Genki Sushi – Shibuya, Japan

Genki Sushi in Japan. Of course I had to try it and of course they are better than Hawaii. Well, the ordering system and variety is! It was missing spicy tuna which is totally my jam but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This Genki Sushi is super busy but very fast. I didn’t take a picture of every single dish but you can bet I ordered weird stuff.

Yup, that’s hamburger with mayo on rice. I ordered this because I am five years old. It wasn’t even that good, meh!

LOL, I don’t have an excuse for this order whatsoever. I just wanted cheesy fries. Well, it looks good but it did not taste good. How do you screw up fries? Just gotta fry it up and add salt. Well, it was cold and no more salt. Even the cheese sauce was bland. Thumbs down.

Tamago. Gosh, I can’t even remember this. I am sure I only ordered it because it was dashi tamagoyaki, I don’t do the sweet omelette stuff.

Mmm, reminds me of the salmon here with the rayu and onions. This was good and look, yellow plate!

Yakiniku-Kirakuen – Asakusa, Japan

A long travel and walking day ends with a meal very close to our hotel. Also a craving for high quality meat (not me). Short post today…Yakiniku Kirakuen!

Kirakuen Set | ¥3,680 (plus tax)
a helping of various kinds of dishes of five kinds of meat (lol, they tried with the English)
Bibimbap | ¥880 (plus tax)
Kalbi Soup | ¥680 (plus tax)

So the kalbi soup and bibimbap was mine. Didn’t feel much like meat that night and this soup and rice combo really called to me. And it really hit the spot too! And…the $15 for this was well worth it. Delicious.

Funny story about this restaurant. Well first, the wait staff were all Chinese but fluent in Japanese (this was a common occurrence this trip) but one of them was also fluent in English. Three languages! Talent.

On the other end of the restaurant had a table with 3 young foreign guys, possibly military? Different ethnicities and next to them was a table of 3 quite randy Chinese ladies. The ladies were probably drunk and kept asking the guys to “join us” at whatever location they were going to after dinner. It was quite amusing to see. Sounded like a joke at first but the join us statement happened a…lot.

Ichiran Ramen – Harajuku, Japan

The day has come. Ichiran POST! Here we are on the stairs in line waiting to get in. No worries, the line moves pretty fast.

Look at this helpful guide they give you as you wait! Cash only by the way.

Here’s what you can choose from. I used to get the set menu but it’s actually more expensive that way. You know me, I get the bowl of ramen and two eggs. No shame.

Half-boiled Salted Egg | ¥130
Classic Tonkotsu Ramen | ¥980

Oh yum yum yum. The noodles are thin but hold their own in the nice broth. You can choose how salty the broth is, how spicy it is, how the noodles are cooked – totally customizable! No wonder we ate there so much…definitely our favorite ramen joint this trip.

Asakusa View Hotel – Tokyo, Japan

Do you folks want to see hotel pics? Well, I didn’t get much of my Osaka hotel but I did of the Tokyo one! So here it is, Asakusa View Hotel!

The toilet and the bath area are separated and the main sink is outside of the bathroom. There is a shower and it’s located in the same room as the bathtub and the floor is the drain. It’s a trip! Big bathroom in this hotel, the bathroom in Osaka was HUGE. Like such the opposite of my past experiences, especially in Airbnbs. The thing I missed the most though? Washer and dryers from the Airbnbs! This was a longer trip too so I really had to stretch some clothes…good thing the weather was cold.

Beautiful city views from the hotel! We didn’t pay enough for the Skytree view from our room. Ah well, I don’t really need it. What was nice was that they had a viewing room in the hotel, it was on the 20-something floor and it had a very nice view of the Skytree. Why pay when it’s free? Haha, anyway…it was a nice hotel. I liked that the hotel limousine stops right at the hotel. I do feel like Asakusa was situated a bit away from just about everything…but that’s okay. I don’t mind walking around and catching transport in chilly weather.

Oh wait, I have a funny story to tell. So the first night of our stay, my body full of Denny’s sangria came back to a very warm hotel room. I kept tinkering with the AC to no relief. Then we noticed our fancy Japanese toilet was broken. Ugh. We called the front desk about it and they sent a very nice worker up. I think she was Filipino but fluent in English and Japanese of course. I asked her why they room was so hot. Here’s the Hawaii girl, apparently it’s so cold that the heater kicks on. No AC. I was not happy. She asked if we wanted her to open the window. Sure.

So here I am looking like a freak with my head practically out the window to get some nice chilly air. Then I ask about the humidifier in the room, it was blinking a red light and I didn’t know how to fix that. She mentions casually that I just need to fill it with water. Well, I was already kind of irritated and never worked a humidifier before so I ask her to help with it. We had a humidifier in the Osaka hotel but the maid staff must have been refilling it for us every night. Well it did not happen in this hotel, I had to refill it every night.

She offered to bring a fan into the room and we took her up on the offer. They fixed the battery in the toilet and she mentions that when we want the window closed, we just need to call down to the front desk because they have to close it with a key. Well, I just told her to close it already because I didn’t want to have to call down to close it later. After we cooled down a bit after our showers, I actually just turned off the “heater” that read air conditioner and the room cooled down considerably. It was quite nice with no heater on in the room. I never had this before, I could always just control the temperature in the room…didn’t realize we had to deal with a heater only. Glad we found a fix in the end though!

Denny’s – Tokyo, Japan

There’s a Denny’s restaurant right down the street from our Tokyo hotel. Yes, we had to go. I know American restaurants in Japan are always so different from…America that I had to check it out! Let’s dig in!

Sangria (Decanter) | ¥899 (500ml)

Absolutely delicious! Well worth the 8 bucks. It’s easy to become an alcoholic at these prices…lol.

Roast Beef & Kale Salad | ¥799

Wait a minute, this salad was like the cost of the alcohol! Looks good ah? It was good! Was nice to nosh into a fresh salad in Japan.

Soy Marinated Tuna Rice Bowl | ¥1,149
served with miso soup & goma (sesame) tofu
Demi Glace Stewed Hamburger Steak with Truffle Cream | ¥899
A Set (Rice and Corn Potage) | ¥300
I don’t have a lot of corn potage experiences but really liked it. So smooth and mild, it’s delicious!

Looks pretty…dark yeah? It was pretty good. I think we came here after our long wait at the airport for our airport limousine. It wasn’t stellar customer service but it was still better than many experiences here. We didn’t get a set that included drinks at their drink bar but the sangria was plenty good.

Truffle cream added!

Yuki-Akari Ramen – Tokyo, Japan

So I had all these worries about our domestic flight from Osaka to Tokyo. I made sure I didn’t buy much from Osaka so that my luggage would stay within weight limit for the domestic flight (smaller weight limit compared to international). We got to the airport pretty early but well, not necessary because there is no real security check. Nothing serious anyway. You can keep your shoes on as long as they’re not high tops.

The flight is about an hour and I had an aisle seat. A Japanese businessman had the middle seat and he kept going to the bathroom. At least twice. On a one hour flight. It was totally fine with me but it was one hour!

Anyway, we got to Haneda, grabbed our luggage and headed to the Airport Limousine ticketing right away. We couldn’t believe our eyes, the next available bus was in HOURS. We weren’t about to take a taxi so we bit it and took the earliest ride we could get. We were both hungry so we decided to eat at the airport. Usually a no no right? Well in Hawaii that is…but the food was not bad (both taste and price)! Check it out.

Zangi (Hokkaido-style deep fried chicken) | ¥520 (plus tax)

Fancy description, tasted good. It’s basically chicken karaage, nothing special.

Tsukemen (spicy sesame) | ¥900 (plus tax)
Shio White Leek Ramen | ¥800 (plus tax)
Add egg | ¥100 (plus tax)
Gyoza (6 pieces) | ¥450 (plus tax)

My ramen. Pretty good! I do enjoy a cleaner broth from time to time so it was nice. Good egg as you can see, perfect yolk! Too bad I had to pay for the egg. The gyoza was good too. It was nice to have a seat in a casual restaurant to eat. We were able to rest a bit after finishing our food, no real rush from them for us to leave. Although, it was not a busy period. Haha

Tajimaya – Kyoto, Japan

Did we find a hot pot restaurant in Japan? You betcha. Okay well, shabu shabu but I will call it hot pot anyway!

Here is the menu, it’s all you can eat! You pay about 250 yen extra for an all you can drink…drink. It’s a lot like the places here, order the meats from the wait staff and grab your own starches and veggies from the cold case. I can’t quite remember which set we went with, I don’t think we went too high end since you cook it up in the broth anyway.

Some of the meat and the eggs! Yes, you can eat Japanese eggs raw! Crack it into your bowl and mix it up to dip your meats in.

Loved the veggie choices. Ramen noodles. Tofu Puffs. Did you notice in the first pic? The abundance of choy sum? Well we cleaned out the choy sum leaves…oops…

MORE MEATS

This restaurant is located in the AEON Mall in Kyoto. I was so tired and hangry by the time we picked this place that I can’t remember much details. The waitress knew enough English to help us and the English menu was VERY helpful. English menus became a necessity after a long day of traveling. I liked it but it was too bad I wasn’t feeling great to truly enjoy it!

Nishiki Market – Kyoto, Japan

My favorite place to visit while in Kyoto!
Green Tea Dessert with Tea
Check out the timer! That’s when you know your tea is ready to pour and drink!
Kind of looks like a make-up brush yeah?
Anmitsu
Doesn’t this look beautiful? It tasted as good as it looks! Enjoyed it!
Dashi Tamagoyaki

Got this the first time I ever went to Nishiki and have kept up the tradition ever since. I think I got it from the wrong shop this time, I don’t remember it sitting in broth. Though it was nice to sip this hot broth in the cold weather. For a food market, there are NO rubbish cans anywhere. It’s quite frustrating.

Baby Octopus

This is a bit morbid. It’s a small octopus and the head is hollowed out and stuffed with a quail egg. The flavor of the octopus coated in a sweet sauce…can smell kind of stinky (like a stinky fish) but when you eat it, it’s not stinky at all. This is also a traditional snack for me!

Funny Signs – Japan

Just wanted a funny post to start your weekend and show that I am mentally nine years old.

Hah?
PSYCHO-PASS!!!!!!!!!
heh…
Sorry for the language but can’t get over the question mark
lol yup, it’s a franchise!
amirite ladies?
(you probably gotta be local for this one to make sense)

Nanzan – Kyoto, Japan

I can’t even link this restaurant, I don’t think I can find it. This restaurant was located at Kyoto Station. We decided to take a day trip from Osaka and were starving by the time we arrived at Kyoto. Craving meat, we decided to try this place. The ramen place had a line but this place was empty. Maybe that was a sign. Vicki and I had a funny exchange over this, she thought this restaurant was related to Nanzan GiroGiro in Hawaii, unfortunately it is not! Although I really want to try Nanzan GiroGiro…

Beef Steak Lunch (A) | ¥2700
daily beef steak cuts like Kyoto Wagyu and Japanese beef. 
Beef steak 100g, cattle bone broth soup, salad, rice set.
Beef Steak Lunch (B) | ¥3850
today’s special beef steak cuts like Kyoto wagyu and Japanese beef loin.
Today’s special beef steak 100g, cattle bone broth soup, salad, rice set.
Rice, Cattle Bone Broth Soup, Tsukemono/Kimchee

The bone broth was very clean and light tasting. The tsukemono was a nice touch since I wasn’t expecting it. Yes, that is one kimchee wonbok leaf folded up (lol). It was good, quality over quantity right.

Salad!

Here is the salad that came with the set. It tasted good, isn’t it so pretty? Yes to plentiful onions yet again. I enjoyed this!

In the end, was this worth the money? Ehh…initially I thought it was kind of pricey. But I guess for a set, this was a pretty good deal! We got both sets and shared, I think I would get Set B on my own if I were to come here again.