Saitama Travel Guide

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Teioh (aka Hiro’s Yaki Tori Restaurant) has long been famous for its great food and even better hospitality throughout Saitama City.  Testimonials from customers past and present are scrawled in Japanese, English and even French all over the wooden walls. 

Hiro, or as he is affectionately known to local gaijin Supa Hiro (Super Hero), can remember the nationality and occupations of all past gaijin friends who have left their marks on his hallowed walls.  His English is not quite as good as his food, but his sense of humour certainly transcends all language barriers.

Also working at the restaurant are his wife, Mitsuyo, and his daughter, Chizu, who also speak English.  Chizu is extremely fluent, practically native, and her sense of humour and fun rival her father’s.

On  the menu you’ll find beef-on-a-stick (to use Hiro’s English translation), pork-on-a-stick, chicken-on-a-stick, chicken balls-on-a-stick, chicken wings-on-a-stick,  chicken skin-on-a-stick, garlic-on-a-stick, green chilies-on-a-stick, nikomi (pork soup), raw cow liver, raw pig tongue and a few other local delicacies.

  Draught beer comes in 2 sizes, medium and large, and bottles of Sapporo are also available.  Sake (nihon-shu), red wine and various flavours of chuhai are also served.  Prices are very reasonable.  What sets Hiro's yaki tori apart from the rest is Hiro’s special secret recipe sauce.  With a soy base, reddy orange in colour and rich in flavour, nobody but the man himself knows what the ingredients are.

In a night at Teioh you’ll oft find Hiro rubbing his injured shoulder while laughing and making jokes.  He had a motor cycle accident in April.  On nights where his shoulder aches he takes his medicine, nihon-shu, and talks about his samurai heritage.  He’s always careful to point out that his ancestors were the poor samurai, from the country.

Hiro speaks 3 languages, Japanese, English and French.  He learned to cook as a young man at chef’s school and was the yaki tori chef at his restaurant until recently when he decided he’s rather spend his nights flitting like a social butterfly from one guest/friend to another.

Hiro has been a surrogate father to many a foreigner, and Teioh a second home.  To quote one of the messages on the wall, “Thank you for taking care of me and giving me advice.  I can never repay you.”

Teioh can be found on the North end of Yono Honmachi station, the 2nd station south of Omiya, Saitama.  Yono Hommachi station is 4 minutes from Omiya station and 35 minutes from Shinjuku station.  Teioh is open from 5pm to 10.30pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Also in Yono Hommachi you’ll find a well renowned sento (just up the road from Saizeriya and next to Family Mart).  Approximately 30 metres from the sento is the Saitama Arts Theatre.

One station north of Yono Hommachi on the Saikyo line is Kita Yono, home of the John Lennon Museum and the Saitama Shintoshin complex.

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