by Matt Kaufman
The area between JR Itami and Hankyu Itami Stations. in Hyogo is a fantastic place to go barhopping. A nice combination of old and new places that cater to mostly locals. The owner of the Crossroads Cafe took me to this 80 year old standing bar called Shirotamaya. https://tabelog.com/hyogo/A2803/A280306/28026115/
Itami #2: Tachinomi Shibasen. Their motto is No Fish, No Life. I ordered the cheese and salmon, which was delicious. Also had MOROKO (willow gudgeon) for the first time. Great laid back vibe here that attracts a younger crowd. https://tabelog.com/hyogo/A2803/A280306/28049758/
On my second visit to Itami, Tsuyoshi Tagawa and I were taken to a new. inexpensive standing bar called Choberigu that serves vegan and vegetarian food. I had vegan gyoza for the first time and it was excellent. I tried a baisu sour for the first time, a chu-hi drink made with sour plum and shiso (perilla) syrup. In Itami I tried a Baisu Sour for the first time. I read that there is a common assumption that baisu means 梅酢 plum vinegar but the actual ingredient is sour ume (plum) and shiso (perilla) extract. I really enjoyed it and would definitely order one again.
Owner Saori Fukuyama served up an original creation of Korean nori, green onions, kimchi and cream cheese. Believe me, it was addicting when eaten together. (They also serve sashimi and other non-vegan dishes. The pumpkin in hardboiled eggs was also very good. Most of the menu was 100-350 yen. https://www.facebook.com/tachinomi.chobelig/