Monday, March 21, 2016

Gaijin Gourmet – By Far the Best Ramen in Futakotamagawa: Kokumaro!

I found the best tasting ramen for the best price in Futakotamagawa. It’s a shop called Kokumaro and it is the most delicious and reasonably priced ramen in town.

Hello! My name is Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers and I am the Gaijin Gourmet!

Futakotamagawa’s ONLY ¥600 ramen shop! This is the regular ramen for ¥600 yen (tax included.) includes two slices of pork in Tonkotsu (Kyushu-style pork based soup). In this photo and egg is included at an extra ¥100. Best ramen deal around!…. And, of course, there’s no tipping in Japan!

Futakotamagawa is about 10 ~ 15 minutes from Shibuya station on the Den-en-toshi line. It is famous for Takashimaya department store and a bunch of other high class shopping establishments as well as the headquarters of online shopping giant, Rakuten.

Since this is a high class shopping area, nearly all of the restaurants are expensive; and filled with rich housewives. That’s why a find like Kokumaro is a lifesaver for the Gaijin Gourmet who is always watching for ¥1 coins on the ground at the train stations! Nearly all of the local ramen shops sell their lowest priced ramen for at least ¥760. There’s a few places that sell so-called “Gourmet ramen” that goes for ¥1000 ~ ¥1200 a bowl.

Kokumaro starts at ¥600. By far the best tasting ramen for the price in this town.

Outside of Kokumaro. This place gets packed and there’s a line of people there waiting to get in at all hours of the day. Kokumaro is a chain of restaurants and they have shops in Futakotamagawa, Shibuya, Kabukiocho and a bunch of shops in their homeland of Kyushu. See their homepage here:

This is what it looks like at night. The one to the right. The shop to the left is some high-falutin’ dinery. Never been there… It is expensive. Of course expensive restaurants are supposed to taste delicious. The problem is that many of them are just expenisve and not so delicious. It is a fine art for the Gaijin Gourmet to find the Holy Grail! I like cheap and delicious establishments!

And speaking of cheap and delicious, when you go into Kokumaro at Futakotamagawa, you will be immediately confronted by Mr. Meal Ticket-Machine. Not to worry. Follow the easy instructions: Look at picture. Insert money. Press button. Take ticket. give ticket to shop staff. Sit down. Eat.
It’s so simple a chimpanzee was able to complete the task in 6 seconds.
If you want a beer to drink, just say, “Beer?” the staff and they will help you press the correct button.

Like I said, Kokumaro in Futakotamagawa is always packed and, there is almost always a line of at least 3 ~ 10 people waiting to get in. The place is cozy and clean.

Here is what I always have. It’s the regular ramen with extra mountains of sliced green onions. Cost? ¥800! (with tax!) Wow! At the top left is Beni-shoga (pickled ginger root). Top right is Takana (hot & spicy leafy vegetables that originally came from China). And now we get to why Kokumaro is always packed and there’s always a line outside: Not only is it cheap and delicious, but you can add the condiments like Beni-shoga or Takana all you want…. And!….

The plat de résistance! The deal clincher! Fresh garlic and a garlic press at the counter that you can add as much healthy and fresh, raw and delicious garlic as you want. Oh my god! I am in heaven! Usually ramen shops have already crushed garlic in small bins, but those have preservatives in them. This is the real (raw) deal!

Of course, the Gaijin Gourmet insists upon a spic and span, clean kitchen. Kokumaro in Futakotamagawa has it as well as friendly staff. On the right is the manager of the Futakotamagawa branch, Morita san! (If you go there, tell him Mike sent you!) This guy is great. He and his staff work hard to make sure that you get the best ramen in town… And they do it with a smile and they do it every night! Bravo! Well done Morita san!

Even the ladies love Kokumaro Futakotamagawa. All the locals know this ramen shop and it has the reputation for the best ramen and best ramen deal in town! Here’s Ayako giving rave reviews for the taste!

I think Kokumaro is the best place to eat ramen in Futakotamagawa. Inside the place is packed and, like I said, there are always people waiting to get in - Seeing is believing.... Oh, by the way, even if you have to wait, it’s only a few minutes and well worth it.

Kokumaro Ramen at Futakotamagawa? 5 + Stars for value, volume of servings, service, friendly staff and great taste!

Futakotamagawa Kokumaro Ramen  3-14-6 Tamagawa, Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo 158-0094

Tel 03-3708-2790

Business Hours: 11:00 am ~ 2 am.


I like this place so much I even made a map for you!

Map to Kokumaro Ramen. From Futakotamagawa station, take a left out the ticket gates toward the big street. Walk between the two Takashimaya buildings straight for about 3 minutes.

Looking for great deals on cheap eats in Japan?:
Gaijin Gourmet! The Best, Most Delicious Soba Restaurant in Shibuya and Shinjuku

Gaijin Gourmet – Hamazushi! Tokyo’s Best Robot Sushi!

Gaijin Gourmet – Sukiya! Japan’s Best Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

Gaijin Gourmet Advice for Foreign Gentlemen Living in Japan!

Gaijin Gourmet – Best Soba Chain in Tokyo?Yude Taro and ¥220 Draft Beer?!¥220-draft-beer/

Gaijin Gourmet: The Best Premium Salad Bar in Tokyo? – Sizzler in Setagaya

Gaijin Gourmet! Great Cheap and Delicious Soba in Gaienmae on Ginza Line!

The Gaijin Gourmet: The Best Salad Bar Deal in Tokyo at Big Boy – My Favorite Rock N Roll Diner!!

Tokyo’s Best Cheap Sushi is in Okachimachi!? 東京の一番安くて美味しい寿司屋?御徒町にあるの?

Gaijin Gourmet – Beware! The Worst Noodle Restaurant in Tokyo?

The Gaijin Gourmet: Soba Wars At Hanzomon Station in Tokyo


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Saturday, March 19, 2016



We went to the store to buy popcorn the other day... They were "Sold Out!"


This is Hillary-ous!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It's Gonna be Huuuuge! Donald Trump and My Dream for Next Japanese Prime Minister!

Donald Trump is evil! He is a racist, is divisive, is the cause of violence.... Blah, blah, blah. So what? Is he any worse than any other of these scumbags that are running for president?

You have to be a scumbag to be president. Hillary is evil incarnate and a scumbagette. That's why she is the perfect candidate for president. But Hillary isn't funny, so I don't like her.

Don is funny.

If I voted, I'd vote for Donald Trum....... Er, no, I wouldn't. I wouldn't vote... I don't vote. Ever.

But I do really enjoy the show. I especially enjoy the squirming.

Regular readers will know how much of a crusade I've promoted against TV watching and the Lame Stream Mass Media for well over fifteen years. It is hilarious how the MSM and TPTB keep trying to paint Teflon Don in a bad light, but he keeps coming back smelling like roses.

Don't think I am dissing the Don. I am not. I laugh at how many said he wasn't a "viable" or "serious politician" what? As if Hillary or these other people are?

Donald is his own 5 star entertainment. Recently, even after all the claims Don is racist, Donald Trump has already secured the white supremacist vote (Kill colored people!), the Nazi vote (Kill the blacks!) and now has the Nation of Islam vote (Kill Whitey). 

I guess Trump is now the equal opportunity hate group candidate of choice.

Now, if Trump is such a racist, how in the world could Louis Farrakhan endorse him?

That's right. And he got Clint Eastwood too.

(By the way, Clint Eastwood is my favorite actor of all time and I've admired Louis Farrakhan for decades as a man who speaks truth to power.)

I expect that Trump will be president. 

I like the entertainment factor in play here. The Don would be great for late night comedy shows. That's why I'm a fan.

Hanafuda Cards

On that note, in Japan, the Japanese call a deck of poker cards, "Trump." So "Trump" is a great name for a cartoon president (well, they are all cartoons, aren't they?) Also, in Japan, there is a traditional card game called, "Hanafuda." In the game, Hanafuda, it is the last card, the all-mighty card, that wins the game. That card is called, "Kirifuda." 

"Kirifuda" in English translates exactly to "Trump."

You couldn't make this shit up!!!! Isn't that an amazing coincidence? Isn't this simply hilarious?

I'm hoping the Don wins and then Japan elects a prime minister named, "Kirifuda." 

Japanese Prime Minister could run on a platform like, "Kirifuda will not be Trumped by Trump!" (English translation: Trump will not be Trumped by Trump!)

That would be hilarious. No! I mean, "That would be huuuge!"

By the way: Donald Trump has resuscitated a word in the English language and made it cool for the first time in its existence. I'm going to start using the word "Huge!" in many of my conversations. A trend has begun! 

And it's gonna be HUGE!


NOTES: To paraphrase Lew Rockwell, the US presidency is like a donut shop. 

Every 4 years or so, we elect a new shop manager (president). But we never see who actually owns the donut shop or the parking lots, (the Military Industrial Complex and the big banks). The new candidates for manager tell us, 'Americans are fat, we need to eat healthy! We can change!' and they get elected to manager.

The customers (you) cheer!

But, as time goes by, even though the new manager still gives lip service to eating healthy, if he doesn't sell the 24 boxes of glazed donuts (and feed the banks and the Military Industrial Complex), then he and his pals are out of a job."

And that's why the US presidency is like a donut shop. 

You don't think for a half a second that one of these people can come in and change 150 years of US expansionist and imperialist history, do you?

Check it:

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wray Performs Beethoven at Suntory Hall (Japan's version of Carnegie Hall) March 6, 2016

My son won second place in the All-Japan piano finals. In the past, he has placed first and third. I thought he'd be disappointed but he was really happy and told me, "Now, I've placed first, second and third!"

I guess it's kind of like collecting sports cards. Gotta have them all, right?

Anyway, we are all very proud of him.

I made this video on the fly.

Beethoven Sonate No.8 OP.13 ’Pathétique’ 1st mov. Wray Blake Rogers 12yrs old

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Almost Cherry Blossom Time in Tokyo

“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.” ― Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

The plum blossoms are out...

The cherries will soon be here....

Time to enjoy the spring of another year.

Another year of renewal and hope.

(Photo taken on an iPhone 6 by me!)

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ― Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet

“If people did not love one another, I really don't see what use there would be in having any spring.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher 

“I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” ― Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

“Despite the forecast, live like it's spring.” ― Lilly Pulitzer

“I suppose the best kind of spring morning is the best weather God has to offer.” ― Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

(If you wish to use these photos on your blog or in your presentation - or any photos anywhere on this blog, feel free to do so and use freely as you wish. It's free. Everything is free! Use as you wish! All photos taken on iPhones - Mike)

Be happy. Be well.

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