Greetings all. I have greatly enjoyed all the posts from chowhounds on Japan.
I am planning my first trip to Japan this New Year's and am very excited to experience the food, architecture and design of this wonderful country. My husband and I are quite adventurous eaters and have with regular occurence enjoyed some splendid izakaya & sushi in our home city of San Diego and nearby LA.
We are flying out the day after Christmas and return on 4th January.
> Would you recommend spending an equal # of days in Kyoto and Tokyo? Currently we have 5 nights in Tokyo and 3 in Kyoto.
> With the New Year's holiday, I presume many restaurants may be closed. But am hopeful that there will be many that remain open. Do you have any advice on this point based off your experiences in Japan at this time? Any advice on dining out during this holiday week and sightseeing (shrines, museums, et al), regarding closures, is much appreciated.
> We love local, seasonal, simple foods and flavors. I imagine we will do at least one formal night out, but any tips on smaller authentic restaurants, street food, noodle shops, et al, and overall, undiscovered places, are much appreciated.
> Any tips on markets? Must experience sake shops? Shops for ingredients, knives, etc?
THANK YOU in advance. I appreciate all your suggestions!