Ever go to a place and think, "I should tell other people about this place?" or, "I should save this location so I can find it later." Well, I do. So I started logging the spots I visit. Below you'll find a global map of the pins I've dropped so far, as well as a feed of all my latest spots.

(Hint: because the global map contains a lot of closely-clustered pins, you may need to zoom in significantly to select individual spots. Try going full screen!)

Dogo onsen

Famed as the oldest onsen (hot springs) bath in Japan, it’s relatively tiny and cramped by today’s standards, but it was cool to check it off the bucket list. The little onsen town that’s grown up around this main building were definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away”, as this onsen was apparently among their artistic inspirations.

If you go, I'd recommend staying where we did, at Dogokan (道後館) hotel.

Dogokan Onsen Hotel

Really enjoyed our stay here. Our room was re-designed in 2023 and was pretty wonderful. The baths on site are also excellent, and it was only a block or so away from the “main” Dogo onsen (道後温泉本館).

See my Tabelog check-in here for the first night of their kaiseki dinner service.

Kinopio’s Cafe

It can be hard to get into this little restaurant inside of the Super Nintendo World area of Universal Studios Japan, but I’m glad we managed to this year. Really fun little meals. The desserts are especially cool. End of the day, though, it’s really all about the theming of the ordering experience and dining room design.

The Boathouse

Despite being known for their seafood, Boathouse's burger is exceptional considering how large their menu is and how many covers they turn a night. Most dedicated craft burger joints aren't half this good.

When the bartenders remember it, I like to order the long-since-removed cocktail S.S. Politician, which is a simple (and extremely whiskey-forward) manhattan made with:

  • Jack Daniels Single Barrel
  • Montenegro
  • Cherry bitters
  • Luxardo cherry

… and served to the brim of a martini glass that's tall enough to ride most roller coasters.

Spotted: Gyu-kaku

A local friend is taking his first trip to Japan this week, so we took him to one of the two(!) local Gyu-kaku locations here in Orlando.

A ton of these have sprung up throughout the US in the last few years, and if your town has one, I'd strongly encourage you to check it out. It's a cook-your-own-food restaurant chain in Japan and the American renditions (mostly) do their Japanese counterparts justice.

If you want to know what to order, go for the top-of-the-line ("Supreme"?) all-you-can-eat menu and just keep ordering harami skirt steak (salted, not sauced) until your stomach explodes.

Tabelogged: ザオイスターバー コウベ

I visited this restaurant on May 21, 2023, and gave it a 3.2 on Tabelog.

Name: ザオイスターバー コウベ
Description: ハーバーランド、神戸、西元町/イタリアン、ダイニングバー、ワインバー

Which Google translates into English as:

Name: The Oyster Bar Kobe
Description: Harborland, Kobe, Nishimotomachi/Italian, Dining Bar, Wine Bar

Tabelogged: ニクスペシャリテ・マクラ

I visited this restaurant on May 20, 2023, and gave it a 3.5 on Tabelog.

Name: ニクスペシャリテ・マクラ
Description: 神戸三宮(阪急)、三宮(神戸市営)、旧居留地・大丸前/肉料理、ステーキ、ワインバー

Which Google translates into English as:

Name: Nix Specialty Macra
Description: Kobe Sannomiya (Hankyu), Sannomiya (Kobe Municipal), Former Settlement/Daimaru-mae/Meat dishes, steak, wine bar

Tabelogged: 七福神

I visited this restaurant on May 20, 2023, and gave it a 3.7 on Tabelog.

Name: 七福神
Description: 三宮(神戸市営)、神戸三宮(阪急)、三ノ宮(JR)/串揚げ、居酒屋

Which Google translates into English as:

Name: Seven Lucky Gods
Description: Sannomiya (Kobe Municipal), Kobe Sannomiya (Hankyu), Sannomiya (JR)/Kushiage, Izakaya