Japan

Land of the rising sun...the land of my dreams, literally.

As mentioned...the moment I touched down in Japan I knew I wanted to be back already...which normally does not happen very often. From the hospitality to the food..to the attractions..it was all too good to be true though there were instances in Tokyo that I dreaded the service. (surprise, surprise!) Other than that, the journey to Japan opened a whole new world to me..how amazing the Japanese cuisine can be. And like all the other over ambitious trips I've made...I had a laundry list of things to try...from top 40 must eats to must trys to...oh well, here's the compiled list...that one day I hope to revisit once again.

In the first trip, we covered Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto..and Yokohama if you insist...here's just a compilation!

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The second trip happened rather randomly when all I was interested in was autumn in Hokkaido - lavender icecream! Turned out that we were going to visit in December, the start of their winter, life is funny like that sometimes. Temperatures were not my best friend I have to be honest. Uniqlo was, in my quest to be "warm" and maybe "fuzzy" but none of that ever happens when cold blasts come your way quite shamelessly and piling on the layers makes you look more than a penguin. Nonetheless, we had fun and I hope you do too...! While most think eating in Japan is terribly expensive, it isn't in the other cities away from Tokyo.

TOKYO

Souvenirs
Kitkat mania - You heard me, I went gaga. Narita airport has the complete range for the season so imagine my face when I had dragged my kitkats throughout Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo only to realise Tokyo had them.
Mochis - Japanese mochis are SO different from the taiwanese or chinese equivalents.
Tokyo Banana/Tamago - The sort you'd lug back but just a tip, Narita stocks em so don't bother dragging them all over!

Food at various attractions
Sulphur Eggs - The must eat at the revered Mount Fuji!
Sanrio Puroland - All things sooooo kawaiiii!
Nakamise Shopping Street outside Sensoji Temple - A food street...literally.
Shinkansen Bento Sets - It's about eating a beautiful bento box in the train. Looks triumphs taste.

For the budget conscious
Konbini - The cheapest form of food available..you'd be surprised what goodies you can find at their convenience stores...I still miss my morning onigiri and daifuku..all for SGD 3!
Yoshinoya - It really tastes a world of difference in its home country.
MOS Burger - Japanese hamburgers.

Savoury 
Ramen Museum - I went to Yokohama for this...LOL!
Torikizoku - Yakitori at 280 Yen!
Maisen - Tonkatsu sandwiches sooooo goooooood!
Hiraboku - Tonkatsu takeaways...I say Maisen's better.
Yoneshiru - Steamed glutinous rice at its best


Sushi - One life to live, the bestest sushi on earth
Sushi Dai - Ranked 2nd at Tsukiji Market. 3 hours. Again? In a heartbeat.


Wagashi - Fine and traditional Japanese sweets!
Toraya - Here, there everywhere and the brand goes back a long way!

A random one at Matsuya Ginza

Sweets
Momi and Toys - Crepes, a harajuku must eat but I ended up fulfilling the crepe at Shibuya!
Departmental desserts - The most unlikely Angelina mont blanc found! Strawberry shortcake too.
Shiseido Parlour - Yes, the cosmetic giant does dessert.
Nenrinya Baumkuchen - Wildly popular german dessert.
Cream Puffs - Beard Papa's and Hirota! Methinks Tampopo are better.
Wabisa Cream Roll - Not too fantabulous.
Mon Chou Chou - The most awesome to die for cream roll ALIVE.
Kimuraya - Bean buns...well they all say it's a must try!
Pierre Herme - The continuation of his magical macarons in Tokyo....DIEHARD FAN!

OSAKA

All at Dotunburi
Kinryu Ramen - Dotunburi's Green Dragon Ramen.
Takopachi - What Osaka's Dotunburi is known for!
Hara Donuts - Osaka's yummy donuts!
Chibo - Okoyominaki specialist..
Kani Doraku - The waving crab mascot

Jill Stuart Cafe - Once again, a cosmetic giant gone sweet.
Bakery @ JR Namba - Japanese bread
Random wagashi @ JR Noda - Little surprises
Tonharu Honten - Tonkatsu at the subway
Yogurtland - Froyo by weight.
Endo Sushi - Osaka's fish market lil gem! 
Gokaku Confectionery - Chilled molten cake. Ingenious!

KYOTO

All at Nishiki Market
Mini Custard Buns - Near Nishiki market!
Nishiki Market eats -The loveliest market alive.
Ramen Sennokaze - The best of the trip, near Nishiki!

Gion Kinana - Icecream in winter, only at Kyoto.

Souvenirs 
Yatsuhashi - A kyoto wagashi

Beef - A must eat...wagyu beef!
Grill Miyata - Divinity achieved.

Kaiseki
Gion Namba - Worthy of the michelin star!!!

HOKKAIDO

Starry business
Sushi Tanabe - Sushi dreams are made of these. Michelin starred and rightfully so!
Moliere - French with as many stars as Japanese cuisine in Japan

Onsen
Yunohana Jozenkeiden - A must do!

Casual Eateries
Jinbei -  Fusion!
Barikiya Ramen - In the alley of ramen
Sakana Isshin - Value for money bentos!
Tonkatsu Woya - Tonkatsu heaven
Hanamaru Sushi - Sushi on conveyor belt
Vie De France - A bakery to avoid!!
Mcdonalds - Cheap, good and consistently delicious!
Kareken Curry - Hokkaido curry, purportedly famous
Nissin Cup Noodle Pop Up Store - How lucky!
Sumibi Izakaya En - Affordable in Susukino
ESTA - Gone budget!
Banrai - All things yam 
Shirakaba Sanso Ramen - One stop in this ramen republic 

Food at attractions
Shiroi Koibito Park - Chocolate cookie dreams come alive
Sapporo Beer Museum - Go, go, national beer!
Kiroro Resort - Ski and refuel at this beginner friendly resort!
Nijo Fish Market - Tsukiji Market in Sapporo without the insane queues

Sweets
Sapporo Sweets - Where everyone goes for tea
Hara Donuts - Finding Osaka in Sapporo
Kinotoya Bakery and Sweets - Cheese tarts worth queuing up for
Mori Moto - All for mont blanc
Kita Karo - Cream puff trail
Fruitscake Factory and Sweet Table - It's all about the cheesecake that gets sold out

Souvenirs
Calbee - Fresh potato chips!
Hokkaido Potato and more! - Our take on what to lug back...which is about every other thing in sight.
Drink culture - The vending machine, decoded

View to die for
Sky J - Sapporo by night, one charming prince


HAKODATE

Fast Food
Lucky Pierrot - Uniquely hakodate


Ramen
Shinano Ramen - Perfect for winter!
The one that we forgot - Sea Urchin Ramen

Seafood to Hokkaido is Sushi to Tokyo
Hakodate Morning Market - The freshest catch
More on the market! - We eat, eat and eat.

Sweets
Boni Moriya - Dessert in a departmental store gourmet hall
Snaffles - With a Nanny McPhee mascot and a love for tea.

Perfect view
Genova  - Overseeing the city on high - Mount Hakodate!
 

OTARU

Seafood
Kita No Ryouba - Cheap, good and...all things nice!

Sweets
Le Tao - As Bengawan Solo to Singapore as it is to Otaru