Jeezuss fucking Christ! This city is..is…I am in SO in love with this place! Stepping off the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Kyoto is what I’ve always imagined and even more. It’s a place that you have to visit if you can. It’s the wonderful assault on the visuals and I wish I had more time to take it in. I highly recommend this country: it’s beautiful, it’s colourful, great public transport, different customs, ancient and modern mishmash etc. There were so many places to go and to see because the city is so vast.
There was one instance where I felt odd if I gave my 2 cents because it seemed very intrusive if I were to snap away at the delicacies being placed in front of me. My friend Mika gave me a name of an awesome sushi restaurant called Sushi Dai Bekkan near Tsukiji Station. That place was MOST divine-melt-in-your-mouth-swoon-worthy sushi I’ve ever had and nothing and I mean nothing compares to what I had up until that night.
RAMEN Y980($9.98 AU) in Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street
We stayed in an apartment that was only 5 minutes walk from the famous Senso-ji Temple of Asakusa. It’s a very touristy area with so many shops that cater for those visitors and I would wander around here a lot. It’s called Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street. My apologies for not getting the exact directions but hopefully the photo of the shop front should help in case you decide to go there.
This was my 1st sit down meal in Japan. The type where you have to contort your legs to fit under the low table which I found a little difficult but whom am I to complain when you get to take your shoes off. I ordered a nice clean udo soup which was so fucken good. Dining is good when you’re alone. I actually don’t mind it because I get to watch those around me. There was a particular couple that were sitting in front of me. I loved listening to the old man wearing a blue cap. He had the deepest, growliest voice I’ve ever heard…Scary yet calming. I had no idea what he is saying to dear wife but they seemed very kind and sweet words.
My meal came about 6 minutes later in a bowl of steaming udon noodles, bouncy, chewy and not soggy. Also an assortment of seafood things, prawns, spinach, shredded eggs, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed and fried bean curd. This would be great if you just wanted a filling and healthy snack to tide you over until dinner time.
Kappabashi-dori, Taito-ku, Tokyo
This place was recommended to us by our Tokyo AirBnB host, Mac. This is such a classy joint for a cafe. It seemed like one of those fancy retreats that have a restaurant within the grounds. You are welcomed by a neat looking bar with a modern wooden splashbacks and then seated in a dining room where the view is just a beautiful hedge of bamboo up against the windows. The minimal earth tone decor of the walls and furniture gives it a private and relaxing experience.
I had the ‘Seiro’ (steam basket) Y930 ($9.50 AU) which consisted of fine noodle like shredded egg, flaked salmon, snow peas and large salmon roe/ikura that had that bursting fantastic salt and sweetness served over white rice with small tiny whitebait mixed through. All served in a bamboo steamer and it came with wooden spoons instead of chopsticks. There were 2 thick slices of accompanying pickled daicon radish and bowl of clear miso soup.
Strong blend filtered coffee Y500 ($5.11 AU), smooth and comfortingly strong. I love it…hmmm.
3 Chome – 1-12 Matsugaya,Taito-ku, Tokyo
I was worried that coffee wouldn’t be as good here but boy, was I wrong. This is the home of Hario (makers of all that modern coffee making technology). We hit the Kitchen shopping district in search of fake food and kitchen equipment. There was this warehouse style coffee place that was also an architect establishment. This place had a space age singing toilet with neon lights and everything! I love places like these, having 2 businesses in 1 is such smart idea.
A beautiful blend of delicate yet strong drip filtered coffee Y400 ($4.08 AU) that was so good that I didn’t have it with milk. Their version of a muffin was more like a brioche with a healthy dose of choc chips and pistachios mixed through. A dense and chocolate packed brownie was bought but I only got 1 bite.
VENDING MACHINE RESTAURANT
Not far from where we were staying in Asakusa, is a place where you buy your meals from a vending machine! Can I get a WTF? May I have another when I tell you that across the road, there is a Rabbit cafe where you get to play with rabbits whilst you eat your tea and cakes!
I think this idea is brilliant! No more holding up waiters or that sort of nonsense. You pick the meal you want from the machine, insert your money (which was all coins by now) and sit at the U shaped bar where you can have beer whilst you wait. It’s 9am…meh….there’s beer vending machines outside. I had a wonderful breakfast of Unagi glazed in sweet teriyaki sauce on a bed of white rice, soba noodles, silken tofu with shaved spring onions, yellow pickled radish, pickled onions, dipping sauce and wasabi. All of this came to a mere Y780 ($7.95 AU)
The cool thing about this bar is that it’s got a little ledge underneath to store your stuff. I reckon that’s a small but very cool thing and I hope to adopt that when I get a bar. It was very fitting to have something that was substantial because we did a lot of running around Tokyo that hot and humid day.
I don’t know the name of the restaurant but it’s along Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Scroll down to the map for the With Bunny cafe for some directions. Hopefully, you’ll find it from there.