Once you’re in Manila, you may experience Japan without having to take another flight. For those who haven’t gone to the Land of the Rising Sun, just cross the street from Makati Cinema Square and you’ll find yourself welcomed by a Japanese torii or gate leading to a small strip of manicured Zen gardens, complete with Japanese red lanterns and al-fresco restaurants that serve authentic Japanese food and ambience. Welcome to Little Tokyo, a piece of Japan in Manila.
(Photo by Annalyn Jusay)
Jap nooks and crannies
After having your fill of bootleg DVDs in Makati Cinema Square, you might want to cross your legs at a Japanese table and chow on takoyaki, ramen, chahan, sushi, sashimi, kakigori, and other Japanese delights at any of Little Tokyo’s Japanese-owned and Tokyo-inspired restaurants that boast of Japanese chefs.
Hana Restaurant (Photo by Daniel Ansel Tingcungco)
Inside Little Tokyo are the restaurants Niko-Niko Tei, Noda Sho, Hana, Kagura, Urameshi-ya, and Oishinbo, while those outside are Seryna, Fuji Health, Yamazaki, Shinjuku, Sekitori, and Kiku Fuji. Completing the Japanese ambience is a grocery, a Zen spa, and a nightclub that teems of Tokyo beats and vibe.
Fees and opening hours
Little Tokyo (tel. no.: (02) 819-5008) is open from 11 a.m. to midnight. Some restaurants close between 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is free to enter the complex. Food in the restaurants costs P200 and above.
How to get there
Little Tokyo is in 2277 corner Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo) and Amorsolo Streets. It is Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo), beside Makati Cinema Square and near J. Victor Venue in Makati city. The best way to reach it is via a taxi, but you can also ride the MRT, get off in Magallanes station, and take a jeepney bound for PRC. Ask the driver to drop you off in front the complex itself. You may also ride the LRT Line-1, get off in Gil Puyat (Buendia) station, ride a jeepney going to Guadalupe or a bus going to Ayala, and then ask the driver to drop you off in Chino Roces Avenue. Once there, take another jeepney bound for Mantrade and ask the driver to drop you off in the complex.