Miami Beach, Florida
APR 2015 / Kyoto Travel Plan
Language: Deutsch, English
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, I now call sunny Miami home. I also lived in Atlanta for 9 years. My two greatest passions are travel, particularly Asia and Europe, as well as food. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying healthy recipes, or new restaurants, which are plentiful in Miami.
Hideaki and his girlfriend took me and my BF out for Ramen in Shinjuku. The BF loves anything containing noodles so ramen was a '"must on our to do list. I am pescetarian and therefore finding ramen is difficult, since most places serve theirs with meat or a meat based broth.
Hideaki did some research and found a place close to our hotel serving seafood only ramen I was able to eat. The restaurant was exactly what we were looking for, a hole in the wall filled with locals and not tourists. We enjoyed drinks and slurped ramen over talks of baseball.
My best dining experiences while in Japan were hands down the ones with Meetrip guides. It is easy ending up in mediocre restaurants or ordering the wrong things from Japanese only menus without a local guide. I highly recommend Hideaki, he is professional, reliable and speaks excellent English.
Kazu and I spent half a day exploring lots of Tokyo, starting out in Asakusa, moving along to Kappabashi street, then exploring the Tsukiji outer markets, having a nice sushi lunch. I then asked to go to Asakusa to check out some of the Anime stores and the Sega game center. I ended up taking much more of his time than initially planned, but he never complained once.
Bring some cash, as you'll want to buy snacks along the way. Don't expect lots of historical facts or a traditional guided tour. Think of it as visiting a local friend and him taking you around town.
I do recommend to book this tour if this is your first time in Tokyo, as something as simple as figuring out the subway system or buying a ticket can be somewhat daunting. Kazu will get you there in a 10th of the time it will take you on your own. He even walked me back to my hotel and to a nearby takoyaki place that I asked him about, really going out of his way.
Mariko and her friend Yoko made my first evening in Tokyo extra special. They met me in my hotel lobby in Shinjuku, very punctual, and already had a plan for the restaurant we were going to visit. Apparently, this was a local hotspot that has been receiving great reviews. I would have never found this on my own, as the signage was entirely in Japanese.
The okonomiyaki dinner was a great interactive experience, since you sit over a hot griddle and watch your pancake cook in front of you. We had lots of other goodies, like beer, shochu, plum wine, salad, omelet and monjayaki, a Tokyo style savory pancake.
Mariko speaks excellent English and has a great personality, we got along great right away. I felt like I was at home having a girl's night out, except, well, I was in Japan and the food was 100 million times better than in the US.
The price for the dinner even includes the food and drinks, so it's a total steal. They even walked me back to my hotel and gave me a lesson on how to shop at my local Lawson convenience store, with an explanation of all the onigiri and sweet snacks on display.
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