Visiting Japan
  • Combining the two cities provides a great glimpse into the wide spectrum of possibility in Japan.
    Begin in Tokyo, with the neon-color fashion of Harajuku, alleyways dotted with closet-size bars, and a hotel that floats eye level to an endless orange skyline. Then head to Kyoto, where the peace of century-old shrines, vivid foliage, and shaded bamboo groves provide a calming end to a full itinerary. And with the sleek bullet train connecting the cities in under three image hours, dancing into the night and then travel jepang meditating in the morning have never been easier.
    Here are just a few places that embody the best of each city’s distinct pace.
    Tokyo, Japan
    Tokyo, Japan
    Photo: Alamy
    Tokyo
    Culinary Escapades

    Café de l’Ambre
    In Tokyo, staying energized while exploring the populous streets is key. Coffee lovers will rejoice in the refined approach to caffeinated concoctions at Café de l’Ambre. Located in the chic Ginza shopping district, the legendary kissaten (coffeehouse) opened in 1948 and is still run by its original owner, centenarian Ichiro Sekiguchi. Hordes of people line up to sip coffee made from beans that have been aged for more than 40 years or brews mixed with Champagne or cognac. Dark wooden tables are illuminated by glass lamps and gold-framed French poems hang on the wall. The history here is one you can taste in each sip.
    Ginza 8-10-15

    Tsukiji Fish Market
    This fish market, recognized by film lovers in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, is a sensory and culinary adventure. The famed 81-year-old market is the largest wholesale fish market in the world and represents the best of Japanese dedication to production. Here, multigenerational families sell steaming yakitori skewers, noodle dishes, tamagoyaki (rectangular omelets), and, of course, sushi. Massive, freshly caught tuna is meticulously sliced, then topped with ginger and wasabi. Melded knives and handcrafted tableware decorate wooden tables.
    People line small alleyways (yokochos) in hopes of pulling up a chair at one of the many tiny restaurants serving fresh catches of the day. Try the fatty tuna roll at Okame (4-8-7 Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045) or, if you have patience, the always-crowded Sushi Dai (Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1). Here, patrons delight in omakase that highlights the best of Tsujuki’s fresh bounty of the day. (5 Chome-2-1)
    Shirosaka
    There are few dining experiences as intimate, memorable, and true to traditional Japanese technique with a Western touch than Shirosaka. Located on a quaint street in Akasaka, this nine-seat restaurant is marked by a stone path that leads to a dramatic floor-to-ceiling window. Inside the restaurant, chef Hideki li and his team prepare charcoal-grilled dishes and fresh sushi for their tasting menu. The signature dish, served in a handcrafted wooden box adorned with maple leaves, contains a spherical rice cracker. Inside, a beautiful quail egg, dashi jelly, sea urchin, and herring eggs complete the surprise. Underneath the egg sits fresh tuna, micro-greens, and scallions. The texture and taste of the dish is an explosion for the palate, almost as rushing as the Tokyo streets. 6-3-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku

    Adrenaline-Filled Nights

    Robot Restaurant
    The first rule of Robot Restaurant is to leave reason outside the door.

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