Tokyo is mainly a jungle of concrete, but nice places can be found here and there in case one needs to escape for a while, especially in the east side of Tokyo, or the bay side. I think it's because of the water, that calms down even the most nervous and resless of us.
Not too far from the busy center of Shinagawa is TY Harbor, a restaurant and brewery with excellent food and craft beers produced on site.
Photo : Chieee on Flickr
The walk to TY Harbor goes through Tennozu Isle, one of the several artificial concrete islands built in Tokyo bay. Until a few years ago, going to TY Harbor could feel awkward for those who don't know the area, because after all the restaurant was merely a renovated old warehouse surrounded by many factories still in business. From the train station there is a long walk along large and noisy roads, canal bridges and a lot of industrial bioldings. Now it is improved and doesn't look so industrial anymore. The redevelopment as a residential area over the last years contributed to better the look of Tennozu, now one of the places where many people want to live, thanks to the modern high rise buildings, the vicinity to the sea and the city centre, and restaurants like TY Harbor, of course!
The restaurant has a very large seating space both inside and on a floating deck, and is elegantly furnished, but essential. But that's not the only explanation why TY Harbor became so famous among Tokyoites: people can go there and enjoy some quality time any day of the year. If it's hot, then people sit outside with a cold beer in hand, letting the sea breeze cool them down. If it's cold, the large indoor space is perfect because it protects form the cold winds. Either way, patrons can enjoy a great view of the city and the canals, day and night, because more often than not, it will be a sunny day, even in winter.
Photo : w00kie on Flickr
The terrace space features also a bar counter corner, that gives the idea of being in a beer on tap pub, but outdoor. Big canvas umbrellas protect from the direct sun. Dogs on the outside terrace are welcome too!
The restaurant has become famous among the foreign population in Tokyo, too, and even among tourists who are looking for something different.
A very new addition to the already perfect offer is the opening of a bakery right beside the restaurant. That addition was for me a huge improvement...I don't know about all other people, but if there is something I miss here in Japan is the good bread form back home. Now , whenever I go to TY Harbor, I leave twice as happy: once for the restaurant experience, and once for the bread shopping that is inevitable...
TY Harbor is an ideal spot for spending lunch, dinner, or just an afternoon to try the wide variety of beers or the food. The most ordered items on the menu are burgers and steaks, and there's a good reason why: they are really good.
Photo : Austin Keys on Flickr
Now that the days are getting warmer, take a chance to a walk in Tennozu Isle and discover TY Harbor. It is definitely worth it!