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Top Japanese restaurants in Tokyo

r
Roysen Jun 8, 2011 10:19 AM

Hi,

My girlfriend and I plan a gastronomic trip to Tokyo. We want to try the very best. We know some restaurants will not allow non-Japanese speaking customers. I hoped to work around that by hiring a local English speaking guide to accopany us to these places.

Would that be a workable solution do you think.

How long in advance is it required to reserve in advance on the best places like Sukiyabashi Jiro and Kuybey (both Ginza)?

Thanks,
Roysen

  1. a
    Asomaniac Jun 8, 2011 10:23 AM

    Just out of curiosity, why Sukiyabashi Jiro?

    Given the two restaurants you mention, you are obviously interested in sushi. You do not seem to have any very specific requirements that would require a response beyond the zillions of sushi related discussions on the board. Have you searched the Japan board for "sushi"? That will give you all the information you need, and a lot more.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Asomaniac
      r
      Roysen Jun 8, 2011 10:39 AM

      Thanks for your advice but if you read my post carefully you will realise that what I am asking for is not the actual restaurants to visit but some practicalities like how long in advance to make reservations and the possiblity of hiring guided company.

      Having said that I have searched this board and found some restaurants I want to visit.. These two are among them. We will howeverl also be looking for a top notch Fugu restaurant where I would like to sample Fugu while she doesn't dare and wants to have something else. Suggestions on that would be appriciated.

      Its our first trip to Japan so forgive our lack of knowledge. We have been to sushi restaurants around Europe and Sao Paulo (largest population of Japanese in a city outside Japan) but wouldn't know what we prefer in terms of sushi specialites of the specific restaurants and chefs.

      Thanks,
      Roysen

      1. re: Roysen
        a
        Asomaniac Jun 8, 2011 11:01 AM

        I can't help re: guides but I don't see why you should need them. If this is your first trip to Japan, there are many, many restaurants (in fact, the vast majority) to choose from where you will not need a guide.

        That is why I asked you why you want to try Jiro. There are better sushi restaurants around purely from a quality perspective which do not require guides (again, this is something that has been discussed a lot on this board - the whole 'I don't speak Japanese' thing with respect to sushi restaurants is for understandable reasons brought up frequently on this board).

        Mr Jiro does not particularly like foreigners. There are many restaurants in Tokyo where the requirement to bring a Japanese speaker along is not motivated by a dislike of foreigners but by genuine worry that they won't be able to serve a foreign guest properly without being able to communicate. Jiro is not one of those places - it is more of a fig leaf for saying 'I would prefer not to have foreigners come to my place'. i am therefore always surprised at the masochism of visitors to Japan who feel they want to subject themselves to this, while they can get better sushi from nicer sushi masters.

        But if you want the Jiro name, go and eat at his son's place in Roppongi Hills. He speaks English, the sushi is very good and the place is gaijin-friendly. Wouldn't be my first choice for sushi, but it certainly is good (Michelin-starred, if that is your thing), and it is an 'easy' environment. Mr Kanesaka also speaks English so that is another place you may wish to try (again, would not be my first choice, but it is good).

        I would save the money for a guide (which would also involve paying for his meal) and splash out the difference on better food. if you feel you really want a guide (perhaps you would like to have someone explain ingredients and individual food items in detail, which I agree would be helpful and interesting), ask your concierge well in advance.

        As for reservations at Jiro, try 2 months in advance. i don't know if he accepts anything before that.

        If you have only had sushi in Europe and Sao Paolo, then I am not sure if the subtle differences between the top end places in Tokyo would be significant enough not to just go for whichever top place sounds comfortable to you. It is not a question of one top end sushi place being obviously better than another. Some are better when it comes to certain shellfish, others are famed for their shin ika, others do amazing saba or kohada, yet others are respected for their uni or whatever. unless you have tried a few of those to compare, you may not have the same eureka type experience when you try a particularly good ootoro or whatever. So any of the top places will be good. Just pick somewhere that feels comfortable allround on the basis of the information you can find.

        regarding fugu, given the part of fugu that is poisonous and the qualifications a fugu chef has to have in Japan, your gf has nothing to worry about. The most frightening thing about a fugu meal is the price.

        1. re: Asomaniac
          a
          Asomaniac Jun 8, 2011 11:14 AM

          BTW, in case it is ambiguous, the 2 month Jiro reservation period is in reference to Sukiyabashi Jiro - if you go for his son's place, much less advance notice is required.

          1. re: Asomaniac
            r
            royaljester Oct 30, 2012 02:43 AM

            What's your basis for saying that Jiro doesn't like foreigners? He serves Robuchon all the time among many other foreigners. I guess you must know something they don't to say he doesn't like them but calls them friends to their face.

            I'm a foreigner, and I happen to speak good Japanese. Will he not serve me? It's one thing to say someone doesn't like foreigners due to the language issue, it's quite another to make a claim like yours that Jiro happens to be a racist hiding behind this excuse.

            I've met many others who made the same insinuations about establishments in Japan using language merely as a mask for blatant racism. If I stuck with them long enough, I observed that without fail they spoke in ear wrenching Japanese expecting to be perfectly understood without further effort and it all became clear what was happening. It's no different than some people on the net speaking half English and getting angry about it.

            The simple truth is, there are far more people who just can't stand your bastardized Japanese than actual racists, of which there also are like any other country. No restaurant here in the States would want to serve someone who couldn't speak an intelligible sentence of English but expected otherwise.

            Foreigners in Japan, it's their fault. Foreigners in the US, it's also their fault. It's quite an astonishing form of hypocrisy.

            1. re: royaljester
              u
              Uncle Yabai Oct 30, 2012 03:09 AM

              Asomaniac's Japanese is almost as good as mine, and that's a high compliment. I don't think Asomaniac's issue is that his Japanese is sub-par. Jiro just doesn't like foreigners, of that I'm pretty much convinced. As for Robuchon, well, even Mishima had Western heros. Doesn't mean Mishima liked foreigners much. And his English was fluent. And in the end, money doesn't stink, even if it is foreign money.

              1. re: Uncle Yabai
                n
                Ninisix Oct 30, 2012 05:29 PM

                I would rather consider Jiro as a traditionalist, possibly sometimes rigid. Seriously, I do not expect Jiro, at 80something, to embrace with enthusiasm attitudes he does not expect from a "traditional" customer of a high class sushi. 
                Jiro just have been filmed by a foreigner that followed his every moves as a chef. Do you think that he will let someone film if he didn't stand him ? A foreigner that, I am sure, respects his sushi... I personally think he is sweet, he made jokes that are always good. For my birthday, Jiro and his son served me as if I was their sole customer... I felt so happy for the 1:30hours spent there. I never felt any 'anti-foreigner' attitude there.

          2. re: Roysen
            Robb S Jun 8, 2011 07:33 PM

            If you want a little variety, I would also suggest trying out some top-class restaurants with other, non-sushi specialties such as unagi, tempura, shojin-ryori, and kaiseki. And of course you should try some upscale izakaya and more humble cuisines like tonkatsu - you might find that those turn out to be your favorite meals in Japan.

            You didn't say when this planned trip was to take place, but I'll mention that wild fugu isn't in season in the summer, and some traditional top-level places don't even serve fugu outside of the six-month cold-weather traditional fugu season.

            (And if you want to hire a guide to help you appreciate the food that you're eating, by all means do so - it sounds like a nice idea actually, especially for kaiseki or shojin-ryori places where there's a lot to say about the food.)

            1. re: Robb S
              r
              Roysen Jun 9, 2011 05:01 AM

              Hei, Robb.

              We definetly want to try some other specialities also, but only Japanese food. Kaiseki is high up on the list.

              BTW, I managed to get a reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten through my travel agents local Tokyo agent.. The reason why this restaurant doesn't accept overseas reservations is due to the fact that many no-shows and late cancellations have been a regularity from the overseas bookings. We will however try to get a translator to go with us anyway to get the most out of the meal. This was also no problem for the local Tokyo agent to arrange. We did however need to give our credit card information to the local Tokyo agent because the restaurant would charge the agent a fee if we did not show up.

              1. re: Roysen
                n
                Ninisix Jun 9, 2011 07:39 AM

                Wonderful. Distinction of products will implicate you more, and the guide will enjoy with you the succeding 'nigiri' acts in Sukiyabashi Jiro that differs one to another. Payment is in cash only!!! And please please don't cancel, you have to try it.

                1. re: Roysen
                  shekamoo Jun 9, 2011 12:38 PM

                  haha, unintended consequences for the left-handed master?! the harder he tries to keep us out, the harder we try to get in by any means and at any cost possible!! if this was actually a marketing scheme on Jiro's part, I would say it was ingenious!

              2. re: Roysen
                b
                babreu Jun 11, 2011 03:38 PM

                Are you from Sao Paulo? I know Kyubey and Sukiyabashi Jiro enjoy some reputation among sushi chefs in Sao Paulo, but honestly, they're not the best options for sushi in Tokyo. If it's your first time, why not go with the best? Sushi Saito has 3 Michelin Stars, better prices than old Jiro, can speak enough english to serve you and he's a nice guy. Sushi Kanesaka is also gaijin-friendly and quite good.

                I've never been to Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten, but as said here, he's not very fond of the idea of foreigners in his restaurant, and his sushi is often ranked pretty low among the high-end places.

                Kyubey is good, but far from my favorite. I reserved one day in advance the last time I was there. It's a big restaurant.

                1. re: babreu
                  r
                  Roysen Jun 11, 2011 04:12 PM

                  No, I am not from Sao Paulo. I have however travelled to SP a lot of times and had my share of dinners at Jun Sakamoto, Kinoshita and other top SP Japanese spots.

                  Kuybey and Sukiyabashi Jiro are only two of the sushi places we plan to visit. On the list is also Sushi Mizutani, Sushi Saito, Sushi Kanesaka and Sawaba.

                  We would also like to try som non-sushi places like Morimoto XEX, Ukai Tei, Aragawa, Usukifugu Yamadaya, 7 chome Koyabashi, Hamadaya and Yukimura.

                  We might also try Joel Robuchon and Pierre Gagnaire.

                  We also wanted to include a top notch Italian restaurant. Having read that Marco Molinari had a restaurant called Museo in Roppongi we initially wanted to see if would could go there but now we don't know if it still is in existance.

                  My wife also really likes Dim Sum, so we will be looking for a nice alternative for Dim Sum too. So if some have recomendations they would be highly valued.

                  Some of these choices will be for lunch and others for dinner.

                  1. re: Roysen
                    kersizm Jun 11, 2011 04:45 PM

                    Morimoto XEX is no longer. It's now Omae XEX.

                    1. re: kersizm
                      r
                      Roysen Jun 11, 2011 04:50 PM

                      Thanks! Anything else different than the name?

                      1. re: Roysen
                        kersizm Jun 11, 2011 11:55 PM

                        Well, if you were hoping to see Iron Chef Morimoto, you won't!

                        1. re: kersizm
                          k
                          krishs Jun 12, 2011 12:15 AM

                          Omae XEX is nice but for teppan cuisine, but I probably prefer Kurodaya in Roppongi - it is a bit more traditional. For shojin ryori (buddhist temple food), strongly recommend Izusen in Setagaya ward - Itosho in Azabu-juban is a small shojin place that is really really nice, not so well known. For sushi, I think the best value is still Tsukiji market at 6:30am.

                          1. re: krishs
                            Robb S Jun 12, 2011 12:48 AM

                            For me, I think lunch at Kyubeh for Y4000 is a better value than breakfast at Tsukiji Market for Y3500 plus two hours of your life that you will never get back waiting in line and then twenty minutes sitting at a crowded counter. But YMMV.

                            1. re: Robb S
                              k
                              krishs Jun 12, 2011 01:16 AM

                              i think it depends on where in tsukiji you go to, i NEVER go to the place(s) mentioned in the guidebooks... in fact, i go to the place right next door to one of them - zero lines, great sashimi/sushi, and i dont recall having ever paid more than 2,600. never been to kyubeh, but its on my list now.

            2. r
              Roysen Jun 12, 2011 03:38 PM

              It looks like our schedule for the elven days in Tokyo will look like this. If you have any recomendations that you would prefer over these, feel free to comment:

              Lunch:
              Hamadaya
              Fukudaya
              Nadaman Sazanka So
              Yonemura
              7 chome Koyabashi
              Aragawa
              Ukai Tei
              Araki
              Sawaba
              Sushi Kanesaka
              Sushi Saito

              Dinner:
              Joel Robuchon
              Pierre Gagnaire
              Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
              Sushi Mizutani
              Kyubey
              Ryugin
              Kanda
              Koju
              Yukimura
              Omae XEX
              Usukifugu Yamadaya
              Dazzle

              33 Replies
              1. re: Roysen
                shekamoo Jun 12, 2011 04:37 PM

                Include: Aronia de Takazawa

                You also have waaaay too much sushi

                1. re: shekamoo
                  r
                  Roysen Jun 12, 2011 06:20 PM

                  I will look into Aronia de Takazawa. Sushi is a personal favourit for both of us, so even if we plan ahead or not a lot of the meals will surely be sushi.

                  1. re: Roysen
                    shekamoo Jun 12, 2011 07:47 PM

                    It will be a HUGE shame to miss Aronia. as for sushi, we love it too, but once in Japan, there was just so much else to try and so I found I had overdone my sushi bookings and cancelled a few. I can guarantee the same will happen to you as well!!

                    1. re: shekamoo
                      r
                      Roysen Jun 14, 2011 07:40 AM

                      Aronia will be closed for August because of building restaurantions. I am hoping for Septemer reservation (we will go last week August and first week September). , but its too early for them to receive a reservataion for September yet.

                      1. re: Roysen
                        b
                        Blacken Jun 24, 2011 02:12 AM

                        Highly reccomend Aronia ...

                        Quite an experience, Fantastic food, and actually really nice people as well ! :)

                        Highlight of my trip to Tokyo, and will go straight back (well try to get a booking anyway) next time I visit the country

                        Cheers

                2. re: Roysen
                  kersizm Jun 12, 2011 06:13 PM

                  This is all personal preference obviously.. but a lot of my favourite Japan dining experiences have been places I have just stumbled upon. My advice would be not to plan so heavily and go with the flow.

                  My 2c.

                  1. re: kersizm
                    r
                    Roysen Jun 12, 2011 06:19 PM

                    It's not so easy to go with the flow when you don't know the language. Otherwise I would agree with you.

                    1. re: Roysen
                      b
                      babreu Jun 12, 2011 06:54 PM

                      I'd suggest you reserve two or three meals for simple things as yakitori, kushikatsu, ramen or a good izakaya. There're amazing restaurants that aren't in the Michelin guide but will give you a better overall impression of Tokyo. Find Tatsukichi in Shinjuku, Yakitori Akira or Kushiwakamaru in Nakameguro. You won't regret it.

                      I also recommend Aronia de Takazawa. One of the best meals I had last year.

                      1. re: babreu
                        u
                        Uncle Yabai Jun 13, 2011 04:27 PM

                        Sshhh on Tatsukichi... Let's not make it more secretly popular than it already is...

                  2. re: Roysen
                    skylineR33 Jun 12, 2011 06:33 PM

                    How come all the restaurants in your list are in the Michelin Guide ? What a tourist list. Funny, you don't even consider a place for ramen, oh well.

                    1. re: skylineR33
                      u
                      Uncle Yabai Jun 12, 2011 06:38 PM

                      Ramen? Why does ramen have to be on anybody's list? I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to eat it, or make it a destination. I do like it, but not enough to make a fetish out of it. Same for okonomiyaki.

                      1. re: Uncle Yabai
                        skylineR33 Jun 12, 2011 06:42 PM

                        Simple, because Japanese is good at Ramen and there is no other country which you can find something quite like it in term of food and atmosphere !

                        1. re: skylineR33
                          r
                          Roysen Jun 13, 2011 01:54 AM

                          I thought Ramen was Chinese and Soba was Japanese. If so, Ramen would probably be a better choice in China. Soba is not one of our fåvourites.

                          We will try to get a reservation at Arionia instead of one of the sushi restaurants.

                          Just to clarify - this list is not made based on the Michelin guide. It is based on Internet research for recomendations on our preferances.

                          We have tried to avoid a couple of things being first timers in Japan:
                          - Sitting on the floor. It would be very uncomfortable since we are not used to it. The legs would be numb within minutes and we would need wheelchairs to get back to the hotel -:)

                          - Hard to locate restaurants or restaurants a long ride outside the centre. We don't know our way around town and don't want to use a lot of times searching.

                          One more thing I thought I should ask which will impact the list and the trip in general is if you guys have any experience with how the radiation levels in Japan have affected the availability of healthy, fresh ingredients in the top restaurants? Is this even something the restaurants and their suppliers take seriously/consider?

                          1. re: Roysen
                            b
                            babreu Jun 13, 2011 05:02 AM

                            Ramen in China is horrible. Even though it originates from China, japanese ramen is totally different and every region has its specialities (Miso with butter in Hokkaido, hakata tonkotsu from Fukuoka etc). Ramen is the most popular food in Tokyo with good reason and you should definitely try it (Ippudo is easy to find and excellent).

                            Many restaurants on your list are hard to locate (Sushi Saito is hidden inside a garage), so you shouldn't worry too much about this. Just print a map, write down their phone number and the taxi driver will help you. Don't be afraid to get lost in Tokyo. It's the safest city in the world, people are nice and train/metro stations are ubiquitous.

                            1. re: Roysen
                              skylineR33 Jun 13, 2011 05:52 AM

                              There are many different kinds of noodle soup, Ramen is the kind of noodle soup that is uniquely found in Japan (in term of food quality and atmosphere). China has other than of noodle soup than they are good at. I remember it took us lots of time to locate restaurant in Tokyo in our first visit to Tokyo even with google map printout and advance research. The address system in Tokyo is complicated and many of the restaurant has small sign. So just bare that in mind. You may want to set aside some more time for that. It is better now as you can use 'street view' google map to locate the restaurant and the surrounding area to get an idea how to locate them. Hope you will have a nice trip.

                              1. re: skylineR33
                                shekamoo Jun 14, 2011 05:21 AM

                                Our google map print outs, enhanced by extensive use of street view and detailed directions, were so useless in Tokyo that we soon stopped relying on them. Our strategy instead was to get to the nearest subway station, and cab it from there. Just make sure you have good and clear instructions for the driver.

                              2. re: Roysen
                                p
                                precogpunk Oct 13, 2012 02:58 PM

                                I have to chime here and agree with others who commented on the short sightedness of your posting. You can get sushi EVERYWHERE. When in Japan you should try being open minded about the things that are truly Japanese that you can not get anywhere else in the world. It's also silly to avoid the unavoidable.

                                1. re: precogpunk
                                  u
                                  Uncle Yabai Oct 14, 2012 09:28 AM

                                  And as counterpoint to your comment, I don't eat sushi outside of Japan, at least not by choice. I find it not worth my time, even at the "bestest finest" places in a given city. If it comes close to something you could get in Japan, it usually carries a premium to the equivalent in Japan.

                        2. re: Roysen
                          a
                          Asomaniac Jun 13, 2011 06:34 PM

                          Hamadaya is absolutely crap. Not even ranked in the top 100 kaiseki places in Tokyo last time I checked on tabelog, but because some idiots on the Michelin committee decided to give it stars, people actually go there. Total waste of time.

                          1. re: Asomaniac
                            r
                            Roysen Jun 13, 2011 10:57 PM

                            Okay, thanks. Can you recomend a better alternative?

                            1. re: Roysen
                              a
                              Asomaniac Jun 13, 2011 11:06 PM

                              Absolutely any other kaiseki place. Your above list of restaurants suggests a very heavy focus on the Michelin guide, so just pick any from there. (Not all serve lunch, but many certainly do.)

                              1. re: Asomaniac
                                r
                                Roysen Jun 13, 2011 11:21 PM

                                Asomaniac,

                                How can I be sure you just don't want to protect your favourites when you don't want to give any alternative recomendations?

                                1. re: Roysen
                                  a
                                  Asomaniac Jun 13, 2011 11:40 PM

                                  A lingering doubt will always remain...

                                  Nah, no favourites to protect from the Michelin Guide. If you want something interesting, an option is Banrekiryukodo in Azabu-Juban. Modern kaiseki sometimes using quite non-Japanese ingredients - they like to experiment. Don't know if they do lunch though (I think they do, but I almost never have kaiseki lunch so am not 100% sure).

                                  1. re: Asomaniac
                                    r
                                    Roysen Jun 13, 2011 11:55 PM

                                    Thank you! We will look into it.

                                    1. re: Roysen
                                      b
                                      babreu Jun 14, 2011 07:05 AM

                                      I'm a fan of Hamadaya in Tokyo Midtown, which isn't even on the Michelin Guide. (but it's ranked better than the Honten on Tabelog).

                                      Maybe you should go to Hamadaya and try it yourself. There're either very positive or very negative opinions on this restaurant.

                                      1. re: babreu
                                        r
                                        Roysen Jun 14, 2011 07:33 AM

                                        Okay, I didn't know there were two branches.

                                        1. re: babreu
                                          a
                                          Asomaniac Jun 14, 2011 05:30 PM

                                          I have not been to that one so what I wrote only relates to the one in the guide. Branches of the same restaurant in Tokyo often offer very different food so you often cannot judge the quality of one by the quality of the other.

                                          There are different opinions on Hamadaya like there are different opinions on anything, but the vast majority of the foodie community in Japan commenting on Hamadaya seems to have a negative opinion. It takes some effort for a kaiseki place not to even make the top hundred in its category in Tokyo on tabelog. The topic has also come up in my conversations with various of the top kaiseki chefs in Tokyo (e.g. from other 3 Michelin star places), plus with the master at Daisan Harumi. While they are often complimentary about their competition, in Hamadaya's case they all said that it being awarded by the Michelin guide was a travesty.

                                          The setting is great and the service incredibly friendly - you want to like the place. Sadly the quality of the food is not good enough. Maybe they have improved - I have not been back for two years, and they had lost a Michelin star that they subsequently regained. But when I went, it was poor. Poor quality ingredients in a kaiseki restaurant - probably the worst sin a place like that could commit.

                                          1. re: Asomaniac
                                            r
                                            Roysen Jun 15, 2011 01:00 PM

                                            Since there are mixed opinions about Hamadaya and its not on the top list on tablelog, does anyone have experiences from any of these which I might include instead:

                                            Tomura
                                            Nabura
                                            Hanamura
                                            Kikunoi
                                            Kohaku
                                            Kurogi
                                            Hirosaku

                                            1. re: Roysen
                                              a
                                              Asomaniac Jun 15, 2011 07:57 PM

                                              I heard amazing things about Tomura from various reliable sources but have not been myself.

                            2. re: Roysen
                              r
                              Roysen Jun 14, 2011 07:42 AM

                              Maybe I should add somwhere to have a top level Matsuzaka steak (I already have a couple of Teppan restaurants planned so I would prefer something a bit more western style charcoal grilled perhaps). I am not sure if Aragawa might fit that description already.

                              Edit: I can now see that Aragawa only serves Kobe steak and not Matsuzaka.

                              1. re: Roysen
                                shekamoo Jun 14, 2011 08:19 AM

                                Aragawa is also mind-numbingly expensive, would suggest swapping with Dons de la Nature

                                1. re: shekamoo
                                  r
                                  Roysen Jun 14, 2011 08:25 AM

                                  Okay, but price really is not an object. If the steak at Aragawa is over higher quality we would prefer to go there.

                                  1. re: Roysen
                                    shekamoo Jun 14, 2011 08:27 AM

                                    I would let others speak to the possible difference in quality between the places, but I sincerely doubt that the difference if any would be at all discernible even to those who have experienced their fair share of wagyu

                            3. r
                              Roysen Jun 15, 2011 02:25 PM

                              Okay after much back and forth this is the resteaurants we decided on:

                              Lunch:
                              Hamadaya
                              Fukudaya
                              Nadaman Sazanka So
                              Yonemura
                              7chome Kyoboshi
                              Aragawa
                              Ukai Tei
                              Araki
                              Sawaba
                              Sushi Kanesaka
                              Sushi Saito
                              Esaki
                              Ishikawa
                              L'Atelier Joel Robuchon

                              Dinner:
                              Joel Robuchon
                              Pierre Gagnaire
                              Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
                              Sushi Mizutani
                              Kyubey
                              Ryugin
                              Kanda
                              Koju
                              Yukimura
                              Omae XEX
                              Usukifugu Yamadaya
                              Dazzle
                              Aronia de Takazawa
                              Kyoaji

                              I which Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal would open something in Tokyo.

                              21 Replies
                              1. re: Roysen
                                skylineR33 Jun 15, 2011 04:34 PM

                                Are you going to Tokyo for 30 days or more ? If you are going to Tokyo for less days, I hope you won't hate High End Japanese food after your trip. If it is me, I think I will lose the interest and appetite way before going through half of the restaurant in this list if I am only going to visit Tokyo for 10 days or so in the trip. Japanese cuisine has much more width than just High end and this is what make Japanese food interesting. Good luck.

                                1. re: skylineR33
                                  d
                                  Dustin_E Jun 16, 2011 08:39 AM

                                  i'd also be very interested to hear how you fare, and would at least suggest prioritizing and arranging meals you consider most important, in case you get sick of the high end dining at some point.

                                  after only 3 days of planned lunch / dinners in shanghai / beijing, the only thing my girlfriend and i could stomach was room service smoothies and spaghetti for a couple days...

                                  regardless, hope you report back on your favorites, and how your trip goes!

                                  1. re: Dustin_E
                                    r
                                    Roysen Jun 16, 2011 11:08 AM

                                    Thanks for the warning, but this is how we usually plan our "gourmet" trips.

                                    1. re: Roysen
                                      d
                                      Dustin_E Jun 16, 2011 11:17 AM

                                      nice -- guess i just need to work on building up my stomach :-)

                                      1. re: Dustin_E
                                        r
                                        Roysen Jun 16, 2011 11:28 AM

                                        My health is glad we don't do this more than one trip each year :-)

                                        1. re: Roysen
                                          n
                                          Ninisix Jun 20, 2011 07:45 AM

                                          People mentionned that your plan is overloaded : additional comment, a proper kaiseki take easily 2 hours, do you fancy ?

                                          1. re: Ninisix
                                            r
                                            Roysen Jun 20, 2011 08:50 AM

                                            No problem unless we have to sit directly on the floor. We have also delayed our trip to October/November and we will stay for three weeks. Additional research on the restaurants has at the moment brought the Tokyo list to this:

                                            LUNCH:
                                            Kitcho
                                            Tsukiji Yamamoto
                                            Kocho
                                            Hamadaya
                                            Sawada
                                            Sushi Saito
                                            Fukudaya
                                            7 chome Kyoboshi
                                            Araki
                                            Sushi Kanesaka
                                            Yonemura
                                            Esaki
                                            Ukai-tei Ginza
                                            Aragawa
                                            Nadaman Honten Sazanka-so

                                            DINNER:
                                            Dazzle
                                            Omae XEX
                                            Kyubey Ginza
                                            Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
                                            Sushi Mizutani
                                            Ryugin
                                            Ishikawa
                                            Aronia de Takazawa
                                            Joel Robuchon
                                            Les Creations de Narizawa
                                            Koju
                                            Sushiso Masa
                                            Kanda
                                            Kyo Aji
                                            Kadowaki
                                            Yukimura

                                            1. re: Roysen
                                              shekamoo Jun 20, 2011 09:22 AM

                                              price is no object: check!
                                              you are used to having 2 important meals in one day: check!

                                              but still I am thinking that you are bound to feel overloaded midway through this ca. $20,000 food marathon. Please do report back on how this all went down

                                              1. re: Roysen
                                                d
                                                davew666 Jun 20, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                seriously?!

                                                1. re: Roysen
                                                  d
                                                  Dustin_E Jun 20, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                  if you're staying for three weeks, your list is missing almost a full weeks worth of lunches and dinners. :-)

                                                  i do hope you report back, both on the meals, and which were the most challenging reservations to score.

                                                  1. re: Dustin_E
                                                    r
                                                    Roysen Jun 20, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                    Yes, someone mentioned that we should not plan every meal every day ahead. I thought that was a good idea and it would leave some meals in between for nothing fancy which might be a releif. It also leaves possibilities from the hotels concierge.

                                                    1. re: Roysen
                                                      dingaling Jun 21, 2011 12:11 AM

                                                      There's this little place we love near shirokane name au gamin du tokio. I think that's how it's spelled. You may want to take a look at it. Really good food. Not that hard on the wallet.

                                                      1. re: dingaling
                                                        r
                                                        Roysen Jun 21, 2011 12:35 AM

                                                        Thank you for that tip. We will look into it.

                                                  2. re: Roysen
                                                    r
                                                    Roysen Jun 21, 2011 12:08 AM

                                                    Some of these restaurants are obviously hard to reserve, some require the company of a Japanese speaking person. As I mentioned earlier we are trying to solve this be starting early, spend a lot of time trying and don't give up. Our travel agent uses a local agent who can arrange both reservations and a local guide to meet the language requirements of some of these restaurants.

                                                    I did however read in a thread here about the Tokyo Fixer www.tokyofixer.com Shinji Nohara. I wonder if he might be a better choice than the travel agent and the local agent. I will contact him and ask but do you guys here think that he would be ideal for a trip like this where we have pretty much decided the places we want to go ourselves or do you think he prefers to take his customers to the restaurants he might be sponsored by?

                                                    1. re: Roysen
                                                      r
                                                      Roysen Jun 21, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                      Is Shunju Toriizaka a restaurant we need to have on this list?

                                                      1. re: Roysen
                                                        r
                                                        Roysen Jun 22, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                        Kawamura is now on the list instead of Dazzle.

                                                        1. re: Roysen
                                                          b
                                                          babreu Jun 22, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                          You mean, Kawamura?

                                                          1. re: babreu
                                                            r
                                                            Roysen Jun 22, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                            Yes, that is what I meant. It is now corrected. Thank you!

                                                            Does anyone know details about this restaurant. I am thinking about prices. Payment method (cash/credit cards), openng hours, opinions about the food?

                                                            BTW, Mr. Tokyofixer Shinji Nohara has agreed to help us trying to get the reservations and helping as the guide/translator where needed.

                                                            1. re: Roysen
                                                              b
                                                              babreu Jun 22, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                              According to Tabelog, price is above ¥ 30,000 and it's open from 18h00 to 22h00 http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130...

                                                              If price is not an object, you are into sushi and curious about the best, you might want to check out Sushi Mitani as well. It's ranked #1 on Tabelog, right above Saito. I tried to go there last year but they were fully booked for the next 3 weeks. I'm quite curious about it, so you might want to try and share your impressions here. ;)

                                                              1. re: babreu
                                                                r
                                                                Roysen Jun 22, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                Thank you! We really appriciate tips like this. We will certainly put Sushi Mitani on the list and we will report back from every restaurant visit - possible right after our meal in Tokyo. However I don't want to upset anyone in Tokyo so pictures will probably not be part of the write-ups.

                                                                I have trouble reading r.tablelog.com though, so I hoped someone here could provide the address and opening hours of Sushi Mitani. I did find another forum where someone wrote that Sushi Mitani was booked six solid months in advance, so it might be too late.

                                                                1. re: Roysen
                                                                  b
                                                                  babreu Jun 22, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                                  The address is 1-22-1 Yotsuya. But don't tell this to the taxi driver. He'll need a map. Put 1-22-1 Yotsuya on Google Maps, print the map or put it on your phone and hand it over to the taxi driver. It's not that difficult to find. The restaurant is near Yotsuya station, right in the middle of Tokyo. For your concierge: 鮨 三谷 - 03-5366-0132.

                                                                  As someone said, checking out the place on Google's Street View can help a lot.

                                      2. t
                                        tokyolo Jun 22, 2011 11:20 AM

                                        http://www.blogger.com/profile/180586...

                                        You may want to consult Yukari Sakamoto.
                                        Born in Tokyo and raised on the shores of Lake Wobegon. Yukari is married to Shinji Sakamoto who was a buyer at Tsukiji Market, the world's largest seafood market. Yukari trained as a baker and chef at the French Culinary Institute and as a sommelier with the American Sommelier Assocation. Food and travel writer based in Tokyo and New York City. Her first book, "Food Sake Tokyo" is published by The Little Bookroom. She posts that she is available for consulting projects related to Japanese cuisine and culture. She also worked at Takashimaya’s flagship store in Nihonbashi as a sommelier in the sake department of the depachika.

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: tokyolo
                                          r
                                          Roysen Jun 22, 2011 02:50 PM

                                          Thank you for that advice! We will look into this too.

                                          1. re: Roysen
                                            a
                                            Asomaniac Jun 22, 2011 06:30 PM

                                            The top ranked kaiseki is Kyouaji. They apparently refused 3 Michelin stars so you won't find them in the Guide. You can only book if one of your party is a Japanese speaker (ie hired guide), and even then only for lunch I think if you are not a regular. (It's a very regulars focused place so they tend to not take on 'new' customers.) Price is around 40,000 yen.

                                            1. re: Asomaniac
                                              r
                                              Roysen Jun 22, 2011 11:26 PM

                                              Kyouaji is already on the list, but I thought the name was Kyo Aji or might that be a different restaurant? Its also a Kaiseki restaurant not in the Michelinguide but highly regarded on several other Tokyo guides and blogs.

                                              1. re: Roysen
                                                a
                                                Asomaniac Jun 22, 2011 11:34 PM

                                                Same place.

                                                It's one word and the "o" is a long one, hence "Kyouaji" ("ou" being the transcription of a long "o") rather than Kyo Aji (which simply separates the two Chinese characters, Kyou and Aji).

                                                I didn't study your list in detail so hadn't realised the restaurant was already there.

                                                1. re: Asomaniac
                                                  r
                                                  Roysen Jun 23, 2011 12:42 AM

                                                  Thanks for the insight. I have corrected the list.

                                                2. re: Roysen
                                                  E Eto Jun 22, 2011 11:42 PM

                                                  I thought it was Michelin Guide, or is Michelinguide something different hoydy-toydy restaurant guide?

                                                  1. re: E Eto
                                                    r
                                                    Roysen Jun 23, 2011 12:23 AM

                                                    What do you think? My iPhone is not the best tool to write posts on forums on the internet. BTW, hoydy-toydy? Are you writing on an iPhone too?

                                                3. re: Asomaniac
                                                  i
                                                  itwillmakeaturd Jul 5, 2011 12:33 AM

                                                  The Michelin Guide does not accept refusals for listings. Check the Kyoto guide for restaurants that have no interior pictures, or read the press about the same. A restaurant might refuse to cooperate with the guide, but they will be listed anyway.

                                                  I have no particular knowledge, but I would guess that Kyouaji was not included due to its strict reservation requirements. It's possible though they simply didn't measure up according to Michelin's standards, which are mostly but not strictly about food.

                                              2. re: tokyolo
                                                j
                                                jem589 Jul 5, 2011 01:03 AM

                                                I'm available for consulting projects through mid-August.

                                                1. re: jem589
                                                  r
                                                  Roysen Jul 5, 2011 02:40 AM

                                                  Thanks for the offer, but we have already hired Shinji Nohara. Maybe someone else here are intersted.

                                                  Cheers!

                                                  1. re: jem589
                                                    s
                                                    sdiddy Mar 10, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                    I'll be in Tokyo with my wife between march 28-April 6 and would love a food guide for a day....please email me about yyourself! Thanks

                                                2. r
                                                  Roysen Jun 23, 2011 12:50 AM

                                                  So the list now looks like this:

                                                  LUNCH:
                                                  Yonemura
                                                  Tsukiji Yamamoto
                                                  Kocho
                                                  Hamadaya
                                                  Sushi Mitani
                                                  Sushi Saito
                                                  7 chome Kyoboshi
                                                  Kitcho Arashiyama (Kyoto)
                                                  Araki
                                                  Sushi Kanesaka
                                                  Sawada
                                                  Esaki
                                                  Ukai-tei Ginza
                                                  Aragawa
                                                  Nadaman Honten Sazanka-so

                                                  DINNER:
                                                  Omae XEX
                                                  Les Creations de Narizawa
                                                  Kyubey Ginza
                                                  Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
                                                  Sushi Mizutani
                                                  Ryugin
                                                  Ishikawa
                                                  Aronia de Takazawa
                                                  Joel Robuchon
                                                  Kawamura
                                                  Koju
                                                  Kanda
                                                  Sushiso Masa
                                                  Kyouaji
                                                  Kadowaki
                                                  Yukimura

                                                  To fit in Sushi Mitani I left Fukudaya out. Was that a mistake maybe. Should I replace something else? Maybe I should have replaced Sushiso Masa instead?

                                                  I would also like to fit in Sushi Hashiguchi here somewhere. They are only open for dinner. Any suggestions on how to work that in. I thought about maybe moving Kyubey Ginza or Joel Robuchon for lunch and remove Kocho from the list.

                                                  Does anyone know what the top steakhouse and teppan restaurants are on tablelog as well as fugu and tempura restaurants which serve lunch?

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: Roysen
                                                    b
                                                    babreu Jun 23, 2011 08:37 AM

                                                    Top steak in Tabelog is Gorio. I don't know it but it looks like a cheaper spin-off of Aragawa http://aragawa.jp/gorio/. It's followed by expensive Kawamura, Shima, Dons de la Nature and Aragawa at #5. Teppan is ranked as steak, I believe.

                                                    Top 3 tempura on Tabelog don't serve lunch (Yokota, Seiju and Yokoyama). Fukamachi (#4) and Iwai (#5) do. Can't find a top 50 for Fugu, but if you search, best ones in Tokyo would be Fukuji, Sakurada and Usukifugu Yamadaya. None serve lunch though.

                                                    1. re: babreu
                                                      a
                                                      Asomaniac Jun 23, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                      Sounds like a good list. Although: Aragawa is insanely overpriced for steak no better than Dons. Araki is regarded by many as very, very overrated, so I will be interested to hear your view after you have eaten there. Kanesaka and Jiro seem odd choices if daisan harumi is not on the list (esp. given that the master at sushi saito trained at kanesaka, does his good stuff in the same way (raw prawn with yuzu especially) while doing far better on many other things and costing less).

                                                      1. re: Asomaniac
                                                        r
                                                        Roysen Jun 23, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                        Okay - thanks. Some changes are probably in order.

                                                        1. re: Roysen
                                                          n
                                                          Ninisix Jun 28, 2011 04:31 AM

                                                          Sushi at Saito and Sushi at Araki have the same price for the 'nigiri' set. Sushi Araki impact image is 'maguro(=tuna)', it shows that not only the blue tuna is appreciable. There is more maguro 'nigiri' than on other set. The only thing is, I feel I will enjoyed way more if he will serve one or two pieces of young maguro and the other two pieces classic honmaguro. On the menu there was also 'shirako sushi(=milt)'. If you want to enjoy his 'tamagoyaki(=omelet)', you will have to change your reservation for a weekend. 
                                                          In my opinion a 3 stars sushi has to serve 
                                                          the same products consistently to all the clients, and sushi Saitou did not. The sushi Sawada, sushi Sukiyabashi have same price. They are both enjoyable, one hand for his marriage of uni like eggs and the other for his so juicy 'nigiri' pieces . Unfortunately, the sushi Sawada served me in winter season (end of February) the smoked bonito 
                                                          (=katsuo)?? I still can' t figure why ...

                                                        2. re: Asomaniac
                                                          r
                                                          Roysen Jun 23, 2011 03:01 PM

                                                          So you would replace Sushi Kanesaka with Daisan Harumi? What would you think if I instead replaced Sushi Kanesaka with Sushi Hashiguchi? Does that make sense to you?

                                                          The reason why I chose Aragawa over Dons is that I read somwhere on the net that the chef at Dons chose his meat a bit leaner than the average Japanese steakhouse.

                                                          1. re: Roysen
                                                            a
                                                            Asomaniac Jun 23, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                            I am afraid I have not been to Sushi Hashiguchi so can't comment.

                                                            I would be surprised if the thing you read about Dons is true, at least not with respect to all cuts. One of the sirloins was so fatty that - while it was the best steak I have ever had - I felt I might actually drop dead of a heart attack there and then. Literally. I felt the fat for days after, and I love fatty wagyu. I had several cognacs afetrwards to try to cut through the fat, but it was impossible. I cannot imagine a piece of wagyu being fattier... If it was, it would literally kill you on the spot. The taste was unbelievably great though (and we had a fillet steak with it as well to have a leaner balance).

                                                            1. re: Asomaniac
                                                              n
                                                              Ninisix Jun 28, 2011 04:20 AM

                                                              I d really like to continue the discussions about the steak!! After having checked the 
                                                              net, the steak at 'Aragawa' is grilled on charcoal that will harden the meat and add a crust, and at 'Dons de la nature' will be cook on a frying pan that will soften the meat. Did someone tried both ?

                                                              1. re: Ninisix
                                                                r
                                                                Roysen Jun 28, 2011 05:35 AM

                                                                From what I hear anyone interested in grilled Wagyu steak at a restaurant should check out Kawagura. Its probably the hardest reservationin Tokyo but from what I hear also the best steakhouse.

                                                                From what I have learned so far the top ones are:
                                                                Kawagura
                                                                Don's de la nature
                                                                Aragawa
                                                                Gorio

                                                                Cheaper and easier to reserve alteratives could be:
                                                                511 - http://www.tokyotimes.jp/post/en/1479/Japanese+beef+at+511+in+Tokyo.html
                                                                Hanezu - http://www.hanezu.jp/

                                                                1. re: Ninisix
                                                                  r
                                                                  Roysen Jul 8, 2011 12:36 AM

                                                                  From what Shinji Nohara has told me now this is not correct. Both Aragawa and Dons de la nature grill their steaks on charcoal. In fact the chef at Dons did his training at Aragawa. The reason why the steak is so expensive at Aragawa is that their beef is only sourced from champion prized cattle. Gorio is the sister restaurant of Aragawa where they source the beef from the same supplier but there is no restriction on champion prized cattle only. Because of this Gorio is also less expensive than Aragawa. Shinji recomends Shima as his favourite steakhouse because they use their own special designed owen and the chef Oshima sources the cattle from his independant network outside Kyoto.

                                                                  Of the steakhouses on my prospect list only Satou Steakhouse is using a frying pan to cook their steak. The other restaurants are either teppanyaki or sumiyaki (charcoal grilled). The prospects were:

                                                                  Aragawa (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Kawamura (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Ukai-tei Ginza (Teppanyaki)
                                                                  Dons de la nature (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Gorio (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Shima (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Sernya Ginza/Sernya Honten (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  511 (Sumiyaki)
                                                                  Hanezu (Teppanyaki)
                                                                  Satou Steakhouse (Frying pan)
                                                                  Omae XEX (Teppanyaki)

                                                                  1. re: Roysen
                                                                    n
                                                                    Ninisix Jul 12, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                    Thank-you ! Great information on the steak choice in Tokyo.
                                                                    My eyes were tired whne finishing the 'Dons de la Nature' description page of the 2008 edition of Michelin Guide. The Guide now has improved, with shorter description. Also, they seem to perceive better the interest of Japanese consumers.

                                                          2. re: babreu
                                                            r
                                                            Roysen Jun 23, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                            Thanks I will have a look at those you have mentioned.

                                                            1. re: babreu
                                                              r
                                                              Roysen Jun 23, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                              I have tried to find the opening hours and days of Sushi Mitani on the web without any luck. Does anyone know?

                                                              1. re: Roysen
                                                                b
                                                                babreu Jun 23, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                                According to Time Out Tokyo: Open 12:00 - 14:00、17:00 - 21:30 http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/venue/...

                                                            2. re: Roysen
                                                              n
                                                              Ninisix Jun 28, 2011 05:20 AM

                                                              I do post on my Iphone, and it is not multi-task... Your idea to change your diner by a lunch at Robuchon is good as the place is more business like, cold ambiance!!!

                                                            3. b
                                                              Blacken Jun 24, 2011 02:16 AM

                                                              If you havent already planned it, make a visit to the fish Market.....

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Blacken
                                                                r
                                                                Roysen Jun 24, 2011 02:20 AM

                                                                Yes, we will go there.

                                                              2. r
                                                                Roysen Jul 5, 2011 02:42 AM

                                                                The final list became like this:

                                                                LUNCH
                                                                L'effervescence
                                                                Kondo
                                                                Kitcho (Tokyo branch)
                                                                Hamadaya
                                                                Esaki
                                                                Yonemura
                                                                Fukudaya
                                                                Ukai-tei Ginza
                                                                Aragawa
                                                                Kyubey Ginza
                                                                Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten^
                                                                Araki
                                                                Sushi Mitani
                                                                Sawada
                                                                Sushi Saito
                                                                Sushi Mizutani
                                                                Sushi Kanesaka

                                                                DINNER
                                                                Joel Robuchon
                                                                Aronia de Takazawa
                                                                Les Creations de Narizawa
                                                                Fugu Fukuji
                                                                Kawamura
                                                                Ishikawa
                                                                Koju
                                                                Kanda
                                                                Ryugin
                                                                Kyouaji
                                                                Yukimura
                                                                Morikawa
                                                                Kanesada
                                                                Sushisho Saito
                                                                Harutaka
                                                                Sushiso Masi
                                                                Umi
                                                                Sushi Hashiguchi

                                                                Then we have left a few spots open for Shinji Nohara to surprise us. If some of these reservations prove too hard to get we also consider these as replacements:

                                                                L'Atelier Joel Robuchon
                                                                Pierre Gagnaire
                                                                Namadan Honten Sazanka-so
                                                                Daisan Harumi
                                                                Shushiko Honten
                                                                Ristorante Aso
                                                                Sense
                                                                Gorio
                                                                Omae XEX
                                                                Dazzle
                                                                7 chome Kyoboshi
                                                                Usukifugu Yamadaya
                                                                Kadowaki
                                                                Apicius
                                                                Don's de la nature
                                                                Shima
                                                                511
                                                                Hanezu

                                                                If someone can recomend a really great Italian restaurant I am intersted.

                                                                12 Replies
                                                                1. re: Roysen
                                                                  kersizm Jul 5, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                                  If you don't die of a coronary, I am really looking forward to your trip report!

                                                                  When does all this start?

                                                                  1. re: kersizm
                                                                    r
                                                                    Roysen Jul 5, 2011 06:32 AM

                                                                    Yes, lets hope I manage to stay alive. It seems like a lot, but its really only lunch and dinner every day and the meal doesn't really have to be that big.

                                                                    It starts October 21st.

                                                                    1. re: Roysen
                                                                      s
                                                                      szw Oct 23, 2011 12:57 AM

                                                                      The time has come! Looking forward to what is sure to be an amazing report! (no pressure!)

                                                                      1. re: szw
                                                                        i
                                                                        itwillmakeaturd Dec 1, 2011 09:56 PM

                                                                        I am both surprised and disappointed Roysen has not updated us. I look forward to reading even capsule reviews of any of these places.

                                                                        1. re: itwillmakeaturd
                                                                          r
                                                                          Roysen Dec 5, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                                          I am truy sorry for not updating you as I promised. Due to a cancer diagnosis I had to go through a stomach surgery and now midway through a chemo therapy. As you can proberly undersand my trip was postponed until further notice. My hope is to go through the same plan again exactly one year later than originally planned. We will have to see what the future brings though.

                                                                          1. re: Roysen
                                                                            j
                                                                            japanesefoodlover Dec 5, 2011 08:13 AM

                                                                            i'm sorry to hear that. wish you get well soon. best of luck.

                                                                            1. re: Roysen
                                                                              d
                                                                              Dustin_E Dec 5, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                              that is terrible! best of luck.

                                                                              1. re: Roysen
                                                                                shekamoo Dec 5, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                                                looking forward to reading your review in a year

                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                  n
                                                                                  Ninisix Dec 7, 2011 12:57 AM

                                                                                  Your health is first, and hope to be a help again...
                                                                                  Tokyo kisses... and best wishes for a prompt recovery.

                                                                      2. re: Roysen
                                                                        n
                                                                        Ninisix Jul 6, 2011 01:13 AM

                                                                        Roysen, why the hat^ near my dearest sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro ?

                                                                        1. re: Ninisix
                                                                          r
                                                                          Roysen Jul 6, 2011 06:07 AM

                                                                          Sorry, it is a typing mistake. I will correct it.

                                                                          Add - Sorry the post is too old to edit.

                                                                        2. re: Roysen
                                                                          b
                                                                          Blacken Aug 1, 2011 03:42 AM

                                                                          Hmmm personally I'd just skip all the rest and go to Aronia De Takazawa.... (nice list though)

                                                                          I'm still hold Aronia up on pedastal like lunch at Momofuku Ko

                                                                          Cheers

                                                                        3. p
                                                                          porkchampnc Jul 16, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                                          Hire Shinji Nohara - he is the best to get you into the kinds of palces you desire in Tokyo and Kyoto

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: porkchampnc
                                                                            Robb S Jul 17, 2011 12:22 AM

                                                                            He's already said, at least four times, that he's hired Shinji Nohara.

                                                                          2. t
                                                                            the cookie girl Jul 18, 2011 12:11 AM

                                                                            Sorry if I insulted anyone. The whole need to plan every meal just seems excessive. Sometimes, the best food and experience is the unplanned pop in to a hole in the wall found while wandering the back streets.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: the cookie girl
                                                                              d
                                                                              Dustin_E Jul 19, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                              that's true, but those meals can also be disappointing, so it sometimes becomes a question of how many meals you have to trial and error. It can also frustrating to go on a gourmet vacation and think to yourself "we have better [whatever] back at home."

                                                                              1. re: Dustin_E
                                                                                d
                                                                                Dustin_E Jul 19, 2011 11:33 AM

                                                                                also, i think "excessive" might be some of the appeal of this sort of trip.

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