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5 weeks in Japan First time visit

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So I am heading to japan on my own for 5 weeks on Feb 27th and while doing some reading on the net ive stumbled across this board (ok food is one of the big reasons for this trip). So I have started from page 19 of this forum and am trying to work my way backwards and am overwhelmed with the amount of information in here. So first of all let me say Thank you....
I am hoping this doesn't come across as one of those annoying posts where you all think I should just look back over previous posts as thats not my intention.. Anyone from all the previous posts I see alot of highly recommended places to eat often people giving several choices. I will continue to read these posts and am definetly making notes. buthere is my question for those of you currently in japan or those who have been before..

What ONE single eatery should I not miss. BE it the best meal or the best experience, BUt just a single eatery.

My plan is to travel the 5 weeks from South to North although I so far have absolutely no actual plan of where I wll be heading or how long I will be there all I know is my Arrival and Departure date....

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  1. Totally depends on your budget - there is no point in people recommending you one single eatery you should not miss if your budget would not allow for it. If it is unlimited, let us know. Also, is there is any food you don't like? I presume you are looking for a recommendation of a Japanese restaurant, rather than one of the many excellent French, Italian, etc restaurants in Tokyo. Or do you not mind, as long as it is a place that is outstanding?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Asomaniac

      thanks for the reply, I am not really trying to budget myself to mcuh to be honest. My time spent in tokyo i will be sleeping on a friends couch so will look to be eating quite decent. I guess Japanese would be top of my list but I would definetly love to have a Great Steak while I am out there :) ... what I would really like is something like your favorite secret spot cheap but amazing . I am jsut so excited about getting out there and sampling the food. There is nothing i don't really like I am looking forward to sampling all the different stuff and am definetly game to try anything once. I love sushi all kinds and the fish market is definetly top of my list of things to do...

    2. For what it's worth, I just met a Dutch couple that was at they end of their 4 or 5 week trip to Japan. They had started in the north and ended up in the remote islands of Okinawa. They told me that their most memorable experience was spending time walking around the Tsukiji fish market and eating sushi at one of the small restaurants there. A Belgian woman, who was on a similar excursion, seemed to conclude with this as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Silverjay

        Yes Tsukiji fish market is probably top of my list of places to go in tokyo and I read that excelletnt post from ages ago with all the recommendations of where to eat there so am really looking forward to the sushi..

      2. Tofuya Ukai near the Tokyo Tower is amazing. For steak, consider Ukai-tei in either Ginza or Omotesando.

        I love going to the Park Hyatt Tokyo to the New York Bar & Grill for a cocktail.

        1. Some links to begin your research...

          Fukuoka:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/338702
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/357672
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351000
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351007
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351194
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/357582
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351001
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351192
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351402
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351567

          Yamaguchi
          Hagi: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493563
          Yuda: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/365293

          Hiroshima
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/342517
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/352320
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/350996
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493442
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/491480
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/265260
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/267272
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/355619
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493917
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/352097
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/352864

          Kurashiki
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/265426

          Okayama
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361854
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361860
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/263642
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/367188
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361863

          Kanazawa
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/567652

          Nagoya
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/337781
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387987
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/265288

          Shizuoka
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5136...
          Izu: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/332232
          Numazu: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545290

          Hokkaido
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/406785
          Sapporo: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/593011
          Hakodate: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/459314

          3 Replies
          1. re: E Eto

            If I had 5 weeks to eat my way through Japan, I'd go to:

            Hokkaido
            Niigata
            Tokyo
            Nagano
            Kanazawa/Noto
            Kyoto
            Osaka
            Hiroshima/Miyajima
            Okayama
            Fukuoka
            Kagoshima

            "What I would really like is something like your favorite secret spot cheap but amazing"

            Then you should head to Osaka for a couple of days. My current opinion is that to find good cheap eats in Tokyo, you have to either be lucky or do research in advance whereas in Osaka, you have to be quite unlucky to stumble upon bad food. If you read Japanese, answer #9 on this post pretty much sums up my position:

            http://q.hatena.ne.jp/1184853891

            1. re: E Eto

              thanks alot I am working my way through all the previous threads on the board this will definetely help... Cheers..

              1. re: jarredjazz

                Brr…As long as the springs last, south ?…well, yes, be fond of Japan, what kind of way ? For the sublime, the one night stay on a temple of Koya-san. For the culinary, the sushi of Tokyo, izakayas, shabu-shabu, steak with soy sauce, hot pot. In 5 weeks, you can choose between 5 big destinations : Tokyo, Osaka/Kyoto, Kanazawa, Miyajima/Hiroshima, Kagoshima… or 2 big outlying capital districts Tokyo-Osaka/Kyoto and with a railpass explore from Tokyo to Kyushu and back to Osaka passing by the hot bath of Kyushu in yukata in front of the ocean and eat fugu (15,000/person with dinner/breakfast http://www.nampuro.com/ ), the buddhist temple of Koya-san (the one spot! 10,000-15,000/person with shojin dinner/breakfast http://www.itijyoin.or.jp/ ), the tavern of Kyoto serving the wild “bear” hot pot (3000/dinner with drinks http://gourmet.yahoo.co.jp/0005146767... ) … and you won`t fall short of mangas, tatami, garden of Kyoto.