Japan 2018

Steve and A's big adventure visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Cooking classes, food tours, ryokan onsen, kaiseki dining to street food, and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Steve's title
Steve's title
Ramen shop. Tokyo Station.
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The first bowl of ramen in Japan. Tokyo Station.
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Instant ramen and coffee for breakfast.
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Black miso soup at Tsunahachi Tempura
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Owl cafe. Harajuku, Tokyo.
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Owl cafe. Harajuku, Tokyo.
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Owl cafe. Harajuku, Tokyo.
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The guitar used by Gearge Harrison in Magical Mystery Tour. Ginza.
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Restaurants under the railway tracks.
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A corner of Tokyo that time forgot.
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Guide for our first food tour around inner Tokyo backstreets.
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That single mango is selling for US$146. Having tried a $5 mandarin from this shop, it is likely a very tasty mango!
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Dusk in Ginza, Tokyo.
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Cheesecake in Shinbashi, Tokyo.
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I like the Mercure Hotel chain. Their aesthetic is quirky. Mercure Tokyo Ginza.
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Asimo has been around a while. Still a very impressive piece of technology. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
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Video globe. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
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National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
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A real rocket engine. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
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This robot responds to your presence and gestures. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
Part of the Tokyo Design Exhibition. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
Part of the Tokyo Design Exhibition. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
Part of the Tokyo Design Exhibition. National Museum of Emerging Science and Arts.
Approaching the Tokyo Skytree.
Gacha. They were everywhere.
Cheesecake. Skytree.
Don't look down. Skytree.
Dusk over Tokyo. Skytree. The sun really was red.
Photo opportunity. Ginza, Tokyo.
Uni heaven. Tsukiji market. Tokyo.
Uni heaven. Tsukiji market. Tokyo.
And I thought New Zealand mussels were big. With Naomi from Tsukiji Cooking School.
Selecting prawns for making tempura. With Naomi from Tsukiji Cooking School.
Prawns. Tsukiji Market.
Helping making sushi rice. Tsukiji Cooking School.
Sushi knife technique. Tsukiji Cooking School.
Fun making sushi rolls. Tsukiji Cooking School.
Tempura preparation. Tsukiji Cooking School.
Cooking tempura. Tsukiji Cooking School.
This used to be a large fish. Tsukiji market. Tokyo.
Tsukiji market. Tokyo.
A was hungry. I was thirsty.
Ginza. Tokyo.
Ginza. Tokyo.
Udon shop. Loved this place. Ginza, Tokyo.
The origins of Itoya. Ginza. Tokyo.
Ethereal. Tokyo.
Itoya. Ginza. Tokyo.
After shopping at Itoya. Ginza. Tokyo.
After shopping at Itoya. Ginza. Tokyo.
A lost a tooth. We buried it under this tree. A piece of her remains in Tokyo.
Ramen shop. Tokyo.
Some of the best ramen comes from hole in the wall type places. This ramen was very delicious. Tokyo.
Delicious. Tokyo.
Some of the best ramen comes from hole in the wall type places. Tokyo.
Some of the best ramen comes from hole in the wall type places. Tokyo.
Instant ramen based on that from a Michelin starred ramen restaurant. Available at 7-Eleven. It was very very good.
Good fortune. Tokyo.
Mother and daughter owners of a rice cracker shop open for many decades. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Fugu fin (puffer fish) infused sake. Delicious. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Eating fugu sashimi. She really did it! Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
I loved there little bar/restaurant places. You can tell it was hot in Tokyo at this time. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Pet accessories shop. A particularly liked the R2-D2 cat house at the top. Shibuya. Tokyo.
Miso choice. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Miso sampling. The expert, with our guide Michelle. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
On a restaurant wall. Tokyo.
Yakatori. At the standing bar. Usually for locals only. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Yakatori. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Decades of making people happy. Culinary Backstreets tour. Tokyo.
Seemed a little incongruous but Tokyo is like that.
Last night in Tokyo.
On the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Kyoto.
Relaxing at an onsen/ryokan in the hills near Kyoto.
Relaxing at an onsen/ryokan in the hills near Kyoto.
At a ryokan in the hills near Kyoto.
First course of a kaiseki dinner. Uni. A ryokan near Kyoto.
A course of a kaiseki dinner. A ryokan near Kyoto.
A quick dip after dinner. A ryokan near Kyoto.
Throughout Japan there was this user interface challenge.
Yukata. A ryokan near Kyoto.
Breakfast. A ryokan near Kyoto.
Breakfast. Miso soup. A ryokan near Kyoto.
Every room had a name. A ryokan near Kyoto.
Gyoza. Cooking class in Kyoto.
Midori, our teacher, explaining the ingredients of Okonomiyaki. Octopus in hand. Kyoto.
The Okonomiyaki in the pan. Cooking class. Kyoto.
Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
Gin Bar. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
Beef bbq place. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
Beef bbq place. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
Beef bbq place. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
Beef bbq place. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
A's namesake. Beef bbq place. Pontocho Restaurant Street. Kyoto.
He was worth a tip. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
The fox. Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Cleansing water. Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
Real crab sticks. Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto.
The art of making coffee. Kyoto.
Cat cafe. I suspect the proprietor knew her cats better than she knew any people. Kyoto.
Izakaya (drinking with a variety of Japanese food offerings). Kyoto.
Nishiki Market. Kyoto.
Fujita Kaiseki restaurant. The culinary highlight of the Japan trip. Pontocho street. Kyoto.
Relaxation. Kyoto.
Fujita Kaiseki restaurant. The culinary highlight of the Japan trip. Pontocho street. Kyoto.
Fujita Kaiseki restaurant. The culinary highlight of the Japan trip. Pontocho street. Kyoto.
Our culinary guide at the Fujita Kaiseki restaurant. The culinary highlight of the Japan trip. Pontocho street. Kyoto.
The culinary guide book at the Fujita Kaiseki restaurant. The culinary highlight of the Japan trip. Pontocho street. Kyoto.
Pontocho street. Kyoto.
Probably a good restaurant down here. Kyoto.
Adding kewpie mayo to okonomiyaki. Osaka.
Happy in Osaka.
Live crab. Osaka.
Dotonbori food street. Osaka.
Takoyaki. Dotonbori food street. Osaka.
Making takoyaki. Dotonbori food street. Osaka.
Hogwarts Express. Harry Potter World. Universal Studios. Osaka.
Snow in 40 degree celsius heat. Magic. Harry Potter World. Universal Studios. Osaka.
New student. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry Potter World. Universal Studios. Osaka.
Where is Hagrid? Harry Potter World. Universal Studios. Osaka.
Practicing with the new wand. Harry Potter World. Universal Studios. Osaka.
View from our hotel room. Osaka.
Kitchen street. Namba. Osaka. I could have filled a truck if I had one available.
The sushi chefs here were clearly artisans. Namba. Osaka.
Tempura restaurant. The fresh cheese tempura with yuzu jam was particularly good. Osaka.
The wine bar was closed. Namba. Osaka.
Men at work. Osaka.
Nankai Namba Station. Osaka.
Teppankaki dinner including Kobe wagyu. Osaka.
A choice of salt. Teppankaki dinner. Osaka.
Osaka airport. Goodbye Japan. We will be back.