Japan trip 2024: 11D10N in Yamagata, Sendai, Aizu Wakamatsu & Tokyo

  • Sumo

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Peak winter has gone and spring is approaching. March, especially early March is considered a good timing to travel to Tohoku region for some snow pleasure at a comforting temperature. Also, there is lesser chance of getting heavy snow storm which causes the haywire on train transportation. Well, there is still chance but lesser, I guess.

Are you ready for my itinerary? LOL
Well, for this round, we were with all the drinking-kaki(s), we made it to many whiskey distilleries, some sake breweries, and focus a lot on sake and whiskey and drinking. Most of the time, we were rushing for early trains and relied mostly on Konbini’s onigiri, sandwiches, titbits and liquid diet (LOL because some places we went has nothing to eat at all if past meal time).

Japan trip 2024: 11D10N in Yamagata, Sendai, Aizu Wakamatsu & Tokyo

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
InKL/ Tokyo
Tokyo/ YamagataYamagata / SendaiSendai
Fly with ANAKonbini Breakfast
Tsuki Café
Hotel Breakfast Konbini Breakfast
Zao RopewayYamagata > Ooishida Station > Ginzan Onsen
Kirin Beer Factory Sendai
LunchZao RopewayTanya Zenjirou
Narita > UenoZao Monsters
Yamagata Sake Museum
Kanamori Liquor Store 金森酒店
Shiawaseya Izakaya

Yamagata > Sendai
Tarajo Station > Matsushima Kaigan Station

Matsushima Bay (on Matsushima Cruise)
Nihachiya Shokudo 二八屋食堂

Zunda Saryo
Ramen Kamo to Negi 鴨 to 葱

Drink all you can in Sake Market
熟成焼肉 火煇 極 山形店

Sake night
やきとり専門 串鳥Soba Dokoro Marumatsu

Sake night
StayHotel Sunroute “Stella” UenoComfort Hotel YamagataHotel Vista SendaiHotel Vista Sendai


Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8
InSendai/ Aizu Wakamatsu
Aizu WakamatsuAizu Wakamatsu/ TokyoTokyo
Konbini BreakfastHotel Breakfast Hotel Breakfast Komeda Coffee
Sendai Morning Market

Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery
Mount Iimoriyama
Sazaedo Pagoda
Tsuruga Castle
Teahouse Rinkaku
Tsurugajo Kaikan
Aizu wakamatsu > Koriyama > UenoKoami Shrine
Lunch喜多方ラーメン専門店 喜鈴 城前店Kaiten-sushi Nemuro Hanamaru
Konbini Tea Time

Sendai > Koriyama > Aizu Wakamatsu
Aizu Miyaizumi Sake Brewery
Mitsutaya 满田屋
Suehiro Sake Brewery
デジタル田園酒場 かんます
Noguchi Hideyo Seishun Street
Aizu Shurakukan Watanabe Shouta Shoten
Ichigo Afternoon Tea in The Artist’s Café, Tokyo Dome Hotel

Shibuya 109
Tokyo Station
Mitsukoshi Ginza
Ginza SIX
Nakamura Tokichi

Whiskey night
Konbini Dinner

Sake night
Kushiyaki Meatman Shibuya焼肉一心たん助 旦 有楽町

Aloha Whisky
StayAizuwakamatsu Washington HotelAizuwakamatsu Washington HotelAPA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi ekimaeAPA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi ekimae


Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12
InTokyo/ YamanashiTokyo/ GotembaTokyoBack to KL 🙁
Konbini BreakfastKonbini BreakfastTruffle Bakery Hiroo
Blue Bottle Hiroo
Shinjuku > Kobuchizawa Station

Suntory Hakushu Whisky
Ueno > Kozu Station > Gotemba Station

Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery
Hiroo Walking Street
Lunch丸政そば 小淵沢店18½ Steakhouse GotembaSushidan
Kobuchizawa Station > Shinjuku

Gotemba Premium Outlet Azabudai Hill
IntertWine KxM
Maguro Mart 自家製麺 甚PORT-SIDE KITCHEN by Grill Mantensei Azabu Juban
StayAPA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi ekimaeAPA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi ekimae


1. Slurp down a bowl of comforting ramen in Kamo to Negi

First things first, a comforting bowl of ramen from Ramen Kamo to Negi after dropping our luggage in the hotel. This place has been in my list for the longest time, we were pretty lucky the queue was not too long that evening. There were only around 10 pax queueing in front of us. Luck was on our side. We got to down a real good bowl of duck ramen.

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Ramen Kamo to Negi
6 Chome-4-15 Ueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan

2. Drink-All-You-Can in Sake Market

This gotta the place for those who enjoy drinking and appreciate sake! A place for you to get to try out more variety of sake that comes from different prefectures, different brands and different types of sake, at a very affordable price. Aside from sake, they offer fruit wine, umeshu, shochu, beer, sours and soft drinks too!

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The available drink-all-you-can courses are such as 30 mins, 90 mins and unlimited time. We took the 30 minutes’ course that is priced at ¥ 1,500 and we managed to sample a few great one at the limited time course. As I recalled, each of us managed to sample around 10 glasses. Wish we could do it all night long but too bad; we had a train to catch early in the morning.

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SAKE MARKET Akihabaraten
HULIC & New AKIHABARA 10階, 4 Chome−4−2,
Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 〒101-0021, Japan

3. Ride on the bullet train!

We activated our JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass that is priced at 35,000 and hopped on the first ride with the Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa that departs from Ueno Station. It took about two and a half hours to get to Yamagata Station.

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Reason behind we chose this pass was because we need 6 days coverage throughout our Tohoku region hops (though we didn’t go up to Hokkaido). Please be reminded, all Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa required a reserved ticket to board the train. Remember to do it at the ticket office.

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This is not our bullet train. This bullet train travels up to Aomori and Akita.

4. Morning Coffee in Tsuki Café

A morning dose needed after our early morning train ride in order to freshen up our soul. We spotted this Tsuki Café nearby our hotel. They serve home roasted specialty coffee and homemade sweets. Located very near to the station, it serves a great place for travellers to stop by for a cuppa. Best of all, they open as early 7.30 am on weekdays!

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Tsuki Café
3 Chome-3-3 Kasumicho, Yamagata, 〒990-0039, Japan

5. Hopped into the winter wonderland up here at Zao Ropeway

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Here we went up to the Zao Ropeway!!

We took the ropeway from Zao Sanroku Station (the base) up to Juhyo Kogen Station (about 7 mins’ ride). From here, we changed into cable car and it took us up to the Jizo Sancho Station which is located at 1,661 meter above sea level. The journey took another 10minutes. The return ticket for the both ropeway and cable car cost ¥ 3,800.

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Getting here:
Take the bus from Yamagata Station to Zao Onsen Terminal, the journey takes about 45 minutes on bus at ¥ 1,000 per way. Zao Ropeway Sanroku Base Station is about 10 minutes’ walk away from Zao Onsen Bus Terminal.

Zao Ropeway
229-3, Zaoonsen, Yamagata, 〒 990-2301, Japan

6. Observed the Snow Monsters along the cable car ride and up at the peak!

This is a special phenomenon whereby the trees are all glazed with layers of snow and ice, making them into fluffy cute looking monsters. This is caused by the heavy winter storm where the winter storm splashes on the trees and freeze immediately. You can get this view during the cable car and also at the peak!

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7. Sake tasting in Yamagata Sake Museum

Here is the place where you can learn and taste the Yamagata’s sake! The Yukemuri Bar Tsumami’s sake menu has got sake from 49 sake breweries in Yamagata Prefecture! Yes, you are able to taste all the special from these sake breweries under one roof!

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Yamagata Sake Museum
951 Zao Onsen, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata

8. Eat Yamagata-gyu (beef)!!

We researched and picked up this KAKI Kiwami that is located very close to our hotel. KAKI Kiwami offers carefully selected premium “Kuroge-wagyu beef” yakiniku. So, aside from Yamagata beef, we also tried the Yonezawa beef. They have a variety of rare cuts to offer too!

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KAKI Kiwami
2 Chome-5-3 Kasumicho, Yamagata, 〒 990-0039, Japan

9. Drowned into this beautiful small town – Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen is a very small onsen town nestled deep in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. It is a very scenic little town and famous for its snow-cap views especially during winter time, the bathhouses and ryokans are covered with snow.

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Gas lit street lamps, wooden bridge that brings you across to the ryokan, these reminded me of the scenes in the famous animated fantasy film Spirited Away. It gotta be super romantic during the evening time where area is illuminated by the street lamps.

Getting here: Take train from JR Yamagata Station to JR Oishida Station (about 50minutes on local train, 30 minutes on shinkansen). Then take the bus from Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen, priced at 1,000 per way and the journey takes about 35 minutes.

TIPS: Try to avoid visiting on Wednesdays as many shops are on rest day.

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10.Savour the Yamagata specialty food

Besides Yonezawa beef and Yamagata beef, we also tried out another yamagata’s specialty food – Imoni Stew. We randomly found one izakaya – Shiawaseya Izakaya that is located nearby the station offering this Imoni Stew. Imoni is a traditional Tohoku stew, made of taro, beef, and several vegetables simmered in broth. It is very comforting type of stew with soft powdery taro that has absorbed all the essence from the broth.

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Getting here:
About 2 minutes’ walk from JR Yamagata Station

Shiawaseya Izakaya
1-14-2, Kasumicho, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata, 〒 990-0039, Japan

11. Feast on a yakitori supper

Beer/ highball and yakitori are always best friends! Best supper ever with beer and yakitori, lots of them! Randomly picked up this やきとり専門 串鳥 that was looking really tempting as we passed by.

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やきとり専門 串鳥
Kushidori Sendai Station East Exit
1 Chome-6-1 Tsutsujigaoka, Miyagino Ward,
Sendai, Miyagi 〒 983-0852, Japan

12. Learn about Kirin Beer in Kirin Ichiban Brewery Sendai Factory

Get in depth education about what makes the Kirin Beer so umai (delicious)! We signed up this KIRIN ICHIBAN Brewery Tour that is priced at ¥ 500 per person, we were taught about the secret of the premium flavours of KIRIN ICHIBAN and experienced it through our five senses.

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Getting here:
Take train from Sendai Station to Tagajo Station on JR Senseki Line. There is free shuttle bus at Platform 3, at the south exit of Tarajo Station. This free shuttle bus will take you to the Kirin Ichiban Brewery Sendai Factory at scheduled time.

Kirin Sendai Brewery
2-2-1 Minato, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken 〒 983-0001

13. Savour the Sendai’s specialty food – Gyutan

One must not leave Sendai without savouring the specialty dish over here – Gyutan (beef tongue), sliced and grilled over the charcoal fire. I tried once earlier in Tanya Zenjirou たんや善治郎 and it was amazingly delicious. The grilled beef tongues were extremely springy and bouncy in its lightly shio-ed (salted) flavour. This round, we have more pax this trip so we got to try more variety! Full review up soon (I promise!).

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14. Go on boat ride on Matsushima Bay

Matsushima is one of the Nihon Sankei (Three Views of Japan), featuring the pine-clad islands of Matsushima. The best way to enjoy the scenic Matsushima Bay is by boat. We hopped on the sightseeing boats that took us around Matsushima Bay at the designated route for about 50 minutes, priced at ¥ 1,000 per pax.

Getting here:
Take train to Matsushimakaigan Station on JR Senseki Line, Matsushima Bay Sightseeing Boat Pier is about 6 minutes’ walk from the station.

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15. Eat ZUNDA!

Zunda is another specialty food in Sendai, made from edamame beans into coarse form of paste, that is lightly sweeten and make them into Zunda Shake (milk shake), Zunda Mochi, and Zunda Dango and many others Zunda snacks.

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We had our Zunda Shake and Zunda Mochi from Zunda Saryo in Sendai Station. This place is forever on long queue!

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Getting here:
仙台駅 3F Japan, 1 Chome−1−1, Central , Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi, 〒980-0021

16. Check out the Sendai Asaichi (Morning Market)

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Known as Sendai’s Kitchen and lines with fresh seafood and fish, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits, a place where the locals will head over for fresh goods. We noticed it was quite bustling with crowds even on a drizzling morning.

Getting here:
About 5 minutes’ walk from JR Sendai Station

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17. Cheers in Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery Sendai

Stamping our first whisky distillery this trip here in Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery! We joined the Distillery Guided Tour that took place for about 60 minutes which included viewing of production process and tasting. We also managed to sample a few of the aged ones at the Tasting Bar (at own fee)!

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I noticed that there are some changes in this facility as compared to my previous visit here in 2018. The reception area and the visitor center has a new look, gift shop and tasting bar are renovated too.

TIPS: Entrance Fee is FOC but you are required to make reservation online, do check it out on their website.

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Getting here:
From Sendai, take the train on JR Senzan Line to Sakunami Station. There is free shuttle bus service at scheduled time. The bus ride from the station takes about 5 minutes ride JR Sakunami Station to the facility.

Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery
1番地 Nikka, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi 〒 989-3433, Japan

18. Explore the Samurai City – Aizu Wakamatsu

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Unlocking another new prefecture by visiting this Samurai City – Aizu Wakamatsu, situated in Fukushima Prefecture. This place is truly a gem that with hidden beauties and well preserved cultures, famous for its traditional crafts, lacquerware and local sake.

Getting here:
From Sendai, take shinkansen to Koriyama Station (about 35 minutes); then hop on to rapid train on JR Ban-Etsusai Line for Aizuwakamatsu (The journey takes about 1hour 10minutes).

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19. Visit to Sazaedo Temple

Built in 1796, Sazaedo is a Buddhist temple with a very unique architecture. From the outside, it is looking like a pagoda. The inside is structured with a double helix slope where by you will not bump into people coming up from opposite direction! How interesting!

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Also, it was super, extremely magical at time of my visit! It was snowing. Soft, gentle snow fluttering down from the sky, very angelic and hit onto the tree, the roof and the ground. I wish I could really describe how it was through words, but words really unable to describe this memory that has imprinted in my brain. Too pretty over here and I took quite a bit of time to stroll around.

Getting here:
From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, take the Aizu Loop Bus and get off at Mount Iimori.

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20. Check out the Tsuruga Castle – the Japan’s only castle with red tiled roofs

Tsuruga Castle is one of the Japan’s most famous 100 castles. It is the only castle with red tiled roof in Japan. The castle we get to see nowadays is the reconstructed of the original castle as the original one was destroyed during the war in olden days.

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The castle is now opened as a museum. There is exhibition inside the castle, and also the history of castle and the samurai lifestyle. You can learn about Aizu Wakamatsu in detail and it is really interesting. Do not miss out the top of the castle tower too as you can enjoy the picturesque panoramic view from the top!

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Also, do spend some time to stroll at the Tsuruga Castle Park and have a matcha and wagashi in Rinkaku Teahouse. If you are here at the right season, you will get to see the cherry blossom at the castle park.

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Entrance fee:
¥ 520 for both entrance into Tsurugajo and RINKAKU Tea House
¥ 600 for Matcha and wagashi in the Tea House

Getting here:
From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, take the Aizu Loop Bus and get off at Tsurugajo Kitaguchi. The Castle area is about 5 minutes’ walk from the bus stop.

21. Ichigo Afternoon Tea in Tokyo Dome Hotel

Met my Japanese ともだち for an afternoon tea here in THE ARTIST’S CAFÉ, high up at 33rd floor in Tokyo Dome Hotel where one can also enjoy the panoramic view of Tokyo along with delicious treats! The afternoon tea spread here was seriously very good, from savouries to sweets, all were really well prepared! It was the strawberry season and we were pampered with all the strawberries on the sweets. . The scone was buttery and flaky. Savouries were so good I wish I could encore.

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Great Tokyo’s view up here at 33rd floor!

Tokyo Dome Hotel
1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo City,
Tokyo 112-8562, Japan

22. Eat Kushiyaki in クシヤキ肉男Meat Man

Unable to get a table at Jomon Roppongi (because dunno how to make reservation), here we were at the Kushiyaki MEATMAN which is also operating under the same umbrella as Jomon. Kushiyaki MEATMAN is truly a hidden gem at this very suspicious-looking area “Shibuya Hyakkendana”. I am the first timer to this area and it gave me a lot of question marks in my mind when I walked following the map (LOL).

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With its name, one can easily understand that they serve kushiyaki or grilled skewers, which is one of their specialty dishes. Do ask the staff for the day’s recommendation too, you may find a lot of surprises! Not forgetting a glass of their fancy sparkling with fruits and some draft beers to go with the grilled skewers! (Full review up soon)!

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Getting here:
About 6 minutes’ walk from Shibuya 109, located behind this slope with an arch writing “shibuya Hyakkendana”.

クシヤキ肉男Meat Man
1階, 2 Chome−20−10, Dogenzaka,
Shibuya City, Tokyo, 〒150-0043, Japan
Opens from 5pm to 11.30pm
Closed on Mondays

23. Random pit stop for sakura!

We spotted some sakura blooms and it was our cousin’s first view on sakura, we decided to make a pit stop while heading to our next destination. Enjoyed a short moment with sakura and took some photos.

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24. Pray in Koami Shrine

A shrine that is famous for protecting from evil and good luck with money! So don’t be surprise if you see a long queue over here, even as early as 9 in the morning. Aside from locals, you will find travellers are here following the steps to bow and pray. Then one may wash their money in the money washing well. It is believed that if you wash the money and keep the money inside your wallet, it will improve your money luck!

Before leaving, spot the cute smiling “Fukurokujyu” statue, pat its head, it is said to bring you good health and good luck!

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Getting here:
It is about a 5 minutes’ walk from Ningyocho Station on the Tokyo Metro

Koami Shrine
16-23 Nihonbashikoamicho, Chuo City,
Tokyo 103-0016, Japan

25. Eat Kaiten sushi!

Kaitenzushi Nemuro Hanamaru is a popular kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) situated up here in KITTE. Comes from Nemuro, Hokkaido, Hanamaru offers Hokkaido-style sushi made of fresh seasonal fish products mainly from Nemuro.

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Ikura, chutoro, natto okra, saba, scallops, sujiko… All are at very fresh quality and tasty. Also, wallet friendly and won’t break your bank. The sushi are determined by the colours of their plates, price ranging from ¥ 165 to ¥ 600+.

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The store opens at 11am but we were already on the queue at that time. Just be sure to come early and grab your ticket number and wait to be seated. Or you can walk around the area and do some shopping before your turn.

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All so good swimming in our tummies.

Kaitenzushi Nemuro Hanamaru KITTE Marunouchi
7番2号 5F JPタワ, 2 Chome, Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, 〒100-7005 Japan

26. Matcha and everything matcha in Nakamura Tokichi

From Uji, Kyoto to Tokyo, Nakamura Tokichi is the popular tea specialist that offers a full menu matcha related items and that includes their soba and udon!!!

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It was for an afternoon tea, we went for their desserts and we were all spoilt with choices! There were tea jelly, matcha soft serve, macha mochi, parfait, and some limited edition in store. Come here with more pax so that you get to order a few of them to share them together!

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Complementary tea is served once seated. You can also bring them home from the merchandise area at the front of the store.

If you are traveling to Uji, check out some of the things to do over here .

Getting here:
Nakamura Tokichi is located inside Ginza Six, 4th floor.

Nakamura Tokichi
GINZA SIX 4F, 6 Chome−10−1, Ginza, Chuo City, 〒104-0061, Tokyo, Japan

27. All-you-can-eat in Isshin Tansuke

If you love gyutan, you love yakiniku and you love All-you-can-eat, here is the place for you! Isshin Tansuke is a popular yakiniku place, specialised in Sendai Gyutan (beef tongue)! Priced at only ¥ 5,980 (exclude tax), for this 100 minutes, you will get unlimited order of gyutan and premium beef to be on your grill! We had numerous orders of the gyutan and beef! Their gyutan and hamburg were all super WOW!

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We also top up for the All-you-can-drink! How can you not beer or highball when eating yakiniku?! We had the premium drink-all-you-can that is priced at ¥ 1,580 (exclude tax). You can get the Suntory Japanese Ale draft beer from this premium All-you-can-eat, while their standard course that is priced at ¥ 1,280 (exclude tax) comes without the draft beer.

TIPS: reservation is highly recommended, which can perform online!

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焼肉一心たん助 旦 有楽町
1F, Orchid Square, 1 Chome−2−11, Yurakucho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, 〒100-0006, Japan

28. More whiskies in Aloha Whisky Bar

Located in Ikebukuro, Aloha Whisky Bar is a quaint little bar that offers great wide selections of whisky, with over 600+ whiskies from around the world! If you have no idea where to start and which to pick, ask the friendly bar owner David! Expect yourself to find some rare gems and surprises inside here! I was surprised by a few drams I have tried! Cheers!

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Getting her:
Aloha Whisky Bar is about 7 minutes’ walk from the West Exit of Ikebukuro Station, just across the street at exit C3.

Aloha Whisky Bar
3F泉ビル, 3 Chome−29−11, Nishiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo, 〒171-0021 Japan

29. A taste on harmony in Suntory Hakushu Distillery

Activated our second pass! This is also the main reason we bought the JR Tokyo Wide Area Pass – to Suntory Hakushu Distillery that is located in Yamanashi, about 2 hours train ride away from Tokyo.

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It is a lot harder to get an entry for the paid tour now because everything is done in lottery basis. You have to enter for the lottery at selected date when it is opened. Pay the fee online when you got your result and get ready for the tour! We were lucky to score the seats for the Monozukuri Tour and Tasting. Very very lucky because it was super hard to get one! We also entered the slot for our preferred Monozukuri Premium Tour and Tasting but we couldn’t get that. Sobz. You may read on my previous experience to Suntory Hakushu Distillery , dated 2019.

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The Monozukuri Tour and Tasting is priced at ¥ 3,000 and takes time about 90 minutes. We got to visit the production area, enjoy the scent and sound of the distillery. At the end of the tour, we were to taste the Hakushu Single Malt Whisky and we were taught how to make the Hakushu Forest Highball! We then take home the Hakushu Original Tasting Glass as souvenir!

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Getting here:
Take JR Limited Express “Azusa” from Shinjuku Station to Kobuchizawa Station. The journey is about 120minutes. There is free shuttle bus service at scheduled time. The journey is about 10 to 15 minutes on the bus to the facility.

Suntory Hakushu Whiskey Distillery
2913-1 Torihara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture
Operating hours: 9.30am to 4.30pm

30. Omakase Tuna Feast in Maguro Mart

O-M-G!! This is one of the best meals we had in our trip! It is everything about tuna in Maguro Mart. We went straight to their Luxurious 8 dishes Course that is priced at ¥ 3,980 per pax at time I made the reservation. It was truly an amazing dinner with different parts of tuna, tuna sashimi, simmered tuna, tuna on rice, tuna tempura and lastly the wonderful “Nakaochi” served with sushi rice and nori.

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That was the tuna on bone where you have to scrap the leftover tuna meat on its bone and make your own tuna roll!

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We were all loaded and stuffed and went out hugging our tummy. Too good and great experience with the friendly service from the kitchen crew! Will definitely be back again for their Standard 7 dishes course that is priced at only ¥ 3,280 per pax (cannot be so greedy liao! LOL).

TIPS: Reservation is highly required! You may do it on TableCheck a month in advance.

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Maguro Mart
5 Chome-50-3 Nakano, Nakano City, Tokyo 〒 164-0001, Japan

31. Tasting on Fuji Whisky overlooking Mt Fuji!

One last distillery visitation during our trip, here we were to Fuji Gotemba Distillery that is set at the foot of Mount Fuji! Blessed with the lush forest nature, high purity of air, and filtered and purified underground water over 50 years at the foot of Mount Fuji, and along with skilful whiskey skills, they create very unique and refined whiskeys. And get to know that Fuji Gotemba Distillery is the only distillery in Japan that produces various flavours types of grain whiskeys by three different distillation methods.

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The distillery tour is about 80 minutes. It is priced at ¥ 500 per pax. At the end of the tour, we were able to taste the 2 whiskeys -the Fuji Single Grain Japanese Whisky and Riku Non-Chilled Filter which is then made into highball; and paired with chocolate.

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Okay, I bought their glass again. Too pretty not to buy right?!

I really like how all the whisky distillery tours in Japan showcase their impressive projection mapping video in their own mini theatre (photos or video are strictly not allowed). Very impressive story telling video/ animation. Fuji Gotemba Distillery’s one wow-ed me a lot.

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Hello, Fuji san <3
A close view with Mt Fuji here in Fuji Gotemba Distillery!

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Getting here:
Take train to Gotemba Station, the hop on the free shuttle bus at the scheduled time table. The journey takes about 20minutes’ bus ride to the facility from the station.

Fuji Gotemba Distillery
970 Shibanta, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0003, Japan

32. Shop till you drop in Gotemba Premium Outlets!

Gotemba Premium Outlets is the largest premium outlets in Japan which holds many international brands as well as local brands. Complete you trip with some shopping here in Gotemba Premium Outlets. You may also get the view of Mount Fuji from here too!

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Do you know that their new phase 3 at the Hill Side has now open! There are more retails and restaurants to check out!

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There is free shuttle bus in between Gotemba Station (Gotemba Station Otome-guchi Exit bus stop No.2) and Gotemba Premium Outlets (West Zone bus terminal bus stop No.1).

Gotemba Premium Outlets
1312, Fukasawa, Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka, Japan, 〒 412-0023, Japan

33. Slurp up one last ramen dinner in自家製麺 甚

Spotted this newly opened homemade ramen shop nearby our hotel. We decided to give a try! I love my bowl of limited time only Niboshi Chuka ramen, with the soup broth made of dried sardines, it gave a clean and clear soup but umami-packed. Very hearty and comforting too! And I must highlight one thing, the thin slice chashu was soft and tender and another slice of chicken breast was super smooth and tender!

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Getting here:
About 2 minutes’ walk from Tawaramachi Station, on Ginza Line.

自家製麺 甚
1 Chome-7-2 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan

34. Get a truffle shio pan from Truffle Bakery

I am a big fan of shio pan and I must include one bun in my list but of course we bought more than a bun! LOL. Since we were in Hiroo, I decided to run into this Truffle Bakery that is located above the Hiroo Station. One can easily inhale the freshly baked goods’ scent when climbing up the staircase! Just follow your nose!

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Tried their White Truffle Salt Bread (¥ 248) which I find it really good! Chewy, fluffy and hinted with a soft truffle scent. So love it! I even tapao-ed them home for my family members. And well, each pax is limited to 2 units only.

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We tried the Spicy Curry Pain (¥ 430) too. Its size was a little small considering this price to pay for. But boy… it was sooooo delicious. The curry was soooo aromatic!

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Getting here:
The nearest station is Hiroo Station

Truffle Bakery Hiroo
ナガツビル1階, 5 Chome−15−16, Minamiazabu,
Minato City, Tokyo, 〒106-0047, Japan

35. Chill with a cuppa in Blue Bottle Coffee

Morning dose needed and here we ended up in Blue Bottle Coffee, right across the road opposite Truffle Bakery. I guess Blue Bottle Coffee need no further introduction. Good coffee good vibe here inside this café. We took a short time to enjoy good coffee and great conversation here.

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Blue Bottle Coffee Hiroo
GEMS広尾 1F A区画, 5 Chome−4−16, Hiroo,
Shibuya City, Tokyo, 〒150-0012 Japan

36. A stroll at Hiroo Walking Street

Hiroo is a quiet neighbourhood that is filled with insta-worthy trendy café. We took a stroll at Hiroo Walking Street just to burn off some calories before our next reserved meal in 20minutes time. Wish I could have more time to check it out this area. Maybe next time!

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37. One great sushi meal before we leave

Always keep one of the best to the last. We had a great sushi meal in Sushi Dan. Ordered their Omakase Kuro that is priced at ¥ 5,800 and comes with 12 pieces of nigiri and miso soup. Great sushi meal that won’t break your bank. Of course we paired our sushi with their recommended sake! One carafe each!

TIPS: you can make reservation on booking.ebica

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Getting here:
Located inside EAT PLAY WORKS, behind Blue Bottle Coffee Hiroo.

1F EAT PLAY WORKS, 5 Chome−4−16, Hiroo, Shibuya City, Tokyo, 〒150-0012 Japan

38. Nihonshu everywhere we go!

Like I said, this was a trip with drinks and drinks and drinks. We are a group of five who love Nihonshu and whisky. So everywhere we went, we tried and we hunted for good bottles of nihonshu.

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We even dropped off the latest insta-spot in Azabudai Hill in exchange for the time to enjoy savour great bottles! LOL.

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Also… sake cups on the go! Kept a sake cup in our knapsacks and then took it out when needed!

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