Nothing says “authentic Italian cuisine” like toaster oven pizzas.

In Japan there is a meal set called a senbero that usually costs about 1,000 yen ($8.83) and places emphasis on getting a little tipsy in the process. This can be seen in the name, which is composed of “sen” meaning “thousand” and “bero” which means “a little drunk.”

However, because of the ongoing pandemic, going out to drink remains problematic, so our reporter Mr. Sato began his journey to find Japan’s Best Home Senbero. For about a month now he has searched from store to store to find the best combination of food and drink that can be bought for only 1,000 yen, give or take.

In recent days, this journey had become particularly difficult because of a demonic coworker who keeps attacking him.

But Mr. Sato decided to put all that behind him and get his groove back by focusing on his true love of food and alcohol.

This time his travels led him to Shokuhinkan Aoba, a supermarket chain in Kanagawa Prefecture that has become increasingly popular due to its low prices on fresh food. This sounded like a perfect opportunity for Mr. Sato to finally try out that “Italian senbero” concept he’d been kicking around for a while.

It certainly wouldn’t be an Italian senbero without pizza, so Mr. Sato got a ready-made toaster-oven Sausage Pizza from Pizza Feliceria for just 150 yen ($1.32).

Normally these kinds of pizza run between 250 and 300 yen, so 150 was such a great deal that he also grabbed a pizza margherita.

He also got some spaghetti for 88 yen ($0.78), but not just any spaghetti. This was Antonio DeNiro spaghetti!

Mr. Sato bought a two-pack of smoked wieners for 168 yen ($1.48), good for either an additional pizza topping or pasta ingredient.

Though not really Italian, some Pari Pari “Infinite Lettuce” Mix might find a home in this senbero, especially since it was only 100 yen ($0.88).

And how about a bunch of bananas at a deep discount to only 50 yen ($0.44)?

Unlike previous locations, Shokuhinkan Aoba was really good for seasonings and Mr. Sato could get a packet of Italian and Chinese dressings for 20 yen ($0.18) each. These should provide excellent protection from blandness.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a senbero without a drink, and Mr. Sato went for the tzar of cheap booze with a bottle of Black Nikka Clear whiskey for 238 yen ($2.10).

Still a light touch when it comes to alcohol, our reporter decided to spread his whiskey out with some carbonated water for only 10 yen ($0.09).

Shokuhinkan Aoba lived up to its reputation and offered Mr. Sato some unprecedented discounts adding up to a 10-item senbero that only cost him 994 yen ($8.78) before taxes.

First our “Senbero God” would need to cook the wieners. Actually, before that he would need to open the bag first.

Wait, Mr. Sato? You need to find the little triangles first… Oh, no, not like that.

Our reporter continued to wrestle with the bag for about an hour, but at least he could be sure the contents were fresh and safe.

He then screamed an obscenity and walked away. A few minutes later he returned with a pair of scissors and cut the bag open. However, he told us not to take a picture of that and instead make it look like he opened it himself. He also swore us to secrecy.

Next he cut up his wieners.

By the way, you might be wondering why Mr. Sato is wearing a police uniform. Well, it’s Halloween time of course, and what better way to get into the spirit than by impersonating an officer of the law?

Mr. Sato: “You’re under arrest!”

With the wieners all cut up, he then got out his sausage pizza.

But what if we really cranked up this sausage party?

Whoa! Is that even legal, officer?

He then put the pizza into a toaster oven for a few minutes, and as he does every senbero. Mr. Sato began an incantation to produce optimum flavor. This wiener-filled pizza was a little out there and needed all the help it could get.

Mr. Sato: “Antonio DeNiro, I pray to thee. Please bless this pizza, crafted with the very soul of Italian cooking.”

Mr. Sato: “If you make this pizza delicious I will do your bidding forever!”

Then suddenly mid-spell, Mr. Sato stopped and looked winded. Needing to sit down and take a break, he wondered how many senberos he had left in him. After all, he would be 50 soon, and Japan’s Best Home Senbero was a young person’s game.

The oven dinged and Mr. Sato’s pizza emerged, looking surprisingly good. Clearly, Antonio had seen fit to bless this pie.

However, there was still the margherita to toast.

Mr. Sato began the incantation again.

Mr. Sato: “Antonio DeNiro, I pray to thee! Make…eh.”

Mr. Sato: “It’ll probably be fine.”

With the pizza out of the way, it was time to make the pasta! Mr. Sato brought the water to a boil and put in the spaghetti. This time he made a silent prayer to Antonio DeNiro, completely unaware that no such person exists and the name was just made up by Colussi Group to market their pasta in Japan.

He let the pasta boil for eight minutes, staring at the rapidly floating bubbles and losing himself in thought.


When Mr. Sato was a kid an elderly woman delivered his monthly science magazines from the publisher Gakken to his house. She probably wasn’t really elderly and just seemed like it because he was a child, but she’d definitely be elderly now…and she can fly.

Mr. Sato reflected on those simpler times when he got magazines, before everyone was hypnotized by their smartphones. Nowadays you just click back on your browser, and whatever you read is gone forever and forgotten.

Mr. Sato: “It just seems like in the race to become more technologically advanced, we’ve lost something along the way.”

That revelatory hallucination bummed Mr. Sato out a bit, so he solemnly opened his pack of Infinity Lettuce. He had never heard of this product before but figured adding some Infinity Lettuce to his spaghetti would make it infinity spaghetti!

That and it came with sauce that he could use.

However, the name of this product turned out to be quite misleading.

Mr. Sato: “What the hell is this?”

Mr. Sato: “Goddammit, man! You did this, didn’t you!”

Mr. Sato: “This whole time you pretended to be my friend! But it was all a lie to get your hands on the Infinity Lettuce!”

Mr. Sato: “Just hand it back and I’ll let you walk away!”

Mr. Sato: “It doesn’t have to end like this!”

After realizing he was talking to no one, Mr. Sato took stock of the situation. He clearly had far too many noodles for a single senbero, so he decided to put away the rest of the Antonio DeNiro spaghetti.

Mr. Sato: “I’m sorry, Tony. They lied to me. They lied about the Infinity Lettuce, Tony.”

Although his plans for true infinity spaghetti were dashed, Senbero God Sato was swiftly able to make the best out of what he had. First he added the Infinity Lettuce seasonings to the spaghetti.

Then, with his unexpected Infinity Lettuce noodles he came up with a great idea.

By drizzling the packet of Italian dressing into the thicket of noodles, he kept it firmly in the theme of this senbero!

And that’s that! Time for drinks!

However, Mr. Sato forgot to pray to Antonio DeNiro and as a result the soda water exploded all over his uniform.

Spilling drinks on oneself is hardly out of place for a senbero, though, and this spread was looking quite good despite Mr. Sato’s increasingly frequent breaks from reality.

He commenced with a sip of his highball.

Mr. Sato: “Hooyah! That’s the stuff.”

First, he ate the infinity spaghetti redux. The garlic flavor was very nice but it was a little on the salty side. He probably could eat it for eternity, but he wasn’t sure that he would want to.

Next, he tried his poorly named Infinity Lettuce. It was actually much better than the spaghetti and the Italian dressing really matched with the crispy noodles. It was like eating a salad but without all those vegetables getting in the way.

Then, it came time to try the wiener sausage pizza, and since he made this first it had already cooled quite a bit.

It was extremely delicious but truthfully more like eating wieners with some pizza on them than the other way around.

Mr. Sato was feeling pretty good about himself with these new home senbero innovations. He was definitely getting back to the heart of what Japan’s Best Home Senbero is all about.

He began to suspect it would just be a matter of time before the TV networks started calling to ask him to host their own home senbero segments.

Yes, all was well in the senbero world. All that was left was the banana dessert, and what were the chances that something or someone would interrupt that?

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any better, to our Senbero God’s delight, the bananas were perfectly ripe! They tasted so sweet that he couldn’t believe his amazing luck. In fact, he was positive nothing would enter the room at this moment to ruin this wonderful senbero.

And there was still plenty of highball to wash down the capper to this great evening of food and drink.

When the last of the food was gone, Mr. Sato bowed his head and gave thanks to Antonio DeNiro for his safe passage. He tossed the banana peel on the floor and worked on the remainder of his drink.

Mr. Sato: “Whelp! Time to hit the head.”

Mr. Sato: “I sure hope there are no misplaced items typically used in old cartoons to make a person fall down.”

Mr. Sato: “In my highly drunken state, that could only result in an absurdly huge tumble, and no one wants that.”

Mr. Sato: “Just a few more steps…”

Mr. Sato: “Then I can pee-eee-eee!”

Mr. Sato: “Oh my Antonio!”

Mr. Sato: “Ow!”


The whimsical but brutal impact of his fall combined with his intoxication caused Mr. Sato to black out.

The world seemed to melt away and he heard the voices of his most loved people whisper in his ear, offering him comfort.

Gakken Lady: “Hidenori! Here’s your magazine about triceratops!”

Antonio DeNiro: “It’s ah me, Antonio! Why ah you no pickah-up-dah you spazzatura eh? Mio Dio!”

Then, visions started to appear before Mr. Sato but he was somewhere else now. He wasn’t on the floor of his office, but very far away…on the balcony of his office. And he was not alone…

Mr. Sato: “Hey, man! I didn’t think I was going to see you today! How’s it going?”

Masanuki: “I’m great, Mr. Sato – praise to Antonio – but I need your help. After I ate those uncooked udon noodles I became trapped in a strange place and can’t escape.”

Mr. Sato: “I know and you’ve become a real jerk too.”
Masanuki: “Yes, sorry about that, but you are close to finding a way to get me out. You already know that you can’t face me head on, but if you keep at it you can save me.”

Mr. Sato: “Keep at what?”

Masanuki: “Finding the very best home senbero in Japan. You, Mr. Sato – Senbero God of Shimane – must find JAPAN’S BEST HOME SENBERO!”

Mr. Sato: “I see…”
Masanuki: “BWAHAHAHAHA!”

Mr. Sato: “Why are you laughing?”
Masanuki: “HAHA! Because…HAH…man! Because you’re totally passed out on the floor and peeing your pants right now!”

Mr. Sato: “Oh yeah, I am! HAHAHA!”
Masanuki: “HAHAHA!”

Mr. Sato’s mission became clear and he swore to Antonio DeNiro that he would find Japan’s Best Home Senbero and rescue his friend. However, the twisted monstrosity that imprisoned him would not make it easy.

With time running out, can Mr. Sato find the best combination of food and alcohol for about 1,000 yen? Find out next time!

Catch up on all our “Japan’s Best Home Senbero” articles here:
Episode #1 – Lawson Store 100
Episode #2 – Don Quijote
Episode #3 – Costco
Episode #4 – IKEA
Episode #5 – ABS Wholesale Center
Episode #6 – Aeon
Episode #7 – Kaldi
Episode #8 – 7-Eleven
Episode #9 – Milk and Cake for Dogs
Episode #10 – Hanamasa Meat
Episode #11 – Life

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]