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One week trip to Japan - Page 2

post #16 of 306
If you are simply interested in sampling some raw horsemeat ("basashi"馬刺し ), you can sometimes get it at izakayas - especially those who focus on regional cuisines like from Kyushu or Nagano. Bakuro in Ebisu Tokyo specializes in horse meat - served raw, grilled or as sukiyaki - as they do in Kyushu.

If you want to try fugu, there are definitely quite a few well-known places with prices to match. If you 're willing to ditch fancy interiors and service in favor of superior freshness, spartan surroundings and a better overall value, then consider Tentake which is near the Tsukiji Market:

Tentake
6-16-6 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku; tel: (03) 3541-3883.
Open daily (except the New Year's holiday season)
1130-2200

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0020113a5.html
Quote:
One of the delicacies of winter, fugu (puffer fish) is the specialty of Tentake, just across Harumi-dori from the central fish market. Tentake prides itself on its supply of ocean-caught tora-fugu, the most sought-after (and also potentially the deadliest) species of puffer. The restaurant is large and rather impersonal, but prices are as good as anywhere in town, with basic full-course meals starting from 5,900 yen, and tora-fugu about 25 percent more expensive.

I'd consider searching the archives of chowhound, the listings and reviews in http://www.bento.com , some of the reviews in JapanTimes and you might want to check out some of the reviews in these blogs too:

http://iitokorone.blogspot.com/
http://www.inpraiseofizakaya.com/
http://tokyoeater.blogspot.com/
http://www.potatomato.com/seat/
post #17 of 306
^^ +1 on Sushi Bun recommendation above. One of the oldest sushi restaurants in Tokyo (or was it Japan?). For about 3,000JPY, you get the same fish quality that is served in 10,000JPY+ places. The downside is that it is a very, very small place, so you might have to wait in line. During the busy times, the service is a bit rushed. Also, they close at around 2pm. (not sure exactly).

If you want to try basic Shoyu (soy sauce) style ramen, there is a pretty good place right next to Sushibun. No need to wait, as only people who work in the market eat here. They close at 1pm, I think.

Another recommendation in the Tsukiji area....in the outer market, there is a very small Oyakodon place. For about 800~1000JPY, you get the best Oyakodon. (Very good quality chicken, and top quality eggs, excellent technique) Most people are looking for a seafood place, so this place is usually empty. When Sushibun is too crowded, I eat here.

When I go to the Shinjuku Isetan, I always eat at Seiyoutei on the restaurant floor. It's a Japanese style, western food restaurant (youshyoku). Try their omelet/rice, minch cutlet, or one of their stews.
post #18 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
will this elevate me to daimyo status?

Nah, but I'll tell you what. I got a friend named Han. Says he'll give you a red Evo if you run some errands for him. Try not to crash it because Han's work is expensive and you'll probably lose the gt wing in a bad drift if you're granny shiftin, not double clutchin like you should.
post #19 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
My aunt did reserve a business hotel room for me in Kyoto as well, but I really do want to stay at a ryokan. I actually have almost zero knowledge of Japanese, so that hinders my chances of actually finding one that's good (and within my price range). Also, I'm going to Japan this week, so I'm not sure how easily I could procure a room in such conditions, especially given the fact that every single ryokan reservation site said that it's nigh impossible for a single traveler to book a good ryokan room early August.
Try looking online here: JNTO http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/ac...ns/ryokan.html Japan Ryokan Association http://www.ryokan.or.jp/index_en.html JAPAN RYOKAN ASSOCIATION KANSAI BRANCH http://www.ryokan.or.jp/kinki/eng/ Japanese Inn Group http://japaneseinngroup.com Japan Ryokan & Hotel Association http://www.nikkanren.or.jp/english/ PT Group http://www.pt-web.gr.jp Japanese Guest Houses http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm Two from memory, but they might be over your budget... YACHIYO http://kyoto-ryokan.co.jp/ ($200-$300/night with kaiseki meals included) HIIRAGIYA http://www.hiiragiya.co.jp/ ($200-$300/night with kaiseki meals included) On the budgeting (but still good & unique) end of things, we have: Rakuto-so aka The Three Sisters Inn http://www4.ocn.ne.jp/~k3sisanx/index2.html Phone +81(75)761-6333 Fax +81(75)761-6335
Quote:
One inn that has made a specialty of catering to Americans for decades is the Rakutoso (18 Higashi, Fukunokawa-machi, Okazaki, 761-6336), which is run by three sisters (and is widely known as the Three Sisters Inn); its price of about $60 a person includes service and taxes and breakfast.
Rates etc:
Quote:
We have 11 Japanese rooms. Room rate is , One twin room/with private bath room. Y7,900+15%(per night and person) (service chrage 10 %+Tax 5%) The room rate does not include any meals. We don't serve dinner. Breakfast: Conti Y805/ American Y1,265/ Japanese Y1,380. (Ordered by previous day.) Please do not hesitate to ask us for the room rate and another conditions. The all rooms are NO SMOKING. The curfew is 23:30
post #20 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
will this elevate me to daimyo status?

A properly detailed Trueno AE86 will do the trick.
post #21 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
I am staying in Shinjuku at Shinjuku New City hotel but I wouldn't mind traveling around a bit for the best of the best

Taking a quick look at the room rate for a single there (~9,975 yen ), two other recommendations for similarly priced hotels in Tokyo:

Hotel Excellent in Ebisu Depends on what you're into, but Ebisu has a good vibe and not a bad place to plant yourself for half a week.

Slightly more but alot trendier inside, The b Akasaka (NYT review here) , b Roppongi and although the location is central, it's a bit quiet the b Ochanomizi. There is a b in Ikebukuro but unless you like the area, it's stuck up in the NW corner of Tokyo and not the best location for getting around.
post #22 of 306
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone I got to Narita around 2:30 PM and took the NEX to Shinjuku. Surprisingly, I was more tired than I thought I would be, so today was mostly a rest day. I ended up sleeping throughout the entire flight and the entire train ride. I didn't really sightsee today, and instead opted to just have a nice dinner and a few drinks to help ease the night away. I went to Ebisu to eat at Bakurou. Horse meat tastes pretty similar to beef, but I think it was slightly chewier and the fat tasted less...greasy? It was still kind of heavy, but it's nowhere like chewing on a piece of wagyu or hanwoo. I think my favorite cut was this one with like two lines of fat, one at the top and one at the bottom. It was rather chewy and tough compared to the other cuts I got, but I thought it had the most flavor. I had the five cut sampler and grilled galbi with a few beers and a cup of shochu. Shochu was kind of meh? It wasn't anything special, but it tasted a hell of a lot better than soju in Korea. I think they had Yebisu beer on draft, but I'm not sure. The head tasted very creamy, and it was a refreshing beer. One of the best parts of the meal was the wasabi. Freshly grated wasabi is SO much better than the shitty pasty mush you get at US restaurants. It was MUCH better than the wasabi that I had in Korea. It was spicy, but all the spice goes to your nose. The wasabi was somewhat coarse, but it was sweet and cut down the fattiness of the horse meat (especially the galbi... it was fattier than I expected). The waitress there was pretty cute and she did a lot to accommodate for my lack of Japanese. Her English wasn't very good, but she was very patient with me and tried her best to explain everything. When I ordered shochu, she asked whether I wanted ice, but she didn't know ice, so she kept repeating rocks until I figured out what she meant. Overall, it was a really good experience. Thank you for the suggestion I'm going to wake up at 7 AM tomorrow and gauge how tired I feel. If I'm feeling okay, I'll head to Tsukiji to get some sushi and beer for breakfast. I pretty much gave up on the tuna auction and I'm probably just going to go there for some fresh sushi and fugu (maybe sushi for breakfast and fugu for dinner? We'll see Either way, I'm very excited!) Otherwise, I'll change my plans and head out a bit later (maybe check out Roppongi, Shibuya, and stuff. Shopping is always nice ) I think the best part about Asia is that the girls are sooooo much prettier than Asian-American girls. I think I prefer a more Asian look, whereas Asian-Americans have that.....slightly American look? Not really a fan of the Asian-American look... Probably a result of the environment.
post #23 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack View Post
For ramen -- try and find Mendokoro Kukuri ramen located in Central Tokyo ...

(partial re-post from another thread) When I had some friends visit me in Tokyo, I could not understand how and why they had such a hard-on for Ippudo in Ebisu - after all, it's just a fucking chainstore. What I did not realize was that they had a branch restaurant in NYC which seems to have generated some hype.

As there's hardly any hype or PR in English, most people visiting Tokyo will miss out on the ramen shops considered to be the best by Japanese in the know. This TV program a few years ago, picked a small shop called Mendokoro Kururi as its #1 pick:

A review (in English) is here ... lots of other good picks on this English-language ramen blog.

For sushi--- Tsukiji... (the FISH MARKET) http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htmthe calendar is here:

http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2010.html

If you want to see the tuna auction, you'll need:

1. to get there early. from 4 AM or 5 AM or 6 AM ... 7AM by the absolute latest. Staying out all night is a popular option especially if you have jetlag. If you get there after 0630 the tuna auction might be over but there'll still be lots to see.

2. the floor can be wet. be forewarned.

Recently they instituted some new initiative whereby tourists can only go in with a registered guide or on a tour with new signs declaring " "no admission without permission" Apparently some ding dong tourists were getting in the way of the workers who zip around on motorized trucks. There is supposedly a new system whereby visitors to Tsukiji are required line up to get a special jacket or something - which means if you follow the stupid rules, you risk getting up for nothing. There are security guards who might you to leave, but actually they can't legally do so as it is a public area so they're obviously depending on coercing stupid tourists; it's better to keep an eye out for them and not run into them -- or draw too much attention to yourself by standing out. The problem is they recently approached a friend of mine whom they mistakenly assumed was a tourist due to his round-eyed appearance. He's a chef and has a very short temper.


If uncertain, pay these guys 7500 yen to guide you around discreetly:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/tokyowork...ijiTourEng.htm

Although the idea of eating sushi at 6 or 7 AM in the morning (with a beer) might make you feel squeamish -- it's a great opportunity to have some of the freshest sushi you'll ever eat.


Most tourists will opt for lining up at Sushi Daibut I would recommend opting for the lesser-known Sushi Bun (see map below):


Also, two reviews including a photo which will help you identify the restaurant's sign:

http://www.bento.com/rev/3215.html
http://aki-eats.blogspot.com/2007/07/sushi-bun.html
+1 on sushi dai and +1 on sushi bun. the sushimen at sushi dai speak decent english and korean. apparently somethign they all picked up just by talking to customers.

there's also this famous ramen place and this famous kamaboko place nearby. -_- i dunno their names. make sure to get 2 boxes of uni and ship one to me via fedex overnight shipping
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post #24 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
Hello everyone I got to Narita around 2:30 PM and took the NEX to Shinjuku. Surprisingly, I was more tired than I thought I would be, so today was mostly a rest day. I ended up sleeping throughout the entire flight and the entire train ride. I didn't really sightsee today, and instead opted to just have a nice dinner and a few drinks to help ease the night away. I went to Ebisu to eat at Bakurou. Horse meat tastes pretty similar to beef, but I think it was slightly chewier and the fat tasted less...greasy? It was still kind of heavy, but it's nowhere like chewing on a piece of wagyu or hanwoo. I think my favorite cut was this one with like two lines of fat, one at the top and one at the bottom. It was rather chewy and tough compared to the other cuts I got, but I thought it had the most flavor. I had the five cut sampler and grilled galbi with a few beers and a cup of shochu. Shochu was kind of meh? It wasn't anything special, but it tasted a hell of a lot better than soju in Korea. I think they had Yebisu beer on draft, but I'm not sure. The head tasted very creamy, and it was a refreshing beer. One of the best parts of the meal was the wasabi. Freshly grated wasabi is SO much better than the shitty pasty mush you get at US restaurants. It was MUCH better than the wasabi that I had in Korea. It was spicy, but all the spice goes to your nose. The wasabi was somewhat coarse, but it was sweet and cut down the fattiness of the horse meat (especially the galbi... it was fattier than I expected). The waitress there was pretty cute and she did a lot to accommodate for my lack of Japanese. Her English wasn't very good, but she was very patient with me and tried her best to explain everything. When I ordered shochu, she asked whether I wanted ice, but she didn't know ice, so she kept repeating rocks until I figured out what she meant. Overall, it was a really good experience. Thank you for the suggestion

I'm going to wake up at 7 AM tomorrow and gauge how tired I feel. If I'm feeling okay, I'll head to Tsukiji to get some sushi and beer for breakfast. I pretty much gave up on the tuna auction and I'm probably just going to go there for some fresh sushi and fugu (maybe sushi for breakfast and fugu for dinner? We'll see Either way, I'm very excited!) Otherwise, I'll change my plans and head out a bit later (maybe check out Roppongi, Shibuya, and stuff. Shopping is always nice )

I think the best part about Asia is that the girls are sooooo much prettier than Asian-American girls. I think I prefer a more Asian look, whereas Asian-Americans have that.....slightly American look? Not really a fan of the Asian-American look... Probably a result of the environment.

Don't limit yourself to just Japanese food in Tokyo, since you're going out to Kyoto and Kansai anyway. You can get some French and Italian there that is spectacular, especially since you're visiting from America. Just be sure to eat it for lunch and not dinner unless you're ballin out of control. Hell, even the burgers and bread are mindblowingly good, the bread is better than anything available in the USA.
post #25 of 306
also, there are tons of great shochus out there. Iichiko Frasco is the premium Iichiko that is widely available (you should pick up a bottle to take home, it's $250/bottle in Korea but only a 50 spot or so at a Japanese supermarket. ) made from barley (mugi) in Oita-ken, pretty standard for shochus.
post #26 of 306
damn

i just thought of pierre herme macarons.

fuuuu. i want some macarons.
post #27 of 306
The prices on most lunch menus in Japan are a relative bargain. So, one way to try out a top-rated place without busting your budget is to see if they are open for lunch. And, since you are not working, being able to go just before the lunch hour rush from 1130 or afterward from 1245 onward helps reduce any wait or crowding.

I had a nice lunch of reimen at PyonPyonsha in Ginza today .. Korean-influenced cold noodles from Morioka in a rich beef broth:

http://www.pyonpyonsya.co.jp/tenpo_ginzauna.html




If you wanted to try whale meat but did not want to blow a whole evening on dinner, then definitely consider lunch. (It's sometimes on the menu of some sushi-ya and izakaya, but not always - and the quality is sometimes dodgy). Try Kujiraya in Shibuya:

Bento.com review: http://www.bento.com/rev/2167.html
Map: http://www.bento.com/gmaps/2167.html

Lunch menu: http://www.kujiraya.co.jp/dish/lunch.html


The whale sashimi lunch set is only Y1,600 and with the whale meat sourced from the Antarctica 'research' expeditions, you're more likely to get the real thing fresh -- not some surplus frozen stuff from the government storehouses or lesser whales or dolphins being passed off as minke.
post #28 of 306
Can you read Japanese dude? You seem to have a grasp of some of the terms at least, so I was just wondering. Here is a user-ranked list of Tokyo restaurants, on the left side, and then down on the right with the stars is a list of Michelin star restuarants, starting with modern French, then traditional French, and so on and so on. There's a few Chinese places on there and a Tempura restaurant with Michelin stars. http://michelintokyo.blog84.fc2.com/
post #29 of 306
Horse.
Whale.
Dolphin.
Skyline GTR.

Got it.
post #30 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbris1 View Post
Horse.
Whale.
Dolphin.
Skyline GTR.

Got it.

I see you don't like women.
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