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Jan 19, 2011 02:25 PM

Tokyo Fine Dining & Kyoto Kaiseki on 2 month culinary tour of Japan


I am a young chef living in Edinburgh, and have won a Scholarship to travel Japan and see the countries best food, markets and restaurants for 2 months (From April 22nd 2011 - June 22nd 2011)!!!

On my tour I want to do one Japanese fine dining experience in Tokyo (not concerned about French, Italian etc as I've done all that before, although I could be temped with Joel Robuchons L'Attelier if highly recommended?)There is not a strict budget to my meal, but I don't want to stray much above of say 15,000 yen.

Also would like to have a similar experience at a Kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto with a similar budget.

Couple of other queries, how far in advance shall I reserve a table? And do these restaurant's happily accept tables of 1?

If you have any other suggestions of places to eat on my culinary tour of Japan be it sushi, yakatori, soba, Okonomiyaki, ramen please let me know!

All recommendations are welcome!


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  1. Well if your going to see markets, Tsujiki is a just see.

    I was overwhelmed by the action down there and disappointed in hindsight that we only went once in our trip

    Didn't manage to see the tuna auction, but did wander around the inner market after their busiest session. Overwhelming in a good way. I'd expect there's a few kilometers of lane ways in there chockablock with amazing seafood

    Oh and btw, the busiest intersection in Tokyo is not in shibuya - it's in the fish market! Good luck tring to cross the road ;)



    2 Replies
    1. re: Blacken

      Yeah, Thanks

      I had intended on heading down to Tsukiji market indeed. It looks amazing of what I have read and saw on TV. Really want to try a good sushi place nearby,and will go several times on my trip I would imagine!

      If any one can reccoemnd the best fine dining experience in Tokyo and Kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto I will write a full report with pictures after my visit!



      1. re: stew_craig89

        Stew, just type 'fine dining' or 'michelin' or 'kaiseki kyoto' or 'reservations' or whatever you are looking for into the search box top right of this page and go through the results. Your query is so general and we've covered so many places before, it's better if you do the initial legwork and identify and post places you are interested in. The board can then give you opinions. There are whole itineraries similar to your request that we've gone through in the past.

    2. If you're looking for a full-on kaiseki experience, you shouldn't be looking at restaurants, but at ryokans (inns), where the full kaiseki courses are brought to your private room as you sit in your yukata. However, this isn't for solo diners.

      1. Hey Stewart, kaiseki in kyoto is pretty costly. But if you're on a 'shoe string' budget, try Giro Giro Hitoshina (420-7 Nanba-cho, Nishi Kiya-machi-dori, Higashigawa, Matsubarashita, Shimogyo-ku; 81-75-343-7070), the contemporary kaiseki at Giro Giro is known to be one of the most affordable in Kyoto. I have recently visited Kyoto and visited a number of top notch kaiseki restaurants, my story was published in Singapore's epicure magazine. You can find the article on Kyoto's haute cuisine under"Travel" if you look under the Restaurant Index tab. I can't post the link here. But I must say that if your budget allows, a trip to either Kichisen or Kikunoi Honten is a 'must do'.