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Mar 26, 2010 10:38 PM

Detailed meal itinerary for our 2 week trip through Japan - for your info and critique

Thank you to everyone for your great posts, which has allowed us to put together the following detailed meal itinerary for our 2 week trip to Japan. Let us know what you think. We will certainly let you know what we think, when we get back!


Day 1

Dinner - Birdland Yakitori

Day 2

Breakfast - Tsukiji Market (Sushi Dai, Sushi Bun, Daiwazushi, or Tsukiji Sushisay)

Lunch - Yanmo

Dinner - Tsuki no Shizuku

Day 3

Breakfast - Henri Charpentier Pastry Shop

Lunch- Mitsukoshi department store

Dinner- Midori-no-Sushi


Day 4

Breakfast- Bento box at Toyko station

Lunch- Houraiken (Nagoya)
Dessert?- Cafe Tanaka or Chez Shibata (Nagoya)

Dinner- Kani douraku

Day 5

Breakfast- bakery to be determined

Lunch- (was Masamichi- now open for suggestions)

Dinner- Kodai Suzume-zushi Sushiman


Day 6

Breakfast- Bento box at Osaka station

Lunch- Hassho’s Original Okonomiyaki or Chiichan (next to Hassho)

Dinner- Oyster Conclave


Day 7

Breakfast- Bento box at Hiroshima station

Lunch- Iso Gai (Tenjin)

Dinner- Yatai

Day 8

Breakfast- Bakery to be determined

Lunch- Teraoka

Dinner- Chikae


Day 9

Breakfast- Bento box at Fukuoka station

Lunch- Chunagon (Osaka)

Dinner- Shiraume Kaiseiki (our Ryokan)

Day 10

Breakfast- provided by Ryokan

Lunch- Ten-you

Dinner- Kyoto Spoon

Day 11

Breakfast- provided by Ryokan

Lunch- open for suggestions

Dinner- Izuu


Day 12

Breakfast- Bento box at Kyoto station

Lunch- Yoshihashi

Dinner- Nabura

Day 13

Breakfast- L'Atelier Robuchon Bakery

Lunch- Kyubei

Dinner- open for suggestions

Day 14

Breakfast- Sembikiya or Takano Fruit Parlor

Lunch- Tonki

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  1. Day 3 - if you're talking about Mitsukoshi Ginza, I don't think they have any restaurants other than a counter or two in the basement.

    Day 5 - Masamichi isn't open for lunch. In general, even when izakaya are great at dinnertime they tend to be pretty average for lunch - it's usually better to go someplace more specialized.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robb S

      bentos are great, different stations have different specialties, down to different style boxes. trains can be crowded, much more than americans would expect, esp during the many festivals. standing room only for hours is no fun.
      Tsukiji is well worth trip but not set up for tourists, it is working fish auction and market. food locally is more for workers and while many japanese speak at least a little english, here it is uncommon. wish I had checked out nearby cutlery store, set up for professionals. be careful, industrial area with much hand and motorcart traffic.
      I like ryokans, don't remember breakfasts but had some great multi course dinners.
      rent movie tampopo and bring lots of cash.

    2. Kani douraku is fun which you can try different kinds of crab. But I don't think the quality is that good with the main branch I visit at Osaka, and it is not cheap. Hot pot and grill is ok but suggest to stay away from any kind of crab sushi there...
      It seems like there is no ramen in your list ?

      You may want to consider the "Black Door" fish market of Osaka for another around of sashimi breakfast. There is also a lots of fugu there in the market, so if you do not want to spend big buck on Fugu but still want to give it a try, you can buy and eat at the fish shop there with other kind of seafood !

      Also, the breakfast provided by Ryokan is usually huge, you may want to have a late lunch if you want Tempura as lunch.

      1. This itinerary seems a bit micro-managed. If you want to roam around and make your own discoveries, which is the really fun part of traveling, you're barely allowing yourself any space for that. If you're using this itinerary as a rough guideline, that a good way to approach it.

        In Hiroshima, the original Hassho okonomiyaki shop is in a different (though walkable) district than Chiichan, which is in the Okonomimura building. There is a branch of Hassho next to Chiichan, but the original shop provides a different experience. For a first time visitor, Okonomimura is a better choice. But instead of limiting yourself to these two, I'd say go to any of the stalls that has room, or where you might find someone who speaks enough English to guide you through the menu. Also, Oyster Conclave is an interesting choice for a one-day visit to Hiroshima. It's a cute little place along the river, but its appeal to locals is that it's a bit fusion-y and a slight departure from your usual local style of eating. If you're looking for more traditional fare, I would give Kakibune Kanawa a look. It's in all the tourist guides, but the quality seems to be impeccable and they do offer an English menu to help you out.

        Your Fukuoka itinerary looks a bit redundant. For Day 8, Teraoka and Chikae are basically clones of one another, doing traditional Fukuoka style seafood with big tanks or a pool of fresh seafood in the center of the restaurant. You might be better off going to one, and then doing something different, like the many good quality izakayas. I'm not sure where you're staying in Fukuoka, but both Chikae and Isogai are long schleps out from the central city, requiring taxi rides out the the area and back. Also, Isogai is a robataya and doubtful to be open for lunch.

        Also, if you're looking to broaden your wings at each of your stops, eat your planned dinners early, and eat a fairly light meal. Stroll around in the evenings and find a lively izakaya, or wine bar (what might be called "dining bar") and have some drinks and a small plate or two, or maybe desserts.

        5 Replies
        1. re: E Eto

          I gotta agree here, you are really micromanaging yourself. Part of the fun of Japan is stumbling into places and having fantastic meal. There are countless places I have just taken a punt on going to or joined a long line of locals and not regretted it.

          That said. Get yourself to Yamamoto Menzo for excellent (and cheap) udon for your free lunch in Kyoto.

          1. re: kersizm

            exactly. I would not want to be on that trip. Improvise.

            1. re: epop

              Dear OP, this is probably past your travel dates, but for what it is worth: any time you post a detailed and fully planned out itinerary on this board (or similar discussion boards), there will be the obligatory well-intentioned-yet-still-managing-to-be-condescending stream of comments that will have you believe that you are missing something essential to the very core ideals of travel because you have no sense of adventure and improvisation.
              I say if you are the type who enjoys planning the trip almost as much as the actual thing, or just fail to see the magic in wandering aimlessly about, you are not alone. We too are entitled to our enjoyment of travel as much as all the improv-junkies.
              Plan the F#$% out of every minute!!

              1. re: shekamoo

                A balance between the two b/c in a place like japan stumbling upon something can be the highlight.

                1. re: epop

                  I always make a detailed plan before leaving, but rarely follow it exactly. The only definites on my lists are places for which I have reservations, but for all other meals, even if I have a specific place planned, where I end up depends on where I am and what I'm in the mood for.

        2. Great job with the research.

          Some thoughts:
          Station bento boxes are a cute novelty but I don't think they are particularly good eating- regardless of the local specialty. They can often be sitting around for awhile and everything inside over-steamed on itself. Depending on what time your morning trains are, I would recommend making a meal by collecting chow-worthy items from depachika (Hankyu in Osaka for example) or the many shops within Tokyo or other stations.

          In Tokyo, I would consider swapping out Midori-zushi for either a higher end sushi place or just do it for lunch one day. It's really just a value sushi experience. And for your open night, you might want to explore dining options in neighborhoods other than Ginza and Roppongi.

          I'm definitely intrigued about the Oyster Conclave in Hiroshima.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Silverjay

            Oyster Conclave has a very nice outdoor setting if the weather is good, and the food is quite good, if not very traditional.

            1. re: Silverjay

              I'm with Silverjay on the Midori-zushi idea.
              If you want to keep prices down, maybe sushi Zanmai would be a better choice. Depending on when you go, midori can have extremely long lines and it's not significantly better (to my recollection) than Zanmai.

              1. re: lost squirrel

                have to slightly disagree with squirrel. While neither of Midori and Zanmai would be my choice for sushi on a trip to japan, I do find Midori significantly better. Prices are comparable and I can see why Midori gets queues and zanmai does not.