Our one year anniversary trip to Japan was an amazing blur. We saw so many things, ate a record number of meals and walked a crazy amount of miles throughout Tokyo and Kyoto. Below are some image highlights of the trip, but only part 1! There were so many images that I wanted to share that I broke it down into two parts. This one will cover Tokyo and the first part of our trip to Kyoto, and the second will cover the rest of our time in Kyoto, as we were there for 4 days.
I cannot possibly write detailed excerpts for everything that we saw, so I will stick to the food only, as that was what really got us motivated each day. Seriously. We walked over 15 miles one day trying out 4 different restaurants.
We’re going to do this in list form since it will be easier!
- Drinks with a view- we enjoyed cocktails with an amazing 52nd floor view of Tokyo at the Park Hyatt. As you can see there aren’t that many extremely tall buildings in Tokyo (like NYC) so this view was completely unobstructed. The bar opens at 5 but get there 15 minutes early to get a window seat!
2. The best ramen in all of Tokyo (ok ok… from what we researched) was from a place called Kagari in Omotesando. We waited in line for an hour in the rain for seat in this 8 person restaurant, but it was well worth it. The chicken-based broth was thick and creamy and unparalleled. Sometimes I crave it in my dreams. They open at 11am. Get there early.
3. We had another unbelievable experience at Yakitori Fuku in Shibuya. This was a larger restaurant by Tokyo standards-about 30 people- but since everyone sits around the head chef it has an extremely intimate feel. Everything we had was so delicious we couldn’t believe it was only seasoned with salt and pepper. The main chicken and beef skewers were amazing, as well as the cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped bell peppers. Make a reservation.
4. I know you all want to know about Sushi, but what can I really say? There is high quality sushi all over this city. We had 2 sushi meals- one at 9am at the Tsujiki Fish Market (there are tiny restaurants everywhere), and one Omakase style Michelin starred restaurant. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name, but I do know that there are about 5 Michelin star sushi restaurants in Tokyo so chances are they will all be small, fresh and delicious. As for the images of the Tsujiki Fish market, Mr. R has all of those on his phone because I was too busy making sure I didn’t step on fish guts to whip out my phone. Let’s just say it wasn’t my cuppa matcha.
5. Matcha? You know I had to bring it up. Well, Tokyo is not as big of a Matcha town as Kyoto so I will leave most of that for next week’s post. However, we did stop at Sakyo Tsujiri on the 10th floor of the Diamaru at Tokyo Station, which is great if you are traveling in an out of there on the Shinkansen trains. We had a matcha affogato and a matcha ice cream parfait with matcha cake and matcha whipped cream and it was amazing. I personally love matcha sweets because they aren’t too sweet, so although this sounds crazy, it wasn’t over the top in taste.
That’s it for food! As for the temples that you will see images of below, they are all in Kyoto. The first with the red gates is Fushimi-Inari, which is a quick train ride out of Kyoto. The second is Sanjosengen-do, which actually has 1001 golden statues inside (no pictures allowed!) and is my mom’s favorite temple, so of course I had to go. They also had a beautiful pond and manicured outdoor area which was nice to sit and read in for awhile. Lastly, we stumbled upon Higashi Honganji as we left Kyoto Station and took a quick free walk around. I really loved the over-the-top black and white striping as well as the gold, obviously. Plus, it was right in the center of town so easy to check out quickly! Check back next week for more images and please email me if you need recommendations for a Tokyo/Kyoto trip!