In a few weeks, my husband and I are going to explore the Kansai region of Japan, using Kyoto as a base. We've never been to Japan before, and would interested in chowfinds that won't break the bank (we're expecting our first child in the late spring). Particularly interested in ramen, fugu, tea ceremonies, street food, perhaps a zen monastery. And although I sadly cannot partake of them, I'm sure my husband would appreciate suggestions for sushi and sake (a place that offers sake tasting would be great!).
Also, I am looking for a good collection of essays on Japanese food (a Japanese MFK Fisher?) for light vacation reading.
Thanks very much!