Went to Japan back in September 2010 and I've put off completing the Japan series of posts long enough.
Upon arrival in Tokyo, we headed to the Asakusa district of Taitou city, Tokyo. A popular tourist area in Asakusa is Nakamise street. It is literally a street with rows of shops on both sides selling a variety of snack foods and trinkets.
My brother and I walked along Nakamise and found it too crowded and boring so we headed out to the adjacent streets nearby. I noticed afterwards that the entire tour group had spent their 2 hours hanging around Nakamise street only. Be more adventurous people!
The shops along these inner streets had some of the same stuff being sold at Nakamise for a fraction of the price. So if you do find yourself touring Nakamise, don't spend too much time there. Walk out onto the other streets and check out more stuff.
We later went to Ginza to get our shopping fix. Most of the ladies in the tour group only wanted to check out Burberry's Blue label (a line exclusive to Japan that's also more affordable than the original Burberry Prorsum line). I find the Blue Label line's bags to be a tad...ugly. Well, the ones I saw there at that time were.
Headed to Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku for dinner. Again, I apologize for the lack of pictures. All we had was a very bulky and hard-to-use DSLR camera and most of the pictures were taken by my brother, who was really lazy to take pictures. If only I had my own camera back then :(
Stayed at Keio Plaza Hotel, not too far from the Shinjuku area. That's the view from our room.
The following day, we went to the infamous Tsukiji fish market. It was pretty crowded as the streets were narrow. We had lunch there at this really small eatery that only seated a maximum of 8-10 people at a time! Best Anago donburi I've ever had though. Sashimi donburi are recommended as the seafood is as fresh as it gets.
We bought a lot of Japanese grapes, peaches and persimmons. There was a specialty bunch of grapes that cost 3000 Yen (that's RM100+) and they were apparently rare and in season at that time. They tasted sooo good. Flesh was plump and juicy and they were seedless.
Extremely crowded. Mostly boutiques and little cafes line the street. If you're into Japanese fashion trends, there is a boutique called WonderRocket that you would love to check out. The wonderful Tutuanna boutique is also located on this street.
Takeshita street is apparently famous for its crepes but we didn't have any :(
My brother must've spotted these group of uhm, cosplayers? Haha.
Well there isn't much to see at Takeshita street really. I wish we had the chance to check out Shibuya and Omotesando but we were so pressed for time, grr. So if you are going to Tokyo, do not waste your time at Nakamise and Ginza. Even Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku was boring.
I blame the tour agency for coming up with such a sucky Tokyo itinerary! :(
Our last stop before flying off the following day was Narita. We had dinner at a buffet-style family restaurant. You grab raw marinated cuts of meat and grill them at your table. There are other Japanese foods as well. I particularly enjoyed the DIY crepe station. I'm quite good you know :P
Since we were all so special and deserving of a treat, my dad decided to pre-order Kobe beef and Kurobuta (lit. Black pig) meat for the group. These were bought outside of the restaurant and we just grilled our meat there- after requesting permission of course.
I've had enough Kobe beef to last me a lifetime. 4-5 pieces is all you really need because the meat is so rich with all that marbled fat. Eating too much in one sitting just leaves a greasy feel in your mouth. And the fatty beefy taste lingers on. For a few hours. Or days depending on the severity of your Kobe beef fix.
Flew off the following morning. I miss Tokyo city so much! I wish we never had to keep to the itinerary because there's so much of Tokyo left to be discovered...
I wish I had a camera back then! Ugh think of all the pictures left untaken...and uncaptured memories...
I will return to you, Japan. Soon...real soon.