What's Slightly Older:
January 14, 2018
I booked a dinner reservation at Kikunoi Roan, a famous kaiseki restaurant in town. The original location, Kikunoi, serves you in private rooms and such, but the concierge at my hotel said they don't seat parties of one. I ought to rename this trip to that. Anyhow, Kikunoi Roan seems to serve a bunch of customers at the bar, and like a lot of people, I enjoy that interaction with the chefs and the diners next to you.
I went to that same ramen joint from last night today for an early lunch, then took a stroll to the nearby Buddhist temple, Higashi Honganji. Very beautiful grounds, I just wish it weren't cloudy today for better photo ops.
Off to dinner now!
January 13, 2018
I ended my stay in Osaka about as perfectly as I could've hoped. The owner of the yakitori joint where I'd had dinner the last two nights along with the regular customer met me at the restaurant at 11:30. We then hopped in a cab towards Osaka Station where we had a wonderful kaiseki lunch; kaiseki is the Japanese tasting menu that highlights seasonal ingredients and follows a general form of appetizer, sashimi, soup, veggie, meat, rice and dessert.
We then walked to Osaka Station for some coffee and tea before I crossed the turnstiles to get to my Kyoto-bound train. They spoke very little English, and I only know how to say "arigato" in Japanese, so thank goodness for translator apps. I promised my new friends I'd return in the not-too-distant future (maybe for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo) and that I'd stay in Osaka for more than two days.
The 30-minute train ride to Kyoto was pleasant enough, and I'm glad my hotel was only a short walk from Kyoto Station; it made it easy for me to wander around the huge mall adjacent to the station.
January 12, 2018
I headed to Kobe, a wonderful port city about 30 minutes away, for lunch in Chinatown and to see the waterfront. I'm sure glad I went!
When I got back to Osaka, I headed south to the Nanba district to check out the shopping and food options, and of course, I was blown away by the markets just a block from the subway station. There was a higher percentage of shopping at this market compared to most others I've come across, and there were several pachinko parlors around; pachinko is a form of a slot machine, and these parlors are deafeningly loud. I don't know, this form of gambling certainly isn't for me. Anyhow, I had my first conveyor-belt sushi meal at this market, and it was pretty cool.
As I promised the owners and a customer at the yakitori joint from last night, I returned for dinner after relaxing a bit back at the hotel.
January 11, 2018
I'm heading to Osaka in a couple of hours via bullet train. I'll have yesterday's photos and descriptions updated later today. The highlight of this morning was doing laundry, of course! And this hotel has coin-op machines in-house! Oh, yeah...
The bullet train was pretty neat as you pass by Mount Fuji. It's not so much a luxury train as it is a commuter vehicle with as many as four trains an hour to the same destination.
I ended up spending the evening at a great mom-and-pop yakitori joint at the Tenjinbashi Market near my hotel.
January 10, 2018
SHAZAM! The National Museum of Western Art has a wonderful collection of European works from the 19th & 20th Centuries. I then headed to Shibuya to check it out during the daytime and to have a lunch or two.
To help burn off my lunches, I took a walk in the Chiyoda neighborhood, the center of which is the grounds for the Imperial Palace.
January 9, 2018
I checked out the part of town where most of the big museums and the Tokyo Zoo are. I'll try to go to the National Museum of Western Art tomorrow.
I went to the Shibuya district in the early evening to see all the action there, lots of shopping and restaurants surrounding the world's busiest intersections.
Hi, I finally finished all my entries for Singapore...I think. Gotta head out to Suntory Hall to get a ticket for a 3:00 PM show; hopefully, I can grab a good lunch in the area.
Well, I can't consider a sandwich at Dean & Deluca a good lunch, but it was all I could find as I waited for my 3:00 show at Suntory Hall to start. I'm glad I went, great concert hall. And I secured a ticket to the symphony next Monday when I'm back in Tokyo.
I had dinner at a yakitori joint and a ramen joint, both near my hotel. Oh, god, I'm full. Anyway, I hope to be caught up with my Tokyo entries by the late morning.
January 8, 2018
January 7, 2018
After arriving at Haneda International in the morning, I hopped on the subway to my hotel. It was too early for me to check in, so I headed to Tokyo Station to pick up my train tickets to Osaka and from Kyoto. I'll be riding the bullet train, so I'm psyched. What to do for dinner...
January 6, 2018
The highlight of this morning was what else...laundry! After lunch at the Raffles City Food Court one last time, I was off to Changi International for my flight to Tokyo in the evening. I had a few decent dishes at some of their hawker stands. I've got a layover in Jakarta for a couple of hours, so it'll take half a day to get to Japan, unfortunately. Farewell, wonderful Singapore!
January 2, 2018
I arrived in Singapore this afternoon. I got to my hotel just before it started raining, but it looks to have stopped for now.
I grabbed an early dinner at maybe the most impressive mall food court I've ever seen!
January 3, 2018
I'm off to the National Gallery Singapore to check out some Southeast Asian Art, as well as an exhibit of Impressionist holdings from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
I went to the Geylang Serai Market for lunch at a hawker stand, then headed to the Marina Bay Sands for a drink up at their SkyBar. Umm, I broke down and tried out the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in that nearby shopping mall before heading back to the hotel.
I went to Chinatown for dinner and had my first go at a Singaporean national dish: Hainanese chicken rice.
I took a closer look at the mall food court for lunch just to see if anything would hit me; a stall selling chicken rice sure did.
I then took a 45-minute train ride north to check out the Marsiling Mall...another hawker center; it's pretty cool knowing Malaysia was right across the Straits of Johor less than two miles away.
January 4, 2018
January 5, 2018
Holy smoke! Or holy smokes! I just had a terrific lunch at JAAN, a fine-dining establishment near my hotel boasting ultra-fresh, seasonal ingredients executed in a modern, European style. Zowie! They get my first GI tract, no arguments from me.
I got to talking to one of the servers at the end of my meal who recommended a bar nearby for some wonderful cocktails and hopefully, some strong wine selections by the glass. Let's see.
December 25, 2017
Hello, and happy holidays! I guess Christmas Day is as festive a time as any to start writing about food and travel. This current six-week vacation, my FEAST (Far East Asian Savory Trip), will cover Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, back to Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, back to Hong Kong...with a few day trips strewn about. I had my first meal, dinner last night, the details of which are in the Food Blog. Here goes nothing....
Hi, I finally wrote a little bit in the Travel section. There's a video from my ferry ride crossing Victoria Harbor. I've lucked out with very nice weather, so far. I'll try to catch up with food descriptions in a few hours after I get back from trying the nearby Gordon Ramsay joint.
So, I got back from dinner at Gordon Ramsay's London House. There's a couple more videos....
December 26, 2017
December 27, 2017
Top o' the afternoon to you folks on the East Coast of the US! There's a couple of boring, panoramic videos posted today, and I went to two very good spots for lunch and dinner. However...close, but no GI tract.
December 28, 2017
Hi, I'm heading to HK Int'l soon for my flight to Taipei. I hope I've got the energy to check out their big night food market later. Good night!
I arrived in Taiwan safe and sound, despite it taking seven hours, hotel to hotel, and flight time was only 75 minutes. I guess I'll grab dinner and look for that coin-op laundromat in the morning. Golly, that's exciting!
December 29, 2017
Breakfast and then laundry time! Yeah, I know you're jealous.... It's a cloudy day out, but I'll try to go up Taipei 101, by far the city's tallest building.
Golly! Just editing these photos and videos is making me hungry. Anyhow, today was a good day despite the rain in the evening.
December 30, 2017
It was a lazy day with only some walking and hitting up a ramen joint for lunch. Wasn't very hungry today.
December 31, 2017
Happy New Year! I started the day on a search for soup dumplings, then headed to the Raohe Night Market to check out their offerings.
I finished up the day near Taipei 101 to see it launch fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
January 1, 2018
I made a return trip to Din Tai Fung in the morning for brunch to sample more great dishes. Since quite a few places were closed for the holiday, I went to that beef noodle joint one last time.
I posted some New Year's videos. I wish I were closer to the Taipei 101, but the whole area was just too crowded.