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February 28th, 2009 | EarthBound, Food, Images, Uncommon Knowledge

In MOTHER 2 and MOTHER 3, Shigesato Itoi sometimes included little references to real-life shops and restaurants in Japan that he really liked. For example, a fellow in Fourside talks about how if he dug up treasure, he’d go to Japan to live it up. In the MOTHER 2 version of the script, he goes on to say that he’d specifically go to the Katsuman restaurant in Tokyo and order three of their special “katsu” pork cutlets. This extra mention was left out of EarthBound’s script, but was mentioned again by a pig in MOTHER 3.

So, being the intrepid soul she is, Starmen.Net member Izumi sought this place out during a recent jaunt into Tokyo. Here is her report.

Anyway, being the nut I am (and my hostel was actually IN Kanda, so I really had no excuse) I headed off to Katsuman one day last week to give it a try. This is a really great little restaurant! I LOVE tonkatsu so I really enjoyed the meal. It was pricey but the food was excellent and I hardly had room in my stomach to put it all.

I used this website to locate the place. Just a warning that it can be tough to find if you don’t know how to read Japanese addresses, so if you plan to visit Katsuman, print yourself a map or locate it on a guidebook map before you go. The closest station is Ogawamachi (Toei Shinjuku Subway Line), closest exit is A1. They are closed between 2 and 5 o’clock (I showed up at 2:10, ended up coming back the next day) and are quite popular so if you are going in a group, better arrive early. I think there were just 4 or 5 tables, plus the counter with stools for singles.

The menu is not available in English (it’s not even furigana’d), so it might be difficult to know what you’re ordering. I just got rosu katsu, which is your basic pork cutlet. It came with green tea, rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables and a heap of shredded lettuce. And it was delicious. If you have the opportunity to go (and even if you’re a picky eater, katsu is like the most inoffensive Japanese food ever), please do, you won’t regret it!


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19 Comments to Eating at EarthBound Shops #1

IWontGetOvertheDam said on Feb. 28, 2009

Woah. That’s pretty cool. 😀

Fat, Bi, Helluva Guy said on Feb. 28, 2009

I’ll definitely have to drop by if I ever go to Japan.

Weird said on Feb. 28, 2009

Kinda odd that they don’t have a sidewalk there, the restaurant just opens up to road.

zedrein said on Feb. 28, 2009

That’s really neat. Although I sort of wish that she’d describe more of the aesthetics of the place, perhaps then we could have determined if Itoi used it as inspiration for one of the eatery’s in EB.

sacratus said on Feb. 28, 2009

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Mato said on Feb. 28, 2009

Argh this post makes me hungry, I shouldn’t have posted it until late at night or something 😛

Darien said on Feb. 28, 2009

Ah, that’s no good. Then you’d just go to bed hungry. Or gorge on ice cream and wake up with a stomache ache. :-/

santiagoff said on Feb. 28, 2009

lol at darien

Pishi said on Feb. 28, 2009

That was a very nice post.
But now I’m hungry too!

MotherFTW said on Feb. 28, 2009

Interesting.The food looks good

Old West said on Mar. 1, 2009

To think she walked the same ground, entered the same room, as Shigesato Itoi once had…It’s almost inconceivable.

Neat little M2 easter egg, too. And it sounds like the restaurant was wonderful. =)

KaoruArika said on Mar. 1, 2009

That is awesome.. and very irresistible… I should note that if I even go to Japan in a future…

Izumi said on Mar. 2, 2009

“That’s really neat. Although I sort of wish that she’d describe more of the aesthetics of the place, perhaps then we could have determined if Itoi used it as inspiration for one of the eatery’s in EB.”

It was a small restaurant, fairly dimly lit, with less than 5 actual tables. One was a big table, could seat maybe 8 or 10, with wood designs and a heavy ceiling lamp hanging down over it. The others were booths. There was a bell over the door. The whole place had a kind of earthy, homestyle Japanese feeling as most of it was made from dark wood. The prices and dishes were not on a paper menu but inscribed vertically in fancy calligraphy on strips on wood that hung on the wall. There was a bar area where solo eaters were seated on stools at a counter, again made of a dark, glossy wood – I sat at the counter, so you can see it in some of the pictures. The food was prepared directly behind the counter by the chef, so just two feet in front of the diners. He was an older man and a nice, middle-aged woman took orders and served food. It was pretty obviously family owned, or at least very very small. They close between 2 and 5 o’clock while waiting for the suppertime crowd, and when I walked by around 3 PM I saw the three staff members sitting around the big table just talking and laughing. Very homey. All the customers were friendly to each other and it was obviously a well-known spot as it filled up fast. Sadly, it did not bear resemblance to any particular spot in MOTHER 2 that I can remember. :\

The Walls of Text said on Mar. 2, 2009

Did you leave the Katsuman reference in your translation of M3?

Mato said on Mar. 2, 2009

Yeah, I also kept the other reference the same pig makes to a new food place, which is another place Izumi visited, I’ll talk about it another day.

We should totally set up an EarthBound tour in Japan, going to all the different shops, “oh and this is Itoi’s office”, “oh here is where Itoi lives”, “here is where the EarthBound 64 beta is hidden” 😉

seasix said on Mar. 3, 2009

If there was a Mother/EarthBound tour of Japan, you know you’d fill up that sucker in a heartbeat. H.I.S. is usualy keen on helping to set up custom tours like that, as seen at http://www.destination-japan.com/ and http://www.popjapantravel.com

NessRules said on Mar. 4, 2009

Save me some katsu!

Lucas said on Nov. 30, 2009

WHO i hacked the site.


Lucas said on Nov. 30, 2009

sry will u fix that whoever….


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