For some reason, I never covered the ryokan scene on this blog, but some of the best food I ate in Japan was served in ryokan (japanese traditional inns). Hakkei which located in the onsen town of Yubara in Okayama Prefecture is both a good place to enjoy a warm onsen and eat great food.
Continue reading “Hakkei Ryokan in Yubara”
The name of Daibo has been a recurring theme in my discovery of coffee in Japan. Everybody told me I should visit this coffee shop.
Continue reading “A Daibo Coffee Manual by Katsuji Daibo”
I recently went back to Tsumoro and was shocked by the bad service my family received. We were 4 adults, 2 children and a small baby. We ordered 5 dishes and they refused to serve us if we didn’t order another dish for my tiny little niece who was not hungry. The dishes are gigantic.
My family has been eating there for many years and it’s our last visit. Now you know, no OMOTENASHI at Tsumoro.
I visited Tsumoro about 7 years ago and never connected the geographical dots until last week: this restaurant is only a couple minutes from my work place. I remembered the great hamburger steak or what the Japanese call hambagu (ハンバーグ), the revisit was so worth it.
Continue reading “Tsumoro (Updated with a WARNING)”
珈琲と人 or Coffee to Hito (coffee and people) is a beautiful coffee shop located in Soja not too far from Kokubunji temple. I have ridden my bike, ran and drove my car in front of it for the past 8 years without never noticing it.
Continue reading “Coffee to Hito”
Chinese restaurants in Kobe are everywhere according to a jaded local resident I met during a meeting, but I was excited to find Yuen Kee (down a dark alley not too far from Motomachi station.
Continue reading “Yuen Kee”
Imagine yourself sitting on the couch watching TV with your family and suddenly, the roar of a motorbike and the music of Elvis Presley gets everyone attention. In my area of Kurashiki, the music of Elvis Presley means only one thing: pongashi.
Pongashi is a simple snack made with rice and sugar.
Continue reading “Elvis Pon: The King of Pon”
Besso Coffee can be found inside the FLEX Gallery on route 180 which is also known as the Okayama Nishi By pass. It’s not in the center of the city, but it is easily accessible by car.
Continue reading “Besso Coffee”
Starbucks is now in Vietnam. I won’t lie to you, the first time I visited Vietnam, I could not imagine Starbucks in the streets of Ho Chi Minh. The streets are changing quickly but I still can’t figure out if it’s for the best.
Continue reading “Starbucks in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam”
Disclaimer: I visited Marukame udon on my third visit to Ho Chi Minh. I tend to stay away from non-local food when I travel, but I simply could not resist. I did resist to try the Yoshinoya at the new HCM Aeon mall.
If you throw a rock in Japan, there is a good chance you will hit a Marugame udon shop. Just a few km from my house there are 2 or 3 shops, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw one in the center of Ho Chi Minh. Marugame became Marukame, but don’t be fool by the spelling, this is the foreign branding of the popular chain of udon restaurants.
Continue reading “Marukame Udon in Vietnam”
I moved to Japan 8 years ago and since then I have travelled a lot in Asia: I must admit that I am addicted to Bee Cheng Hiang bakkwa. Bakkwa is a dried meat with a sweet coating which is similar to beef jerky but much softer and tender.
Continue reading “Bee Cheng Hiang please come to Japan”
We visited Huynh Hoa banh mi as soon as we landed in Ho Chi Minh and we ended up going back twice during our third visit to Vietnam. Before I left Japan, I read about this place on Mark Wiens website and it was featured in my wife Japanese guide books.
Continue reading “Banh Mi Huynh Hoa HMC”