Thanks again!! I didn't find too much on IXSM but did read a few reviews saying the owner is a nicey guy so just booked a transfer with them. i will check out the map and do some more research on Kyoto, and see if I have time left for Miyajima. I don't mind going and staying a night, but will see if time permits. Also...sorry still wondering ....
1) For the Lantern festival - do we need to stay overnight in Nara to see it? I found Kankaso Ryokan from the Fodors forum (but its 22000 pp!). On a side note - think we'll probably do the Ryokans with onsen experience for 2 nights for our trip due to budget!
2) Have you been to Arima Onsen before?
Yes - I can most definitely recommend some ramen places!! I go at least a few times a month because noodles is my favorite food group. That being said, I didn't have much Ramen when I went to Tokyo, so I probably don't know what real ramen is like...but I hope you like these places!!
As you'll notice - 3 / 4 places I mention below are near Picadilly Circus tube, so it's very convenient.
3 Denman Street (there are two locations)
The Yuzu Tonkatsu Ramen is great - just went on Sunday
Close to Picadilly Tube, very convenient
24 Coptic Street
The vibe of the place is a bit cafeteria like, but you can see the kitchen bonus
Ramen - they also do a lunch special where you can get extra side of gyoza or £2
Close to Tottemcourt Road, can walk from Covent Garden area
So the above two I go often...like 2 - 3 times a month!
3) Bone Daddies
31 Peter Street
Worth trying for different twist - most Western style, run by Westerners (ex Nobu chef), cool vibe and nice drinks
Tonkatsu Broth is thicker than what I am used to
Closest tube: Picadilly, in Soho area
47 Rupert Street
Japanese Tapas Bas. The Ramen is nice - but they only do a MISO base, and only two varieties
Also service is very slow - our ramen took almost 30minutes! b
Closest Tube: Picadilly
I personally find Ittenbari London and Tonkatsunot as good, mentioning this as you'll probably also see mentioned if you google 'best ramen in london'
There are others - but yeah, the above are the ones that i have been to, with Shoryu, Cocoro and Bone Daddies popping up a lot in food articles.
Hope this helps!!! :)