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Elevating Experiences: Finding the Best Yakisoba in the World - and a Private Jet

Japan never ceases to amaze me. After 16 years of living here, I continue to stumble upon incredible places in the most unexpected towns. Rather than rushing to Shizuoka airport for an early morning private jet round trip to see Mount Fuji from the sky, I opted to explore the night before and stay in the nearby town of Fujieda—a decision that led to an unforgettable experience.


Many fields of produce on hills overlooking the town of Fujieda, Shizuoka.
The fields of produce on the Fujieda hills overlooking the quaint little town.

Situated just a 30-minute train ride from Shizuoka station, Fujieda might not be the first place that pops up in your online search for things to do. These small towns, scattered around Japan, often appear unremarkable at first glance—home to regular people, a few business hotels, chain restaurants, and perhaps a pachinko parlor or two. They're typically excluded from travel itineraries, overlooked by both international and Japanese tourists. But beneath the surface lies a different aspect of Japan, an Untold Japan, shaped by the stories of the locals that make every visit an adventure.


Upon checking into my hotel, I ventured out into the evening of Fujieda. Instead of relying on Google, I followed my usual approach of wandering through the small town, turning left onto smaller backstreets, and discovering hidden gems.

A sign outside of a Japanese izakaya with English written on it.
Japan is full of great English signage that's sure to give you a good chuckle.

This time, I stumbled upon a quaint izakaya, where a sign in English on the window made me chuckle. Inside, the dimly lit restaurant accommodated 10 seats at the counter, occupied by Japanese men and women. Chi-Chan, the owner, and her partner welcomed me warmly. As I ordered food and drinks, conversations flowed effortlessly—a man to my left sharing stories of his daughter's trip to London, while the gentleman on my right, fueled by curiosity, engaged me in conversation. This authentic encounter is why I cherish Japan so much. The yakisoba, declared the best in the universe, lived up to its reputation with charred noodles, homemade sauce, succulent cuts of beef, and an atmosphere that added that extra special touch. It really was the best yakisoba in the world.


Yakisoba on a hot skilled dish served on a wooden tray at a small izakaya.
The best yakisoba in the world is found in Fujieda, of all places.

Japan always surprises me with its ability to elevate experiences. While enjoying the evening, I asked for recommendations for a post-dinner drink. The owner and the man on my right enthusiastically suggested Eden. Rather than heading there alone, they offered to accompany me. Five of us ventured to a bar, extending the night with drinks, karaoke, darts, and more encounters with locals. What started as a plan for a quick bite turned into an unforgettable night, forging new friendships until the early hours.


The following morning, I headed to Shizuoka airport for my private jet tour—a truly unbelievable experience. A 45-minute journey offered breathtaking views of Mount Fuji that surpassed all expectations. While climbing Mount Fuji is a common bucket list item, I would add experiencing the view from a jet as a must-try.



Untold Japan, to me, embodies a blend of authenticity and a touch of glamour. It's not just about luxury and high-end experiences but about immersing yourself in the real side of Japan. For those considering our Untold Jet Exclusive, I highly recommend spending a night in Fujieda for a unique and enriching experience first.

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