Category Archives: 50 Days in Japan

[TOKYO] Hiking Mt. Nabewari: from udon to ramen

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 2

Dear Food Diary:
You might have noticed by now that my idea of an Saturday morning adventure is trying a new dish or cuisine. StalkerBoy however loves the outdoors and being active. He also knows how to lure me into going hiking with him.

You see, at the top of Mt. Nabewari sits a famous udon shop, run by an old man who for decades have carried water and all the ingredients daily on his back, all the way to the peak. With that, I was hooked and even “excited” about going hiking…

[TOKYO] Mitama Matsuri: 30,000 lanterns and food stalls

Mitama matsuri 2013 4

Mitama matsuri 2013 - dancers

Dear Food Diary:
For 4 nights each year, Tokyoites are mesmerized by 30,ooo lanterns lighting up the Yasukuni Shrine for Mitama Matsuri.

The  obon festival actually honors the dead, but with the mix of traditional dances, lights and food stalls, it was one of the liveliest nights I’ve had in Tokyo.

[TOKYO] Tsujida in Awajicho: Best miso ramen

つじ田 Tsujida in Awajicho - Tokyo's best miso ramen

Dear Food Diary:
Ramen shops in Tokyo are like Starbucks in NYC, you will easily find one within a block or two.

With different varieties and each shop with their unique/secret “broth” vs “noodle” + topping concoctions, it’s hard to really choose one over another. But from the miso ramen we’ve tasted thus far, Tsujida in Awajicho cooks up one of Tokyo’s best miso ramen, at least in my book.

[TOKYO] SUSHI SHO: Tokyo’s best sushi experience by chef who dissed the Michelin man

Sushi Sho - Tokyo - entrance, door

Dear Food Diary:
While making my list of Tokyo eats, I stumbled upon a “guide” from travel.cnn, where Shinji Nohara (local food gps) mentions Sushi Sho with the quote: “This place kicked out the Michelin researchers. The master told me they were rude and didn’t know how to appreciate sushi.” Intriguing…

Upon further web search, ChubbyHubby (just a coincidence on the Chubby part) declares Keiji Nakazawa as “The best sushi chef in the world.” In his detailed post, he clarifies that the chef didn’t kick anyone out per se, but simply pointed out the inspector’s lack of sushi knowledge. Ouch!

By dissing the Michelin man, Sushi Sho isn’t on the guide, but who cares! This was the best sushi experience I’ve had yet.

[TOKYO] Ghibli Museum: Totoro Animation Fantasy Land

Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Japan - direction

Dear Food Diary:
I fell in love with My Neighbor Totoro the first time I saw it back in the 90’s. It’s charm and cuteness overload have captured the hearts of millions, specially those in Asia.

I’m watching it as I’m typing right now, they have dubbed versions, but the original in Japanese is definitely the way to go.

With just one film, it has grown into a merchandising machine over the past 20+ years. Here in Japan, you can literally find Totoro everything, from chopsticks to bibs. Naturally Ghibli Museum, Mitaka aka Totoro “land” was on my must list for this trip.

About an 1.5 hr away from Akihabara Station, it took 2 trains, a bus and some confusion along the way. Thankfully, the locals wer there to help. From the moment I entered, it was like getting lost in a story book. An animated fantasy of Tororo land…