Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monjayaki vs Okonomiyaki

It’s always interesting to learn just what kind of google searches bring people to our blog.

Sometimes it’s the bizarre stuff, like “monkeys use onsen in winter what do they do when they get out” or “tengu fetish”.

Sorry, I don’t know what they do when they get out, presumably use a towel to dry themselves and then retire under the blankets with a heating pad. That’s what I would do, and I’m of comparable intelligence to a Japanese monkey.

And "Tengu fetish"?

Please, if that’s you who googled that, stop reading now and try to channel your sexual urges into something more socially acceptable, like good old-fashioned bondage. Though on the other hand, that unnaturally long nose does create some interesting possibilities… hmmm.

Yet for the most part what brings lost web surfers here is the usual and the mundane.

“Japanese schoolgirls”. “Fundoshi”. “Japanese food.”

Sorry, can’t do much about the first two today, but what about Japanese food? As it happens, you're in luck - that can be arranged.

Hinokuruma is listed in the Lonely Planet guides, how about that?

While running some errands in Nikko last Thursday, we stopped by at Hinokuruma (a restaurant run by our friend Shinako) and had okonomiyaki for lunch. Mine was pork kimchee, Dr Trouble’s – just pork.

His porky okonomi before cooking.

And here they are on a hot plate. Yum!

Dr Trouble tried to talk me into ordering monjayaki, but I’m not that dumb.

Fortunately, a lovely couple from Tochigi city (hi guys!!!) came to my rescue. They were kind enough to let me film them, too. Thanks!


Yes, it looks vile.

Now, I’m known to consume things that look disgusting but even I have my standards. Or as my friend, who served me my very first monja years ago in Tokyo said – “everything can be made palatable with a proper application of bacon or beer.” How true! And since I don’t like beer, I normally stick to bacon. So would I eat a pork-free monja, like this one here? Not a chance in hell.

“What if it was made by a handsome guy wearing nothing but a fundoshi?” I hear you say. Oh, shut up!

Or watch these two videos and tell me - which one would YOU rather have for lunch?

Making monjayaki:

And making okonomiyaki:


  1. I've never had monjayaki. Yes, it looks vile but maybe tastes good. I love okonomiyaki though. Not sure if I will be making it to Nikko this trip though.

  2. Okonomiyaki, no doubt:)
    Although I think I'm more of a yakitori kind of person:)

  3. Awesome. The search term thing always gets me- I discovered recently that I'm actually #1 in google for the search term 'Cairo whorehouse' and #3 for 'Shanghai'whorehouse'! Someone once found me with 'roomful of bosoms'. Eeek!
    Btw, very much enjoying your blog. Ever so glad you're not another travel blog! Much more interesting this way!


Thank you for commenting!
However, please keep in mind that unsigned comments will be removed. It's OK to be anonymous, just be kind and sign your message.
Thank you!