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dchyno (Offline)
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Going to japan in December 2008 - 06-04-2008, 04:34 AM

Hi guys. The fact taht I'm here means i'm totally lost in trying to come up with a plan for going to japan. luckily i have a few months to get everything together. so, i'm here to attempt and try to gather information on things to do in japan. I am a chef/eater and love food, especially Japanese food. I want to try a good number of food items that only exist in japan. maybe also some food I can bring home? i am a big ramen, yakitori, okonomiyaki, tempura...i guess i'm a fan of alot. But for the ones I named, and maybe others that might be good as well, I'd like to know a good solid place to get them in tokyo without having to go through the trouble of not speaking japanese. also do you guys suggest bringing japanese cash to japan, or exchanging it to japanese yen once you get there? I guess I just want to know where to get some really good food in japan taht you can't get anywhere other than japan. Maybe some places in japan that are also popular might help. 2 or 3 should do fine. I'm going to be stayin in shinjuku for one week, and for my second week i will be at the hyatt regency in osaka. so if you guys know anything about good food in japan where you "can" speak english or get around easily without too much trouble, please let me know. thanks for your guys help. I really appreciate it.
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samurai007 (Offline)
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Posts: 890
Join Date: Oct 2007
06-04-2008, 07:41 AM

All of my information is 10 years out of date now, and I don't know Tokyo much at all. But in Osaka, I always enjoyed eating at the various places in the restaurant and shopping area under Namba station. There was an excellent tonkatsu place there.

Other than that, if you can make it 50 minutes south from Osaka on the Nankai-Koya line, to the town of Hashimoto, there are 2 great restaurants just outside the Hashimoto train station. The 2 story triangle-shaped restaurant just across the street had the best kara'age I ever had in Japan, and just down the street was a tiny place that made the most incredible zosui I ever had! They cooked each individual serving fresh in a cast iron pot and brought the entire pot to your table when it was done! You then scoop out a bowl for yourself from the pot... 1 pot was enough for about 2 bowls. They had about 24 different varieties of zosui, but the chicken and rice (kashiwa zosui) was my favorite.

I recommend just trying a variety of different places and foods while you are there. When traveling, I often would just duck into some small family-run restaurant that may not look like much from the outside, but often had surprising good food at very reasonable prices. No need to go to fancy, expensive places, not for the kind of food you (and I) like.

Also, be sure to try Hakata-style ramen (also called tonkotsu ramen, with a white pork-flavored broth) and a real yakiniuku-ya, where you order trays of raw meat and cook it yourself on the grill at your table!

JET Program, 1996-98, Wakayama-ken, Hashimoto-shi

Link to pictures from my time in Japan
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godwine (Offline)
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ペンギン村
06-04-2008, 12:08 PM

Second everything that Samurai said.

You are "fairly" safe to find a good place for Yakitori, Ramen and Tempura. For Ramen you can give the Ramen museum a shot, its in yokohama, not too far from Tokyo

Okonomiyaki will be difficult, its a Kensai dish, so your best bet will be Osaka. There is also a couple of nice Okonomiyaki restaurant in Himeji. You are technically in the center of everything (Tokyo, Osaka), so you have many options

Street food is probably what you want to try, try Yakitori at an authentic diner, also try it from street vendor, they are everywhere, but the easiest to find one will be right outside Yoyogi park, they taste different, which one is better is totally debatable

While you are in Osaka, do take a trip to Kyoto and visit the back street of Gion, thats where you will find some nice authentic Japanese diners, many of them have staff that speak semi-fluent english. Do see if you can find a good traditional kaiseki ryori restaurant, its expensive but a "once in a lifetime experieince"

I would recommend taking approximately ¥20000 with you and just withdraw cash using your bank card. Most postal office and the airport (others suggested banks as well, but I haven't try one myself) will have machines that works internationally with debit card

good luck and have fun, keep us posted of your trip
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