we modified our trip plans last minute, dropped unazuki & included kamikochi which my wife had always wanted to go, so switched our hotel bookings from omachi onsen to matsumoto on 13.10.2013, as there was a direct bus 1hr 50mins journey from matsumoto to arrive at kamikochi at 12pm the next day.
after traversing the alpine route, we took a 1 hr train from shinano omachi to matsumoto, and was very happy to be greeted with our forwarded luggage the moment i mentioned my name at check-in to matsumoto tourist hotel at 4pm. the legendary japanese luggage forwarding was well, legendary! 🙂
i was walking around the hotel for dinner place & found a name i knew – gyukakau, a yakiniku restaurant which i had tried the hollandv outlet once (ok but we prefer aburiya). in japan though i guess its different. we got very good wagyu beef at much lower prices!
the kuroge wagyu sirloin was excellent, marbled & tasty. but so was the wagyu karuni, very flavourful! (we made a second order but now looking at the bill, the second order might have been different & with too much garlic on it). the thick cut beef which was flamed or lightly smoked was quite tasty too, but inferior to the other 2. the thick cut belly bacon was ok but of course it was not to be c/w kurobuta.
they ran out of bibimen so we ordered bibimbap. it was ok but the seafood kimchi chigae was bad (i guess kimchi chigae must always be the belly pork version to give it the flavours & umami). for these last 2 items, aburiya‘s were much better! & my wife had her usual hakkaisan sake (八海山).
anyway the bill with taxes came to 5274yen = S$58++! 🙂 at aburiya the plate of kuroge wagyu alone would be like S$28!
this was 1 excellent dinner. of course it was no comparison with the one we had at moritaya at kyoto station but still a most enjoyable one. 🙂