First of all I'd like to thank all the experienced hounds for their postings.
I have never been to Japan before and knowing that business casual is acceptable in most (Japanese) restaurants was something I had been trying to find out but only got confirmed here.
I'm also not that experienced as a chow hound, but I like good food and have had some good sushi and other Japanese meals before (in LA and LV in the US, sadly nothing good in the UK) so decided to make food one of my primary focusses on this 'trip of a lifetime'.
I am travelling during Golden Week, so Sushi Saito was booked solid even two months out. Here's what I *have* got booked, starting in Tokyo.
Sushi Yoshitake. Was glad to hear that Yahitake-san has some English as this will be my first high end dining experience in Japan. I don't know any Japanese but have learnt that the phrases itadakimasu (I humbly recieve) as the first dish is served and gochisosama deshta (thanks for the meal) as you leave are appreciated.
I will be travelling with my Michellin Guide, Sushi dictionary and Japanese food dictionary, and taking a notebook to write down my impressions. If I can pluck up the courage I may well ask for the '5 tastes of tuna' as described elsewhere on this site to slightly supplement the omakase. Do you think he would mind if I took some no flash photos of the food? Is this generally acceptable/unacceptable?
Hagazumi in Minato-ku
Seems to have an interesting menu. MIchellin advises the Udon omakase. Any hound tips on this one?
Like All the restaurants I will be visiting I have matched the google maps street view to the pictures of entrances in the Michellin guide or on the website to make sure I can find the place! This one is a bit more off the beaten track than most and has a particularly anonymous entrance :)
I wanted to have a kaiseki meal in Tokyo and this one looked like it was good value (I can't afford 300k Y for all my meals)
Chanko Tomoegata, Ryogoku
Not a Michellin starred restaurant this time, but it's a chanko-nabe restaurant. I will be at the sumo all day and then visit this restaurant within easy walking distance of the Kogukikan afterwards. I'm not the smallest of fellows, so I will fantasise that I too am a mighty sumo warrior as I tuck in to (what I am currently minded to go for) a kobe beef hot pot.
Now to Kyoto.
Not got long in Kyoto, staying at the Hotel Granvia in Kyoto station for one night. Was hoping to maybe pick up one of their bento lunches there as they look very good, but maybe other hounds have a better value for money option for lunch?
For the evening meal I have gone for Fujiwara in Gion. It looked to have a contemporary twist on Kyoto style cuisine and had a reasonably priced omakase (I've gone for the pricier of the two offerings). As a plus, it's easy walking distance from Gion Corner.
I will update this post in a month or so when I am back from travelling, but would be very interested to hear any hound tips in the meantime.
Domo arigato gozaimasu