Talking about travel tour, there alway a set route in my mind. (Get up super early in the morning, get on the bus, get off, rashly take some photos, go use the bathroom and get back on the tour bus). Probably no one likes it. But sometimes it is kind of makes our life easier when you travel to a country that you totally don't understand their culture or language.
Recently I found Arigato Japan, which is a company that hosts food tours mainly in Tokyo, as well as Osaka and Kyoto. I checked the website of Arigato Japan, which brings me some interests about how they actually run the tour, so I decide to join one.
After the first local food experience, we went to a shop that sells Kagoshima local food, we tried some fish cake. It tastes really good even its cold. In Tokyo, you can find lots of different shops that selling different part of Japan's local food, such as the one we went to, and Kumamoto shop in Ginza. All the food there is directly transported from local farm and shops. In front of the shop, I never know there is a small park that has famous stars hand print. If I didn't join this tour, I think I will miss this cool place.
I can't believe we actually walked 2 stations from Yurakucho to Shinbashi. Shinbashi is one of the oldest train station in Tokyo, around the station, it is called salary man's heaven. Because there are hundreds of izakayas, restaurants around that area. The guide took us into a building near, by the station, it feels like build in 80's or 90's very old style. Most of the shop already closed on the ground floor, she took us to the B1 floor, I never know there are so many small izakayas under the building. That is so cool! Most of them are salarymen after work and having a drink with their colleagues. You can feel the building has some histories, but it still very clean and organised.
I will never there is another "world" inside a old building. I definetly will go back there and try some izakaya.
The food tour I choose is an evening walking food tour starting from Yurakucho, then walking to Ginza, finally finish at Shinbashi area. I have been to those areas before, but different as go by yourself, the people who leading the tour will give you an idea about cultures behind each area, and how to eat traditional food. Japan has so many manners that you better pay attention to during your trip.
There are lots of traditional Japanese restaurants, izakayas (Japanese style pub) under the JR line. I won't tell you the reason why just like a movie review that never tells people the whole story. Save that surprise for your own trip with Arigato Japan food tour. Around Yurakucho area, we went to eat Yakitori, which is a kind of BBQ style dish. If you think about Japanese food is sushi, actually, compare with sushi, I think yakitori is the most popular food in Japanese daily life. Yaki means BBQ in Japanese, tori means chicken, but yakitori also including a variety of meat and vegetables.
The second area is Ginza. We walking pass the Japanese oldest watch company Seiko building, experienced the department underground floor (selling well-packed food), check out the most expensive fruits shop (which I will never go inside by myself). Then we end up at an restaurant near the end of the main Ginza street. The restaurant has their own farm, so all the ingredients they use is from there, taste super healthy and fresh. The will change their menu seasonally, so you won't eat the same food in the whole year, you will get an experience of seasonal food during a period. This is another thing I love about Japan.
After the dinner, we walking towards our final stop of the tour. On the way, the last food of the day is Taiyaki - traditional Japanese sweets. I tried custard one, it tasted so good! This is the most delicious taiyaki so far! The guide said that we aren't suppose eating and walking on the street in Japan.
The tour finished after we experienced this kind of cool place. Generally, I like the way that Arigato Japan organise the food tour. As a tourist, I probably won't think about go to those local izakayas for dinner, also won't know there is an izakaya heaven under a normal building. Also, I won't know the history about each place and food. I really enjoy this tour with Arigato Japan, I highly recommended people who planning come to visit Japan or even people who living in Japan but want to have some different experience.