As I have often said with delight, there are a great many excellent restaurants and izakayas in the Kotoen area and it should be pointed out that instead of chains, nearly all of the successful places are owner-operators.
Just before the Obon break, I had the pleasure of bumping into a former English Conversation student at the Smith’s School of English in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園 who with great enthusiasm invited me out for beer and yakitori. We went to our favorite yakitori place, the owner-operated Torihan near the south-west corner of Hankyu Kotoen station. The staff were very glad to see us again.
My host has had restaurant businesses abroad for over 40 years, and has by necessity spent most of his time away from home. He is a firm believer in helping out your fellow man, supporting local entrepreneurs whenever possible, and avoiding multi-national chains. Kotoen is just such a neighborhood where this way of thinking is evident and an unwritten regulation clearly dictates the types of businesses that will thrive here. He says that without our local support, the owner-operator will not only fail to pay rent and feed his family, but will need to concede the space to a chain business which does nothing for the health and prosperity of the local community.
His motto is clear and profound. He believes local operators work harder to deliver better quality and better value in the face of immense competition and vast economies of scale. We as consumers have become too adapted to price and convenience and that we have sometimes forgotten the meaning of quality and value, and in the case of food, the value in healthfulness and care.
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School of English 月謝制 Kotoen Real Monthly Tuition English Conversation School