Tsukiji fish market – Tokyo, Japan

Today’s blog won’t be very pretty to look at, mostly if you are vegetarian! I am taking you to Tsukiji market, Tokyo’s fish market. This is one of the main sights to visit when in Japan. What I didn’t expect though is that it would look rather rough and like a slaughter house (well it is really). I guess when you think of Japan, you expect everything to be modern and super clean, Tsukiji market is at the other end of the scale, messy, busy and wonderfully authentic.

Tsukiji fish market Tokyo

A good tip before we start our visit, we read everywhere that we needed to be there super early to see the fish coming in , the tuna auctions, etc. However, it happens that the market was closed to tourists until 10/11am… Indeed, we were asked not to enter the main hall until then. So don’t sacrifice your hours of sleep, yes it will be less busy by the time you get in, but you will still see and experience the atmosphere.

Tsukiji fish market Tokyo

We arrived in the area early and once we realised that we wouldn’t be let in, we decided to walk and explore the streets around which are full of consumers markets (as opposed to Tsukiji main market which is mainly for businesses).

Tsukiji fish market TokyoTsukiji fish market TokyoTsukiji fish market Tokyo

Once a little tired of walking, we headed back to the main area where you can find plenty of sushi restaurants. Some are very popular, some only have set menu options, so we settled for Sushi Dokoro Yamazaki which offers a great ‘à la carte’ option. Unfortunately, I have a very severe allergy to raw salmon so I couldn’t risk to eat any sushi, so Andrew was the only one eating, and at 10 am he wasn’t feeling like eating an entire platter on his own. Sushi Dokoro Yamazaki was perfect for us as I could sip on a miso soup and some tea while Andrew was eating a small serving.

Sushi Dokoro YamazakiSushi Dokoro Yamazaki

Finally, it was time for us to enter the main hall. It is very easy to find your way in, follow the flow of tourists who are following a guard and you will get in. Note that people at the market are here to work, and they will very directly let you know if you are annoying them or on their way. I have never been honked at that much in my life! Should I be flattered?

Tsukiji fish market Tokyo

The scenes inside are very ‘real’ maybe a little too much for some. Sometime you forget that there was a very alive giant tuna behind that little California roll…

Tsukiji fish market TokyoTsukiji fish market Tokyo

Embrace the atmosphere, and accept it, don’t fight it. It is like looking at the food chain in the eyes.

Tsukiji fish market TokyoTsukiji fish market Tokyo

It is good sometime to just see the process behind some of our food, so that we are all a little bit more appreciative and mindful when eating.

Tsukiji fish market Tokyo

We came out smelling of fish, a little less hungry than usual and in need of a bit of fresh air, but overall very happy to have seen this side of Japan!

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Hélène Darroze at The Connaught – London

This is my first London blog post! A very special moment after seven years living in this city, and maybe the beginning of some London content sharing. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in!

For this special occasion, I picked a very special place to share with you, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. Not just any restaurant, a two Michelin stars restaurant! Hélène Darroze is a very famous French chef. She is coming from a chefs’ family and began her career working for Alain Ducasse. She worked in Paris, Monaco and now London.

The Connaught is a very luxurious hotel, so be aware that the dress code is a little more elegant and I would recommend you avoid jeans and trainers when visiting.

Being a few weeks away from Christmas, we didn’t enter a regular hotel’s lobby but a real winter wonderland!

****note that I took all pictures with my iPhone 6S so the quality is not as great as the usual Sony Nex 5****

The Connaught Christmas decoration London

The staircase in particular was amazingly decorated!

The Connaught Christmas decoration London

Eating at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught is not only a culinary experience, it is also a brain exercise! You will be invited to take part into the experience, first by playing a game – the ‘what should I have for diner tonight?’ game.

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One of the most difficult choice I had to make in a restaurant! Leave what you want on the tray, remove the marbles you are not interested in, then look at the waiter organising the marbles in the order the dishes will be served to you.

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Andrew and I both went for the seven courses option, in my case I picked the grouse, the eel, the foie gras, the halibut, the venison and two desert, the pineapple and the chocolate. A tip I have to share, seven courses was wayyyyy too much, retrospectively I should have gone for five. The portions are rather generous for a Michelin star restaurant and the mistake we made was to want it all instead of being more selective.

You are also given a more conventional menu to help you with decide.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught menu

And for the sake of transparency, here are the prices. Yes, this is a very expensive restaurant, a real treat, but it absolutely worth it, trust me!

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught menu

Once our choices made, the show started, and what a show it was! First we got served fresh bread, with a regular butter and a piment d’espelette butter, and the most delicious dry ham. So delicious that I made friend with our waitress (who was adorable by the way!) and she got me an extra serving!

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught bread butter and ham

The bread was followed by some ‘amuses bouche’ including a small foie gras pie and a potato churros. If the mains were to be as good as these, we were in for something very special.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught amuses bouches

The first dish I was served was the grouse in the form of a pie. the chunks of meat, foie gras and the light wiped cream all melted together to create the most satisfying autumnal flavours.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught grouse

Next, I was served the eel, which for greediness reasons, I completely forgot to photograph. I was too busy eating it, but trust me it was good! For those of you not familiar with eel it is very similar to white fish just a little meatier.

The eel was followed by the most filling of all dish, the foie gras. It was delicious and served with a puff pastry duck roll.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught foie gras

Another meat dish followed by another fish dish, the next one was halibut, melting in the mouth, what you would expect a good white fish to taste like. The buttery sauce was excellent!

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught halibut

The final savoury dish was probably one of my favourite too. The venison was served medium-rare as it should be (I am French so I don’t do well done). It was served with butternut squash cooked in four different ways. Flavours of winter.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught venison

At that point my stomach started to ache from being served too much goodness, but I  hate waste so I couldn’t bring myself to leave plates unfinished. Unfortunately we weren’t remotely done. Luckily what was to come was delicious and sweet.

First came the pineapple dessert which was by far my favourite.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught pineapple

It was followed by the chocolate dessert, which I liked less to be completely honest, probably because the pineapple was just so good and hard to compete with.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught chocolates

We ended the dinner with two last little ‘gourmandises’ before calling it a night.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught sweets

And when we thought it was all over the waiter came with one last treat for the road! We saved those for the following day and discovered some lovely canelés in there the following morning!

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught canelé

An amazing experience that taught us one thing, only order five dishes otherwise you will end in a food coma. It is hard to choose but hopefully this post will help you do so!

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Nishiki Market – Kyoto

Kyoto is amazing, that’s a given. It is full of history, world famous sights, shops, and it is a foodie’s heaven. If you like to eat, and you are not afraid to try new things, the first place you have to head to once in Kyoto is Nishiki Market.

Nishiki Market Kyoto

You will find the market in the centre of Kyoto a few back streets away from Daimaru. The market is covered which is fortunate as it was raining when we got there.

Nishiki Market Kyoto

Walk along the gallery and get overwhelmed by choice and smells.

Note that you can shop for anything related to food there. Ingredients, serveware, the world renowned Japanese knifes – the perfect destination to shop for some Japanese souvenirs!

Nishiki Market shop Kyoto

Our strategy after seeing how big the market was, was to walk the full length of it to see what all the options were, then walk back the whole way and start ordering some food. Doing so you won’t miss a thing AND you will walk off the calories – win!

Nishiki Market shop Kyoto

Nishiki market is a very busy place and the main challenge is to reach the counters and then find a little corner to nibble, most of the time standing.

Nishiki Market Kyoto

What’s also fascinating about the market is that it has been around for several centuries, and a lot of the shops have been owned by the same families for generations. You literally cannot do more authentic than that even if you were trying!

Nishiki Market shop Kyoto

On the hunt for our lunch we knew we very much wanted some seafood. Some were a little too weird or almost alive for our liking.

Octopus Nishiki Market Kyoto

Eventually we settled for some Takoyaki, also known as octopus balls or donuts.

Takoyaki Nishiki Market Kyoto

Looking at the guy cooking them is entertaining in itself! I mean, how fast can one human being move?

Takoyaki Nishiki Market Kyoto

We also went for some ‘not too sure what it is but it’s delicious’ corn dog like seafood stick.

Corn dog Nishiki Market Kyoto

We grabbed a few more things, some crab legs, pickled vegetables, and others, but we got too hungry and I stopped taking pictures. Ooops!

Nishiki Market shop Kyoto

So if you are a foodie like us, Nishiki will be right up your street! Be curious, try new things, and come home with some packs of dry mushrooms and kimchi.

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5 days in Tokyo – highlights

New video alert! The most challenging and the longest one I have edited so far! Challenging because technology failed me and this video almost killed my computer. And long, not because I love slow motions, just because we did so much during our five days in Tokyo!

Tokyo is an amazing city, it is very big, very modern and very old, very busy and very quiet all at the same time – everything you imagine it to be. We explored it all, from the old neighbourhood of Asakusa to the ‘technology’ neighbourhood of Akihabara.

We had a fantastic time there and surprisingly we didn’t feel overwhelmed or completely lost in translation. Japanese people speak much better English than people give them credit for, and, as I live in a big city, Tokyo just felt the same but different. Plus, the mixture of old and new reminded us very much of Europe in a strange way.

So dive in with me into the giant cosmopolitan city, where opposites attract, for the next 14 minutes!

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Christmas 2017 – Gift guide for Travelers

You are a wanderluster still wondering what to put on your letter to Santa? Someone close to you caught the travelling bug and cannot stay still? This gift guide is for you!

I know it is still a little early to talk about Christmas but I personally like to plan what I am going to buy for my close ones for Christmas ahead of December, just to spread the cost a bit and not be completely bankrupt by December 25th.

Christmas 2017 Travel gift guide

 1. Wallpaper* City Guides

These pocket-size travel guides will help you discover the world’s main cities. The content focus on architecture and design so these city guides are great gifts for both travellers and interior design addicts. The other great thing with the Wallpaper City Guides is that they are very reasonably priced!

2. Sass & Belle Vintage World Map Passport Holder

Cute little passport holder which will remind you why you are boarding this plane while protecting the most important document you need. Again, a cheap gift so perfect as a Secret Santa gift or a stocking filler.

3. Miu Color Glass Water Bottle

A useful gift that can be both used while travelling or at work. The Miu glass water bottle is also eco-friendly, easy to wash AND cheap!

4. Freetoo Portable Luggage Scale

Not the most charming or romantic gift, but the Freetoo portable luggage scale is a very useful gift for all travelers. With this, people will always have the peace of mind of knowing that their luggage is not too heavy; bye bye airlines additional fees!

5. Scratch Map Poster

A great way to track the places you have been to and decorate your home! I myself have this exact scratch map in my guest bathroom!

6. Oliver Bonas Travel Laundry Bags

First, these Oliver Bonas travel bags are ridiculously pretty, second, they will be super useful to keep anyone’s luggage organised and well… clean!

7. HumanCharger

Now most of you may see this and be ‘what is that?’, don’t worry I was too! The HumanCharger is a little device which will boost your well-being. It provides the light-sensitive regions of the brain with direct bright light. It can be used to increase energy levels, and reduce the effects of jet lag. Perfect for all the frequent flyers and world-travelers!

8. Longchamp Nylon Pliage Bag

This is by far the most useful bag I own. I mentioned it in a previous post on my favourite travel bags, the Longchamp pliage bag is great to travel, go to the gym and more. It is also a fantastic space-saver as it can easily fold and fit and any luggage when you don’t need it!

 9. Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones

Reasonably priced and great quality, these Bose headphones will soon become any traveler best friend. The only downside is that these are not wireless, but to be honest, I personally don’t mind and I know a lot of people don’t either.

10. Personalised Leather Travel Wallet With Phone Charger

Who doesn’t like a personalised gift? This elegant leather travel wallet not only can be personalised with your initials but it also contain a portable charger giving about 2 charges to an iPhone. Perfect to travel in style! My personal favourite is the emerald green.

Here you go! 10 gifts for travelers which hopefully will help you buy the wanderlusters in your life thoughtful and useful gifts for their next adventure!

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The prettiest Cotswolds villages

The Cotswold is one of the prettiest areas of England I have ever been to. Rolling hills, green valleys, quaint villages, everywhere you look is out of a postcard.

Cotswolds countryside

We woke up bright and early to made the most of the 2 days we had in the region. On the first day, we visited Blockley, Kingham, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water. It seems like a lot but some villages are teeny tiny so you will only need an hour or so there. On the Sunday, we explored Painswick, Miserden and Bibury, before heading back to London.

Now to help you plan your trip to the Cotswolds, I listed all the villages below with a few recommendations here and there. Also keep scrolling if you like pictures of quaint houses and autumnal foliage. Bundle up and let’s go!

Topshop shearling coat and Marc Jacobs sunglasses
Topshop coat (similar) and Marc Jacobs sunglasses (similar)

Blockley

BlockleyBlockley was just waking up when we arrived on Saturday morning. It is a very small village so you won’t need long to explore it. Take a moment to appreciate the local architecture. All house are built with the local sand colour Cotswold stone.

Blockley

Walk to the top of the hill for glimpses of the countryside.

Blockley

There you will find picturesque church, and you will see that even cemeteries are pretty in the Cotswolds.

Blockley church

Kingham

Our next stop was another very small, yet very pretty, village. Kingham is on flat land, the exact opposite of Blockley.

Kingham

It is all in the details in Kingham, the front porches are all ridiculously quaint.

KinghamKingham

Walk around the main green and wander toward the church.

Kingham cemetery

And if you happen to be in Kingham at lunch time, make sure to try The Wild Rabbit, we didn’t eat there on this trip but I heard great things about it!

Kingham

Stow-on-the-Wold

For lunch we headed to Stow-on-the-Wold, a bigger town and the perfect spot if you are looking for a busier atmosphere and an opportunity to shop!

Stow-on-the-Wold

The place has a lot of local products shops and antics boutiques. Make sure to explore some to find little treasures or souvenir!

Stow-on-the-Wold Costwolds cheese shop

If you happen to be there around lunch time, make sure to grab a bite at The Hive, I cannot recommend it enough!

Stow-on-the-Wold

Explore the city centre, everything is so pretty you will feel like you are in a Jane Austen era movie.

Stow-on-the-Wold church

Finally make sure to pay attention when driving out of Stow-on-the-Wold, there are some amazing view points which worth stopping at for a picture our 20 (you should see my memory card).

Cotswolds countryside

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter is famous for its network of small canals. The village’s streets follow the path of the water to create the most charming atmosphere.

Lower Slaughter

Walk along the canal and head to the old mill, there you will be able to make friend with the ducks and see the hikers splashing around in the water to wash their muddy boots.

Lower Slaughter Old Mill

We then headed to the church and happened to run into a bride and a groom, freshly married, who were taking their wedding pictures in the village. I have to say, with that weather and the golden Autumn colours, their pictures will be extremely Pinterest-able.

Lower Slaughter church

Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-water

Our last stop on Saturday was also the busiest place we visited. Bourton-on-the-Water is full of tourists so be warned.

Bourton-on-the-water

It is absolutely beautiful though so it still worth merging into the crowd to walk along the water.

Bourton-on-the-water

It is nicknamed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ and rightly so. It’s all about crossing bridges, feeding the ducks and grabbing a sweet afternoon treat there!

Bourton-on-the-water

Painswick

On the Sunday, we started our day at Painswick. It is a very small village but it has a very noticeable cemetery (Again! I told you cemeteries worth a visit in the Cotswolds). The trees leading to the village’s church are all shaped like mushrooms. This makes for great pictures…

Painswick

…and ‘avant-garde’ head pieces (I am a very funny person indeed).

Painswick
Topshop coat (similar) and Gucci Disco bag

The village is also a hub for the serious hikers, so much so that you may struggle finding a free parking spot, even on Sundays.

Painswick

Miserden

Miserden was one of the prettiest, if not THE prettiest, villages we visited. Teeny tiny but really worth stopping by!

Miserden

The views of the valley are beautiful, mostly in the Autumn.

Miserden

The village is very peaceful, the locals friendly, the chickens walk freely in the streets, and honesty boxes are the common way to shop there. A little peace of heaven.

Jams Miserden

Also make sure to grab a little something at The Nursery on Miserden Estate, a nice spot for a cup of coffee and something sweet.

Miserden

Bibury

Our last stop was Bibury. This place is probably the closest I will ever get to feel like I am in the Lord of the Ring. Look at the houses! Hobbits could easily live there!

Bibury

The place is charming and therefore very popular with tourists.

BiburyBibury

It isn’t very big either, so once you are done walking around, head to The Swan for a warming drink or a Sunday roast (we went for the later).

The Swan BiburySunday roast The Swan Bibury

The Cotswolds are the perfect Autumnal destination, and it was the perfect weekend away with the great weather we had! We came home rested and with (maybe) a bit of a tan.

Weekend in the Cotswolds

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The Hive – Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds

Today’s address is a real gem hidden in the middle of the British countryside!

A couple of weeks ago we headed to the Cotswolds for a weekend away from the big smoke. We were blessed with amazing autumnal weather and spent the Saturday and Sunday exploring the little Cotswolds villages.

On Saturday, we happened to be in Stow-on-the-Wold around lunch time. Our plan was to find a cosy pub to grab a bite, but it all changed when we walked passed The Hive.

From the outside it looks like a conventional little tea shop. We looked at the menu which seemed appetising and thought ‘why not?’.

The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

The big BIG highlight when eating at The Hive is the staff, ‘nice’ is an understatement. Everybody at The Hive is absolutely lovely! The waiters and the owners  are all very polite, very friendly and, most of all, super attentive – by the end of our lunch I wanted to hug them goodbye!

The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

Now let’s talk about the food, simple yet delicious is the best way I would describe it! The menu mainly offers simple lunch options like soup and sandwiches. The quantities are generous though and we left very full and in need of a digestive walk.

Andrew went for the egg and mayo sandwich. A generous melting filling sandwiched between two slices of ‘crispy on the outside and soft on the inside’ sourdough bread. What else can you ask for?

Egg and mayo sandwich The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

I picked the soup of the day which was sweet potato, coconut milk and spices.

Soup of the day The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

On the side, I had the option to choose either white sourdough bread, brown bread or a cheese scone. I went for the cheese scone, obviously!

Soup of the day The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

The soup was creamy and flavoursome, the cheese scone had the perfect consistency and cheesiness, and I was happy.

Cheese scone The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

With still a little bit of space for something sweet, we decided to share a huge slice of the lemon and pistachio cake. Pure sweetness bliss…

Lemon and pistachio cake The Hive Stow-on-the-Wold

So if you are wandering in the Cotswolds hills and looking for a place to have lunch, head to Stow-on-the-Wold!

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A weekend on the Jurassic Coast, England

The end of the Autumn is the perfect time to escape to the countryside for a weekend. I thought I would share with you this month a couple of ‘oh so British’ destinations to have a breath of fresh air. First stop the Jurassic Coast! Now grab a cuppa and a biscuit as this will be a long post!

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast had been on my English destinations bucket list for a while! So a few months back we finally booked a trip to the coastline of Devon and Dorset over a bank holiday weekend.

We headed down on a Saturday morning, but as many people had decided to do the same we hit traffic shortly after exiting London. So we decided to swing by the New Forest for lunch instead of queuing on the motorway and snacking at a service station. We stopped at the The Oak Inn, a lovely pub in the middle of the forest.

After a nice little lunch we headed back on the road and down to the coastline, arriving in Sidmouth in the middle of the afternoon.

Sidmouth Cliff

During our stay on the Jurassic Coast we stayed at the Belmont hotel. It was nice but a little pricey, and very old school, so we opted out of the breakfast option and went to local cafes instead.

The Belmont Hotel SidmouthThe Belmont Hotel Sidmouth

The rest of our Saturday was spent exploring Sidmouth a small coastal town with very impressive cliffs views.

Sidmouth surfers

We walked along the seafront to see the surfers enjoying a few waves and the impressive cliffs surrounding the city.

Sidmouth beach

We then headed to the Connaught garden and enjoyed even more impressive views of the beach and Jacobs Ladder.

Jacobs Ladder Sidmouth

We ended the day at The Anchor Inn, a local pub in the centre of the town where we enjoyed a delicious lemon sole.

Anchor Inn SidmouthAnchor Inn Sidmouth

Having spent most of our day in the car, we woke up bright and early on the Sunday to make most of the day.

West Bay

First stop West Bay! If you are a Broadchurch fan you will recognise this village as it is the main set for the police drama.

West Bay

We walked up the west cliffs for the view.

West Bay

Strolled on the beach and took a moment to admire the east side cliffs.

West Bay

A very impressive landscape indeed.

West Bay

Our next stop was Golden Cap. Now if you like impressive views, you will be in for a treat!

Golden CapGolden Cap

A short hike away from the car park, Golden Cap is the highest point on the Jurassic Coast and the highest point on the whole southern coast of England.

Golden CapGolden Cap

Having worked an appetite we stopped in Charmouth for a late lunch at The Bank House Cafe. If you go there, try the crab sandwich, it is great!

The Bank House Cafe Charmouth

We then wandered on the beach, watching people ‘fossil hunting’ (yes, it’s a thing).

Charmouth BeachCharmouth BeachCharmouth Beach

Unfortunately it started raining at that point so we cut our afternoon exploration a little short and headed back to Sidmouth for a little rest, tea and some cake at the Clock Tower restaurant (the slices of cakes are ridiculously big!)

The rain eventually stopped so we headed to Lyme Regis for dinner.

Lyme Regis

We first took the time to explore the town. The little streets are very charming, and a stroll on the beach is a must to see the colourful beach cabins.

Lyme Regis beach

We ended the evening at The Pilot Boat, an old school pub. We both went for fish and chips because why not?

Pilot Boat Lyme Regis

We woke up on our final day to the thickest fog… Not great knowing that we were supposed to go to some of the most scenic spots on the Jurassic Coast on that day. Having no other choices, we packed our bags and headed back toward London via the coast.

Our first, very brief, stop was Chesil Beach. It looked great, but the fog was so thick that we only briefly stopped to attempt to take some pictures.

Chesil Beach

Not impressed by the weather, we headed to our very final stop before London, Durdle Door.

The fog was thick, the hiking path awfully muddy, and we almost decided not to stop, but being there we thought we had to at least give it a go.

Durdle Door

After 15 minutes walking in the mist, only hearing the voices of people rather than seeing them, we finally reached the edge of the cliff.

Durdle Door

If it had been sunny, we would have been welcomed by the most stunning view. But sunny it wasn’t and views there weren’t.

Stubborn as we are, we decided to take the stairs to the beach. That could have ended in a disaster as the steps were so muddy and slippery that we almost fell off a few times.

Eventually we got there, and FINALLY we could see it! The great Durdle Door!

Durdle Door

It is a very impressive sight and the main lesson learned on this trip is that you should never let the British weather discourage you!

Durdle Door

Muddy and wet, we started our journey bag toward the big smoke with a swing to a pub for a warming lunch.

We arrived home our lungs full of fresh air and our bags full of laundry.

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Osaka and Nara – highlights

Another Japan video is live!

After our 2 days in Hiroshima, or next stop was Osaka where we spent 2 days as well. There is not many things to do in Osaka, so a day to explore the city centre is enough. You will see in the video below that we spent the first day exploring Osaka Castle and Dontobori, the city centre where you will find the famous Ebisu Bridge and the Glico Man sign.

On the second day, we headed out of the city to Nara, a public park famous for it’s huge temples and its roaming deer. We spent the day exploring the grounds and making new furry friends.

I will go into more details on all our Japan itinerary in a series of posts coming soon, in the meantime if you want to see more of our Japan trip, have a look at my Kyoto video and the Hiroshima one. Next stop, Tokyo! Chances are this video will be at least an hour long as I have sooooo much to show you!

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Katsukura – Kyoto, Japan

One of the most impressive places to visit in Kyoto is the train station. You read that right, the actual train station.

It is very famous for its impressive architecture rising to 15 floors. The building is a futuristic take on architecture by Hiroshi Hara, where, spread other many levels, you will find shops, train’s platforms and many, many, many restaurants.

Kyoto train station

Our hotel wasn’t too far from the station, so on our first day, after dropping our bags, we headed there to see the view of Kyoto and grab a bite to eat before heading to Fushimi.

Kyoto view from train station

Once at the top of the station and after taking multiple pictures of the view we headed to the restaurant area where we found Katsukura.

As you would have guessed by its name, Katsukura serves tonkatsu – aka breaded and fried meat. It was also one of our favourite meal in Japan!

Katsukura queue

The queue at the front can be quite long as it is a fairly popular place, but it moves very fast. You won’t hang around too long in Katsukura, being in the train station the service is very fast so you don’t miss your train!

Katsukura restaurant

Once seated you have the choice between various meats or fish tonkatsu, I went for the crab meat cream croquette and fillet cutlet. All are served with shredded cabbage, a miso soup and rice.

Katsukura sauce

One particular thing about Katsukura is the sauce making process. They are very proud of their sauces and you will be given several options to choose from at the table. You will then be given some sesame to ground yourself and mix with the sauce to create your preferred texture. We loved that entertaining step, it made us feel like we totally knew what we were doing (we didn’t).

Katsukura sesameKatsukura sauce

Once the sauce was ready the meal was served. The pork was juicy, the crab meat croquettes were creamy; it was a very satisfying lunch. It is a great option for Westerners,  as it felt like a more conventional meal with the meat and side of vegetable and rice.

Katsukura tonkatsuKatsukura restaurant

The perfect meal before hiking uphill at Fushimi!

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