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For the best Kaiseki (small plates), try Tsuruko. This family-owned restaurant had recently been invaded by a Japanese TV film crew shooting Japan’s best restaurants. Tsuroko provides us with an over-the-top meal with a procession of colorful, tasty dishes parading in front of us for three hours. The apple stuffed with Kobe beef is delicious and one of the most creative ways to serve beef that I’ve seen on my many trips to Japan. My favorite dish is

Sushi restaurant in Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

probably the crab with rice. Several strips of succulent leg meat are perched on top of crab-fried rice that resonates in smokysalty goodness. We finish our two days in Kanazawa touring the Omicho Market to look at the yummy live crabs, big shrimp, dried squid and other seafood. Later, we visit the D.T. Suzuki Museum on yet another bright sunny day. The Suzuki Museum is a peaceful place to wander in quiet meditation by reflection pools. This Buddist philosopher, born in Kanazawa, is credited with introducing Zen Philosophy to the west. We have lunch downtown at Benkay Restaurant in Hotel Nikko Kanazawa. Here, we’re treated to the finest sushi I’ve had in my eight trips to Japan. Don’t be fooled by the fact this sushi restaurant is in a hotel. If you love real Japanese sushi, this is the place to go in Kanazawa. All great trips must end, however. Before leaving Kanazawa, the shopping court in the train station is a must before boarding the Shinkansen. If you’re hungry, look for Bento Box meals at the food counters in the market for your trip back. Pick the food counter with the biggest line to get the best Bento.

On this, my second trip to Kanazawa, I came away hooked on its charm, grace, and great food. As Mt. Fuji comes into view again, I feel inspired to return to Kanazawa to see what we might have missed.

if you go Kanazawa Sainoniwa Hotel, a new boutique luxury hotel, wowed us all. Built for the expected onslaught of wealthy tourists, this hotel ticks all the boxes for fine lodging. Considering rooms go for an average of $220, Sainoiwa is affordable luxury. Fukuwauchi, 1-9-31 Hikosomachi, Tsuroko, 6-5 Takaokamachi Benkay Restaurant in Nikko Hotel, 2-15-1 Monmachi, Phone: 81-76-234-1111

Kurt Jacobson Kurt Jacobson is a full-time travel and food writer living in Baltimore, Maryland, As a retired chef Kurt loves seeking out the best in food, wine, and adventure.

Profile for FWT Magazine

FWT Magazine: food wine travel - Issue 6, Winter 2016/17 - World Cuisine  

It gives us great pleasure to bring you another issue, this one themed “World Cuisine.” On this journey we skip around the planet, pausing h...

FWT Magazine: food wine travel - Issue 6, Winter 2016/17 - World Cuisine  

It gives us great pleasure to bring you another issue, this one themed “World Cuisine.” On this journey we skip around the planet, pausing h...