We visited the Japan Rail Cafe in December 2016, and had return a few more times ever since!
This place aims to be a one-stop station, where customers can enjoy not only food and drinks (with monthly specials focusing on selected regions in Japan), but also do some quick shopping at the small retail section, as well as obtain travel information and purchase Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) at the Rail Pass Counter.
It was particularly interesting to revisit, because of the monthly changes (Dec 2016 was on the Tohoku region), and we also enjoyed reading about the various Japan regions in the newsletter, that also served as a menu.
Free WiFi was also available, so we could do some quick browsing on the spot whenever we found something of interest, and wanted to find out more.
The lunch sets were quite value-for-money, and the seats quite limited, which accounted for the crowd during lunch time. It was perfect for a quiet late afternoon tea break though.
So, what have we tried which was good?
My all-time favourite drink has gotta be the Uji-Maccha Latte ($6.20++), which has the lovely green tea fragrance, and the slightly bitter matcha taste which I absolutely adored, without being cloyingly sweet. Sometimes, I come back here just to have this awesome drink.
We also enjoyed the Kaisen Avocado Don ($18++), which came with a generous amount of fresh salmon sashimi, scallops, ikura, and diced avocado, heaped on top of the multi-grain rice. Close to the end, we added the soup (choice of original or dashi) and enjoyed it as an ochazuke.
Hubby also liked the Watashino Curry Rice ($18++), with curry made from black pepper base. You could choose your favourite main dish and side dish, and hubby opted for crispy chicken cutlet, with crab cream korokke. Both were crispy and yummy!
The Beauty Salad ($15++) was another healthy, yet filling alternative. With salmon sashimi, tofu, avocado, broccoli and juicy tomatoes on top of the very fresh greens, I enjoyed it very much with the sesame dressing (choice of onion, sesame, or caesar). It also came with bread and soup, so I was really full after this.
During my most recent trip, I was also very impressed by the service level at the Japan Rail Counter. I had approached the counter with rather sketchy ideas of what we would like to do in our next Japan trip, and the friendly staff was able to provide useful suggestions on the various combination of JR passes that we could try, and how best it would be to travel between places, depending on our eventual itinerary. He also very gently reminded me not to be too ambitious in my planning, haha!