that serve barbeque-sauce flavored hamburgers, but this is the first time I had pork ribs on my hamburger. With the AS Classics' original barbeque sauce, the tender baby back pork ribs are so sweet and rich in flavor. I personally think they should provide the baby back ribs as a separate menu, so that you can eat as an appetizer.


If you want a spicy hamburger, your choice should be the Mexican Burger. The burger consists of salsa, avocado, beef patty, tomatoes and lettuce. Don't let that rich avocado fool you, the salsa sauce on top is pretty hot and spicy, even when combined with avocados. Even though it is hot and spicy while eating, you will feel refreshed after eating. When you are all banged up and tired, this hamburger might help you re-energize. It worked for me.


They also serve good salads, so if you want extra vegetables in your dinner, try the ceaser salad, which is full of fresh lettuce and bacon.

Next time, let me introduce the hamburgers served by Japan's traditional marquee hotel.


Official Homepage: http://www.asclassics.com/

Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9:00a.m.-11:00p.m
Holiday: Every Tuesday

Address: Meguro-Ku, Yakumo 5-9-22
Nearest Station: Tokyu Komazawa-Daigaku Sta.
(Tokyu Denen-toshi Line)
How to go: Get off at Komazawa-Daigaku Station, go up the East Exit. (Komazawa-Daigaku Station is an underground station) After reaching the ground floor, go left and turn left at the Jiyu-Dori. Walk for about ten minutes. You will soon see the Tokyo Medical Center on your left. Turn left at Komazawa-Dori, and you will see a Lawson store on your right hand side. You will see a sign "AS Classics Diner" after you pass Lawson.

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Fellows (Komazawa)

One thing that makes Tokyo an exciting place to search for good food is that high-quality restaurants are not centered in prime commercial areas, such as Ginza and Roppongi. This applies to the hamburger restaurants too, for there are many hamburger restaurants in the suburban areas that are worth traveling for.

The Komazawa area is another example of an area with numerous high-quality hamburger restaurants, and it should be marked on the maps of every hamburger enthusiasts in Tokyo. If you've never been to the Komazawa area, you are missing out a lot.

"The Burger Stand Fellows" which is about 5 minutes walk from the Komazawa-Gakuen station, is another excellent hamburger restaurant in Tokyo. It is a small restaurant, you might have to wait for a while for your hamburger during peak hours, but the hamburgers you are going to eat are well-worth the wait.

The owner chef, Mr. Kurokawa uses the finest material for his burgers. (He even hand-slices the beef to make them into the beef patty) He cooks it on genuine charcoal grill, creating that irresistible barbeque-style flavor into his hamburgers. The beef patty and the vegetables are very tasty, and there's something about the buns. It is crispy on the surface, but very soft in the inside. You'll notice the difference in your first bite.

The avocado burger cheese burger with bacon. With lots of ripe avocado, and the combination with the charcoal-grilled beef patty and the hand-made bacon is a must-eat for the hungry hamburger enthusiasts. Don't let that avocado slip away! (Price: 1,500 Yen)


If you are hungrier than usual, you might want to try the hamburger with chili beans with cheese. It is an awesome burger, able to satisfy the hungriest people. Just look at the melting cheese on this hamburger! Oh, and the chili beans are hot and spicy to spark your taste buds. The chili beans can be made to be hotter or milder, but I'd recommend the "regular" chili beans, because it is pretty hot in the first place. (Price: 1,450 Yen)

Note: The hamburgers with chili are only served during evening hours (after 5p.m.) and could not be taken out.


If you are looking for a tasty hamburger, how about trying this Salsa burger? By using the fresh, red-ripe tomatoes, you will experience a different world of salsa. You will be able to taste the high-quality ingredients that are put into every Fellows' hamburgers. (Price: 1,150 Yen)

Note: This hamburger is not on the "official" menu. Please ask for the availability before ordering.



Next time, please let me introduce a high-quality hamburger restaurant, "AS Classics Diner", which is also near the Komazawa-Daigaku Station.


Official Homepage: http://www.fellows-burger.com/

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11:30a.m.-3:00p.m, 5:00p.m.-10:00p.m
                        (Last Order: 9:30p.m.)
         Sunday: 11:30a.m.-7:00p.m.
                        (Last Order: 6:30p.m.)
Holiday: Every Tuesday

Address: Setagaya-Ku, Komazawa 2-17-9, Zip Code: 154-0012
Nearest Station: Tokyu Komazawa-Daigaku Sta.
                     (Tokyu Denen-toshi Line)
How to go: Get off at Komazawa-Daigaku Station, go up the West Exit.
    (Komazawa-Daigaku Station is an underground station) After reaching the ground
    floor, go right and walk for a few minutes. Turn right at the Komazawa crossroads,
    and you will see a sign "Burger Stand Fellows".

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