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Haven't been in a few years as we get our game fix at home or at Deco (no English or French, but snow hares, peacock, bulbul, and other local game), but sounds like not much has changed... And yes, French is the way to go there.

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starting next week we will be in Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima and Kyoto. We are very excited! If you have any do not miss restaurants please let me know.   I'm on the wait list for Molecular Tapas Bar

if you're going to Kyoto, maybe this piece on Kyoto will be useful , including food here- by a friend who lived there (and also used to work FOH at 15 East & Ducasse)   no idea how useful/usele

hi, just saw this. yes, i met her here in NYC and she's terrific. We worked on an event together (or, rather, volunteered for). When i first met her she was Karla Yukari

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I've read the entire thread today. It's great for Tokyo, but I'm a provincial fellow at heart who loves bopping around Japan. I'm getting ready to go to Fukuoka and other places on Kyushu Island. Food information is hard to come by. I like being in le Japon profond, but has anyone noticed the ryokan food is qualitatively like Relais & Chateaux food?

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I've got just the thing for you - this ryokan specializes in the weird and wonderful creatures of the Ariake Sea:

 

 

Tenzushi mentioned upthread is excellent, as is nearby Satou for kaiseki (and of course there are many good eating and drinking options in Fukuoka proper). Being a city mouse, I haven't really been further out in Kyushu.

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Sorry, I was en route to nyc. Distance in Japan isn't physical - You can get to lunch at Tenzushi without even setting your alarm clock in Tokyo earlier than usual, as the nearby train station is just 18 minutes from Hakata by bullet train, which in turn is only 6 minutes from the Fukuoka airport. On the other hand if I want to go hiking in Kanagawa (not to be confused with Kanazawa) then I have to wake up at 5am or fight octogenarians for a seat on the odakyu bus...

 

Perhaps a better measure is "can I get there without a car" and "if I get there without a car, do I then have anything else to do but go back to the city". Akune Ryokan is borderline - it's about 90 minutes by train from Hakata (even though it's exactly as far as Tenzushi) and there's the minor local attraction of the canals, but without a car you're probably going back the next morning, which makes it kind of silly. I think it's a worthwhile stop anyway, and when you learn how old your hostess is, you will develop a faith in the regenerative powers of mud creatures. Supposedly many good places to eat all the way down and around in Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, etc. but I haven't been..

 

It's likely that you're right about Mibu, but I'd go anyway too :)

 

But if you have time in Tokyo then of course you should go to Matsukawa (and for a very unique perspective on kaiseki, to recently opened Miya-saka - one of those meals that follows an extreme upwards trend and you still think about many days later - some of the best fish I've had, excellent preparations, but that's it - fish, fish, fish, fish, fish, and some rice)

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Matsukawa sounds like the place I went to behind the Okura and across the road from my embassy. Speaking of Kanazawa, there is an 86 year old sushi chef you should check out. This was two years ago, so perhaps he retired or went to the big knife in the sky.

 

Here's the question. Could I do as well going to a restaurant in, say, Saga instead of Ryokan Akune? Are you suggesting using it as a restaurant only? It reminds me of da Maria in Fano--an eldery woman giving you a seminar in the local fish. In any case, I don't like sleeping on the floor these days.

 

Thank you very much, Orik. Any recollections you have of Fukuoka I would appreciate hearing about.

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Has anyone here visited Sushi Yoshitake?

 

We're looking for a strictly sushi restaurant in Tokyo that takes reservations (through hotel or amex or whatever), is "foreigner friendly" and won't require us to eat a ton. Price doesn't matter, just looking for the highest quality within those parameters.

 

We ate at Sushi Sora (Mandarin Oriental Sushi Bar) last time, and wouldn't mind something similar, but possibly "better" (by local standards anyways). They had ala carte which was nice.

 

Sawada would almost definitely be too much food, and from what I recall Mizutani was a lot of pieces too - but is also a possibility.

 

Any suggestions?

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Yes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my three meals at Yoshitake. You need to be sure to request a seat at the counter. I have seen 'foreigners' shipped to a little back room. It is about the same amount of food as Sawada.

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