I'll be taking my mother to Japan in Spring 2013. She feels like it will be her last trip to see Japan and her family (she will be 80 when we go), so I want to make it a memorable trip. I want to do two to three indulgent, memorable meals (whether they are at a restaurant or even an onsen) that would cost no more than 75.00 per person (I'd be paying for as many as 5 people), drinks not included.
Her family lives in Yokohama, so I'd really appreciate any food tips that are within 1-2 hours of there. I want to ask her sisters where we can go, but they don't speak English and I don't want to use my mother to translate the question of, "What are some special places I can take my mother for her last meals here?" My aunt also has expensive taste, so I'd like to do -some- planning on my own.
One thing my mother absolutely wants to do is go to Tsukiji and have some sushi there--she hasn't been there in many years.
We are open to ALL Japanese food and would appreciate ALL recommendations.
Here are my specific questions:
1. Are there any specific cities/prefectures within an hour or two (by train) from Yokohama that would be good for a fairly active 80 year old to walk around? A plus, obviously, would be hole in the wall food joints combined with good sites to visit. I read that Kamakura and Niko were two areas that aren't too far from Yokohama...anyone have any thoughts on either place?
2. What kind of game plan should I formulate to go to Tsukiji (is one day of the week better than others, is the tuna auction a "must see"?, what's the best train station to get off at) and where is a solid place to eat there?
3. Can anyone recommend an onsen that is reasonably priced and also provides good meals?
4. The two to three memorable meals I mentioned above doesn't have to be at a 5 star joint or fancy. The food just has to be very, very good. I realize my price of 75.00 per person may be limiting me, so if this is unreasonable, let me know so I can figure out how to cut other costs to raise my limits.
I really appreciate any input that can be provided; I'm hoping that by starting planning now, I can come up with some stuff that will make my mother's trip very memorable.