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Boondock Saint
LSU Fan
The Boondocks
Member since Oct 2005
4391 posts

Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
I went to Japan in April and I have just discovered this board. Here is my in depth review with a lot of pictures (tons of food pictures).

Japan is an awesome country with a culture that is very different from ours. I was initially taken aback by how quiet and courteous everyone is. No shouting in public, and even talking on cell phones is at a minimum, especially on trains.

Another thing I noticed right off the bat is how there are almost no overweight people. I know that part of this is just genetics, but as I ate my way through Japan I found that not only is most of their food healthy, but the portions are just reasonable. Americans and the rest of the western world could learn a lot.

Japan is also incredibly clean! Tokyo has got to be the cleanest large city on the planet. Nobody litters, and everything is just immaculate. I was also surprised to see almost no homeless people the whole time I was there, also rare for a big city.

Having said all those good things, the culture is definitely lacking in diversity. I am white, and was in a very small minority. It is kind of strange to be somewhere that is so overwhelmingly one race.

When I arrived after a 14 hour flight, I made my way to Tokyo by bus and trains. The subway system is fantastic and runs on time seemingly to the second. Here is the view from my first hotel:

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Tokyo is just a massive city that seems to go on forever.

I was greeted with this for the AC controls! Luckily, there was a little paper that translated everything.

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I have to post a picture of the toilet as this is a huge thing in Japan. Their toilets are very high tech. They have seat warmers and bidets and showers. It was a new experience for me, but when I came home I was tempted to have one installed in my house!

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Here is my first of many amazing meals. It is a traditional Japanese ramen noodle dish with pork. Not like top ramen! Very flavorful and I loved the soft boiled egg. This is very common in many Japanese dishes.

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So there is a huge vending machine culture in Japan that I was not expecting. They are everywhere! You literally can't walk more than a block or two in the city without seeing one. This is typical as it has water, green tea, soft drinks, and coffee. Coffee is a big deal in Japan, the vending machines cans come in both cold and hot. Very cool. Also, everything is priced so well! A bottle of water from a vending machine is just a dollar (100 yen is approximately a dollar).

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So breakfast over there is not really different from their other meals. They usually just eat miso soup for breakfast. For the most part I had "western" breakfasts while I was there. Most of my other meals were traditional Japanese but I just didn't want to eat seafood for breakfast! Here is a picture from the menu in a Hawaiian themed breakfast restaurant. How would you like your slut cooked? Some things are definitely lost in translation...

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My pancakes were delicious with a ton of whipped cream.

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I checked out the Tokyo Imperial Palace on day one of sightseeing. It was actually my least favorite as far as touristy things go. You could not go inside the actual palace, so it was just a tour of the gardens, etc. Very pretty, but I got bored quickly. You could definitely skip it and not miss anything. Here is a photo with some Tokyo buildings in the background.

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Bamboo

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The cherry blossoms were also blooming when I was there which is a really big deal to them. They are pretty, but I am just not a huge fan of flowers, gardens, etc.

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Japanese curry which I really enjoyed. The plain boiled potatoes as a side was a bit odd though.

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There are luxury car and super car dealerships all over the area I stayed (Aoyama). The people working in the Lamborghini dealership completely ignored me when I went inside. I guess I looked like a tourist...

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An example of the hot coffee in cans that is everywhere. We really should have this in America.

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Tokyo at night.

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I took a day trip to Kamakura. Amazing little town south of Tokyo. i really enjoyed this and definitely recommend taking a day to see it. Great Buddha built in 1252.

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Had sushi for lunch in a small mom and pop sushi shop in Kamakura. Hard to find, but it was worth it. They spoke almost no English, so I just pointed to what I wanted. Excellent sushi, but a bit too much wasabi for me.

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Small street in Kamakura. Notice the masks they are wearing. This is very common! Not only it is a way to keep germs in and keep them away, but many people do it so people won't be able to see their face. Sometimes women just don't want to put on makeup or some of the younger people just want to hide from the public. They are strange people in many ways..(to us at least)

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I had a gourmet Chinese meal one night. It was white table fine dining and the food was fantastic.

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Very odd little cheese plate, the only time I has cheese the whole time I was there

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I took a tour to a shinto shrine up in the mountains. This is on the gondola ride up. Also on the coast.

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The shrine itself.

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This is a green tea farm. Green tea is everywhere in Japan. It is almost served like water at most meals, especially sushi.

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This is an example of a very cheap sushi lunch. It was like 10 bucks for all of this. I did notice a difference in the quality though.

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I spent four damn hours traveling to see Mt. Fuji and this was the view! Clouds and fog completely covered it up...

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I assumed this was beef jerky and was correct. Excellent!

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A non Japanese meal of Indian food from southern India. Quite tasty.

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I recommend Tokyo Disney if you have kids. Otherwise it is very similar to Disney parks here in America. Not a must do thing.

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Tempura and udon noodles. Very traditional stuff.

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Ice cream and various gelatin pieces dessert. The gelatin thing is very common for desserts. Very different but pretty tasty.

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This review continues a few posts down!
This post was edited on 9/15 at 8:15 am


VinegarStrokes
Atlanta Braves Fan
Georgia
Member since Oct 2015
9339 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
I'm looking forward to follow-on posts. I have a work trip scheduled for Tokyo some time next year and I intend on staying an extra week for site-seeing.


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20
Winston Cup
LSU Fan
San Antonio Spurs Fan
Member since May 2016
35979 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
try
postimage.org or
imgur.com or
tinypic.com or
imgsafe.org

Glad to see you made it work, looks like you had fun! Hopefully you bought some used panties from a vending machine.

This post was edited on 9/13 at 4:40 pm


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10805 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
That sushi looks amazing. It is fresh as can be, you can tell by how glistening the meat is.


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30
CuseTiger
Syracuse Fan
Buffalo
Member since Jul 2013
5978 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Great review and glad you had a good time. I went to Tokyo 6 years ago and everything you mentioned about the city being clean, the courteous and not overweight people is spot on


soccerfüt
Truth Detective
Member since May 2013
37935 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
quote:

I went to Tokyo 6 years ago and everything you mentioned about the city being clean, the courteous and not overweight people is spot on
I was there in 2010 as well.

Knowing what I know now, I'd definitely have Japan at the top of my bucket list.

It was wonderful. I had my nephew (whose fluent in Japanese) as my guide and interpreter.

Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Yakushima Island

Image: http://smile.welcomes-you.com/Flags/japan-flag-56.gif


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30
Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
26503 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Japan is on my list for a visit in the near future. Nice pics!


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20
Boondock Saint
LSU Fan
The Boondocks
Member since Oct 2005
4391 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Part 2 continued from above:

So the best sushi I had by far was at a restaurant that was recommended by someone on this board. I made reservations a week in advance and the sushi chef was originally from Tokyo, but had been living in the USA for years with a famous sushi restaurant in NYC. He had just moved back to Tokyo. The sushi was the best I have ever had. Hard to describe how good it was! Not many pictures because I didn't want to be too rude. He explained that a huge part of sushi is the rice. People in America just don't spend enough time on the rice preparation. He was right.

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Turkish breakfast. I really enjoyed this!

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Another vending machine. I can't stress how nice it was to have these everywhere.

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Green tea and coffee on the bullet train ride to Kyoto. Green tea flavored stuff is everywhere.

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View of the countryside out of the bullet train. Riding the bullet train is an experience I highly recommend. It is amazing how fast they go and they are ridiculously quiet and smooth!

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I highly recommend going to Kyoto if you go to Japan. It is much smaller than Tokyo and has much more of an old world feel. A lot of shrines and temples and it is just a beautiful city.

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I thought these were real geishas but later found out they are actually tourists who pay to rent the outfits for the day. They were all over Kyoto.

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Pork tankatsu. Very delicious fried pork cutlets. A very common Japanese dish that I had never heard of.

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This is one of the best things I ate in Japan. It is a Japanese pastry called a Melon Pan with vanilla ice cream in the middle. Someone needs to introduce this to America. Fantastic!

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Green tea pancakes for breakfast!

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I spent a day at an amazing amusement park in Japan called Nagashima Spa Land. I am a huge roller coaster buff and had a great time! View from the top of a giant Ferris wheel.

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I ate Sukiyaki one night and it was really good. Slinly sliced beef served in a hot pot with a raw egg!

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Beef sushi.

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A gold shrine or temple in Kyoto.

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I love Indian food and it was everywhere. That non alcoholic beer was the lightest I had ever had. It was truly non alcoholic as most of those beers actually have about 0.5% alcohol.

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I took a really neat cruise on the Kamogawa River near Kyoto. This was one of my favorite things! Some small rapids and we saw some monkeys.

The guides only spoke Japanese, but they must have been very funny because everybody else kept laughing!

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Refreshments on the river!

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My last meal was definitely one of my favorites. Kobe beef! Very expensive, but amazing. Perfectly marbled and cooked in front of me by a private chef. The best!

The meal before it was cooked. Notice the scallops too. Surf and turf.

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The most tender steak I have ever eaten.

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Overall an amazing trip. Please ask questions if you have any!











This post was edited on 9/13 at 4:44 pm


soccerfüt
Truth Detective
Member since May 2013
37935 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
I contacted my nephew to ask him about this "Eggs'n slut".



He said the Japanese restaurant probably just copied from the guy in Oregon (EggSlut) and don't realize the connotation.

eggslut Link



soccerfüt
Truth Detective
Member since May 2013
37935 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Here's some varieties of the High-Speed rail (Shinkansen) locomotives:



They're a big deal there and a source of pride the nation.

The average schoolboy there knows the differences between the several locomotives.
This post was edited on 9/13 at 4:29 pm


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30
Boondock Saint
LSU Fan
The Boondocks
Member since Oct 2005
4391 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Very cool! I wondered about that as I searched and could not find any references to a Japanese word like "slut".


soccerfüt
Truth Detective
Member since May 2013
37935 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
I was in the Osaka rail station once and there were signs exactly like Cafe du Monde logos for a cafe there which didn't have beignets or have any tie to the NOLA-based Cafe du Monde.

Some portions of copyright law are murky there due to the drastic language barrier.


Boondock Saint
LSU Fan
The Boondocks
Member since Oct 2005
4391 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
quote:

I was in the Osaka rail station once and there were signs exactly like Cafe du Monde logos for a cafe there which didn't have beignets or have any tie to the NOLA-based Cafe du Monde.



Here it is! I took so many pictures I originally left this out. I actually assumed it was official...

Image: http://i.imgsafe.org/8510e117ae.jpg


soccerfüt
Truth Detective
Member since May 2013
37935 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!


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30
thegreatboudini
McNeese State Fan
Member since Oct 2008
4298 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Awesome thread. This is high on my list.


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Lsupimp
Colorado Fan
The Mean Streets of ST. GEORGE
Member since Nov 2003
62333 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Nice review. I was fortunate enough to live there for a couple of years, and with Japanese families, so I really miss it. It's a great culture on so many different levels. I called it Camp Japan the living was so easy. Thanks for sharing.


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SpartyGator
Minnesota Fan
Minneapolis, MN
Member since Oct 2011
55778 posts
 Online 

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
Thanks for posting, OP

I was there in April as well, but mostly tokyo since I was there only 6 days after stopping by Philippines first.

Kyoto and Osaka are amazing, went in 2012 for school stuff and had a blast.

Thanks for doing this since I was too lazy to do some my self. I'll post a few later though.

Regardless of time, I'll never get tired of how efficient the transit is there. The rail system is tGOAT but also, how much walking you can do in the cities.

Overall, it's my favorite country to visit
This post was edited on 9/13 at 8:36 pm


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John McClane
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Apr 2010
33584 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
What an incredible trip. Very impressed!


Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
TX
Member since Oct 2006
33693 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
I want to see, outside of sumo of course, one of those techno robot dance show things I saw on that travel/expedia commercial.

How do I go about finding one of those?
This post was edited on 9/14 at 12:43 pm


Boondock Saint
LSU Fan
The Boondocks
Member since Oct 2005
4391 posts

re: Japan - A Review of Tokyo and Kyoto - Lots of Food!
quote:

I want to see, outside of sumo of course, one of those techno robot dance show things I saw on that travel/expedia commercial.


There are plenty of weird shows and entertainment options in Tokyo. I was waking up early every day and am not much of a bar person so I actually didn't see any of that. I sort of regret not doing it now...


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