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NFT: First visit to Japan, Recommendations?

ATL_Giants : 10/9/2019 5:04 pm
Going to meet my wife's parents in Kobe (near Osaka).

I plan on visiting Tokyo and Kyoto. Can anyone share a "can't miss" experience or tourist spot to visit?

I'm 40+, typical Italian-American from NJ. If that helps at all. I love history, so seeing Fuedal era stuff may be a lot of fun, but I'm open to anything except maybe a full-body Yakuza tattoo.

thanks!
I hear the vending machines are pretty interesting  
Hsilwek92 : 10/9/2019 5:07 pm : link
...
I'm jealous  
widmerseyebrow : 10/9/2019 5:47 pm : link
There's a million things to see and eat in both cities but here's a just a few:

Tokyo

- If you like sushi, see if your wife or her family can get you a reservation at one of the Michelin star rated joints. It's expensive but it's a once in a lifetime treat.
- If that fails, see if you can get into Kyubey. You don't need the crazy lead time to get a reservation there, but its still considered top notch. Many of the Michelin star chefs trained under him and the sushi is sublime. Multiple locations, but the main guy is in Ginza.
- Tsukiji Sushiko is sushi chain that is more casual but still excellent.
- World's Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-pan Ice cream is great for a walk up dessert joint. It's ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of hot Melon bread. So good.
- Piss Alley (Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho). It's in Shinjuku, and it got its name from the old days when bar goers would relieve themselves in the alleyways. Today it's an awesome place to get snacks (think grilled skewers and beer) in a throwback locale in the middle of the city.

Kyoto

- You can't go wrong with any of the top historical sites. There are so many. Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Sanjusangendo...Google ahead and make a list. Walk around all day and enjoy the food. Just a magical place, especially the river during cherry blossom season.


I would also consider Osaka and Nara since you're so close in Kobe.

- Osaka is famous for its street food. Foods to get there (or anywhere really): Takoyaki (grilled balls of batter and octopus), Okonomiyaki (kind of like a pancake with bits of seafood and veggies), Yakitori (grilled skewers).
- Nara has an awesome park leading up to Todai-ji temple. There are hundreds of deer that will walk up to you and eat food from your hand. The deer food is sold on the street and it's a fun experience.

just let them take you around. Japan is fasinating  
gtt350 : 10/9/2019 5:48 pm : link
Go to the Ginza , take a ride on a high speed train.
Eat all the sushi u can. do some karioki, I thought I never would do it. I got a standing ovation, the people are wonderful. Fly business class it's a long flight
I had a fight with the Yakuza  
George from PA : 10/9/2019 5:49 pm : link
But anyway.....either early morning or late night.....seaport/fish market is great experience......the freshest tuna sashimi.
Let me add you are a lucky man  
gtt350 : 10/9/2019 5:51 pm : link
.
drink some Nigori (unfiltered saki)  
gtt350 : 10/9/2019 5:52 pm : link
.
look up ‘‘Love Hotels’’  
sb from NYT Forum : 10/9/2019 6:00 pm : link
....or ask your father-in-law where the best ones are.
Kobe itself is pretty cool too  
V.I.G. : 10/9/2019 6:02 pm : link
Industrial part nestles into the lush hills well. Take a hike up past the Kobe sign and take the views in. You'll need the hike to work off the Kobe beef which is ridiculous. Don't take too big a portion or you'll have the meat sweats all night.
In Tokyo  
V.I.G. : 10/9/2019 6:10 pm : link
you have to walk around the Imperial Palace Grounds

Sensō-ji shrine (crowded and touristy but you have to)

If you're done with sushi have the burger and whiskey at the Imperial Hotel Bar (Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and where McArthur called home post occupation)





RE: I'm jealous  
DonQuixote : 10/9/2019 6:28 pm : link
In comment 14620334 widmerseyebrow said:
Quote:
There's a million things to see and eat in both cities but here's a just a few:

Tokyo

- If you like sushi, see if your wife or her family can get you a reservation at one of the Michelin star rated joints. It's expensive but it's a once in a lifetime treat.
- If that fails, see if you can get into Kyubey. You don't need the crazy lead time to get a reservation there, but its still considered top notch. Many of the Michelin star chefs trained under him and the sushi is sublime. Multiple locations, but the main guy is in Ginza.
- Tsukiji Sushiko is sushi chain that is more casual but still excellent.
- World's Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-pan Ice cream is great for a walk up dessert joint. It's ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of hot Melon bread. So good.
- Piss Alley (Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho). It's in Shinjuku, and it got its name from the old days when bar goers would relieve themselves in the alleyways. Today it's an awesome place to get snacks (think grilled skewers and beer) in a throwback locale in the middle of the city.

Kyoto

- You can't go wrong with any of the top historical sites. There are so many. Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Sanjusangendo...Google ahead and make a list. Walk around all day and enjoy the food. Just a magical place, especially the river during cherry blossom season.


I would also consider Osaka and Nara since you're so close in Kobe.

- Osaka is famous for its street food. Foods to get there (or anywhere really): Takoyaki (grilled balls of batter and octopus), Okonomiyaki (kind of like a pancake with bits of seafood and veggies), Yakitori (grilled skewers).
- Nara has an awesome park leading up to Todai-ji temple. There are hundreds of deer that will walk up to you and eat food from your hand. The deer food is sold on the street and it's a fun experience.


This post is one of the reasons to contribute to BBI
Must do’s  
Yoshibvillek1 : 10/9/2019 9:09 pm : link
Tokyo is quite amazing but Kyoto is better IMHO. Go to Fushimi Imari Shrine outside of Kyoto at night and climb to the top of the trail. It’s amazing. My favorite places in Kyoto are Toji a Shingon Buddhist temple, Sanjuusangendo is definitely worth a visit, and Kyomizudera has great views from the hills down onto the city. Walk down Ninenzaka and Sanzenzaka streets. These tiny streets don’t have cars and it feels like you’re back in ancient Japan. Also in Kyoto are Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji, an amazing Zen rock garden. Some people enjoy the bamboo forests around Gingakuji, the Silver Pavilion although it’s jot really silver. The person before mentioned Nara and Deer Park and Todaiji as coo places to go. Been there several times and I agree. Outside of Tokyo is Kamakura which has amazing hikes with caves and trails in the woods with little shrines and temples. A couple of musts in terms of food.... you must go to a couple of kinds of food joints. Make sure to try yakiniku, a yakitori joint, and definitely Google good ramen restaurants wherever you are. Of course, there are amazing sushi joints and I think going to kaiten sushi is always fun. This is where sushi comes out on a conveyer belt. If you have time, try to hit an onsen. Google that to learn about a truly traditional Japanese experience. I used to teach Japanese and took my students there nine times and I also studied there for college and my masters. If you want more info, message me on Twitter and we can connect. I always enjoy sharing my knowledge about this great country and people. @mitchellsensei
Shinjuku Golden-Gai  
732NYG : 10/10/2019 2:56 am : link
So much fun.
Definately try the Sushi!  
JPinstripes : 10/10/2019 5:12 am : link
... Have a great time!
Isn't  
liteamorn : 10/10/2019 6:06 am : link
Japan bracing for a Super Typhoon?
Yeah baby  
GiantsUA : 10/10/2019 7:49 am : link
In Japan, Man comes first women comes second
Nice! I'll be back next month myself.  
MM_in_NYC : 10/10/2019 8:30 am : link
Some highlights in Tokyo:

Butagumi: The. Best. Pork. Except for maybe top level bbq in US. They have 40 different heritage breeds of local kurobuto pigs. They will have daily specials and you can usually just stick with those to simplify. This is tonkatsu, just to clarify. I go to one in Roppongi. No wait when I've been at off-peak times.

Parks: I could refer you to specific ones but honestly just go to what's close at any given point in time and explore. Parks are so wonderful in Tokyo.

High level sushi: If you're willing to drop over $300 a head on sushi go to Sushi Masuda. He was #2 or 3 at Jiro before he opened his own and it is just on a different level than what you can get in US. You need hotel concierge to make your reservation and you need to pay in advance. 2 Michelin stars.

Low level sushi: 7-Eleven! Try all the onigiri. Pair it with the Milk Tea in the hot section for bottles (you heard that right by the way, hot bottle section). They brew the tea directly in milk, and it's delicious.

Shibuya crossing: just cool for all ages.

Shinjuku: go at night for best experience.

Outer market at Tsujiki: a lot of fish mongering has moved to new Toyosu but the older outer market is awesome. Disclaimer: I haven't been to new one yet. Maybe you should go there too and find out!

Wondering (as in aimlessly walking): Tokyo is great for this as everywhere is ridiculously safe.

Toilet: you will have a new thing to buy when you come home.

Tempura: I wish I had a top level one to send you to but instead I can advise you instead to not go to what many consider one of the top ones, Mikawa Zezankyo.

Desserts: go to a Joel Robuchon bakery for some deliciousness, and then go to a Japanese bakery for more deliciousness. They do bread and desserts so good.
Thank you so much everyone!  
ATL_Giants : 10/10/2019 10:53 am : link
What great input, I'm very appreciative.

I'll have to google and youtube up this information to make an itinerary.

Yes, I'm a very lucky and blessed man. Mrs ATL_Giants is wonderful. Hard-working, efficient and organized a real tribute to her culture.
Wasabi dressing on a Subway sub, yum.  
PatersonPlank : 10/10/2019 1:29 pm : link
Love the Tempura restaurants and noodle restaurants.

Surprisingly good Indian food too.
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