042016Jul

Jirocho Sushi

You may think finding good sushi in Japan would be easy right? Well, if you know Okinawa, you’re in for a surprise. It will take a bit of work, weeding out those that focused on rolls, to find a premium place offering quality fish and a dedication to the craft of nigiri. Enter Jirocho Sushi, a restaurant right by Araha Beach in Chatan. Once I got to the restaurant I was eager to try out the omakase. Inside, the restaurant was big with about three sections, the bar, the center dining area surrounded…

302016Jun

Okinawa Soba

You can’t avoid Okinawa Soba if you wanted to on this island. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see a shop serving up this classic that you probably never seen outside of Japan. Not sure why this local dish hasn’t made it to the popup scene. Maybe that’s a good thing. Let’s keep this local secret here. And whenever I want another bowl, I’ll just have to come back to the Ryukyu Islands. I don’t mind, really. There’s a whole bit of history behind this bowl of noodles, including its misclassification as…

152015Jun

Junidanya

My traveling partner in crime had read up about a shabu place in Kyoto. A place that’s been hypothesized as the birthplace of modern day shabu. So what to do, but to venture out and find this place called Junidanya. However, within historical area of Gion where each building has minimal signage, it was a bit hard to find. Plus with the crowds cluttering the street, along with the colorful geisha, we were easily distracted from our quest. On a side note, you really kinda wonder if they’re actually local geisha or just tourist…

142015Jun

Feasting on Fugu

Dinner was all about fugu, pufferfish, a delicacy with that deadly reputation of killing people. But really? At this day and age the percentage of people getting a lethal dose of poison is getting rare. There’s rigorous training for chefs to be certified and you can bet restaurants do everything possible to make it safe. One episode, even non-lethal, can close a shop and the reputation of the chef. So no, I don’t think we were in danger having this especially when we went with a nationwide chain, Gempin Fugu. They are located in…

142015Jun

Fushimi Inari Shrine

We chose to visit Shinto Shrine, famous for its rows and rows of Japanese Gates, on a Sunday. Not the best idea for someone who don’t like crowds. And boy do I not like crowds. But the weather was nice and we had little time in Japan. So off we went to this busy tourist attraction. A place I’ve always wanted to see in person. Arriving there you get an idea of the crowds at the station stop. You’ll see people of all ages taking their Sunday to visit the shrine. At the…

132015Jun

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

After our boat ride we went up into the bamboo forrest. We passed by a few restaurants and ryokans overlooking the river and turned up the street. A few rickshaw drivers were running their patrons up the block. It was a little amusing given the short distance they covered. I figured they were raising money for their schools given how young and athletic they were. Great idea and so much better then a car wash. Once we got inside the grove the tall trees provided us with some shade form the sun….

132015Jun

Cruising Along Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was on the agenda today. But instead of going directly there we went two train stops further to Kameoka Station. That was where we started our Hozugawa River boat cruise back into Kyoto. Most of it was a gentle ride through the lush green mountains. There were some rapids they warned you about. None of them were life threatening. The only risk you have was getting a bit wet. There are covers along the side to shield you from the waters. Though I didn’t hear about them till after…

122015Jun

Late Night in Dotonbori

Thanks to numerous delays on our flight, we arrived to our hotel in Osaka around midnight. That didn’t leave too many options for food. I should have taken into account the long train ride from the airport. It was close to an hour on the express. Still it would have been late and I was starving. So where else to go but to Dotonbori, a food and nightlife spot I love. By this time, shops were closing and people were staggering the streets finding something to quell their buzz. That came in the…

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