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Aside from software development, Japanese video game maker Nitroplus has worked on novelization and illustration work for popular anime franchises such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, and Guilty Crown.

Yes, Nitroplus has its fingers in a lot of pies, including, surprisingly enough, pizza.

Like any creative multimedia company, Nitroplus has teams that handle programming and design. One thing Nitroplus has that its rivals lack, however, is a food and beverage operations division.

It’s not too shocking to find out the restaurant Nitroplus manages specializes in pizza. After all, it’s pretty easy to imagine a group of scruffy software developers craving a cheap, greasy slab of dough and cheese after a long night of coding. It also seems only natural that the company’s restaurant, Pizza Bar Ura Akihabara, is located near Tokyo’s biggest computer and anime merchandise shopping district.

What is surprising, though, it that Ura Akihabara does nothing at all to play up its connection to the world of digital entertainment, and is instead a perfectly legitimate restaurant with tasty food and a classy atmosphere.

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Although it’s only a few blocks from Akihabara Station, the restaurant is located on the far side of Showa-dori, the avenue which serves as the unofficial cut-off of the neighborhood’s boisterous electronics shopping area. But while the hole-in-the-wall eatery is located on a quiet side street, inside we found an energetic crowd of gourmands.

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A quick glance at the kitchen area revealed a dedicated pizza stove, and with the proper equipment accounted for, we flagged a waiter down to put in an order for a pie. Seeing as how we were dining near the epicenter of Japanese pop culture, we decided to order something adapted to local tastes, and settled on a pizza with shirasu, oba, and nori.

“Yes, one pizza with Japanese word, Japanese word, and Japanese word, please.”

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Shirasu, a specialty of Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo’s neighbor to the south, are tiny saltwater fish that are eaten whole. Oba is a refreshing, aromatic herb similar to basil, and nori refers to a type of dried seaweed, which was shredded and sprinkled over our pizza, which was brought to us fresh from the oven and piping hot.

While pizza is Ura Akihabara’s main draw, the restaurant also serves up a good mixed carpaccio with five kinds of fish, and a variety of pasta dishes made with fresh linguini and fettuccini. Not bad for a video game company spin-off venture!

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And of course, what fine meal is complete without dessert? Don’t worry if you’d rather give your liver a workout than indulge your sweet tooth, either. Ura Akihabara has a full selection of alcoholic beverages as well.

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We came away impressed not just with the restaurant’s flavors, but it prices as well. At under 1,000 yen (US $10), our pizza was surprisingly inexpensive for this part of Tokyo, and the rest of the menu items were similarly reasonable.

The only downside is that Ura Akihabara is too far from our office for us to become regular customers! But if we can’t stop off for a beer or a bite on the way home from work, at least the next time our girlfriends put up with us drooling over the newest batch of gadgets for way too long, we have a nice place to take them to say thanks for being so patient.

Restaurant Information
Pizza Bar Ura Akihabara / ピザ バー 裏秋葉原
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakuma-cho 2-24 Chiyoda Burisu Building 1st Floor
東京都千代田区神田佐久間町2-24 千代田ブリスビル 1F
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (kitchen closes at 2:00)
Dinner: 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 10:00)
Closed Mondays and holidays
[ Read in Japanese ]