Shinjuku Gyoen is a calm oasis in Tokyo’s bustling in Shinjuku. Definitely worth a visit as it was originally an imperial garden for Lord Naito -, a “daimyo”(feudal lord). Strolling through, you can experience the lovely landscaping that translates the earths peace into your body. A rare occurrence without traveling far outside of major cities! Cherry blossoms and rhododendrons in spring and chrysanthemums abound in summer.
Shinjuku Gyoen is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. It shows the expansion of knowledge and culture as it divides into three main areas: a French formal garden, an English landscape garden and a Japanese Traditional Garden.
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.
If you are fan of over-the top Japan; then The Robot restaurant is a MUST!
“Restaurant” is a bit of a misnomer; more like “Sensory Overload Sensation that also serves beer and popcorn and sushi”
Going to let the visuals do the talking here, because no words can really do justice to this palace of pop.
Itinerary: Meet up at the Golden Gai bar neighborhood to get a little buzz; you’re nerves will thank you for a bit of haze! There are 3 functions daily in the underground theater. If you buy tickets online you get a bit of a deal. Also, arrive a bit early so you can enjoy the lounge
Go and enjoy! The Robot restaurant is one of those things that make Japan, Japan!