The best ramen in Japan! (Tokyo and Kyoto)

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While in Japan 🇯🇵 I had the opportunity to try so many yummy places! Which now makes very hard for me to pick just one, so in this case … I’ll pick TWO Ramen restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto (each) that you must not miss. You can also find more details about them by clicking their titles. Shall we start?

Tokyo

Menya Musashi Ramen | Shinjuku
Menya Musashi - Ramen in a broth with tender pork and egg.
Menya Musashi – Ramen in a broth with tender pork and egg.
Ippudo | Ginza (and Shinjuku)
Ippudo ramen: Shiromaru Classic
Ippudo ramen: Shiromaru Classic

Kyoto

Ramen Sen no Kaze
Yamato no Miso with gyoza - miso-based broth, with veggies, minced pork and spices, topped with three chased pork slices.
Yamato no Miso with gyoza – miso-based broth, with veggies, minced pork and spices, topped with three chased pork slices.
Gogyo | Nakasujicho
Kogashi Shoyu-men simple (Burnt soy sauce ramen)
Kogashi Shoyu-men simple (Burnt soy sauce ramen)

My favourite restaurants in Tokyo

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While in Tokyo, I had the opportunity to try many different Japanese dishes and restaurants. Now it’s time to tell you my exclusive selection of favourites. You can ready my extended review for each one of them just by clicking their titles. Shall we start?

Menya Musashi Ramen | Shinjuku

Menya Musashi - Ramen in a broth with tender pork and egg.
Menya Musashi – Ramen in a broth with tender pork and egg.

Best Ramen EVAR! A truly remarkable taste.

Ippudo | Ginza (and Shinjuku)

Ippudo ramen: Shiromaru Classic
Ippudo ramen: Shiromaru Classic

A honourable second spot on the best ramen competition. 😛

UOBEI Sushi | Shibuya

Seared Salmon with black Ppepper
UOBEI: Seared Salmon with black Pepper

High-tech sushi train with affordable prices and a lot of fun!

Tonchang Korean BBQ | Shin-Okubo

How to eat it
Tonchang Korean BBQ: how to eat it.

Excellent Korean BBQ to have a break from ramen and sushi. 🙂

Ume no Hana | Ginza

Hikiage Yuba ( Yuba cooked at your table, served with ginger and soy sauce)
Ume no Hana: Hikiage Yuba ( Yuba cooked at your table, served with ginger and soy sauce)

I’ve added to the selection due to its uniqueness: a very cool experience that’s worth a try, even though you shouldn’t expect to eat a lot here.

Bento box – Shinkansen (Tokyo and Kyoto stations)

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In case you are planning to travel around Japan using the Shinkansen (the awesome bullet trains) you can bring your meal to have on the train while enjoying the view, especially if the trip is going to take a few hours. And an excellent option for such purpose will be the traditional bento boxes!

We took the Shinkansen twice, first time going from Tokyo to Kyoto and then from Kyoto to Tokyo. This trip takes around 3 hours each way and the trains are well equipped with tables (aeroplane style) so you can have your meal there.

Both Tokyo and Kyoto stations had a great number of stores selling bento boxes, all varying between A$8 and A$18 (U$ 7 to 15). There are plenty of options (including vegetarian and kids-friendly meals), and they are served at room temperature, very convenient as you don’t need to worry about storing them in any special way until it’s time to eat. As our trips were both at lunchtime, we didn’t think twice and grabbed them to have on the train! 🚅

Tokyo station – Tokyo Bento

At Tokyo station, we bought our lunch at Tokyo Bento. The food was very good, tasty, well-sized portions, and lukewarm.

Tokyo Bento store
Tokyo Bento store

Our choices there were:

  • Hubby: On the left: rice, omelette, pork. On the right: beef kebab with rice.
  • Mine: Rice, pork dumplings, Japanese omelette, narutomaki, beef, and sorted pickles.
On the left: rice, omelette, pork. On the right: beef kebab with rice.
On the left: rice, omelette, pork. On the right: beef kebab with rice.
Rice, pork dumplings, Japanese omelette, narutomaki, beef, and sorted pickles.
Rice, pork dumplings, Japanese omelette, narutomaki, beef, and sorted pickles.

Kyoto Station

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten to take a photo from the store we bought our lunches, and I don’t even remember its name. :/
Sorry, my fault! Anyways, it a very big one selling souvenirs too (in case it helps). There we got:

  • Hubby: Rice, crumbled pork cutlet, and ginger.
  • Mine: Rice with veggies and beef stew. Plus chicken (in pieces and like a meatball), Japanese omelette, rice dessert, and pickles.
Rice, crumbled pork cutlet, and ginger.
Rice, crumbled pork cutlet, and ginger.
Rice with veggies and beed stew. Plus chicken (in pieces and like a meatball), Japanese omelette, rice dessert, and pickles.
Rice with veggies and beef stew. Plus chicken (in pieces and like a meatball), Japanese omelette, rice dessert, and pickles.

So, in summary, if you’re going to use the Shinkansen to travel between cities while visiting Japan, don’t think twice, grab a few bento boxes to have on the go and enjoy the local food like a boss. 👑

Travel itinerary | 6 days in Tokyo – Japan

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My itinerary for 6 days in Tokyo.
My itinerary for 6 days in Tokyo.

In August I had the opportunity to go to Asia for the first time in my life and visit a place that I always dreamt about: Japan 🇯🇵.

If you follow my blog you already saw I’ve been posting about my food experience there, so now it’s time for an overview of my 6 days in this amazing city. Get here my Google maps with some of the places I visited there in this itinerary of 6 days in Tokyo.

This post will be huge, but I hope also very helpful for those planning a future trip to Japan. Shall we start? 🙂

Day 1: Taito and Akihabara

Tokyo Skytree
I suggest you to go there early in the morning; lines are huge all day long. In case you want to save some money, keep reading to find a better place to have an amazing view of the city of Tokyo and the best part: totally free!

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree

Sensoji Temple
Including Asakusa Shrine

Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple

Nakamise Street
Small shops full of Japanese goodies and souvenirs.

Nakamise Street
Nakamise Street

Akihabara
If you like video games, anime, and mangas this is the place to be. Take half day (or more in case you have time) and explore the area and all its shops. Video games fans must visit a place called Super Potato store, there are so many old games, your inner teenager will go crazy!

Akihabara
Akihabara
Akihabara - Super Potato
Akihabara – Super Potato

Where to eat

Tsurujiro Okonomiyaki
Around the Sensoji Temple, you will find many restaurants with a vast variety of Japanese cuisine to pick from. This day we decided to have a traditional Japanese Okonomiyaki (savoury pancake, not gluten free), prepared by myself using the restaurant grill and the ingredients provided.

Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki
Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki

Continue reading “Travel itinerary | 6 days in Tokyo – Japan”

100% Chocolate Cafe | Ginza – Tokyo

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100% Chocolate Cafe entrance
100% Chocolate Cafe entrance

100% Chocolate Cafe is a store owned by Meiji, a traditional Japanese chocolate brand. There you will find desserts, chocolate drinks, and an incredible variety of 56 chocolate flavours! That’s right, I have the proof on the image below. 😛

Chocolate options
Chocolate options

There is a huge range of different flavours, grouped by: cacao beans (1-22), different sweeteners (23-26), different types of milk (27-33), Japanese flavours (34-40), European taste (41-50) and Cacao history (51-56). I don’t know how to read Japanese, but I believe each tablet has 14 grams of chocolate.

My order

It was extremely hard to choose. I simply love chocolate and unusual flavours, so the combination of both was a tremendous challenge for me. In the end here’s what I got:

  • Wasabon (26) – a type of Japanese sweetener.
  • Maccha (34) – a Japanese herb.
  • Yomogi (37) – another Japanese herb.
  • Cinnamon (52).
  • Cacao 95% (54).
My pretty bag. :D
My pretty bag. 😀
My choices were Wasabon, Maccha, Yomogi, Cinnamon, and Cacao 95%
My choices were Wasabon, Maccha, Yomogi, Cinnamon, and Cacao 95%

About the chocolate itself, I’m quite happy with my choices; chocolate pieces of good quality, not fatty and you could hear the chocolate snap when biting it. The flavours are mild as well, so if you are afraid of trying something you think you may not like, no need for that as the cocoa flavour is more prominent on it than the added element.

OK, except for the cinnamon one… I could swear it had some sugar crystals in it, so I’m not sure whether this is a Japanese thing or simply that the chocolate did not survive perfectly the trip back – yes, I ate them back here in Australia – it wasn’t expired, though.

The verdict

In case your are a chocolate lover like I’m, it is definitely a place to go. You can have a dessert, drink something, or just buy some of these chocolates as a little souvenir from Japan 🇯🇵.

About the English: There is an English menu and staff can communicate just a little in English.

Total bill: Unfortunately I don’t remember how much it was, but I do remember they had special prices depending on the quantity you buy.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/7fWXvKgbVrw

More information: www.meiji.co.jp/sweets/choco-cafe/