Beer Garden

Did you know that Japanese literally love the Beer Garden concept and imported it in mass from Germany?

From June to September, so many restaurants and most hotels offer a 2-hour package with all you drink ! they have partnership with the famous brands and depending on the location, offer random junk food for up to elegant dinners. I tried a number of them and it is fun. This is where you see families, salary men, relaxed and friendly people in numbers.

I enjoy one in Tokyo Bay, very classy with a Thai food theme in August, the place was full of families and we enjoyed a nice evening although not quite comparable to what you would find in Frankfurt or Munich!

Wagashi

Japanese people love their sweets!! Many of them are made out of red bean paste.

 

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Ichigo ichie

Yesterday evening, as I was wandering in Hiroshima, the city took me by surprise and I must say I fell in love a bit with the people and the atmosphere here.

First, I found a great restaurant with great products – Mabui – you need to book as it is a bit small but you can eat at the counter, you will stink afterwards but who cares!!

Great food, Hiroshima is known for okonomiyaki but also oysters and they were delicious, it is pricey so not an every day dinner type but great quality.  The team is very friendly and smiling. Just that the service is extremely slow, it took me almost 1h30 to get 3 oysters and 2 lamb chops!!

While sitting there, my neighbors, even though retired couple with limited English, naturally engaged the conversation so between their English and my Japanese, we made a conversation, it felt great, the gentleman is 77 while his wife is 74, she told me she is a listed victim of the A-bomb, she was 2 then. 13 years ago, she got her stomach removed as a consequence of the radiations. she said things continue to emerge since 1945 but that she is enjoying life to the max as it grew her different. an inspirational statement to say the least.

they taught me one of those great Japanese concepts – Ichigo Ichie, have a look, it is about making the most of each moment, enjoying meeting people, etc. I will keep this one in mind together with the Omotenachi, this reflects totally my perception of Japan

I then walked outside in the streets and celebrated the Carp victory. Once again, Hiroshima won the Baseball league, the city was “wearing red” and what an atmosphere, I got integrated in no time to the crowd, it was contagious.

Tsuki-Shima

This area was man built at the end of the XIX century, close to Tsukiji market, it is not a tourist area but has a special area called Monja Street,

Monja yaki is a type of “tokyo okonmiyaki”, plenty of small restaurant clutter that street, all have teppan on each table and you can choose from different types and cook on your own. It is not healthy, not elegant, it is noisy and greasy but it is fun if you go with locals

 

Luxury Teppanyaki (I know pleonasm)

While the word “teppanyaki” may bring to mind knife-wielding chefs performing flashy feats before a sizzling grill, Conrad Tokyo’s Kazahana stylishly revamps the Japanese-style steakhouse into an evening of refinement. Perched on the 28th floor of the high-rise hotel, Kazahana boasts sweeping views of the Shiodome skyline overlooking Tokyo Bay,…

Source : Teppanyaki takes on refined touch at Conrad Tokyo’s Kazahana – Japan Today

When in Fukuoka

I could only spend less than 24 hours in Fukuoka but it hooked me and I want to go again and spend some time.

My recommendation, their café and restaurants already gone. Lots of restaurants and shops.

An Unagi place: (there is one near ANA Crowne Plaza Fukuoka)

Fukuoka is famous for Yatai and Hakata Ramen! My favourite in Fukuoka is the mentaiko (cod roe), I really love it

However, I spent time at the ANA Crowne Plaza Fukuoka, what a great place. I was inspired by the team atmosphere, everyone has a purpose, all smile, you dont feel any tension or pressure in the hotel which leads me to think it is a great place to work. I enjoyed the room and the Japanese restaurant

 

Fukuoka has taken an interesting approach. they have decided to go for universities, encouraged them to settle in the region, this way, the city was hoping to keep young peope in Kyushu, attract more and keep them. It happened, nowadays it is one of the Japanese cities that keep growing.

One anecdot, the airport is in town literally, therefore, Fukuoka is a low city, no buildings are permitted higher than 67m because of the air traffic regulations. it makes it a nice city, have a look at the new train station

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From there, I took a shinkansen to Kumamoto with the Kyushu Shinkansen, it is elegant, has a “back in time” style, loved it, and it took me only 40mn to get there.

More to come on Kumamoto in the next episode!

 

Tofu

Full of protein, healthy, tofu is a paste made out of soja. In Europe, it is usually considered as a boring item, diet oriented or special for vegan.

Here, it is part of the cuisine, and you can find all sorts of different tofus at the supermarket as well as hundreds of ways to prepare it. There are tofu restaurants, usually quite expensive.

My friend Francoise and I found one that we really enjoyed, in the Shimbashi/Ginza area, on the Ginza corridor. that was very accidentally that we spot it as it has a tiny entrance in between 2 large steakhouses and is on a 2nd floor. however, it is traditional, you are accomodated in small individual rooms separated by sliding rice paper doors and has a great menu.

With our little knowledge, we went to try out a bit of everything and it turned out to be a great dinner, we were full but not heavy. I recommended it

 

The only thing is that I am not even able to read the name of the restaurant!! it is located in Ginza corridor 7-2 on 2F – tel 03 6274 6933 – it is called Ohashi Ginza – post code is 104-0061 – you can book online!!