There is one place I love when going to Takao san, it is their restaurant Ukai! This is a beautiful way to finish the day in style, you can either hike in the morning and have a lunch or hike at leisure and get an early dinner, the last order is at 19h00 so dont miss out,
the restaurant is composed of old traditional houses they brought to create a village, each house is a “table” and there are houses for kitchen, service, etc. it is set in the woods with lovely gardens, it is a moment in time
Food is about traditional cuisine, tofu, grilled chicken, river fish grilled in the park, tatami room, waiter in traditional attires, count between 7500 and JPY 10000 all included depending on your menu choice, it is a real experience, good food, good service, but extraordinary day!
This is an area in the north of Tokyo, close to Asakusa and Ueno, walking distance from both and at metro stop Tawaramachi where you can find all you need to cook
This long street is full of kitchen utensils shops, initially dedicated to restaurants but that grew for tourists and individuals. anything you want is there at very good prices
worth a visit, if you are into cooking, I spent 3 hours there wandering on a Saturday
On a Saturday lunch time, I went out to picnic in the Shirokanedai area, in the Tokyo University park. Across the road, I discovered the wonderful Happo-en.
This is a place that gives you serenity, calm, peace in the heart of the city, suddenly, you forget about the noise, the cars, and the daily life.
The park has a collection of bonsai, a banqueting space and a tea ceremony house that you may book although I have heard they dont always reply
Like Kyoto, Nara is known for the Tsukemono, pickled vegetables, they have wonderful traditional shops in the main street for this with all sorts of pickles and employees preparing them in the back of the shop, enjoy, there are worth the taste
Japan also produces Manju – biscuit filled with An, a red bean (asuki) paste, the shape varies with the season, it is always a delicious break
January is a fun moment in Japan as well. as of January 1st, shops displays Fukubukuro (lucky bags). For a cool price, the bag comes with all sorts of things. this creates massive queues depending on the shop.
My neighbor who sells carpets, even has these bags available for JPY 7000.- this year
but this is only available until January 3rd, after that, things go back to normal (and people to work)
Christmas is not a bank holiday here but still a nice opportunity to celebrate and shop. People shop and celebrate just about anything here!!
Takashimaya, large luxury shop, located in Nihombashi is a fabulous building in itself, great architecture to admire and the traditional window shopping
But of course the must is Ginza with the famous brands, and Mitsukoshi, this year the avenue has Christmas trees all along, impressive
During the whole month of December, Koen Dori is lightened in blue from 17h00 to 22h00. This is a project that started in 2014 in Meguro but moved last year to Yoyogi. The best location is to be at the entrance of Yoyogi park on the side of NHK building just before 17h00 and be surprised by the blue light going on suddenly, it is truly amazing!. then walk along this 250m totally covered with LED lights. the avenue takes you down to Shibuya in a lighter version
This concept also exists across Japan in Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Osaka.