Standing strong against the wave of gentrification and regeneration, Oyama’s Happy Road shotengai (traditional Japanese shopping street) is one of the last bastions of a bygone era that is still thriving. The bustling arcade oozes community spirit that is felt throughout the neighborhood and its eclectic mix of stores, especially within its local bars and izakayas. A perfect example of this is Ikkon, located just off from the main shopping street.
Non-Japanese speaking visitors can often feel intimidated by these types of restaurants, but in keeping with the warm and friendly ambience of Oyama, Ikkon is keen to make itself as welcoming as can be to anyone who walks through its doors. As well as providing English menus and English-speaking staff, they also provide English guidebooks to the surrounding area, further strengthening that sense of community. With a multicultural workforce, Ikkon likes to reflect this diversity through its menu. Depending on the day, expect to find dishes from countries such as Germany, America, Vietnam or wherever a particular member of staff hails from. Meat lovers should head down on a Tuesday for some hard to obtain options, cooked and prepared in ways you wouldn’t usually expect.
The restaurant prides itself on the quality and freshness of its food — all prepared in-house and never frozen. Soft, juicy chicken breast meat and slow-cooked, succulent liver are popular options amongst its patrons. The salt-flavored kushiyaki (grilled meat sticks) are grilled to perfection with precision timing by the highly-skilled chefs to ensure maximum flavor and quality, and come with original, handmade miso — great for dipping the meat into and adding an extra umami-rich boost.
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this year, Ikkon will be serving up not only a selection of appropriately green beverages but also some comedy too. For two nights (March 9 – 10*), Canadian funnyman Jonny Bloor will be tickling ribs whilst diners down all-you-can-drink green beer (plus the regular kind and some complimentary food)**. Naturally, Guinness will be discounted throughout March to ¥580 — even more so during the comedy nights. There will also be a trivia in English, and plenty of other games and prizes being given away over that weekend.
As a further bonus, Metropolis readers can enter events without a cover charge and on non-event nights receive a small, tailor-made complimentary dish based on the chef’s perceptions of you. You won’t know what you’ll be getting until it arrives, but it’s a fun way to try out new food along with an appreciation of some simple classics done absolutely right.
* Event starts from 7pm
**Regular drink menu and items are also available