Kikunoi, Kyoto

Before heading back to the US, my friends and I decided to  splurge on a kaiseki dinner at Kikunoi.

10337737_833860983409556_6410387711953716218_n Continue reading “Kikunoi, Kyoto”

Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.


For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”

A Foodie’s Day in Takayama

The best street food I had in Takayama is Hida Beef Sushi


Hida Beef comes from the black-haired cattle of Gifu Prefecture. It is known for its beautiful marble pattern, luscious color and delicate texture. Continue reading “A Foodie’s Day in Takayama”

Japanese Ryokan in Takayama

Koto no Yume 古都の夢 is a Japanese style inn in Takayama. Conveniently located in a quiet neighborhood, five minutes from the train station by walk.

Upon arrival, we were guided into the main living area and was served a cup of tea accompanied by Japanese sweets. Continue reading “Japanese Ryokan in Takayama”

An Afternoon to Remember

Traveling – It leaves you speechless , then turns you into a storyteller.

-Ibn Battuta

Before exiting the snow monkey park, we made a brief stop along the running creek and found a big cluster of ice formation next to a steaming pool.

 A rainbow appeared…… Continue reading “An Afternoon to Remember”

An Interesting Night

For dinner, we picked Uni Murakami. The restaurant owns a farm in Hakodate, and their sea urchins come directly from the source. Because aluminum (usually added as a preservatives) was not used in the processing. the sea urchins tasted more tender and sweeter. Truly melt in your mouth.

We had uni two-ways- sashimi styleIMG_4244 and as a gratin, baked in creamy Hokkaido sauce Continue reading “An Interesting Night”

A Foodie’s day in Sapporo

After viewing the snow sculptures at Odori Park, I went to JR Tower ESTA to get my friend Akiko the ONE SWEET she really wanted.

There are thousands of sweet shops in Japan, most of them carrying regional specialties. If you see one that you like when visiting a particular area, get it. Don’t wait till you get to your last stop. You will regret. The Duty Free shop in Narita has only basic big brand stuff that are not really that interesting. Continue reading “A Foodie’s day in Sapporo”

Tokyo – Shinjuku


I wouldn’t call my first day in Japan completely uneventful. First of all, per my friend’s recommendation, I booked this hotel in Tokyo, right next to the Shinjuku Train Station, arguably the world’s busiest transportation hub (no kidding, there’s even a Guinness World Record for it). So when I arrived, jetlagged, after a ten-hour flight and couple of train transfers, I found myself LOST among countless underground tunnels and exits. There was no information desk at sight, and no hurried passersby with good command of English to help. What was I thinking? Continue reading “Tokyo – Shinjuku”