Japan: Kaiseki

Hidden away next to Kyoto’s river and bamboo forests in Arashiyama is a small restaurant Shoraian, serving traditional tofu multi-course Japanese meals (kaiseki). While most kaiseki meals tend to be rather expensive ($100~300/person), Shoraian’s lunches are reasonably priced at $33~50/person (http://www.shoraian.com/menu/).  I picked the most expensive meal option Shofu ($50/person) to try as many dishes as possible. Reservations is required. Read more…

Japan: Omurice

When I was in high school I watched “Lunch Queen”, a Japanese drama about a lady extremely obsessed with lunches, especially the Japanese omelette rice called omurice.  Since then, I have been obsessed with finding the best omurice, and to see what’s the big deal.  So finally when I visited Kyoto in 2015, I Read more…

Japan: Fushimi Inari Shrine

  My favorite place in Kyoto is the Fushimi Inari Shrine — the most popular shrine dedicated to Inari (Shinto god of rice).  Stone fox status can be found everywhere as they are Inari’s messengers. But what stands out the most are the thousands of orange/black torii gates.  These gates Read more…

Japan: Yoroniku

One of the most amazing meal I had in Japan was with our Tokyo experts Peter and Diana at Yoroniku, a yakinuku restaurant (grilled meats).  Wow!  I can confidently say that meal has surpassed everything I’ve ever experienced…and mind you, not the individual meats (which were very high grade), but the Read more…

Japan: Izakaya

Continuing our journey through Japan, Kenta’s dad generously treated us to one of his favorite meals at a local Izakaya.  Izakaya literally translates to “i” (to stay) and “sakaya” (sake shop), which is a place to grab a light meal and drinks.  Here are some of the highlights: Motsunabe (もつ鍋) – Read more…

Japan: Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake. The name is derived from the word okonomi meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.  It is extremely popular in Osaka. I had the pleasure of trying Kuro-Chan’s okonomiyaki during my first trip.  His shop is a hole in Read more…