10. Modern Kaiseki Ryori (Japanese Degustation)
No trip to Japan is complete without staying at an onsen ryokan or Japanese style hot springs inn. We really enjoyed our experience at Aura Tachibana in Hakone - spacious traditional Japanese room and warm, welcoming service. And the food? There's sooo much of it. Both the 10-course kaiseki dinner (above) and 3-course breakfast (below) were scrumptious and prepared with utmost care. Couldn't have expected less from a chef who likes to think that "a meal cooked carefully is like a flower".
9. Daikanyama 150-0034
Upmarket boutiques, quirky cafes, larger-than-life murals and tree-lined streets. Those are the sights of Daikanyama, which is touted as one of the trendiest districts in Tokyo. So if wish to take a break from the busy shopping districts of Ginza and Shinjuku, spare half a day here to explore the slower and quieter side of Tokyo. Cou Cou sells all things girly kawaii for 315 yen each. Cafe de Barquette (9-3 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) serves a good cuppa with some basic but delicious sandwiches.
8. Say O-mu-Rai-Su with Me
Yoshuku or Japanese style western food is popular among the younger generation who crave for that connection with the western world. There's the ham-baa-gaa (hamburger steak) served on a sizzling plate. And, my favourite, the o-mu-rai-su or Japanese style fried rice (rai-su) wrapped in oozey omelette (omu) and topped with demi glace sauce. I could eat this everyday.
More food memories from Japan in the next installment. In the meantime, what are your favourite overseas food memories?