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Japan: Tokyo (Yutenji/ Niagara Curry)

I have to admit to being a bit of a “Tomboy” in that I have always been fascinated with trains, automobiles and things that typically would not be associated with the average girl. During my travels, I am always drawn to places where these themes are dominant. Having said that, I want to introduce you to a little hidden gem in Yutenji which fits that description and is every tomboy’s dream.

Named after a temple that dates back to 1718, Yutenji is just a little over 5 minutes away from Shibuya by train and offers a tranquil atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. Many visitors come to the city to tour its museums featuring private collections of jewelry and costumes. But certainly a visit to Yutenji must include a stop at Niagara Curry , a charming restaurant featuring all types of memorabilia related to trains.

Niagara Curry was established over 50 years ago by a retired train conductor who worked at Yutenji Station. Over the years, he has collected train memorabilia from all over Japan including train tickets, train station signs, train license plates, train clocks, you name it. The restaurant is decorated from floor to ceiling with train themed items.

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Patrons purchase their meal tickets from a vending machine, which is not uncommon in Japan. What is unique is that your ticket is validated using a train ticket puncher and you are given a special boarding pass once you are seated at your table. The menu and the labels on the vending machine are only in Japanese therefore it may be beneficial to bring along someone who is fluent in Nihongo during your visit.

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The prices are quite reasonable starting at ¥ 720 and the restaurant primarily serves curry. You have your choice of katsu, hamburg, veggie and seafood curry which can be prepared using mild, spicy or hot curry sauces. The restaurant offers a kid’s menu and kid’s dishes are served in a shinkansen (bullet train) shaped container. If you have room left for dessert, ice cream is available for ¥300.

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There is a train that chugs along the perimeter of the restaurant. Your meal is delivered to your table on this train which adds to the child-like enthusiasm you feel when you dine at this restaurant. It is all fun and games. Taking photos is encouraged and you can even put on one of the train conductor hats as you pose.

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Niagara Curry is open from 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM. (Closed on Mondays and Thursdays.) It is a fun, family-friendly place that should not be missed when you are in Yutenji.

Address: 1-21-2 Yutenji, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Tel: 03-3713-2602

Website: http://www.niagara-curry.com/index.html

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