Prior to my Tokyo / Hakone / Fujikawaguchiko trip, I did a lot of research finding a variety of different Japanese foods to eat – sushi, ramen, unagi, BBQ beef, soba, udon, Kaiseki, pancakes, seafood donburi, and tempura. And trust me, even after 9 days, we felt that we were not able to eat all the Japanese meals we wanted, because there just simply wasn’t enough time to do and eat everything! We ended up not eating one of the soba noodles I researched, missed a udon shop we wanted to try because they ran out of udon noodles, and sometimes just didn’t feel hungry enough.
For booking restaurants in Japan, you will probably need to use the websites https://tabelog.com/en/ and https://omakase.in/. With the huge influx of tourists going in to Japan these days, along with locals just dining outside in general, it is highly recommended that you book at least a month, preferably 3 months, prior to ensure you have a table booking, otherwise it can be difficult to book. Also it is recommended to have someone who knows Japanese to help you book because with the websites, you will have to rely on Google translate sometimes and sometimes the translation may not be understandable, so you might end up booking a set menu when you actually could have just booked a table with a la carte instead (what happened to us with Yoroniku Ebisu).
This post will focus on restaurants we ate only in Tokyo, as I will do separate posts for Hakone and Fujikawaguchiko and talk about the trip itinerary including the restaurants for those. It will talk about which ones were yummy and worth the price, and which ones that weren’t. Continue reading Recommended Places to Eat in Tokyo
I’ve actually been to Fukuoka before a couple years ago, but during that time we joined a tour group that brought us to these horrendous restaurants. I didn’t write much, but there are a couple of photos you can see at Fukuoka, Aso, and Sea Hell in Beppu. During that trip, we focused more on the southern parts of Fukuoka. As such, this time we focused more on the northern side of Fukuoka.
Anyway, the tour guide trip we were on brought us to these ridiculously atrocious restaurants. In fact, some of these restaurants were overcharging, with the help of the tour guide, who managed to convince us to HAVE to try this Kinki fish for USD 250 that turned out to be undercooked, with lots of bones, and not delicious at all.
That trip, I had an incredibly poor impression of the food in Fukuoka.
THIS time, since we planned and managed the trip ourselves, the food experience was the opposite of what I had compared to my first trip in Fukuoka, in that we had extraordinary food experiences, from sitting near the seaside BBQing raw oysters to eating traditional and sumptuous traditional Japanese traditional cuisine. I dare say this was one of THE best food experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m about to share with you some of the restaurants we went to. What a difference planning a trip by yourselves and joining a tour group makes. I’ve always been AGAINST joining tour groups, as you can manage your time however you want if you’re going by yourself and you can plan the restaurants YOU want to go to rather than being brought to tourist restaurants where the tour agency probably gets a cut or commission from bringing us there.
For things to do, you can read about my blog post Shrines and Limestones, Fukuoka and North.
Continue reading One of the Best FOOD Trips Ever in FUKUOKA
Quick tips about Hokkaido:
- The people here do not speak any English… like at all. You’d expect the hotels to know English, but a majority of the staff couldn’t speak the language even one bit
- As yen continues to depreciate, the value there keeps getting cheaper. I was extremely happy with what I was getting for food and for shopping for the price I was paying
- So yeah it’s a food paradise
- Since public transportation is quite expensive, and since the weather can be a bit harsh in winter times, I would actually recommend renting a car if you have a group of three or more. 4 days rental was quoted at 29,000 yen including insurance
- If you are traveling short distances and going with 3 or more people, you can consider riding a taxi too
- Felt very safe the entire trip
- If you want to see the autumn leaves, you should go there around Sept / Oct. If you want to go for skiing / snowboarding, you should go there around December to February
- Sapporo is a great city, but to appreciate Hokkaido’s scenery, you really have to go outside the city to other parts of Hokkaido
Continue reading Hokkaido in November