Travel notes, reviews and useful tips

Eat Some More: Maidoya Shokudo in Aichi

If you are ever in the Nishikasugai county in Aichi Prefecture, Japan and looking for a place to eat, here’s one that’s affordable and quite filling.

Exterior and entrance of the Maidoya Shokudo in Aichi.

Exterior and entrance of the Maidoya Shokudo in Aichi.

The Maidoya Shokudo exterior is rather nondescript, sitting right next to a flower shop. Upon entering we had to climb up a short flight of stairs, where a large tako (traditional Japanese kite) greeted us. We then had to take off ours shoes and put them in a wooden shoe closet before entering the restaurant area.

Dining area.

Dining area.

After passing by an open kitchen, we were seated at the back part of the dining area. This was more spacious than the part in front of the kitchen. Here there were two rows of tables with a raised platform in the middle. At each end were smaller dining areas with large paper screen windows. One of the windows was shaped like the head of a squid, and the other an inverted ricebowl. I loved the polished wooden floor planks and the decorative wooden beams tied with rope. Behind the table rows were two kaidan tansu (Japanese traditional stepped cabinets) with ornate brass pulls.

Delish food.

Delish food.

For lunch, we ordered each a dish without rice: ebifurai (breaded fried prawn), tempura and sashimi, all in the 650 to 850 JPY price range. And then added 300 JPY for the lunch buffet. This consists of two kinds rice, finger food, and a salad and dessert bar. It was a pretty varied selection. I particularly liked the croquettes and potato salad, as well as the chilled lychee for dessert (Confession: I ate half a dozen of these lychee things).

Restroom noren with ukiyo-e prints.

Restroom noren with ukiyo-e prints.

After lunch we all went to visit the restroom. Even this part of the restaurant is (my definition of) cool, given the ukiyo-e (woodblock print) store curtains identifying where the guy or gal should go. For the record, the gals’ room has a Kitagawa Utamaru portrait of a woman, and the guys’ has a portrait of a man by Toushusai Sharaku. Both are reproductions of Edo period, 18th century woodblock prints. Did you know that I like ukiyo-e and find it a hoot to see prints on, of all places, restroom noren (short split curtains)? You probably don’t care, and I am about to digress, so let’s put a period here –>.

This is not the place where you pay 500 JPY for gyudon (bowl of rice topped with boiled beef and onions), chow it down in 10 minutes and leave just as soon as you arrive. At the Maidoya Shokudo, the variety of the buffet, soothing wooden interiors, and seats where you can stretch out your legs encourage guests to sit and relax. And yes, go and refill at the buffet counter three or four times. And eat s-l-o-w-l-y. I am certain that at night the place turns into the typical, noisy, smoke-filled izakaya (Japanese-style pub), but for the few times we went there for lunch, it was all about eating plenty of good food and long conversations.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Aichi, one that’s outside Nagoya? Let us know!

External Links

Maidoya Shokudou – map and coupon (in Japanese)

Books to Consider

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6 comments

  1. nice! the large tako has an equally large tako painted on it! hahaha kidding. i know its 元.

  2. noritan /

    Wow! These seem to be delicious Sasimi (slices of raw fish), Tenpura, and a prawn fry.

  3. I don’t see the squid.
    I thought woodblock prints were all one color. These must take multiple “printings” to make.

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