hop & go fetch it: japan

Cities are in alphabetical order

This is a Japanese-style izakaya or tapas restaurant. We sat at a long, low wooden table and the little bits of food just kept coming. It was all wonderful.

Kasugai (near Nagoya)
Okonomiyaki Dohtonbori Kasugai Jinryo
Okonomiyaki are thick Japanese pancakes made with meat and cabbage and anything else you'd like. You make them yourself sitting at a table with a grill, and then squeeze on special sauce and mayonnaise, and top them with bonito flakes that flutter in the heat. They are great lunch and dinner food, and very reasonably-priced.

Buffet Sara
I was skeptical about having lunch at a buffet, given my bad experience of buffets in North America. Buffet Sara was completely different: everything was fresh and a good mix of Japanese and western food. It's also housed in a building that has various modern artists selling their wares; do check out their shops.

Ganko Kyoto
This is a beef shabu-shabu restaurant in the main JR train station complex. You pull the thinly-sliced raw beef in and out of hot broth, making a "shabu-shabu" sound, before you eat it. The beef and the other 10 or 12 courses were lovely.

Tokyo (Ginza)
Mitsukoshi food hall
One of the most expensive department stores in Tokyo has one of the cheapest lunches on an outdoor terrace! You'll arrive in the basement on the subway. Find the food hall in the basement and buy some very reasonable lunch. We liked gyoza, lotus-root salad and green tea. Then, queue for the tiny elevator and take it up to the ninth floor. Find a bench out on the grassy roof and watch the children running around in the sunshine. Eat. Best lunch in Tokyo.

Tokyo (Ginza)
Ladurée in Mitsukoshi
This is the Tokyo outpost of the famous Parisien tea house in Mitsukoshi. Oh, the macarons. Oh, the chocolate praline cake. Treat yourself to something from Ladurée and you'll be very pleased you did.

Tokyo (Kioicho)
New Otani Hotel Sekishin-tei
First, you wander through the 400-year-old garden. Then you find this little (but no doubt expensive) teppanyaki restaurant where the chefs cook everything over high-heat iron grills right at your table. Everything was wonderful, and I am still dreaming about the steak. I live in Alberta, but this was definitely the best steak I have ever eaten.

see also:
hop & go fetch it: Canada
hop & go fetch it: United States of America
hop & go fetch it: Europe

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