We just finish the Japanese alpine trip recently including the famous tateyama-kurobine crossing. Just to share some of the highlight of our trip
Toyama-- to my surprise I love this city and the food offering Vast selection of great seafood. I want to recommend river retreat garaku - which is a modern ryokan and they have two excellent restaurant. One is kaiseki place and the other is levtro French restaurant. The kaiseki place is actually a branch of a Michelin two star kaiseki in Kyoto. The French restaurant is better than lefferessence and takazawa but the portion is really small.We also did a sushi place in Toyama called sushi Jin which is comparable to high end sushi-ya at ginza but at fraction of price. Their shiroebi is the best I have eaten.En route to the tateyama station . we also stop by the famous nearby shiroebi tempura kiosk and it was delicious
For the rest of the trip, we mainly stay at different ryokan in the Japan alpine country but I like kamikochi the best. The place felt really mystic to me and the serene taisho pond is a marvellous sight to behold. I should mention a lovely family run ryokan at sawando called keiryo suirukan also serve wonderful river fish call Iwanai
We have a brief stop at kairuzawa before heading back to Tokyo. I just want to mention this pudding place called pamu at the entrance of kyukairuzawa. It was the best Japanese pudding I have ever tried .
Tokyo- we tried 3 new place on this trip
Sushi-ya-- I prefer his otsumami over nigiri. Very similar to iwa and chef spoke English well. I do not particular like his Shari which is on the colder end and mild on vinegar. Compare to miyaha we have the day after, I prefer miyaha better. FYI, the taisho of miyaha is sick again and recently re admitted to hospital according to assistant and likely won't be able to return to work for a long while
Kaiseki kadowaki-- we absolutely adore this place. It's somewhat fusion and heavier on taste profile. His is famous in using truffle in his dish and we have sashimi, meat course , gohan and dessert that were served with truffle and the combination work really well. We are eager to return on our next trip
Tomura--I was let down by this place. It is known for it's awabi during summer but the one we have is not what I have expected. It was too hard to chew and the flavour is just not there. The highlight of the meal is grilled hamo, torigai and Kare sashimi, cold somen and the desert that look like konyaku but not and I forgot the name. I undestand the chef principle in his cuisine which is simplistic but I don't think he does it as well as matsukawa and for the price he charge, which is even more expensive than during matsutake season at matsukawa, it does feel being ripped off
Hototogisu - we have the shio ramen and I think it was good. The broth is light but I still prefer tonkotsu based ramen. They serve different ramen on Thursday and Friday where the name of store than change to ura-hototogisu.
FYI- kagari ramen at ginza is moving to a new location on May 29. The new location is now at the ginza subway underground station closer to the c- gate.
As well for any itoya fan, the new flagship store at ginza will be reopen on June and it will consist of 12th floor which include a cafe