2 Week Trip to Japan...need recommendations!
Hi my family of 5 and I (wife, and three boys between 10-16 years old) are going to be going to Japan in a few weeks. We will be starting in Tokyo, going to Nagano, then Kanazawa then Kinosaki and finally Kyoto (staying in Kyoto for 5 days) before returning home. We are all adventuresome eaters and the kids absolutely love Japanese food and are not picky about anything except peanut butter. I'm looking for some restaurant recommendations in any of the locations, but especially Kyoto and Tokyo. Since we have 5 people we are looking for mainly mid-priced restaurants but are willing to splurge on one or two nights.
Any feed back would be great
While you are in Tokyo I would suggest you take a day trip out to a restaurant that is about a 45 minute train ride from Shinjuku Station. It is called Ukai Toriyama and it is located at the base of a mountain called Mt. Takao. Once you arrive at Takaosan Guchi Station (last station on the line) there is a shuttle bus that will take you to the restaurant. The restaurant is series of small Japanese style houses of varying size that accommodate different size groups. The houses are set in a beautiful garden setting and each house has magnificent views. You select a from one of several different courses (there is an English menu) and then just relax, drink some wonderful sake while being served in a very unique setting. The final course is either beef or chicken which you cook yourself over a small hibachi which is in the center of each room. Ask someone at your hotel to call and make a reservation because they are always extremely busy. I used to take visitors there all the time and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Here is the link with the phone numbers and a better description than mine.
This place is great with kids because you will have your own private little tea house and the surrounding gardens and ponds will keep them entertained while the meal is being served. If you Google Ukai Toiyama Japan you will find many links that show pictures of the place.
Visit any conveyor-belt sushi restaurant. It is a ton of fun and the food is good. I love Kurazushi which is located all over Japan, and only charges 100 yen per plate. Bonus: you get a chance to win a cheap vending machine toy with every five plates. In Kyoto there are branches near Kinkakuji http://www.kura-corpo.co.jp/map/tenpo... and Nijo-jo http://www.kura-corpo.co.jp/map/tenpo... as well as many others. Not all conveyor-belt restaurants are the 100yen per plate type so do be careful.
You have chosen really great cities. Have fun in Kinosaki! I LOVE it... you will not go hungry, nor do you really need specific restaurant recommendations, the town is too small for that. Anyplace should be good. You might be eating in your ryokan anyway? Be prepared for the most food you have seen in your life...
And luckily for your kids, peanut butter can be quite hard to find here.