In Japanese, frogs make the ‘kero kero’ sound (ribbit ribbit essentially). So in a cute word play, one of Gero’s symbolic animal is the frog–‘gero gero!’ Our second day in Gero was mostly spent exploring the town’s various stores for local snacks–a very worthy endeavor if you’re a foodie because there are endless things to try! We woke up to clouds rolling in from the mountains and some light rain, but fear not since our ryokan had already prepared for us large umbrellas for our day of exploration. As we made our way towards town, I think the prettiest thing about Gero is how it’s nestled between mountains and still retains much of its traditional small shops look. Of course, we had in mind a couple of things we wanted to eat and buy so without further ado, I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story! (Tip #4 Do not miss Hida Beef buns, ‘gyu-man,’ because meat buns don’t get better than this!)
Ginza is the glitzy face of Tokyo with gorgeous buildings like the Ginza Mitsukoshi and Wako Department Store’s Hattori clock tower built by the founder of Seiko. Iconic upscale shopping is one reason why Ginza attracts such an large crowd, but after dining at Kakiyasu this week, I’m convinced Ginza also has phenomenal food hidden in its many glamorous buildings. Kakiyasu 柿安 is a 140 years old traditional Japanese restaurant, renowned for its sukiyaki (すき焼き). If you love sweet and savory together, sukiyaki is the ultimate hot pot of comfort food–especially since Kakiyasu uses the highest grade of Matsusaka Beef (black haired Japanese wagyu). With my cousin Joseph in town this weekend, I thought a traditional Japanese meal in an iconic Tokyo area should not be missed. Although Joseph could easily enjoy a ramen burger and an ice cold ginger ale for lunch, when in Tokyo do as classy Tokyoites do right?