My husband and I spent a few days in Tokyo in the spring of 2010. It was our first trip to Japan. We love to eat, but we were afraid that between an inability to speak Japanese, the scant few days of our visit, the length of our “must try” list, Tokyo’s nearly impossible to navigate street numbering system and multitude of subway lines, and general fatigue from jet lag, we would not make the best use of our time. When I found Mika’s website, I knew it was the answer to our dilemma - how to cram the most authentic Japanese eating into the shortest amount of time.

Before our trip, Mika and I corresponded about what we would like to eat, and she helped me narrow down our list to three places, which turned out to be the maximum amount that our afternoon and the size of our stomachs could handle. She always responded promptly to my e-mails and sent me the final itinerary well before our trip.

We arrived in Tokyo in the evening, and were ready for our culinary tour the following morning at 11:00. Mika met us at our hotel, bringing us a lovely gift of freshly made Japanese sweets. We enjoyed kushiage at an historical inn, handmade soba at a traditional inn, and a late afternoon snack of monjayaki. The restaurants were charming and the food superb! In between, Mika showed us how to navigate the Tokyo subway system, took us to visit a local shrine, and entertained us with all manner of interesting information about food and life in Tokyo. She recommended a terrific non-touristy unagi restaurant near our hotel for dinner (which was exactly what we wanted - and delicious!) My special interest is in school food, and Mika gathered a lot of information about school meals in Japan for me, even providing me with typical school lunch menus which she translated (did I mention that her English is impeccable?)

Our experience eating our way across Tokyo with Mika truly exceeded our expectations. If you want a unique perspective on Tokyo food, or if, like us, you want to cram in the most varied and authentic eating experiences in the shortest amount of time, you won’t find anyone better qualified to assist you than Mika Takaki.

-- Dana, San Francisco, CA