It was my first time visiting Japan and I took an amazing tour with my mom and aunt through a company called Grand Holiday! It was an 8 day Cantonese and English tour (but really just 6 days since 2 days were just the airport transfers) and we visited Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka. I highly recommend this company, we saw so many beautiful places and ate so much good food!

Garuhu (Kagoshima Ramen)

Located at the Tokyo Dome, our tour guide recommended this ramen joint after we already had dinner. I was full from my dinner, but I had to have my bowl of ramen, I was in Japan afterall! So I walked around the Tokyo Dome once before I went for my second dinner at Garuhu. There are pictures on the menu, so even though the server doesn’t speak English, you only have to point to what you want! So below is what I pointed to and I was so happy to eat this! I have to admit, I had shabu shabu right before this bowl of ramen and it was so worth it! The broth was so fatty and rich, and it was filled with garlic and dried shrimp flavors. The ramen noodles were perfect, the fatty pork was tender and flavorful while the eggs were just amazing! Looking at this photo makes me remember all those delicious flavors popping in my mouth! YUMM!


While we were in Hakone, looking for a glimpse of the Mt. Fuji, we enjoyed warm and comforting Kamameshi at 金時亭. This style of eating reminded me of Chinese clay pot with rice, but of course the Chinese style claypot is heavier and richer in flavors. We never saw Mt. Fuji due to cloudiness, but we did get to enjoy rice kept warm in a little pot complemented by many little bites.


While we were in Osaka, we visited Dotonbori, a long busy street filled with shops and restaurants! We weren’t sure what we wanted to eat since there were so many options, but we decided to try blowfish since we’ve never had that! As we know, blowfish must be prepared correctly or you may get poisoned. We went to Zuboraya knowing that they were a licensed restaurant and we ordered two sets of their blowfish meals! We had blowfish sashimi, blowfish tempura and even blowfish in a hot pot! The fish was sweet and had a little crunch to it, I can’t say it’s my favorite sashimi, but I did enjoy eating something I wouldn’t have at home.

After our meal at Zuboraya, we continued to walk around Dotonbori and stopped for some takoyaki at this one place that had a long line! The octopus in the takoyaki was no joke, it was a huge piece! It made me realize that I’ve been ripped off all this time in San Francisco! It was sooo good!

If you are in Osaka, you must visit this amazing street for your food journey!

Food/Ingredients you must try while you are there!

I wish I was able to remember everywhere I ate in Japan, but since I was on the go with the tour the entire time, it was hard to keep track of all the delicious places we ate! But, nevertheless, here are some of my favorites! Tofu is a very essential ingredient in Asian dishes, I personally love tofu, and I loved the soft tofu in Kyoto! If you are in Japan, you must try the tofu! The other ingredient I loved in Japan were the eggs! I really do not know why or how, but their eggs are very fresh, the yolks are golden orange and they taste incredibly good! And last but not least, when we were in Osaka, we had grilled fatty Japanese Kobe Beef, it was cool to enjoy this specialty in Japan instead!

NOTE: Some of these websites are not in English. Copy and paste the link to Google and it should give you the option to translate the page!

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