• Japan is a wonderful country, it has an extremely refined culture and civilisation. Its hospitality is well appreciated and renowned around the world, but there is one thing they do get wrong: why make the guests staying at their hotels pay an extra charge to use the hotel's swimming pool?


    We had this bad and inconvenient experience during our stay at the Prince Shinagawa Tokyo hotel and the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima hotel on May 5th 2019, where we had to pay 1680 Yen (13,60 Euros) per person every time we wanted to use the swimming pool. We find this pratice scandalous and not very business smart from the hotel chains since we are clients and gold members of their hotel chains. 

    We inquired about this practice with the manager of the conciergerie at the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima to try to unsderstand the policy but he could not give any acceptable answer and seemed embarrassed by the situation.


    At the end, we still do not know whether this is a policy dictated by the Japanese government or the hotel management itself.


    We really wish that this "out to date" practice and bad policy will end one day, so that our future stay in Japan's hotels can be more pleasant and enjoyable.


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  •  

    At Littleboboon, we pride ourselves in carefully selecting our restaurants when we travel. For our stay in Japan it took us quite some time because of the incredible offering and choices of restaurants and cuisines, especially in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

    In Tokyo, after our long research, we opted for the restaurant Shirosaka. We contacted the restaurant through Messenger and asked them if they would take a reservation for seven people for dinner, particularly because one of our parties was a ten years old gourmet boy.

    To make a long story short, after several exchanges with the team of Shirosaka, they kindly accepted to accomodate our party of seven for a 9:30pm dinner.

    As any fine dining restaurant in Tokyo, the place is not easy to find. Shirosaka is located in the Asakasa neighborhood not far from the Asakasa subway station.

    With a little help from our GPS, we finally found the secluded restaurant with its front door lit by lanterns as we made our way on the stoned pathway to the entrance.

    To our surprise, chef Hideki Li and his team were hosting the seven of us privately, there was no other guest there.

    The ambiance of this cozy and intimate restaurant will transport you directly to Kyoto: an L-shaped nine-seat blond counter seats, floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of a miniature Japanese garden outside.

    We immediately felt welcome. We were sure it had something to do with the charismatic and cheerful master sommelier Kota-san and the second in command of chef Hideki Li who ushered us to our seats (in perfect English) and handed hot towels and drinks.

    After we introduced ourselves and thanked chef Li and his team for making the effort to have the seven of us for our special evening out, we selected a wine pairing meal. Kota-san suggested a great selection of sakes and wines to us, from which two bottles stood out in our opinion: the sake "Eau de Désir" 2018 and the amazing Torivilla Imaura cuvée Yuka 2004 in red.

    Chef Li's cuisine is called Sumibi Kappo, a more informal style of Kaiseki dining. His tasting menu sparkles with dishes that were almost too pretty to eat, like his signature dish, a spherical rice cracker perched on a mount of diced vegetables. Lift the lid of the cracker and you’ll find a quail’s egg yolk and trout caviar nestled into a bed of diced tuna, sea urchins, and dashi gelee. The ebi-soba, a tangle of thin noodles tossed with fried sakura-ebi prawns and coated with oil infused with shrimp shells was very intense in flavor and delicious.

    Everything at Shirosaka ("white hill" in Japanese) atmosphere is traditional yet laid-back, service is top, above and beyond in the homeliest welcoming way, while food and drinks are nothing short of amazing. To top it all off, dinner is quite reasonably priced compared to other Michelin star restaurants of similar caliber in Tokyo. 

    We would like to thank chef Li and his team for their talent, their kindness, generosity and hospitality.

     

    Shirosaka

    6 Chome-3-9 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo

    107-0052, Japon

    Tel: +81 50-2018-0254

    https://fr-fr.facebook.com

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  • Everytrip starts at the airport and then with an airline company, for our trip we chose ANA.

    ANA, All Nippon Airways is a Skytrax five stars airlines and below is our review from our flight Paris-Tokyo (NH216) on April 19 2019 and Tokyo Paris (NH215) on May 6, 2019.

    • Checking in with ANA at the Roissy-CDG in Paris was smooth and easy: 7/10.

    • The Star Alliance lounge at Roissy-CDG with a small offering of foods and beverages: 5/10.

    • The boarding and the flight were timely : 8/10

    • The plane, a Boeing 787-10 looked clean and well maintained : 7/10.

    • The seat was in the middle room had enough leg room with a good a fluffy pillow and a warm blanket:  5/10.

    • The entertainment system was displayed on a 11 inches screen and had a limited choice of films, music and TV shows: 5/10.

    • The food and the drinks were a big let down when you know that Japan is the first culinary country in the world : 4/10.

    • The crew on board was very clumsy, slow and didnot understand and did not speak English very well and most of all did not know how to serve young kids : 3/10.

    Overall rating of our outbound flight: 5,5/10.

    Our return flight from Hiroshima with connecting flight in Haneda to Roissy-CDG on Monday 6, 2019 was uneventful :

    • Checking in Hiroshima was smooth and easy: 7/10.

    • Connecting flight was well indicated and smooth : 7/10

    • The boarding and the flight were on time : 8/10.

    • The plane, a Boeing 787-10 looked new and clean 7/10

    • The seat was in the middle room had enough leg room with a good a fluffy pillow and a warm blanket:  5/10.

    • The entertainment system was displayed on a 11 inches screen and had a limited choice of films, music and TV shows: 5/10.

    • The food and the drinks were even worst than our outbound trip to Tokyo : 3/10.

    • The crew on-board looked was slow not very helpful and did not understand and did not speak English vey well : 3/10.

     Overall rating of our return flight: 5/10.

    We do not understand how ANA got their 5 five stars rating from Skytrax when the quality of the food,the entertainment and the service are below standard of others five stars companies like Singapore Airlines or Qatar Airways.

     

     

     


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