Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Japan >
Apr 18, 2014 04:03 AM

Review of my trip to Japan (thanks to all the tips here)

This past Christmas, I made my first trip to Japan and it was unbelievable. In all honesty, it was the best food trip of my life and a lot of it was thanks to you guys and girls. Great threads and trips to get ideas from. So I thought I would give back somehow by posting our reviews:

Japan Overview ( - An overall blog post on our thoughts of Japan including a list of our top 10 notable meals.

Daisan Harumi ( - Our first high end sushi meal on our trip to Japan. We were left somewhat underwhelmed but it was better than most that we have had in North America.

Sushi Iwa ( - Honestly, the best meal of our lives to date. It was mind blowing... and we're not exaggerating.

Shorain ( - Amazing tofu in a hidden location in Kyoto. So glad we came here!

I am working on more blog posts for the tonkatsu that we had here along with Sushi Dai and other memorable spots. It was a great trip and it was thanks to you guys.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't exactly call Daisan Harumi a high-end sushi place, though it is excellent for the price.

    Good you had a great food trip in Japan. That part is not surprising.

    Looking forward to your other posts.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      Haha fair enough - it may not have been by high end by everyone's standards but I'm not accustomed to spending $150 pp for a meal too often ;)

      1. re: kelvenng

        Wow, that's really a lot to spend for Daisan Harumi. You probably got lots of the best stuff. In any case, I think you likely did well, so it was too bad you left a big underwhelmed.

        1. re: Tripeler

          $150 per person for dinner is the price for the dinner omakase without drinks, and it goes up from there. You are probably confusing DSH for some other place.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            Well, it HAS been years and years since I have been there, but likely you are right, I am confusing it with someplace else.

          2. re: Tripeler

            My last trip to Daisan Harumi in Jan was slightly less(22000yen) than Mizutani.

            1. re: Shirang

              Mine was less than 10,000 yen per person, but that was well over 10 or 15 years ago.

              1. re: Tripeler

                When I first started going there you could get a lunch set for JPY 2,500. That was also around 10 years ago. So things have changed.

      2. "You walk around the city, eating snacks to keep up your energy and then you wonder, "Where can I throw away my garbage?""

        The answer is of course that you don't walk around eating snacks. But since Japan is good at... err... picking stuff up from foreigners, who are in turn more plentiful than they once were, it's become somewhat acceptable recently to nibble on the go. As a result, the streets in young people neighborhoods aren't as clean and the big electronic sign at the Omo/Hara intersection has to show all kinds of passive aggressive strips about keeping it clean. :)

        Sorry for the off topic post, thanks for the trip report!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gargle

          Haha now that you mention it, it does make sense. We did not see too many people eating on the go at all. Most took the time to sit in the restaurants, have their meal and wander afterwards. Anyway, we ended up keeping all our rubbish in our backpacks until we got back to the hotel.

        2. Your Japan overview is very nicely done, great photos, delicious food pics. Planning a trip around Christmas of 2014, so very timely. Thanks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: curiousgeo

            Thanks for the compliments. I look forward to adding more posts soon so I'll post here when those are up and also add more context to my posts to help you guys out as well. I know I leaned heavily on this forum for help when I went to Japan so it's time to return the favor.

          2. The blog posts on Les Petites Choses were great and fun to read. I recently tried to book reservation at Sawada , where I had been before , but unfortunately they were booked. I also tried Saito, and no luck there either. I will be in Tokyo next week and am trying to get some excellent sushi. Sushi Iwa I had not heard about and hopefully I can get in there. Otherwise any suggestions are welcome.
            Shorain in Kyoto , looks fantastic , and I had read other recommendations for this place. I will try to get there for lunch, I hope I get lucky.
            Thanks for posting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodwhisperer

              I highly recommend Sushi Iwa if you get the chance. The chef is fairly young but doesn't mean that his sushi isn't refined. It was honestly the best meal we had in Japan bar none. I was ecstatic to get a reservation 2 weeks before our trip... probably lucky in that regard.

            2. Sushi Dai ( - Blog updated with pictures now.

              To be honest, the omakase at Sushi Dai impressed us. The meal included 12 pieces of nigiri which were definitely bigger in quantity (both in rice and in fish) than most other traditional spots. No, it was not as refined as Daisan Harumi or Sushi Iwa which we had the previous 2 nights but the quality of fish was there. We came here with a bit of skepticism. This was a touristy spot after all. But we were left satisfied and honestly feeling like our 3 hour wait was worth it. I personally loved the horse mackeral and o-toro. So impressive and fatty, the o-toro just melts in your mouth. It really is unlike any tuna you get in North America where its texture just doesn't hold and disintegrates rather than melts if that makes sense. The uni, while it wasn't the best we had in Japan, was delicious, had a super creamy texture that was rich and sweet. Of all the sushi restaurants we have been to, the only one in North America that we could definitely say is better than Sushi Dai may be Sushi Yasuda in New York. But then you're looking at a price difference of $40 USD versus $200 USD per person. So, to conclude, would we come back? Definitely! I just hope we don't have to wait in line for 3 hours again next time...