Awa Naramichi

Nara is one of these places that almost every school children in Japan goes to visit at one point and it’s a must see. On our first night in Nara we decided to go the locavore way with a friend who was born in Nara and went to Awa in Naramichi which is famous for using the best  Yamato vegetables and meat.  Yamato is the old name of Nara.

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Kura Beer Tei Kurashiki

Kurashiki Beer Tei as moved to a new location.
Read about it HERE.

 

Kurashiki and especially the Bikan area are a major tourist magnet and I love to play tourist in my own town.   I discovered Kura Beer Tei by reading a tourist guide about Kurashiki while sipping a cafe latte at Cafe Mugi.  I think this little beer shop will make a lot of us happy.

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Inspired by Starbucks: a new type of Starbucks cafe in Tokyo

I don’t often watch Japanese TV, but last night I saw an interesting segment on a news show about a new Starbucks concept store which recently opened in Tokyo, it’s called Inspired by Starbucks.  The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, was there for the opening.

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Yoroi Tempura

Yoroi Tempura is located in a residential area of Okayama between two busy streets and it’s one of these places where you feel like you are lucky to be eating such great food in such a secretive spot.  Somehow, Japan is not a place where location is key, if the food is that good, people will just get there. By the way, yoroi means armor in English.

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Cafe Rico Coffee Roastery

I took me a while to go to Cafe Rico Coffee Roastery but it was worth the visit. Please note that Cafe Rico is not a coffee shop, but a full on coffee roaster providing fresh coffee to a myriad of fine coffee shops all over Okayama and Kurashiki.   I drank my first cup of Cafe Rico at Cafe Un Deux and it was soon followed by another at Machista.

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Shirasu Shukodo at Shirasu Park

Shirasu or whitebait is something better eaten fresh and there is no better place than the the Sadamisaki peninsula in Ehime Prefecture to try this tiny little transparent baby fish.   Sadamisaki is a long narrow peninsula extending toward Kyushu Island and quite a nice drive on route 197.

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Samgyeopsal (pork belly) lunch in Seoul, Korea

We stopped in Seoul for only two days after spending Christmas and New Year in Vietnam and the cold Korean winter was like a slap in the face.   It’s been a while since I have been that cold, but the food was worth the icy sidewalks and the Siberian winds.

My wife found a pork place near our hotel in Dongdaemun and we decided to brave the cold and walked toward Sindang station which turned out not to be too far from our hotel.  Dongdaemun is the wholesale area of Seoul and I was sad that the Zaha Hadid huge architectural complex which is at the heart of the whole neighborhood is still not completed.

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