My love for Japan is real. The food, the culture, the architecture and design…everything just comes together so beautifully. On this particular trip around the globe, we only had time to visit Kyoto and Osaka.
Kyoto captivated me as it had on our first visit. The teppanyaki at Mizuki at the Ritz-Carlton, arranged by our friend at the Ritz, was incredible. The salad was beautiful. The lobster, prepared live on the spot, was some of the freshest and tastiest I’ve ever had.And the steak…Japanese beef is an a league of its own, and our chef at Mizuki prepared it to perfection. We had some great farm to table food, and enjoyed a trip to Nishiki Market. I love stocking up on spices there, and enjoying the fresh produce (especially the strawberries). We also had to stop for some delectable grilled prawns. Of course, there was the obligatory ramen stop.

 

 

 

 

My first visit to Osaka was a revelation. I love Tokyo, but Osaka is now my favorite large Japanese city. The lights of Dotonbori were something you have to see up close to fully appreciate. The castle is gorgeous. However, Osaka is really about the food, particularly the fantastic beef (although I also had some top notch sushi). 
 

 

 
 
Only in Southern Japan can you get delicious Kobe beef as street food… a return visit to Osaka cannot come soon enough.