Travel to Japan - reco

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Mesta, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Mesta

    Mesta Senior member

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    This thread is awesome ! Thanks guys :p
    Still figuring out when I'll go but please continue with food reco :p
    What about shopping? ;)
     


  2. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    I haven't been to Butagumi, but hear the name often. Wife doesn't like tonkatsu (I love it) so I never got to go. Maisen is more one of those places you just go to when you're at Omotesando, it's just such an institution. From a design perspective it really gets you into a mood, even the napkins are great. They look like new old stock from like, 1960.

    Torizenseo is priced like any other decent yakitori place really, I think the skewers +/- 300Y a piece. An appetizer, 8 skewers, and then rice or noodle soup to finish would be a good meal and probably get you around 5000Y a head and they have an omakase that is around the same. Wine list priced like a Tokyo wine list.

    For steak, I assume you mean wagyu, I haven't eaten that many wagyu steaks to be honest. I ate wagyu often in Japan, but never really craved a whole steak of it. A 'steakhouse' in Japan tends to serve overcooked steaks on a kitschy cast iron plate with like, a decorative carrot, a green bean, and some bean sprouts and costs around 3-4000Y usually. They're more like neighborhood family restaurants. There are matsuzaka, Kobe, mishima, etc specialty shops where the preparation is nicer, obviously - if I felt like a steak in Tokyo I'd go to the Keyakizaka teppanyaki place at Roppongi Hills. They have good veggies, fish and steak selections. It's kind of boring though. I usually went because it's close and the lunch is big. I am not sure how big you want this steak to be, because a lot of kappou or even fine dining restaurants have a decently sized, perfectly cooked wagyu steak preparation as part of a bunch of other stuff.
     


  3. jeannoob

    jeannoob Senior member

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    Looks like Japan is where it's at! I'm going to be there as well from April to September as I'm doing an exchange program there. Apparently, mid-March - April is a good time to go as it's during the cherry blossom festival.

    Btw I've always wondered, is it cheaper to buy Japan-based clothing in Japan (Beams+, etc.) than in North America? Or do the prices adjust?
     


  4. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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  5. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Is there a bar, or an area with bars, that is popular with US expats? A friend of mine is in Tokyo and is missing being able to have a simple conversation in English with someone.

    ~ H
     


  6. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    If he's still going to be there Feb 11th - I can help.
     


  7. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Haha, yes, she will be (and no, she's not available).
     


  8. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Well.... I do have a shred of respect. Ill pm you my contact info
     


  9. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    There's plenty of places to do that, but many are the usual suspect type places in Roppongi - low quality food and drink plus oft-times, low-quality people. You meet higher-earning types down in Azabu, there's a few restaurants down there that cater to expats, theres a mexican place that is ripoff of Chipotle and there is a Texas BBQ place that I only ever see white people in. Thing about the expat community in Japan though, is that yes, there is an inordinately high number of expats who enjoy keeping to themselves, either because they're there for the Japanese tail and are wholly into that, or just generally distrust other expats (because many are there for the tail) and so -----> most expat residents are weird. Japan is a place many people want to go to for their own reasons, and they just don't have the desire to hang out with too many people from wherever it is they come from. It's a little different than say, Korea, where many are there seemingly against their will.
     


  10. djblisk

    djblisk Senior member

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    Thank god, I found this thread!!!

    Gonna be there at the end of April.

    2 nights in tokyo the 1 night in Hakone at a Royuken and the back to Tokyo for 4 nights.

    Keep the food recommendations coming!

    Should I just stay in Shinjuku the first 2 nights?
     


  11. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Ate lunch at Pizza Strada today... great recommendation. From there I went to the Suntory and Mori Tower art museums. Dinner for Chinese New Year (Gung Hai Fat Choi) was at Chen Kenichi's Szechwan restaurant. HIGHLY recommend that for the others heading to Tokyo, if you like Sichuan cooking. His Mapodofu was the best I've ever had. Tan Tan noodles were also fantastic. Both were eego (english) - Friendly.

    Yesterday, I did not have that experience. I went to Ueno - saw the national museum and walked around the market area just off the station. This was my first experience in my life of being refused service - I asked in broken Japanese if they had an English menu and the guy pushed me out the door and said "good luck someplace else - no english here".
     


  12. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    wow, great that you enjoyed my recommendations and found the nearby stuff. Did Tamaki speak with you as he made pizzas, and which one did you order?
     


  13. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    I ordered the tamaki - and yes, he and i had a nice conversation after I finished eating. If I knew your real name, I would have dropped it :)
     


  14. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    I don't think I've told him my name, actually. haha. Great story about him - he obviously has a knack for making a pizza, and he taught some guys up the street at a different pizza shop (Savoy) how to make pizza, but I asked Tamaki if he's ever been to Italy, and he says "nah" "never been" - lol. He is from Okinawa and has learned all that just in Japan, somehow. The side dishes like the marinated things and the fried appetizers are also great, did you try any of them?
     


  15. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Also, I hardly ever spend time in Ueno (it's far from my place, I live a block from Pizza Strada) but have been to the modern museum that was done by Corbusier, with the Thinker out front - is that the one you went to, or did you go to the one across from it?

    What is next on your Japan itinerary? It seems like a waste to go all the way to Japan to eat a hamburger, but seriously, you need to try to get back over to Ebisu and try Blacows, it is truly one of the best hamburgers in the world. Matt won't let you post the burger pics in the WAYET threak but it's worth the trip, twice over. Just nix their house sauce and relish, I dislike both and prefer a 'normal' burger there.
     


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