Sunday, February 22, 2009

Travel Diaries 1- Tokyo

So this was my trip to Japan. There is so much I could say about Japan, as it has now become one of my favorite countries, but sometimes words just never express the impressions the country leaves in me. I will separate my travel diaries into separate entries, and try not to write too much at the same time...

Everyone knows Emily is very blur and forgetful. Aha. What happened was I could not contact my bf after I reached Narita Airport because I did not know which number to be inserted before making call to local mobile number (I did not pay much attention when my bf told me about that and eventually totally forgot about it). Luckily I managed to get some help from an airport officer. She can't understand what I was saying at first, so I just used my very limited japanese vocabulary, and kept repeating "keitai" (mobiles). And she managed to get what I mean in the end and helped me to dial the numbers. Phew.

We went to Wako (和幸), a restaurant which sells a range of とんかつ (Tonkatsu or Deepfried Pork Cutlet) for lunch, together with Yushi and Fatt as they were there traveling as well. You have got to try their Tonkatsu as it is SO crispy, crunchy and light, which I didn't find oily at all. I had lunch set of Tonkatsu with shoyu sauce, onion and egg inside. It was very nice although the pork had lost some crunchiness after soaking in the sauce. Anyway, the pork inside was soft and tender! My lunch set was a tad bit much for me, as the tonkatsu was huge and occupied the whole pot and so I had some leftover :/

Shopping is another thing that I missed about in Tokyo. There are wide choices of brands for you, no matter which style that you are opted for. Marui City (featured as 0101) was a shopping mall that I frequented the most, as it carries the brands that I like - Olive des Olive, Lowry's Farm, Pageboy and many more. I didn't get much stuff on my first day at Marui Shinjuku though.

We had a brief walk in Shinjuku before heading to Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba. The weather was so cold and the strong wind just kept freezing me up. Even the scarf didn't help much. Anyway, Oedo Onsen has a large scale hot spring facility and will not dissapoint you for paying the price of 1900 yen (nightime price). Entree fees includes a yukata (there are at least 5 different designs for ladies!), bath towel and small towel. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, skin care and haircare products are all provided too. There are 16 various baths including rotenburo (outdoor bath), which is a must visit if you ever visit onsen with rontenburo! (imagine you get to feel the cooooold breeze while enjoying the onsen) It was pretty fun as the couples and groups can meet up in between taking the waters, while dressed in yukata. The central section has plenty of restaurants, bars, noodle and various game stalls. We just used the barcode on our entrance pass to order/shop. The bill will be made when you are checking out. (it's a good business tactic as you will not be thinking while making the!)

Left>> Front view of Oedo Onsen Monogatari. Right>> The lovely couple, Yushi and Fatt.

acting cool ar, darling?

The tower in the right picture is the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building. It is the tallest clock tower in the world.

After having our haircut at Earth in Takadanobaba on the next day, we headed to Shinjuku for Krispy Kreme. heee. Bf knows my love for doughnuts. So each of us got a free glaze-flavour while waiting on the line. We visited Takashimaya nearby after that and I bought a few hosiery. I spotted some cute Vivienne Westwood there but I just can't imagine me wearing them :(

He seemed lost.. haha

Anyway, we had our dinner at Nabezo, a famous reasonably priced all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu and sukiyaki restaurant, with a 90 minute course available for 1890yen. We got the mixed soup - Shiyo and Kimchi. The Kimchi soup was great for beef while Shiyo was better for pork.

It was the Adult's Day (成人式) in Japan on my 3rd day there. It is the Japanese coming-of-age ceremony and is held annually on second Monday in January. And so we visited Meiji Shrine (明治神宮) as we could get to see people dressing up (girls, to be exact) to celebrate the passage into adulthood. lol.

The crowded Harajuku Station

Before visiting the shrine, we had chocolate croissant at Choco Cro (a part of Saint-Marc cafe), which is nearby to Harajuku Station. The croissant was so crispy and totally worth the price (140 yen each I thk.. can't remember) as you just can't resist the yummy gooey chocolate. A must-try for chocolate lover! It also has a selection of drinks and other delicious pastry as well. Sadly, I'd stupidly forgotten to try the banana chocolate version, even there is a chain store in Koenji and so very nearby to my bf's place :(

The Torii gate from afar...

Back to Meiji Shrine.... It was fun to snap pictures of cute Japanese Girls dressed in beautiful kimonos! I'd written my wish on prayers, which is called 绘马 in Japanese.

Bf writing his wishes on prayers

one of the ice sculptures displayed in Meiji Shrine

a cute lil' girl in Meiji Shrine..

Of course, we didn't missed Takeshita-dori, a famous street which is fulled with fashion boutique, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku. You can't miss the crepe if you're taking a walk in Takeshita-dori. Oh, and for girls, there are shops selling cute and affordable lingerie as well!! (do drop by Amo's Style... You can get pretty lingerie there ^_^ )

Lunch was at Otoya, a typical Teishoku (定食, set meal) chain restaurant in Japan. It serves rice, Miso soup and some dishes for each standard meal set. If you are looking for cheap and delicious meal set, then this is the place where you can get a decent meal priced from 600 - 1000 yen.

Fake food displays @ Otoya

After a long walking/shopping trip around Harajuku and Jingumae [must-visit: LaForet, H&M, UT, Gap and some designer shops like Burberry, Charlotte Ronson which I obviously couldn't afford lol], we had dinner at Venire Venire, an Italian restaurant in Harajuku. The meal was great; I loved their cheese pizza (!!!), garden salad [with all leavessss but it was delicious serving with olive oil (?) ], lamb ribs and tiramisu.

Overlooking H&M while dining in Venire Venire.

Half of my 4th day was spent by shopping in Shibuya, together with Yushi. We stopped by to check out the Hachiko's statue in front of Shibuya Station before heading to Shibuya 109.

To be honest, Shibuya 109 is not really a place I would shop in. It is loud and busy but really fun to have a look.

Haha I looked stupid while standing in front of the infamous Shibuya crossroad...

I just missed the Japanese pastry... so well done and delicious. oh chocolate shortcake...with caramel-coated chestnut on top somemore!

After the shopping trip, we met up with the guys and had dinner at Rokkasen (六歌仙), a grilled meat restaurant which serves all-you-can-eat yakiniku and shabu-shabu. The dinner was so fulfilling as we could get to taste a variety of Japanese-produced beef (Wagyu), Galbi, scallop, king crab and etc. It was pricey as we opted for Kikyou Set - all-you-can-eat + all-you-can-drink (桔梗(ききょう)の宴 / 食べ放題!飲み放題). Anyway, I should have more cocktail but my stomach was so full I can fill the food in my throat....

I had gained on weight (2kgs?) on the first week there as I had three all-you-can-eat meal in a week! THREE! I was like shit when I saw the reading on the weighing scale. T_T

The next day was spent in Gotemba, is a city located on the southeastern flank of Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka. We went to Gotemba Premium Outlets for shopping, not me but another couple (Fatt and Oh well, if only the Yen was cheaper. Bah. So, I rather enjoyed overlooking the beautiful Mt. Fuji instead...

Next - Asakusa, Disneyland and Disneysea and others... Till then..

1 comment:

Peter said...

Even if you pretend to be be "blur and forgetable", you seem to remember quite well! Photos help!

You din't post often, but when you do it...! :-)