Having recently returned from my first vacation to Japan, I wanted to document all the culinary experiences I encountered. This is because this Japan Trip has been the greatest vacation in my life, both from a relaxation and cultural appreciation point-of-view, but also from a culinary point-of-view.
It's because of Chowhound and all the great contributors on the Japan board that I was able to discover some of THE best restaurants I've ever encountered for various types of food. As a side note, I feel I'm a pretty discerning lover of food (^_~), and while Japanese cuisine is one of my Top 3 favorite cuisines in the world, it wasn't until this trip to Tokyo and Kyoto that I had discovered just how great the difference in quality is from all my favorite Japanese eateries in Southern California (USA) have been compared to what I experienced in Japan. I suppose it's not surprising, but at the same time it was mind-blowing and amazing!
During this Japan Trip, I've eaten The Best Takoyaki I've ever had in my life; The Best Sushi I've ever had; The Best Modern Kaiseki-style meal ever; The Best Traditional Kaiseki meal (although it was my first time (^_~)); The Best Ramen I've ever had (multiple times over (one ramen restaurant exceeding the next), and ALL of them blowing away the pitiful stuff we have in So Cal); The Best Soba I've ever had; The Best Sakura Mochi; The Best Tonkatsu ever (yum!); The Best Yuba; The Best Tsukune Kushiyaki (mouth-watering ridiculousness from a Tsukune specialist in the back streets of Kyoto); The Best Green Tea I've ever had; The Best Izakaya I've ever been to; and much, much more.
It may sound like hyperbole, but it's true. I brought a fellow Chowhounder with me (who's even more picky and discerning) and S was completely blown away as well. I'm so grateful to all the Chowhounders who helped me out and I wanted to give back, so I've been writing Reviews of all the places I've visited. My sincerest "THANK YOU!" to:
Silverjay, skylineR33, FourSeasons, Charles Yu, Asomaniac, kamiosaki, snaporaz, E Eto, I heart ramen, lost squirrel, Oonth, and so many others (if I've forgotten to list you, forgive me!). _(._.)_
Here's a summary of all the Reviews to all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) Restaurants I've experienced in Tokyo and Kyoto. Enjoy - (^_^)/
*** RAMEN ***
#1 - Menya Kissou (Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
* Rokurinsha (Osaki, Tokyo, Japan)
* Ajisen (Kumamoto Ramen) (Kabuki-cho, Tokyo, Japan)
* Kyushuu Jangara Ramen (Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan)
*** SUSHI ***
#1 - Sushi Mizutani (Ginza, Tokyo, Japan)
*** KAISEKI (Modern / Traditional) ***
#1 (Tie) - Ryugin (Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan)
#1 (Tie) - Hyotei (Kyoto, Japan)
*** IZAKAYA ***
* Toki no Ma (Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan)
* inton (Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)
*** YUBA ***
* Komameya (Kyoto, Japan)
All the above Reviews Formatted with All Pictures found here: