My Osaka- Kobe-Kyoto-Tokyo tour / followed the recommendations on Chowhound
I was in Japan between 15-25 June. Before i went to Japan, i read all the posts about the cities i mentioned in the title. i visited the restaurants which suited my budget that are recommended in the boards.
here are my feedbacks ( i'm not a natibe english speaker, forgive my mistakes pls)
we used shinkansen trains to travel around. we bought a Japan Rail Pass before we went to Japan. it made very cheap to travel around. JR PASS is a must for tourist who travel around.
EN: this is izakaya place. it's not hard to find, we used google maps to find the places. it's close to Hilton Osaka where we stayed and yodobashi camera. no need for reservation. you take your shoes off when you enter. the decor is cool, crowd is young. no dress code at all. tempuras, fresh food are all delicious. variety choices of sake. we tried around 10 stuff. for two we paid 8000 yen. bargain.
NENOHİ: it's in a some kind of shopping mall on the 5th floor. building name is Breeze Breeze. it's behind the Hilton Osaka. Ask the Hotel Concierge they're keen to help. All Japanese people are keen to help. Upscale izakaya place. No shoes taken off. More stylish and cooler than EN. We loved the food and the service. we paid 12000 yen for two. i left 2000 yen tip (i know it's not customary to tip in Japan, but it is in my culture. i would feel that i didn't appreciate the service if i didn't leave any tip). The waiter ran after us to give the tip back, i didn't accept it but from now on i never left any tip in any restaurant although that made feel a bit bizzare.
WAKKAQUO: This is a greaaaat place! We went there for lunch but didn't choose a luch set menu. We chose 170 gr Tenderloin set including shashimi, veggies, corn soup, garlic rice, dessert and coffee. We also drank a bottle of 7000 yen wine Margaux 2008. in total for two we paid 28000 yen.
The chef used his magic on teppanyaki especially for us. a lovely guy who spoke a little english but give us info about the process. he made mustard soy sauce mix, it's great to dip the meat in it. this is a must! we loved it! also to put thinly sliced garlic on top of it.
NISHIKI: We stayed in Hyatt Regency in Kyoto. Great Hotel. Concierge booked us a table in Nishiki for 7 pm. Restaurant closes at 9 pm. We chose 9 pieces 8500 yen pp set. it's by the river, easy to find. They gave us a private room. No english at all but a smiling face speaks a thousand words.
to be honest, traditional kasieki meal is not our thing, we got that (we are nwither gourmet nor foodie but we are open to new experiences). to be in a private tatami room, a lady serving you, fancy looking tiny foods, it was an experience. we don't regret.
TOUZAN: it's located in Hyatt. Nice, cool bar, good sushi but we're gonna have great sushi in Tokyo later on.
RIN: it's Lumeni EST top floor in Shinjuku. very nice place. we're not used to nice places in shopping malls but this one was very cool. the food & service all great!!! paid 12000 yen for two. (drank 5 beers)
SUSHI IWA: Our hotel concierge booked us 12.30 lunch. We chose 8500 yen pp lunch omakase. The place is hard to find in Ginza. Tiny shop in an alley. Find the Taimen Elementary school, it's across the school. ask a local. This is an heavenly experience!! 8 seats in the place, two guys working, one of them is Iwa. Lovely guy, he explained each sushi to us. he fed us till we drop! miso soup and green tea at the finale. we drank beer with sushi. Must go!
FISH MARKET / SUSHİ DAİ: Good sushi but definitely doesn't worth queuing for an hour. ı'd rather go Iwa for the second time. No need to spend valuable time in waiting in a line. yes it's way cheaper than Iwa for sure. Iwa offers an experience, ritual. Fish Market, eat and get out approach. no worth it.
SERYNA/MON CHER TON TON: This place is name is changed into Seryna. it's in the 52nd floor of Sumitomo building in Nishi-Shinjuku. Decor is a bit old, unfirendly head waiter but the ladt waitresses are nice and friendly. We took set Shabi Shabi set for 10000 yen pp and 10000 yen french wine (don't remember the wine). Shabi Shabi is an experience as well. it's ok but to dip the raw meat in a boiling water and eating straight away is not our thing. you have your own stobe on the table. Experience is cool which we loved. we didn't regret it but wouldn't do it again since we paid 34000 yen with the service. The view is amazing! (52nd floor).
WEST CONFECTIONERY: Japanese people obsessed with dessert and tea time. This place is so cool! everything is silver. Hot souffle is amazing. We paid 6000 yen in total. hot souffle, tea, quiche and cheese omelette.
PARK HYATT / NEW YORK BAR: Lost in Translation bar. Cool crowd, cool music, superb view, stylish environment. 5 makers mark, 5 caiprinhias. cover charge is 2200 yen pp. we paid around 18000 yen for two.
SOBA NARUTOMI: Great Soba place in Ginza. Don't let google map fool you. the place pinned in te map is not Narutomi. it's couple of blocks away. An old lovely Japanese man took us there whom we asked directions. Place looks a bit dodgy but it's stylish in its way. Must go!
as i mentioned in the beginning we're not gourmets but love new things. These are our honest comments. Thanks for the lovely recommendations.