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Going to Japan in Late March to Early April - Page 3

post #31 of 57
Some great advice from others here but to see a good range of "stuff" at a variety of price ranges I would go a a Muji, a Tokyu Hands and a major department store, like Isetan, Takashimaya, Daimaru etc. The amount of stuff that you can find at those three stores alone should cover most of your shopping bases. Then, pick one shopping area, you mentioned omotesando or Nishiki market in Kyoto, and just enjoy wandering around and discovering things.

Kobe beef restaurants: there are so many here...it would be best to know your budget...it will range from $75-$150 per person if you want the real deal. Equally good but not official "Kobe" beef will be slightly less expensive.

On the lower end of that budget:
For charcoal grilled I recommend the excellently named A-1 steakhouse. For teppanyaki I would go with Mouriya http://www.mouriya.co.jp/en/sannomiya/index.html or Itoh Dining for a more affordable choice.

If you decide to come, let me know and I can give you directions and more detailed descriptions.
Edited by Alter - 2/21/12 at 10:16am
post #32 of 57
is matsusaka and mishima beef as expensive as kobe?
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by indesertum View Post

is matsusaka and mishima beef as expensive as kobe?

Not so different in price here in Japan, I think. The price is based more on grade than location for domestic beef though there is a slight premium for the name breeds like Kobe or Kumamoto or Matsusaka. Others must know more than me but there are a few different breeds of Wagyu, Kobe being famous for Black Wagyu, but the other areas are famous for some of the other breeds.
post #34 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edinatlanta View Post

The only reason I ask is because no one has ever said this to me but... seriously?
Yes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rumpleteaser/4467001238/

Seriously. It's weird but I would have never thought of that but it's something that I think would be delightful.
post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 
We'll be staying in the Shinbashi/Ginza area, so there's many department stores to visit around there. And yeah, I agree, they're freaking spectacular.
post #36 of 57
Oh yea...just remembered that you asked about the sake breweries in Kobe. Yes, they are worth visiting. This cheesy video has some good info in it: http://youtu.be/wCWZ5DDdnqg

I also recommend visiting the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery if you are a whisky fan. It is very close to Kyoto.
post #37 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post

Oh yea...just remembered that you asked about the sake breweries in Kobe. Yes, they are worth visiting. This cheesy video has some good info in it: http://youtu.be/wCWZ5DDdnqg
I also recommend visiting the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery if you are a whisky fan. It is very close to Kyoto.

Perfect! I was reading up on the sake industry in Kobe and its damage after the 1995 earthquake and look forward to visiting them. Good idea on the Suntory whisky distillery - have you ever been there? I'm researching tours/hours.

Do you have recommendations on particular sake breweries? If not, no bigs because there were some recommendations in Lonely Planet.
post #38 of 57
Kobe has some of the best breweries in the world. Probably the highest concentration of good breweries. Nada specifically is where they all are. I hear it is a very peaceful area with lots of deers and temples.

Hakutsura is good, you can easily find their stuff in the US. So if you take a shine to their brew you can have it here.

Fushimi, in Kyoto, is probably the second largest area for sake brewing. Gekkeikan has their Japanse brewery there. They make good sake all around, not just the shitty stuff that is everywhere in the US.

These 2 places have opposing styles of sake. Nada is more masculine, while Fushimi is more feminine. I prefer Fushimi sake. blush.gif


Edit3: Not sure how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, the number 2 gajin for sake has a book called: Tokyo Sake Pub Guide. Dude, is a good guy and knows his stuff. The other westerner, Philip Harper, is actually the only westerner master brewer. I think he brews for Kinoshita-Shuzou in Kyoto. Could be worth a look, I dunno.

Edit 4: Don't waste your time drinking nigori or sparkling sake. That shit is for peasants.
Edited by Bhowie - 2/21/12 at 3:00pm
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

Kobe has some of the best breweries in the world. Probably the highest concentration of good breweries. Nada specifically is where they all are. I hear it is a very peaceful area with lots of deers and temples.
Hakutsura is good, you can easily find their stuff in the US. So if you take a shine to their brew you can have it here.
Fushimi, in Kyoto, is probably the second largest area for sake brewing. Gekkeikan has their Japanse brewery there. They make good sake all around, not just the shitty stuff that is everywhere in the US.
These 2 places have opposing styles of sake. Nada is more masculine, while Fushimi is more feminine. I prefer Fushimi sake. blush.gif
Edit3: Not sure how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, the number 2 gajin for sake has a book called: Tokyo Sake Pub Guide. Dude, is a good guy and knows his stuff. The other westerner, Philip Harper, is actually the only westerner master brewer. I think he brews for Kinoshita-Shuzou in Kyoto. Could be worth a look, I dunno.
Edit 4: Don't waste your time drinking nigori or sparkling sake. That shit is for peasants.

Bhowie has some great info about sake there but...
Nada: area of Kobe that is quite urban but contains some old sake breweries.
Nara: A different city that is around 50 miles away from Kobe. A former capital of Japan with some deer roaming around and amazing temples.

Both are worth visiting.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post

Bhowie has some great info about sake there but...
Nada: area of Kobe that is quite urban but contains some old sake breweries.
Nara: A different city that is around 50 miles away from Kobe. A former capital of Japan with some deer roaming around and amazing temples.
Both are worth visiting.

facepalm.gif You are absolutely correct. The way the Nada is pronounced screws me up. shog[1].gif
post #41 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

Kobe has some of the best breweries in the world. Probably the highest concentration of good breweries. Nada specifically is where they all are. I hear it is a very peaceful area with lots of deers and temples.
Hakutsura is good, you can easily find their stuff in the US. So if you take a shine to their brew you can have it here.
Fushimi, in Kyoto, is probably the second largest area for sake brewing. Gekkeikan has their Japanse brewery there. They make good sake all around, not just the shitty stuff that is everywhere in the US.
These 2 places have opposing styles of sake. Nada is more masculine, while Fushimi is more feminine. I prefer Fushimi sake. blush.gif
Edit3: Not sure how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, the number 2 gajin for sake has a book called: Tokyo Sake Pub Guide. Dude, is a good guy and knows his stuff. The other westerner, Philip Harper, is actually the only westerner master brewer. I think he brews for Kinoshita-Shuzou in Kyoto. Could be worth a look, I dunno.
Edit 4: Don't waste your time drinking nigori or sparkling sake. That shit is for peasants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post

Bhowie has some great info about sake there but...
Nada: area of Kobe that is quite urban but contains some old sake breweries.
Nara: A different city that is around 50 miles away from Kobe. A former capital of Japan with some deer roaming around and amazing temples.
Both are worth visiting.

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif This is beautiful! Everything (rubs hands together) is coalescing!
post #42 of 57
If you want a pretty accessible way to eat top-flight wagyu, you could go to Imahan in either Asakusa, Ningyocho, or on the restaurant floor of Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku - nice sukiyaki. Not cheap, but not Tokyo mega-expensive (especially since you drink beer with it rather than wine); you can get lunch there too. A little of that beef goes a long way too, don't go into it thinking you want 12 ounces of it or something, the stuff is like eating really nutty beef flavored butter.

There are kappou/beef speciality restaurants all over that do top rank wagyu too, but are less accessible in English imo.
post #43 of 57
Find some nice awamori to take back home.
post #44 of 57
Thread Starter 
I had never heard of awamori before, thanks!
post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

Find some nice awamori to take back home.

Important, some awamori tastes like asscrack.
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