For many a first-time traveller to Japan, enjoying a hot plate meal with choices of okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancake), monjayaki (a more liquified version of okonomiyaki), or yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) that you can prepare yourself can be exciting - but what if you could enjoy all that on a moving boat that overlooks some of the best night scenery in Japan?
Enter Edomaekisen, a company that provides its guests this hot plate cooking experience onboard a yakatabune, a classic Japanese low barge style boat used to entertain guests. With a combination of quality ingredients for guests to make their own DIY teppanyaki cuisine, plus steering the boat down the Sumida River and docking it near the Odaiba region for guests to enjoy the spectacular nightscape while dining, Edomaekisen has already garnered traction amongst those looking for a unique experience on Tokyo Bay.
Arriving at the entrance of Edomaekisen, one can't help but notice the decorations reference the Edo period, and Shinto practices - Edo in the form of a traditional Japanese umbrella in crimson, and Shinto in the form of a portable shrine sitting atop a platform in the middle of the holding area, plus the huge portraits of previous yokozuna (sumo wrestling champions within the sumo universe) hanging on the walls, imbuing the space with a sense of nobility and grandeur. Prior reservations to this place are required (only in Japanese), and once you've registered your names you'd wait for the announcement for the boat's departure before proceeding to the docking area, where you'd be gestured to take off your shoes before entering the boat's interior.
Edomaekisen serves up the three main types of cuisine previously mentioned, and some side dishes ubiquitous in Japan - lightly-salted boiled edamame, and crispy succulent fried chicken pieces, amongst others. Drinks come in a variety of canned favourites among Japanese people - Asahis, Orion (a local Okinawan beer) and lemon highballs that pair really well with the variety of fried cuisine. For those on the adventurous side, Edomaekisen serves up a dessert monjayaki – a liquified chocolate-and-banana concoction that might leave some heads scratching at its presentation, but packs an interesting flavour and texture that is surprisingly delightful for a dessert.
Edomaekisen does timed, all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner plans starting from 5,000 yen, and accept reservations ranging from just two people to a huge party of 20, and can even do private options upwards of 40 people. For a different dining experience coupled with sublime night views, Edomaekisen is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Edomaekisen can be reached via shuttle bus from Shin-Kiba station on the JR Keiyo Line, the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line, or the Rinkai Line, which run on a regular basis.