Streets Paved with Gyoza

Inside Namco Namja Town in Ikebukuro is a crooked little street lined with stands featuring the best potsticker dumplings from all over Japan. It looks like an old shitamachi lane, and the choices are dizzying. Regional specialties served with a squeeze of sudachi lime or mixed with shiso leaves are joined by more, hmm, experimental fillings like cheese, kim chee, and squid. My friend Shiho and I tried a shrimp and mayo variety with a side of smashed avocado to dip them in, but the ones we really liked had traditional pork filling and looked like little piggies:

When you can’t eat another bite or drink another sip of regional beer, visit the women’s restroom and look in the mirror – there’s a ghostly animated character that nags you to wash your hands. (Sorry guys, apparently there’s nothing fun in the men’s.)

Then wander through Namja Town and check out the weird haunted house!

If you’d like to visit Namco Namja Town in the Ikebukuro area the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

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