"For the past couple of years, Japan has become my destination of choice. Given any excuse or opportunity, I head to Japan and specifically to Tokyo. Prior to finalizing my reservations, the first thing I do is email Mika to see if she will be available during my visit. Once I adjusted the dates of my trip to accommodate her availability.
Mika has "guided" me around Tokyo on my last four visits. I can say with all honesty, I would not have found many of restaurants, nor experienced all of the various dishes had I been on my own. Tokyo has numerous amazing restaurants where one can eat both traditional and modern cuisine. Most of these places are very small, hard to find, only Japanese is spoken and there are no English menus. As a result, when I have spent time in Tokyo on my own, I always feel I missed out on some great opportunities. All these experiences with Mika have proved more rewarding, more educational and more fun. Plus, she is fluent in both Japanese and English which opens many doors and provides you insight into the culture.
When Mika was planning our itineraries, she worked closely with me to ensure we did everything I wanted. She also offered suggestions she thought I might find interesting. Not surprising, her suggestions proved to be the most interesting, unusual, as well eye opening from a cultural and culinary perspective. Whether we were eating the most delicate and flavorful kushiage, a dojo nabe, chicken sashimi or drinking small production sakes at a local izakaya or sitting on the floor on an old Edo style restaurant scraping tuna sashimi off the bone with a clam shell, these have always been the culinary highlights of my trips.
Writing this makes me look forward to my next visit to Tokyo."