SQTalk  

Go Back   SQTalk > General > Destinations Chit-Chat

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 25th July 2015, 11:48 AM   #16
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 4,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
This past thread might help:

http://www.sqtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11599

I like Kiji in the basement of the Sky Building for okonomiyaki.
Thanks for the link to the previous thread, and the other recommendations, jhm! Extremely useful info! Got hungry just reading about all that food.
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2015, 04:52 PM   #17
9V-SIA
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
Join Date: 22-Nov-2007
Location: Singapore
Programs: TPP
Posts: 2,191
Default

We got all our tips watching the TV show "Destination Flavour: Japan" by Adam Liaw.

Google him. Australian lawyer turned TV presenter after winning Masterchef Australia.

Wife is Japanese ..... from Kanazawa.

We tried the sushi & Kaiseki restaurant he recommended in Kanazawa episode.

Otome sushi or 乙女すし。
Kaiseki he recommended Tsuru...something. Watch the episode

Ikkon 一献 we found on Tabelog, Japanese food blog. It's in Japanese

We were in Kanazawa to view the Sakura this year. Way less crowded than Kyoto.

And we got to try the new Shinkansen from Tokyo

jhm nodoguro was great and a Kanazawa specialty.

The garden was the most beautiful I've been to in Japan and so much more pleasant to spend time in than Kyoto temples during Sakura viewing.

We stayed at Nikko by the station so just walk across the road.

I rented a Toyota GT86 from the Toyota agency next to the hotel to explore the Noto Peninsula.

The ride was very uncomfortable so I would advise against renting one for sightseeing.

When my wife gets back from Iceland, will edit restaurants we went to

Last edited by 9V-SIA; 25th July 2015 at 07:46 PM..
9V-SIA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 01:37 AM   #18
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 4,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
We got all our tips watching the TV show "Destination Flavour: Japan" by Adam Liaw.

Google him. Australian lawyer turned TV presenter after winning Masterchef Australia.
I rented a Toyota GT86 from the Toyota agency next to the hotel to explore the Noto Peninsula.

The ride was very uncomfortable so I would advise against renting one for sightseeing.
I Googled him...quite an amazing bio. What is it about lawyers who switch careers midstream and end up in F&B? In Singapore, Willin Low, who started Wild Rocket, and also the lady who started up Awfully Chocolate were also lawyers...

But Adam Liaw does seem to be quite a talented person! Glad to know his Kanazawa recommendations were on target as well!

I do rent cars when visiting countries where English is widely spoken (USA, UK, Australia etc) but I would be quite reluctant to rent a car in Europe or Japan, though, mainly because of language issues, should I get lost or pulled over by traffic police...probably being over cautious here as many friends have done so without encountering problems...
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 01:40 AM   #19
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 4,626
Default

Anyone have opinions on Osaka airports? I am quite keen to check out Kansai (KIX), which I've never been to, but quite a few JAL flights to Osaka (Via Haneda) also use the old Osaka airport at Itami.
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 05:28 AM   #20
jhm
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 02-Nov-2006
Location: London
Posts: 4,540
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
We stayed at Nikko by the station so just walk across the road.
We stayed there for a night too and the other night at Asadaya which was interesting (we didn't see any other guests there - it's as if the staff made all the other guests somehow disappear) but not somewhere I'd hurry back to (having stayed in a number of ryokan, I still prefer a western hotel room which is more comfortable and to use the money saved to eat out!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
I do rent cars when visiting countries where English is widely spoken (USA, UK, Australia etc) but I would be quite reluctant to rent a car in Europe or Japan, though, mainly because of language issues, should I get lost or pulled over by traffic police...probably being over cautious here as many friends have done so without encountering problems...
On trips, renting cars many times in Europe and once in Japan, the only problem I have ever come across was a Japanese language only GPS system! It took a bit of fiddling around but we managed to get it going in the end (besides addresses, it also seemed to be able to navigate to a phone number!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
Anyone have opinions on Osaka airports? I am quite keen to check out Kansai (KIX), which I've never been to, but quite a few JAL flights to Osaka (Via Haneda) also use the old Osaka airport at Itami.
As I see it, Itami is to Kansai as Haneda is to Narita, i.e. I'd go for Haneda/Itami always due to their proximity to the city centre. Apart from that, there's nothing at KIX as far as I know which would make me choose it over Itami.
jhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 10:21 AM   #21
CarbonMan
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
CarbonMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: 27-Jul-2011
Location: Singapore mostly
Programs: PPS by the grace of SQ
Posts: 2,517
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
I do rent cars when visiting countries where English is widely spoken (USA, UK, Australia etc) but I would be quite reluctant to rent a car in Europe or Japan, though, mainly because of language issues, should I get lost or pulled over by traffic police...probably being over cautious here as many friends have done so without encountering problems...
I've rented cars in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Not much issues really except the first hour or so when I've to condition myself to drive on the other side of the road. Biggest hassle is in Italy as many of the car rental car parks are situated in old buildings with very narrow driveways - having to drive 8 floors down into a basement is intensely unnerving! Driving gives a lot of flexibility with finding the most interesting restaurants and places if interest.

In Japan, you NEED to bring an International Driver's License. They are absolutely strict about it. My last trip was supposed to have been a 10-day drive around Wakayama peninsula but when I picked up my car at KIX, I realised I forgot to renew it. Fortunately we managed to very quickly change to trains and buses (thanks to Japan's very efficient public transportation).

My planned trip in Dec will be a shinkansen-train-bus affair though. Not comfortable to drive in the snow in the Japanese Alps in winter.
CarbonMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 02:43 PM   #22
9V-SIA
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
Join Date: 22-Nov-2007
Location: Singapore
Programs: TPP
Posts: 2,191
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
We stayed there for a night too and the other night at Asadaya which was interesting (we didn't see any other guests there - it's as if the staff made all the other guests somehow disappear) but not somewhere I'd hurry back to (having stayed in a number of ryokan, I still prefer a western hotel room which is more comfortable and to use the money saved to eat out!).
I like staying near train stations in Japan because the connectivity to buses/trains is convenient. And ryokans have loss their novelty value not to mention the savings that, as you rightly pointed out, that can be spent on eats!


Quote:
On trips, renting cars many times in Europe and once in Japan, the only problem I have ever come across was a Japanese language only GPS system! It took a bit of fiddling around but we managed to get it going in the end (besides addresses, it also seemed to be able to navigate to a phone number!).
I've been using Google Maps on my iPhone as GPS.

It saves money on renting one and it's better because it selects the best route to avoid jams


Quote:
As I see it, Itami is to Kansai as Haneda is to Narita, i.e. I'd go for Haneda/Itami always due to their proximity to the city centre. Apart from that, there's nothing at KIX as far as I know which would make me choose it over Itami.
Only fly SQ so KIX is my gateway to Osaka.

Usually take the Rap:t airport express to Namba. Very fast.

Or ( on my last two trips ) Kansai Airport Express Haruka to Kyoto first before visiting Osaka on our way home.

When I once flew into ITM, I was caught in bad traffic on the bus into Osaka so I'm not so sure how much time it saves.

But I guess it depends on what time you land.

Some cities like Tokyo & Shanghai, I select my flights according to traffic conditions on arrival if I'm taking a bus into the city
9V-SIA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 02:50 PM   #23
9V-SIA
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
Join Date: 22-Nov-2007
Location: Singapore
Programs: TPP
Posts: 2,191
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
I Googled him...quite an amazing bio. What is it about lawyers who switch careers midstream and end up in F&B? In Singapore, Willin Low, who started Wild Rocket, and also the lady who started up Awfully Chocolate were also lawyers...

But Adam Liaw does seem to be quite a talented person! Glad to know his Kanazawa recommendations were on target as well!

I do rent cars when visiting countries where English is widely spoken (USA, UK, Australia etc) but I would be quite reluctant to rent a car in Europe or Japan, though, mainly because of language issues, should I get lost or pulled over by traffic police...probably being over cautious here as many friends have done so without encountering problems...
His travel/cooking programmes well worth watching.

Destination Flavour: Japan is like Bible for us.

The Tokyo recommendations very good too ( Narisawa )

He does another series Destination Flavour: Australia/NZ which I found interesting.

The last time I was in Australia, A$ was at current levels so maybe time to revisit!

Last edited by 9V-SIA; 28th July 2015 at 11:10 PM..
9V-SIA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 05:44 PM   #24
jhm
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 02-Nov-2006
Location: London
Posts: 4,540
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
I've been using Google Maps on my iPhone as GPS.

It saves money on renting one and it's better because it selects the best route to avoid jams
My interesting experience with the Japanese GPS was almost 10 years ago so that was all that was available then.

As far as Europe at least goes, I've found that a combination of Google Maps and a dedicated iPhone GPS app works best sometimes. The former is great since it knows most places which a GPS app wouldn't, e.g. "Purple Parking Heathrow" recently.

The latter can add value because the driving directions can be better (being warned in advance about lane changes which Google Maps doesn't seem to do so well) and also other features, e.g. Sygic has a "navigate to photo" feature which was useful when on a recent photo workshop in Provence (we'd get taken to places as a group in a bus; as well as using a "proper" camera, take a photo using the iPhone of any place (like a field of lavender or sunflowers) which we wanted to explore more; the GPS coordinates are recorded in the photo; a few days later we returned by ourselves using Sygic and the saved photos).
jhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2015, 11:28 PM   #25
9V-SIA
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
Join Date: 22-Nov-2007
Location: Singapore
Programs: TPP
Posts: 2,191
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
My interesting experience with the Japanese GPS was almost 10 years ago so that was all that was available then.
Many of my Singapore friends are now doing driving holidays in Japan.

English language GPS now available.

Navigate by telephone number of destination.

Alternatively tourist attractions have a special number to type into GPS.

That's how we found the famous Senmaida rice friends in Noto Peninsula near Wajima.

My first road trip in Japan was last sakura season. Effortless..
9V-SIA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2016, 03:20 AM   #26
jhm
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 02-Nov-2006
Location: London
Posts: 4,540
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
However, what I liked even more was Mekumi Sushi (tel: 076 246 7781). I've only been able to find one English language writeup of this place on the Internet (it was in a Malaysian or Singaporean newspaper ?) but I can't find it now. It was a recommendation from a Japanese sushi chef in London (who runs the sushi bar which everyone pretty much acknowledges is the best in London - Sushi Tetsu).

Mekumi was literally in the middle of nowhere in what looked like a residential area - we had to take local trains and then walk about 30 minutes to get there. We couldn't find it, phoned and they had to send someone out to fetch us. After we finished eating, all the trains had stopped for the night so we had to get a taxi back to our hotel in central Kanazawa (it wasn't expensive and much easier (only about 20 minutes if I recall) - I'll do this next time).

7 seats at the counter. Just the sushi chef (who used to work in Tokyo before moving back to Kanazawa) and his wife (who the restaurant is named after) working there it seems. Apart from the two of us, the only other customers that night we saw were three Japanese men who turned up later. JPY 16,000 for the omakase. The chef was friendly and tried to speak English with us (even pulling out a book to show us what we'd eaten and a map to show where in the local region (e.g. the nearby Noto peninsula) it came from). The food included the fattest oysters I've ever had (grilled for 2 hours over a low flame), abalone steamed for 8 hours (no salt, no oil, nothing added), sea urchin from Fukui (? the chef said it's the best in Japan), a very fatty fish called nodoguro (?), crab from the local area etc. There was also something which the chef said is expensive - it was yellow and it smelt a bit bad but tasted okay. It's called something like "chimi" ? He said it's traditionally eaten in the nearby Noto peninsula area. He called it Japanese cheese.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
We got all our tips watching the TV show "Destination Flavour: Japan" by Adam Liaw.
I went to Mekumi in 2013. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to go back and now it has 2-Michelin stars and no doubt much busier. I see that Adam Liaw wrote about it today on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOmEYvTA...en-by=adamliaw

Quote:
one of the most fascinating ranges of Ishikawa and Noto Peninsula seafood you can imagine - giant botan shrimp 30cm long (sashimi tail, grilled head and nigiri body), ōtoro from baby tuna, winter buri – and a distinctive almost-too-hot shari. The kanimen, too, was originally a Kanazawa dish before the Tokyo sushi chefs adopted it. If you’re after the modern, extreme high-end sushi experience with a bit of a west coast twist (and with a much greater chance of getting a reservation), this is for you. It has two Michelin stars. The taisho Yamaguchi-san, is a total fish nerd and is fanatical about his neta, and his style of service and conversation is brilliant. Cracking jokes and tasting the fish as he goes. Very different from the too-serious sushi temples in Tokyo.
jhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2016, 11:07 PM   #27
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 4,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
I went to Mekumi in 2013. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to go back and now it has 2-Michelin stars and no doubt much busier. I see that Adam Liaw wrote about it today on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOmEYvTA...en-by=adamliaw
Thanks for sharing, jhm! Mekumi looks like an amazing place. On my list if I ever find myself in that area...

I agree that one side effect of Michelin stars is the hoards of starseekers that want to try it just because of the stars.

In Singapore, Hill Street Tai Hwa mee pok (One of the best ever mee pok places in my opinion, which well deserves any accolades it gets) already had a 30 minute queue before they got one star...now, the queues are even longer...I haven't eaten there since the award...I almost wish they hadn't got the star...on one hand it is well deserved recognition, on the other hand it is now just a much longer wait to get a bowl...
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2017, 03:20 PM   #28
CarbonMan
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
CarbonMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: 27-Jul-2011
Location: Singapore mostly
Programs: PPS by the grace of SQ
Posts: 2,517
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
In Singapore, Hill Street Tai Hwa mee pok (One of the best ever mee pok places in my opinion, which well deserves any accolades it gets) already had a 30 minute queue before they got one star...now, the queues are even longer...I haven't eaten there since the award...I almost wish they hadn't got the star...on one hand it is well deserved recognition, on the other hand it is now just a much longer wait to get a bowl...
I went there in Nov ... on a weekday ... at 5pm. And it took me 55mins (I timed!) to get my fix.
CarbonMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 01:17 PM   #29
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP2
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 4,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonMan View Post
I went there in Nov ... on a weekday ... at 5pm. And it took me 55mins (I timed!) to get my fix.
I suspect the minimum wait for Hill Street Tai Hwa these days is 30-60 min no matter what time you show up!

I am just glad they haven't succumbed to greed and decided to cash in on their new found fame to sell out or expand, like some of the others here who have "struck lottery" with one michelin star.
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2017, 08:12 PM   #30
redraskal
SQTalker
 
Join Date: 21-Jul-2017
Posts: 3
Default

Anyone has any ideas of a good source for booking ryokans that is well priced?
redraskal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +8. The time now is 11:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Techadmin: Luke | Hosting: www.lomag.net