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Japanese food is well liked by many. To have Japanese food cooked by Japanese and eaten in Japan – this is awesome. Well, we had the privilege of having authentic Japanese food for 13 days. This article is written from memory(how well I can remember) and photographs that I had taken. It is purely my humble opinion. There is no position or chronological order here.
In Shinjuku, we went to Zawatami restaurant at 9th floor to have our dinner. Did not know about the place. No idea about the food too. Just went in. To our surprise, the price was very reasonable. The food was good and ambience was a delight. This building is right in the middle of the Shinjuku shopping belt.
Wondering around JR Kanzawa Station for our lunch, we literally went in a tempura restaurant that till now I still fondly remembered. Simple any Japanese restaurant in town but superb tempura.
We went to Harajuku around 7pm and it was quite dark due to Autumn. Most of the shops along the alley streets were about to close. Luckily, there was a small Japanese restaurant along the main road that was still open. Went in and had a good prawn tempura dinner at a price we could afford.
Heard of ebi ramen ? Yes, we had ours at the Sapporo Chitose Airport. There are many ramen shops at here (Ramen Road). Only this shop has long queue. 4 types of soup base to choose from. The ebi ramen is cooked with sweet shrimp heads. Full of flavor. Very tasty but a tad salty.
An ordinary roadside small eatery in Tokyo near we stayed. I had a very fulfilling tonkasu lunch. Portion was big and price okay. The motherly matron who served us was a delight to talk to though we could hardly understand each other. Kind of endearing food experience.
Healthy food at Asakusa. We actually did not know much of this kind of food. However, decided to try and it seemed no harm. A little different from my perspective of Japanese food. Nonetheless, it was a not too common experience for us.
Went into a kind of expensive traditional restaurant at the Bikan historic area which can be reached on foot from JR Kurashiki Station. The cuisine was of high standard. Needless to say, it was not cheap by our standard. We did not order much but adequate to enjoy the good food.
Sushi by converter belt is such a common norm now. We could not resist trying it at one such restaurant in JR Kyoto Station. There were many kinds of sushi which were alien to us. A very interesting experience.
While in Kyoto, how can one not try the ramen at the 10th floor near Isetan. 8 eights ago, we had very delicious ramen here that we kept talking about. It was different scenario now. Somehow, the taste and flavor of 8 years ago had also changed. It was still good ramen but not similiar, nevertheless.
King crab at Sapporo. We went to the famous Honke restaurant, about 10 minutes walk from JR Sapporo Station. The crab was served in many versions depending on what you ordered. An expensive but elaborate lunch.
Another place in Sapporo is the well know Sapporo Ramen Alley. This is non descriptive building where there are few ramen shops inside the building. Did not know which shop to choose. At the end, went in the one with most customers. The shop is small and only can cater for less than 15 customers at one time. The miso ramen portion was large and tasty but oily for my liking. The pork was tender and delicious. Need not buy any ticket. Order, eat and pay. As simple as that.
Omotesando Road is the 800 meters from JR Narita station which leads straight to Narita’s famous Shinshoji Temple. There are inns, restaurants, and numerous souvenir shops along the road. We had our first Japanese lunch at a modern chic looking Bayashi restaurant manned by 3 men. I had the miso ramen which was delicious. Also ordered fried dumplings and fried rice. This place has a kind of family feel and with its reasonable price and very courteous and friendly service, the stream of customers popping in did not stop while we were there. A good lunch and a good start.
Down the road, I notice there was a long queue for unagi, a local delicay. The eel was prepared and grilled on the spot. Very fresh. However, there were some small bones which one has to be careful. Expensive meal.
Eating hamburger in Japan ? Yes we did. We took 4 hours of train to Hakodate from Sapporo to try the well known Lucky Perrot burger. (Well, it was a daytrip rather than solely to eat hamburger). About 12 minutes walk from JR Hakodate Station. A unique small restaurant that not only sells hamburger but other food too. The bread was fresh and meat was well marinated. Unfortunately, smoking is allowed in the restaurant which to non smoker – it is a nuisance.
I must mention here that we were very pleased with buffet breakfast at Ibis Style Hotel Sapporo. At a matter of fact, I really enjoyed the food. There was always Japanese and Western spread. I always had the western spread. I liked the potato spread very much. Add in some fruits, toast and butter, it was a nice start in the morning. Though there was crowd at breakfast time, the dining area was big enough to accommodate all. It was never a rush so that others could have your seat. Relax and enjoy your first meal of the day.
Koh Ya restaurant opposite JR Biei station was a good find. Biei is a very small town where you probably need 30 minutes to wander around. We were there and had our lunch at Koh Ya. It was a wise choice. This is a typical family owned small establishment. We were very happy that we ate here.
Nearby JR Sannomiya station is the Ikuta Road, Kobe’s main entertainment district. Walking around , we just walked in to a restaurant that served barbecued seafood. The aroma was delightful amid smoky environment. They served other food too.
At Tokyo Ramen Street, a street exclusively for ramen at the Yaesu Underground Exit of Tokyo Station, we went in to one of the 8 ramen shops. There was a queue for all the shops here. Standard has to be good. We were not disappointed. The broth was thick and delicious. Service was fast.
To sum all, this has been an enjoyable and enriching cuisine experience…