I will be in Japan from May 18-28 in Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo. In Tokyo I am staying in Ginza and in Kyoto in Gion (Osaka will be my first destination and I have that all covered). I believe that I have most of my restaurants secured after working through Voyagin, Tableall, and my hotel concierge. I am hoping to have a variety of different types of food, not just the high end sushiya. I would love any feedback on my choices:
In Tokyo I will have lunch at Arai (second counter), and dinners at Kyubey, Kondo, and Birdland Ginza (waiting to see if Kotaro is possible through hotel concierge).
In Kyoto I am hoping to secure Kyobashi, Giro Giro Hitoshina, and Soujiki Nakahigashi (although Voyagin is still working on two of the three because they are not taking reservations yet.
If you have any negative feedback on my choices, it would be so great if you were able to suggest an alternative that you enjoy more!
I also need one additional dinner each in Kyoto or Tokyo. I am hoping for a local izakaya or yakitori place (it doesn't have to be one of these, but those are my initial thoughts) that a) takes reservations but is not booked months in advance or only accepting of reservations from very high end hotels b) is accepting of English speaking diners (I know a few basic Japanese phrases related to dining) and c) will not be uncomfortable for a young woman dining alone. I am a very adventurous eater so that is not an issue and am hoping to have a unique dining experience. Ideally I would like something that is not more than a 20 minute taxi ride from Ginza. Any suggestions would be wonderful.
Finally, I am curious about attire in restaurants in Japan. I have read many conflicting things (it is ok to dress casually, but you should dress smarter than normal; it is ok vs. not ok for women to wear sleeveless tops or dresses) about what is appropriate. I would like to be as respectful as possible in my attire so as not to offend anyone. I do dress stylishly (I work in the fashion industry in NYC) and fairly conservatively. But i am still confused. Are nice dark wash jeans and a nice blouse acceptable in most restaurants? No jeans? What about for lunch? I just don't want to be uncomfortable by being under dressed. I know this isn't specifically what this board is for, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...