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Restaurants & Bars

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

DreamCatcher | Dec 16, 201401:04 AM     24

I'm travelling to Japan in February with my family (4 Adults). Looking to do a few high end restaurants.

I am looking for (1) Good Sushi-ya (2) Kaiseki (3) French/Fusion in that priority. I have limited days - 5 in Tokyo, 2 in Takayma, 2 in Kyoto and 3 in Osaka - so need to work around that.

What are peoples opinion? And which would you pick as no 1 in each city?

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Tokyo
Looking for 1-2 Top sushi-ya.

First choice
Right up my list is Sushi Saito (But perhaps difficult to get booking?)

My 2nd choices would be
Sushi Harutaka - heard lots of good things
Sushi Yoshitake - mixed reviews?
Miyakouzushi - supposedly booked out 15 months in advance though?
Sushi Sawada - very good but overpriced for what it is?
Saito's apprentices unnamed joint - I love going to upcoming restaurants

My last choices
Jiro - read its overpriced and have to deal with grumpy jiro
mizutani - kind of like jiros
Tokami - good value but not as good as the others

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Non sushiya's in Otkyo - Would like to go to 1 - maybe 2.

Joel Rubuchon - 3* - Very high standard - but perhaps not worth it because you can eat joel rubuchon anywhere in the world?

Quintessence - heard mixed reviews - price wise better than joel rubuchon and I guess only one in the world.

Ryugin - Best of the 'japanese' cuisine. Generally good reviews all round but does not feature as highly on tabelog as the above two.

Any good alternatives that are easy to book?

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Takayama - Any recommendations here? Coulnd't really find anything on tabelog

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Kaiseki in Kyoto - probably would only eat at 1 due to limited time

Top pick is Mizai - but called and was told booked out for 6 months

Kichisen - heard some mixed reviews, still features quite high on tabelog.

Sojiki Nakahigashi - Heard really good reviews, supposedly nearly as good as Mizai according to some tabelog reviewers? - wonders if I should pick this over kichisen?

Kitcho - Top notch all round - but the price really makes me want to wait until I can get booking for Mizai next time.

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Osaka

Did extensive research. Generally found that the quality is not on par with Tokyo (For french cuisine) or Kyoto (for Kaiseki). As such I haven't really wanted to go to any. For example Koryu (3*) has got some pretty scathing reviews even though it seems value for money.

Currently the only restaurant that I am considering is Fujiya 1935.

Preferences
- Prefer stronger flavours as opposed to subtle (which may help decide kaiseki choice)
- The absolute quality of the food outweighs theatrics or experimentation (for e.g. would rate Fat duck lower than per se because dishes are not all perfect food quality wise).
- Being able to book relatively easily (I have japanese friend living in Japan who can call).

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