Archive for the ‘Etsuko’s diary’ Category

Tokyo’s Great Restaurants Vol.1 ~ by Etsuko ~

October 22, 2010

The New Michelin guide for Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe was published on October 22, 2010 and adding to 11 restaurants in Tokyo now there are 23 restaurants which have been given three stars in Japan. Nowadays Japanese cuisine is well known as one of the best and healthy foods in the world. Assuming that one of your main reasons to visit Japan could be great food, TGCT staff would like to introduce their favorite restaurants in Tokyo (but not necessarily Japanese food). When you find us at any of these places, please say hi! But if we are too happy (drunk ?), it might be safer to leave us alone 🙂

Here are Etsuko’s favorites! More to come ~  


Name : 恵比寿横丁 / Ebisu Yokocho

Area :  Ebisu / 2 min. from Ebisu sta.

Category : JAPANESE

<Etsuko’s comment> – love the environment; so friendly and energetic!

恵比寿18番 / Ebisu Juhachi-ban

Ebisu / 1 min. from Ebisu station


-quite small and always crowded but great tapas!

まつ勘 / Matsukan

Azabu Jyuban / 10 min. from Azabu Jyuban station


-about 10,000JPY for “omakase” sushi; down to earth sushi restaurant considering the neighbourhood

-very lively, BYOB (bring your own bottle) allowed

新日の基 (アンディーズ) / Shin-Hinomoto

Hibiya/Yurakucho  / 2 min. from Hibiya or Yurakucho station


-great atmosphere and great “kara-age”

ラ・ピッチョリー・ドゥ・ルル / La Pitchouli de Loulou

Hiroo / 10 min. from Hiroo station


-great food and wine (they serve by the glass too)

田舎家 / Inakaya

Roppongi / 5 min. from Roppongi station


-lively atmosphere, the way the grilled food is served is fun!


Cycling in Hong Kong

February 8, 2009

I’m sure many of you think that the two don’t mix, as I did, but believe it or not, in less than an hour from central Hong Kong is a place where there are zero skyscrapers and lots of space!  The great tour is operated by Michael Hansen of Hansen’s Hikes and last weekend, the members of TGCT were in Hong Kong to visit the other side of the city.

We gathered at 9:30 AM at Tai Po Market Station in the New Territories and visited a rental bicycle shop just outside for our 18-gear mountain bikes. They were in fairly good shape, and looked like it would endure the 42km ride.  I wasn’t sure if I would though!  Today’s group was 18 people, Michael had to care for us by himself, which we thought was pretty large.


He led the way through the park, along the river, the railway tracks and soon after, we were out in the fields. It was the perfect day for a bicycle ride with lots of sun, blue skies and a nice breeze. 


We rode on narrow paths through the fields,  saw a few historical houses and temples along the trail and although we did have to hand carry our bikes up the steps once, that was just as fun!


We kept on going, the mangrove to our left, the scent of sea water in the air… and on the other side was mainland China.  That’s pretty far up north on a bicycle.

I have to admit that I was a rather out of shape since there were several places where I had to get off and push my bike…And even that was tough!  After a short break at Luk Keng (overlooking Shenzhen), we started our way to the longest uphill stretch of the day.  We rode past BBQ areas where children were cheering for us so naturally, I couldn’t give up there.  But just as I was around the corner and they couldn’t see me anymore…..sorry, I cheated :p !


We had a nice & relaxing Thai lunch at Tai Mei Tuk and afterwards was a beautiful cycling path along the  reservoir for about 8km (pls correct me if I am wrong) back to Tai Po.  We were all quite surprised that the path was so wide and nicely paved, it would be great if we could have more cycling paths like this in Tokyo.


We were on schedule and back at Tai Po Market station at 4:30PM, just as Michael had mentioned in the morning.  My legs were quite tired but I felt wonderful even after the 42km ride.

Thank you Michael for the Giro-del-Norte tour and it was great meeting everyone!  It was so much fun spending the day with the group and we hope to see you someday in Tokyo on our tour!