Kyoto Day 1 – Dec. 6, 2018

The second day I took a train from Kobe to Kyoto.

After checking in Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion, I had late lunch at Mametora Gion which specializes in small dishes cuisines. The environment there was quite comfortable in terms of distance between tables and interior styling & lighting. As it is supposedly to be, the presentation of dishes was great and taste was ordinary ( for me, the taste of this kind of cuisine is never the highlight in the dining experience).

The restaurant of my first dinner in Kyoto was a local store recommended by the concierge of hotel. The food was edible but not delicate as its clientele base is probably the neighborhood round southern area of Kenninji. The area might be one of the most densely populated of Michilin-starred Japanese restaurants in the world but ordinary restaurants are still viable since there’s demand for casual dinning to be met.

As usual, I had gyoza at Senmonten (泉門天) as my main late-night snack in Kyoto. I also had ramen at Tenkaippin as supplementary but it turned out that I’m not a fan of their style.

The release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate / Special (JP) is the highlight of this trip. As expected nothing special happened on Hanamikoji Dori in Gion.

I was so bored in the hotel that I watched live streaming gameplay of SSBU on Youtube. While I think  gaming is one of my tracking industry, this was my first time to watch live streaming gameplay. To my surprise, it’s quite satisfying and healing to watch the gameplay when the host is shown as anime-style character with cute voice in tandem with facial / body expression.

I will further explore the economics on gaming, eSport and video / music streaming after going back to Taiwan.

Kobe Day 1 – Dec. 5, 2018

The touch screen of my iPhone went dead just when I was checking in my luggage.

So no Google map and photo this trip…

I had beef steak at 麤皮(aragawa) and shabu-shabu at すきやきしゃぶしゃぶ 神戸牛石田. Both were good. Price at 麤皮 was relatively high probably because of special beef used (三田牛).

I stay in Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland. I might write a review on this hotel without my photo later. Only by telling from the hotel name, you can imagine this is a Japanese-Western style hotel with spacious rooms that probably have harbor view.

One thing about not having cellphone is that you probably acquire information from other media (in my case: I’m about to finish reading a book)

 

Tokyo Day 2 – Oct. 24, 2018

The next day we went to Tsukiji for breakfast as we didn’t have enough information about the newly-opened Toyosu fish market.

It’s very clear that tourist traffic decreased substantially even though I heard that outer-market  (jōgai-shijō) stays. Some shops in the outer-market were not open when I visited, not sure whether they’re taking a break after market transition or they’re about to move to Toyosu as well.

My feeling is that it’s the remains of the fish market. Tourist-oriented shops that reply on market traffic as main customer acquisition channel will struggle with significant traffic scale down. Probably one year later, some media will report the status of Tsukiji and do some before and after comparison. My guess is that Tsukiji will become a local market and shops targeting tourists without real specialty will not survive.

After finishing Gyūdon (牛丼) at きつねや, we headed to Asakusa and Ueno to do what tourists should do.

We had sushi for lunch at Seamon Ginza around 1pm so walk-in was okay even in busy area like Ginza. The course dishes were familiar to what I had at Nihonbashi yesterday.

We spend the afternoon in Ginza-Yurakucho-Marunouchi area and the Imperial Palace.

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View towards Hibiya from Imperial Palace
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Statue of Love
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A flower shop

We had dinner at a lovely izakaya called Ginza Shimada (銀座 しまだ) where we stood to have small dishes and drinks. The experience was quite unique (as it’s a high quality stand bar in Ginza) and food was good. Their Japaneses guests even asked us why we knew this restaurant. (well, I googled “the best izakaya in Ginza” and checked on tabelog)

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We concluded the day with drinks and night view of Tokyo Tower at GINZA CASITA at 14F of Hotel The Celestine Ginza.

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A great place for late night drink with view in Ginza

 

Tokyo Day 1 – Oct. 23, 2018

As usual, I took red-eye flight and arrived Tokyo in the early morning.

It’s quite convenient to take bus from Narita Terminal 3 to Ginza area where I generally stay. Depending on the traffic condition, it might take 1.5 hour to 2 hours for bus from Narita to Ginza.

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Bus Ticket Office in Terminal 3, Narita Airport

The hospitality market in Tokyo is running at high occupancy so it’s unlikely to get early check-in if you’re not using a special program. I like to use the time between leaving luggage at hotel and lunch to have a haircut in Nihonbashi and then have a sushi lunch close to the barber shop.

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Seamon Sushi (with two branches in Nihonbashi and Ginza) is one of my favorite sushi restaurants. Apparently, it’s not the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo but it offers high-quality sushi. Most importantly, you have a chance to walk in.

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Then I went back to Ginza to take some hotel pictures for my blog post and spend some time in Ginza Sony Park.

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I met my classmate in Shinbashi for dinner at an authentic Izakaya.

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I stayed in Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo (ミレニアム三井ガーデンホテル東京) that I will write a hotel review later on.