Let's Travel! Experiencing Middle East in Tokyo
Are you yearning to travel like I am? This small shop located a short walking distance from Nippori Station is the perfect spot to immerse yourself for a day trip to the Middle East!
At first glance, this store might look like any other novelty stores you might pass by, but it's not what is seems! Zakuro is definitely a must-stop-by restaurant if you are around Nippori.
Yes, restaurant! What sets this restaurant apart is the abundance of knick-knacks displayed out front - from fabric patterns to ceramic mugs and plates, you will be amazed at how colorful the restaurant is just from the outside.
In fact, I didn't realize Zakuro was a restaurant at first! I entered the store simply because I was attracted to the pieces displayed out front and wanted to look what more the store sells inside. Glad to say, it did not disappoint! The minute I walked in, I was perplexed.
The interior of the store is breath-taking, with tons of Turkish mosaic lamps
I probably took a solid 10 minutes to properly look at everything - Zakuro sells hand-crafted mosaic lamps, candle holders, decorative plates, and even the famous Turkish carpets! They also had Middle Eastern snacks and candies.
And just before leaving the store section of the restaurant, I caught a glimpse of Turkish Delight. One of the well-known sweets from the Middle East that had always made me wonder what it tastes like. Of course, I had to buy it!
By the time I finished looking around, my stomach was growling. Luckily, I came just before the rush hour, so there wasn't any queue.
Zakuro offers a variety of dishes from Persia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan
During lunchtime, you can get a lunch menu which will cost you between 500 yen to 700 yen - what a steal! And if you're a big eater, you can opt for the happy lunch that will cost you 1000 yen, but the portion is sure to satisfy your stomach!
The lunch menu is available from 11AM - 3PM, and the lunch menu might change occasionally, but any lunch menu is affordable and delicious! There's the option for a la carte too, so no worries!
This restaurant is surely unique. The majority of the customers (while I was there) are foreigners, either solo travelers like myself or in pairs. And once in a while, the owner would walk around, greet his guests, and make small talks. I'd give a 5-star rating for their customer service in a heartbeat!
While I was eating, I saw several of the clerks were bubble wrapping the lamps and packing the carpets and other ceramic trinkets. I later learned that Zakuro has an online shop, so if you are interested in purchasing, but not residing in Tokyo, you can visit their online lamp store!
Want to get hands-on?
Zakuro has a mosaic lamp workshop for you to make your own. Located just down the road of Yanaka Ginza, you can book yourself a class! I was interested, but the day I came, the workshop stall was closed. Do yourself a favor, avoid making the same mistake I did, and make the workshop reservation ahead of time!
Intrigued? Head over to Nippori station the next time you feel like escaping Japan for a day. Zakuro will be waiting to bring you to the Middle East!
Address: 〒116-0013 Tokyo, Arakawa City, 荒川区Nishinippori, 3 Chome−13−2 谷中スタジオ (find it here)
Operational Hours: 11AM - 9PM
Closed on: Wednesdays
Additional Notes:Takeaway available (no delivery)Reservation availableWi-fi availableHalal-friendly
Hello~ Traveling and eating has been a long-term passion of mine, join me as I share my experience exploring and discovering what Japan has to offer! If you have time, say hi, I'd love to be friends with you!
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