For the Love of Soba in Hyogo

With great anticipation I arrive at the impeccable Hoshinoya ryokan in Kyoto, Japan, and head to dinner. Seated in front of the chef’s counter, my host welcomes me and begins to prepare fresh soba noodles, apparently just for me. Humbly checking if all is to my liking, my waitress asks, “Yoroshii desu ka?” as my eyes glaze over and my mind drifts back to a long ago memory…of soba. Continue reading “For the Love of Soba in Hyogo”

Where To DINE Now: Sushi Masaki Saito

How many sushi restaurants are there in Toronto? Thousands? How many would I recommend? I can count them on one hand. What we commonly think of as sushi, even when purported to be high end, is generally below the highest level. The same can even be said in Tokyo where there are 160 000 restaurants of which 230 are Michelin starred, and of those not all of them are Japanese or serve sushi. Most diners have no idea what the height of sushi can be. We simply have not been exposed to it—until now. Enter Sushi Masaki Saito. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Sushi Masaki Saito”

How to Live to 100

Japan has the longest life expectancy and the longest health expectancy in the world. There are reasons for this beyond genetics that have to do with simple lifestyle choices. Two such factors are what we’re told by Dr. Mom everyday: eat a proper balanced breakfast–the most important meal of the day–and exercise. Continue reading “How to Live to 100”

Family Friendly Travel in Japan

Beyond the temples and the tech, tourists heading to Japan often wonder what there is to do with their children. Well, there’s a lot. Family travel in Japan offers incredible opportunities that are totally unique and so much fun. Here are DINE’s recommendations. Continue reading “Family Friendly Travel in Japan”

International Farmer’s Markets

Food trails and markets have become the tastiest part of any travel experience. They are the places where we can really sink our teeth into a taste of place. Write up a new bucket list of farmer’s markets. Here are some of the most incredible ones to experience. Continue reading “International Farmer’s Markets”

Unique Japanese Hot Springs

Thermal waters that well up across Japan’s volcanic island arc discharge healing power. These luxurious baths reflect tradition and local pride, and attract tourism in droves. From Ibusuki in Kyushu to Noboribetsu in Hokkaido, we all have our favourites, each one boasting health benefits and beautiful settings. Here are three hot spring areas we’ve written about in DINE that offer unique experiences. Continue reading “Unique Japanese Hot Springs”

Yamagata Beef at Han No Daidokoro in Tokyo

In the world of Wagyu there are so many brands worth sampling. Tokyo has them all. Restaurants specialize in sourcing the best. On a recent visit, I check off another major luxury brand from my list: Yamagata-gyu. Continue reading “Yamagata Beef at Han No Daidokoro in Tokyo”