(81) 36. 427.9238
Fuji Building, 2-23-8 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0011, Japan
18:00 – 24:00 Monday – Saturdays
Close to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one finds Washoku Nada, a gem of a neighborhood restaurant. Yoko Araki opened Washoku Nada in 2009 after training at the Honke-Owariya soba restaurant in Kyoto, along with her brother, chef Tetsuya Araki (who also trained in Kyoto).
Washoku is the term for traditional Japanese Food and is recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible way of life” that helps define the island population. The 4 key elements present are:
1. Ingredients: rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, sea dwellers and seaweed
2. Culinary approach: raw, steaming, boiling or stewing
3. Nutritional content: balanced nutrients seen in the many dishes being offered
4. Hospitality: in the full sense of the experience and how it effects your life
The Hospitality above is a much more total concept then what may come to a typical western thought on the subject. One should include Yoko Araki’s background, as it is present in every detail. From the artfully displayed dishes to the carefully paired ceramics and cloths that accompany each dish. Each dish that is made lovingly and with a wholesome deliciousness that you feel in your soul.
above photo – owner Yoko Araki, with chef Tetsuya Araki © Tokyo calendar
Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0825, Japan
Kyoto’s Higashiyama is a happening area with souvenir stores, cafes, restaurants galleries and more. Yes, it is very touristic, but try not to apply a regular tourist stop mentality that one dons in other counties. Everything is priced accordingly to quality .
Guidebooks (and the actual guides) fail to give good directions on how find this district (1 of 11 in all Kyoto). They all seemed to claim ‘no definite address‘! After butting heads with taxi drivers and walking and walking and walking … we came to the conclusion the best way to get there is asking directions to The Ryōzen Kannon; a war memorial and giant white concrete statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Across the main street entrance to the memorial is an uphill walking street. This is the best place to start your walk. See map at the end of the post. (In our opinon, The Ryōzen Kannon is not worth the time in a city of more interesting temples and shrines.)
Start early before the crowds arrive at Kōdai-ji. Take a taxi to The Ryōzen Kannon – walk up and around the Higashiyama streets, stop for lunch wheverer catches your eye (or just enjoy all the street samples!). Follow this with a short walk to the Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda) and walk back uphill and continue to Kiyomizu-dera for the astounding evening lights.
I you want to do something fun you can rent a Kimono (his & hers) at Kyoto Kimono Rental at the beginning of the Higashiyama walk . Most Japanese woman and a few men rent Kimonos to tour Kyoto and other historical cities. It is super cute, lends to wonderful photos! The rental house will also do your hair and accessorize! Returns are very easy.
Highly recommended is the the ume boshi store. It is one of the best we found in all Japan. We didn’t purchase enough at the cheaper tourist price and found the same brand at the Ginza Mitsokishi department store, but at a higher price.
Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)
suggestedroute in pink – top right Kiyomizu-dera
8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
11:00 – 14:00 Monday – Saturdays
17:00 – 22:00 Monday – Saturdays
Kyubey is a restaurant you may be better off never going to.
Since our meal, over a year ago, we have yet to be truly satisfied and happy at any other eatery. Kyubey was that good.
Everything about this flagship location is perfect. You feel at home at the sushi bar. It somehow remains intimate, even though 8 chefs line the bar and 10 private rooms co-exist over 5 floors above you. It is a t once high-end and relaxed; perfectly crafted and slightly debauched. Kyube proves that when you reach the highest perfection, you don’t have to put up any front.
Kyubey is considered the epitome of sushi restaurants in Japan. Rightfully so. It is a bit hard to describe how a piece of raw fish can be that much better then another piece of raw fish. Other then to say … The sushi and sashimi at Kyube is THAT much better then any other we’ve ever had.
Our experience began with a rousing welcome chant ” irasshaimase” and was just a ride of perfection. Piece after piece, laugh after laugh, sake after sake, it was a rock-concert of flavor.
It was only several weeks after when, again, we were walking away from another highly anticipated gourmet meal that we realized what was giving us this vague feeling of un-satisfaction. It was our meal at Kyube that raised the high-bar.
So be warned, but please go and be rewarded!