Tokyo, Japan. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Destination: Japan

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Sake 101 — Tokyo Sake Tasting

Sake 101 — Tokyo Sake Tasting

We’ve always loved sake – since we used to hit the karaoke bars with friends in Sydney’s Kings Cross years ago. We wouldn’t think of eating Japanese food with anything but sake*, but, unlike wine, we knew very little about sake until recently. Being in...
Tokyo Take-Homes: Kitsch Keepsakes for Kids (and Big Kids)

Tokyo Take-Homes: Kitsch Keepsakes for Kids (and Big Kids)

My, how the souvenirs for kids sold in Tokyo have changed since my mother returned from Japan when I was a kid in the early ’70s, bringing back suitcases bursting with gifts. Then, my Mum brought me a beautiful white-faced geisha in a fragile glass...
Tsukiji Fish Markets, Tokyo: Part 2

Tsukiji Fish Markets, Tokyo: Part 2

After visiting the Tsukiji fish markets proper (see Part 1 of this post), our guide for the day, Tokyo foodie and sake expert, Etsuko Nakamura, takes us across the road for a wander around the outer market. “For me, this is just as interesting, if...
Taking Stock at Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo

Taking Stock at Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo

Although many of our readers seem to think we’re on a one-year round-the-world food odyssey rather than a grand tour of the globe, we just like visiting food markets and talking to chefs, waiters, restaurateurs, and food enthusiasts. All the same, I was ambivalent about...
Tokyo Take-Homes: Stationery Souvenirs

Tokyo Take-Homes: Stationery Souvenirs

Stationery makes a terrific souvenir, especially for long-term travellers, because it’s not only pretty, but it’s practical, affordable, and weighs nothing at all. I’m an incessant scribbler, so wherever I go, I’ll buy a few notebooks. Postcards also make a light souvenir for the kilo-conscious...
Demystifying Tokyo’s Pop Culture

Demystifying Tokyo’s Pop Culture

Evidence of Tokyo’s exuberant pop culture is everywhere we look: kids posing in the flamboyant costumes of their favourite manga characters; enormous posters advertising the latest anime release; colossal neon-lit department stores dedicated to comic books, video games and toys; girls wearing cheeky get-ups to...
Tokyo Take-Homes: Quintessential Keepsakes

Tokyo Take-Homes: Quintessential Keepsakes

Tokyo take-homes must be the most covetable in the world for travellers who appreciate beautiful things. I don’t need to give you ideas as to where to find lovely locally made mementoes, although it’s a task I’ve relished, as there’s no shortage of elegant shops selling enchanting souvenirs, or omiyage...
Why would you cook in Tokyo? A Guide to Where We Ate.

Why would you cook in Tokyo? A Guide to Where We Ate.

Tokyo is the first destination of our grand tour where I haven’t cooked. If you’ve been to Tokyo, you can probably appreciate why. If you haven’t, then read on… One of the huge advantages of staying in a holiday rental over a hotel is having...
Akasaka & Other Tokyo Neighbourhoods

Akasaka & Other Tokyo Neighbourhoods

As part of our quest to get beneath the skin of places we’re visiting, this year is about exploring neighbourhoods, rather that ticking off sights. We won’t be going to see the Imperial Palace (we visited it on our first trip years ago), just as...
Local Knowledge: Yuto from Tokyo

Local Knowledge: Yuto from Tokyo

Tokyo locals aren’t friendly, we’d heard. “They’re shy, so they won’t make an effort to speak to you,” said one person. “They’d rather you just go away, because they get embarrassed they don’t speak English,” said another. “They actually don’t want you here at all,”...
Tokyo Take-Homes: Supermarket Snack Food Souvenirs

Tokyo Take-Homes: Supermarket Snack Food Souvenirs

I don’t usually do a Take-Homes post until we’ve been in a place for a while, but Tokyo’s supermarkets and mini-marts are crammed with so many scrummy snack foods, both savoury and sweet, that I’ve found it hard to resist grabbing an armful each time...
Tokyo, Day 1: It’s Not Only About the Sushi

Tokyo, Day 1: It’s Not Only About the Sushi

Our first morning in Tokyo. At 10am in our jet-lagged Lost in Translation state of being, we grab a guidebook off the shelf in our Tokyo apartment to look for somewhere to eat an early lunch. We’d had an awesome meal the night before, our first...