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.
Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture is probably one if the most sacred shinto site in Japan and it also has one of my favorite sweet, the famous Akafuku.
Tofu gets a bad reputation with reasons since the stuff we can find in supermarket is often bad and tasteless. But if you happen to be visiting Nara, you are in luck my friend, Kondou Tofu restaurant in the Naramachi neighborhood is the place that will change your mind forever.
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.
I’ve been buying bread at boulangerie Mugi pretty much since they opened, but I had never ventured on the second floor of this beautifully renovated building in the heart of the Bikan area in Kurashiki City.
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.
Sakamoto ramen was recommended by two residents of Kasaoka and it was described to me as the real McCoy. The shop is located almost right across from Idehara ramen shop and it’s only a short walk from Kasaoka station.
I ended up at Tooth Tooth Maison when my plan to visit E.H. Bank restaurant in Kobe fell short because some rich bastards had rented the whole place for a wedding party. I scanned the street and spotted this beautiful renovated house which turned out to be the new headquarter of the Tooth Tooth pastry empire.
I have to thank the owner of Tsuji coffee in Kasaoka for sending me to Blue Mountain Coffee Shop. This coffee paradise is so well hidden in the depth of Kasaoka that I would have probably never stumbled upon it without his precious help.
My quest for great yakiniku has recently taken me just outside of Okayama City to Myondon yakiniku. The restaurant was recommended to my wife and we finally made it to Setocho which is more than an hour drive from where I live in Kurashiki.
Kasaoka is the place your drive through between Fukuyama and Kurashiki, but since I work there once a week, I decided to explore a little.
The city is split in two by route 2 and the rail road track and it has a nice access to the Inland Sea. I went for a walk in the old inland area one more time because I get a kick out of these old commercial streets. The shotengai in Kasaoka is really old, it could easily be the set of a pre-war movie.