Off the radar foodie destinations in Japan, preferably near Tokyo or Kyoto
Places you recommend as culinary experiences that are not so well known to travelers because they have not been judged by the Michelin demigods. Some referrals regarding culinary ryokans would be much appreciated along with out of the way places for food adventures.
For example, we loved Zeniya to bits and loved the fact that Kanazawa was not over trampled with tourists. We went to a small fishing town Maze just to eat at Maruhachi ryokan for an out this world, unique breakfast and dinner by the inn mistress who has no culinary training but sources local ingredients from the mountain and river.
ryokan-akune.jp meets all your criteria, I think.
The local mud creatures guarantee that michelin will stay away:
eta: it's not near Tokyo or Kyoto, but you can fly out of Haneda, spend the day in Fukuoka, and be there for dinner.
eta: it's also worth pointing out that many (most?) of the well regarded Japanese tables are not included in the michelin guide. This doesn't mean they're not full of tourists.