Bianca: Our final stop on our Japanese adventure holiday. Tokyo. We boarded the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, a fairly smooth 2.5-hour journey. But let’s be honest, the most exciting part of that train trip was the snackages.
After a rather traumatic exit from bustling Shinjuku station, we made our way over to our hotel. Daiwa Roynet Nishi Shinjuku which was in a pretty convenient part of Shinjuku, far enough from the madness of Shinjuku and Kabukicho.
It was on the small side but had all the expected mod-cons. And it later became my den of sickness… more on that later!
Do visit Kabukicho/ Shinjuku Golden Gai. Wander down the alleys of Golden Gai and you’ll be met with a variety of small bars and eateries. Our sense of adventure may have been wearing a little thin by that point, so we explored the alleyways and headed back to the main touristy areas.
The conversion was rather pitiful, so each 1200 YEN cocktail ($18) really did sting.
Look up at the Hotel Grocery and you’ll see your friendly Goooozeellaaa.
For a bit of the high life, head to Ginza, one of Tokyo’s top shopping districts. There you’ll be rewarded with all your friends, the Gucc, LV, Givenchy…
Take the elevator up to the 12th floor and enter Bills, Ginza. The view is unparalleled. But there’s more than enough people watching to be had to keep you occupied.
The Fresh Aussie -w/ Haloumi came in at a handsome 2500YEN ($36). I have no words really… besides high-way robbery.
My Chicken Burger 2100YEN ($30) was on the dainty side. But the chicken was crispy with a nice kick of citrus.
The main drag, Chuo-dori opens to foot traffic on the weekend, I’m not really sure what the occasion was but we visited on a weekday.
After Ginza, we headed off to Toyosu Fish Market, only to find it closed. To say we were disappointed is quite the understatement. We did spot Teamlab Planets from the rail line so we tried our luck and booked some last-minute tickets.
It’s an ethereal experience and one we would both recommend. It’s not cheap at 3200YEN ($46 per ticket) but you won’t experience anything quite like it anywhere else.
We visited Akihabara Electric Town twice, mainly to laugh at M’s Pop Life, the famous 7 level sex-shop. You’ll be horrified…
A Happy Pancake in Harajuku was another top pick for pancakes. With a few restaurants in Japan, you can bet they have the pancakes down to a science.
Jules went the savoury route.
I opted for the classic A Happy Pancake – served with maple syrup and sweet ricotta. They were a little eggy but honestly after eating 3 I felt I could have gone for a run, they were so light!
We made a beeline for Harajuku, roaming around the streets we came upon the Tokyo Plaza Omotesando.
We stopped along the ways in Harajuku for some snacks. The famous gyoza at Harajuku Gyoza Lou. Our pan-fried gyoza were delicious but we could have done without the attitude from the staff!
Next up, Okonomiyaki from Sakura Tei. Much like Korean BBQ I’ve never understood the obsession with paying money to cook your own food at a restaurant, it makes zero sense to me! The Cheetro Cheese Special 1350 Yen ($19.50). This may or may not have led to my downfall 2 days later…..
We wandered back to Shinjuku later that evening, on the hunt for Afuri. We ordered through a vending machine (literally a Japanese past-time).
I couldn’t look past the famed Yuzu Ramen. It definitely lived up to the hype.
We were in the land of sushi for 10 days but struggled to find decent sushi restaurants, it was all ramen & curry house galore. So we marked Uobei Sushi in Shibuya days in advance. There was a pretty wide variety of sushi to choose from and the novelty of the train was very cool. But I can’t really say it blew us away.
Things then started to spiral downwards rather quickly. It was fairly rainy and chilly for our visit to the famous Shibuya crossing, so we didn’t get to experience it in all its glory!
Our last night in Tokyo I had grand plans for a Scarjo/Murray reenactment at the Park Hyatt but alas, I quickly deteriorated spending most of the afternoon on the eue de toilette! You’re welcome!!
I couldn’t stomach spending our last night in the hotel room, I had been craving pizza big time the entire trip and we made our way over to Spacca Napoli. Not quite the Park Hyatt but you can’t argue with that view! For a Japanese Italian joint, I was well impressed with the quality of the food. It was quite possibly the worst thing I could have eaten with my stomach issues but it was tasty. BUT prepare to pay…the bill came to 10,465 YEN ($151 at the time of conversion).
And thus began my hibernation in the hotel room, Jules continued his exploration of Tokyo and I continued my exploration of the hotel bathroom….