Never-before-seen branch makes it easier than ever to eat pizza, but is it any good?

As far as our reporter Mr Sato is concerned, any time is a good time for pizza. So when he heard that Japanese pizza chain Pizza-La had set up a pop-up branch at Ogikubo Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, he knew this was something he had to try immediately.

Being able to pick up a pizza as soon as you hop off, or before you hop on, a train sounded like a dream that was too good to be true, so Mr Sato couldn’t help but wonder if the store was just selling individually boxed single slices, like the ones sold by Domino’s at Tokyo Game Show in 2011.

▼ With his expectations set low, Mr Sato hopped off the train and searched for the pizza shop at the platform.

Walking along the platform, it didn’t take long for him to come across a couple of Pizza-La signs, one filled with trivia about the chain and another showing their various pizza sizes.

Eight points were listed on the trivia sign, and Pizza-La says if you read them before eating the pizza, they’ll make the pizza more delicious. The points are:

  1. The Japanese-born pizza delivery chain was established in 1987.
  2. The dough is an original, jointly developed with Asanoya, a famous bakery in Karuizawa.
  3. As the decisive factor in deliciousness, natural cheese with a rich original flavour is used instead of processed cheese.
  4. To always deliver fresh deliciousness we use fresh tomatoes and basil.
  5. Olive oil (sachets) use only hand-picked Italian olives that have been pesticide-free for over 10 years.
  6. Pizza toppings aren’t only about ingredients, but also the order and location of the toppings, right up to the amount per gram.
  7. In order to deliver freshly made deliciousness, we deliver pizzas in special bags containing a 90 degrees Celsius (194 degrees Fahrenheit) heat-retaining plate.
  8. Since the company was founded, the president, who is also a mother of two children, tastes the entire menu and decides whether or not to sell menu items.

Some of these points were previously unknown to Mr Sato, giving him a new appreciation — and hunger — for the chain and its pizzas. And when he walked a little further, he found what he was looking for — the chain’s first-ever branch at a station platform!

To celebrate this never-before-seen branch, the pizzas were being sold at special prices. There were two types of pizza available, Margherita and Teriyaki Chicken, and they were actually whole pizzas said to be equivalent to 1.5 servings, priced at 1,300 yen (US$8.90).

▼ Mr Sato chose the Margherita.

After speaking to the store clerk, Mr Sato learned that these pizzas were actually made off-site, at the nearby Ogikubo branch of Pizza-La, and brought in throughout the day as necessary. All the pizzas were sold warm, which was a nice touch, as Mr Sato had assumed they may have been sold frozen or chilled. Despite being warm, there was no smell emanating from the box, making it suitable to take on the train without annoying other passengers.

▼ The pizza came with sachets of olive oil and spicy herb and red pepper toppings.

As soon as he got home, Mr Sato wasted no time in lifting the lid on the box, and when he laid eyes on the pizza, he was pleased to see it looked the same as a pizza bought from a regular branch of Pizza-La.

Picking up a piece of pie and biting into it revealed that the taste was exactly the same too — crunchy, chewy, cheesy and delicious. As he chewed, he thought back to those eight points on the sign at the station, and he could taste the expertise that had gone into its making.

While Mr Sato was thoroughly pleased with the pie at room temperature, you can always warm it up by covering it in foil and heating it in an oven toaster for three to four minutes, or alternatively, you can heat it up in the microwave at 500 watts for 30-45 seconds.

Pizza at the station platform is an idea that Mr Sato is keen to get behind, but unfortunately, it’s only around for a limited time, from 21-27 August. So if you’re riding the rails around town and looking for a quick bite to eat on your way home, this branch is here to serve you. Here’s hoping they open soon at more train platforms, like this one that has a literal winery on the platform.

Store information
Pizza-La Marunouchi Line Ogikubo Station platform / ピザーラ 丸の内線荻窪駅ホーム
Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Kamiogi 1-chome, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Ogikubo Station Platform
東京都杉並区上荻1丁目 東京メトロ丸の内線荻窪駅ホーム
Open 2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (Closing time varies depending on the Ogikubo branch)
Opening period: 21-27 August 2023

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