By Aya Leslie
Special to Frolic Hawaii
Aya Leslie is a Los Angeles native who enjoys great food and Crossfit workouts. Working in restaurants for many years exposed her to different ingredients and preparations, deepening her interest in trying new things and cooking at home. Check her out on Instagram (@aya.leslie) to see her restaurant meals, prepared dinners and Crossfit personal records.
Editor’s note: After we were mesmerized by the sizzling sukiyaki of Kyoto, we asked Aya Leslie, whose mom is from Nagoya, to show us some of the other restaurants Japanese locals frequent during her 10-day trip to Kyoto, Kanazawa and Tokyo.
Warabi Mochi from Arashiyama
Address: 616-8385 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, ２０
Tip: Must try the “wet” warabi mochi.
Maiko Henshin Studio Shiki
Address:605-0826 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Masuyachō
Tip: Must dress up as a Japanese bride or as a maiko. Fun experience to do with a group of girlfriends or your significant other.
Nodoguro sushi from Kanazawa
Address: Tamagawa Ekimae Bldg 1F, 5-5 Konohanamachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0852
Tip: Must try the nodoguro sushi or nodoguro sashimi.
Janice Wong Dessert Bar at NEWoMan Shinjuku
Address: 151-0051, Tokyo Prefecture, 5-24-55 Sendagaya | NEWoMan Shinjuku 2F Ekisoto, Shinjuku
Tip: Must try the cassis bomb and for a refreshing mocktail, must try the Garbera with non-alcoholic sparking wine, guava, and cherry syrup.
Address: 102-0093 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Chiyoda-ku Hirakawachō, 2 Chome-5-5
Tip: Must try the Szechwan mapo tofu.
Address: 100-0041 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Nagatachō, 2 Chome-2-10-3 Tokyu Capitol Tower 1st Floor
Tip: Must try the set course menu.
Ramen in Shibuya
Shibuya Sanchoume Ramen
Address: 3-13-9 Shiuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tip: Must try the ramen with mentaiko, chaahan (fried rice) and gyoza. You can choose the richness of your soup (light to heavy,) as well as the texture of the noodles (soft, al dente, or hard.)
Soba making in Jiyugaoka
Address: to be revealed with reservation
Tip: They can accommodate small groups of four maximum. The teacher can’t speak English, so if you don’t speak Japanese, you’ll have to take a translator with you.
Overflowing ikura and izakaya in Ginza
Address: 104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 3 Chome-3-11-11 Entry Hall Ⅱ B1F
Tip: Must try the ikura bowl, you get to choose between a small bowl and a large bowl. (Small bowl is videoed, we shared it amongst 6 people.)