Tokyo Holiday 2010: Days 4-6

sorry everyone for the wait in between the first part and the 2nd! and there is a third part coming cos its just too much for one post. past week had been crazy busy as usual, but having a bit of time on a sunday evening now so let's go!

Day 4: Asakusa, Ueno, Shibuya

Today was the first of my solo-Japan day as it was a Thurs after the Wed public holiday, and wing has to go to work. I had already memorized the way to the train station and planned out where I wanna head to, so I was all set.

woke up bright and early in the morning and went to the train station to wait out the peak hour train crowd with a breakfast at one of their cafe chains, DouTor. I keep thinking its donut!

Then the exciting part begins! I took the train and alighted at Asakusa station and walked out.. to find a huge red lantern that marks the start of the shrine at the end.

It was slightly early when I got there so the crowd was not as thick at first. I really liked the row of shops selling souvenirs and snacks and stuff, cos its easy to browse and so touristy.

Just noticed the gentleman in the photo 'smiling' at my camera! Hi.

Plenty of tourists. We are at the entrance proper of the shrine!

Similar to our temple at Bencoolen St i suppose, with the smoke and crowds.

Bought a sakura flavoured fried biscuit thingy that was supposed to be a specialty from there. Pretty interesting snack.

the temple was quite nice to walk around with a bottle of hot drink from a vending machine. it was strangely pleasant as there was not as many people when I first got there and there's this feeling of peace. of course later it turned into a fish market but by then I am out of the Street and on my way to check out ueno.

I had to prove that I was here...

Next, Ueno! I briefly went to this area and walked around abit. that place was quite a waste of time though maybe cos there's nobody to guide me to the good spots. there was nothing exciting and the yamekyo street was really just full of dried goods.

so back to the Ginza line it is to continue to shibuya as planned. shibuya was much better in terms of the sights and sounds and the shopping. Shibuya 109 was mad expensive though. hating the exchange rate so much! 100 yen to SGD1.62 is like US prices and I cannot buy ANY local clothes since they are like at least 3000 yen for a simple top that is not weather friendly. bleagh.

on the way, i saw throngs and throngs of schoolgirls.

the streets of shibuya are of course buzzing.

just soaking in the east meets west culture of the place with its fast food chains and japanese bookstores.

from there I went to H&M, a few shops and also had sushi for a very late lunch. didn't really buy much actually which is good. and I am more or less done with buying the heavy stuffs so I am very glad!

this was my 800 yen (sgd 12.80) sushi meal from a conveyor belt restaurant. it was surprising good! no weird yellow rubbery sushi.

and of course, i had to go visit Hachiko, the famous dog statue. for those who didn't know, the statue was in commemoration of this loyal dog who waited for its master in front of the shibuya station every day for 9 years after the owner passed away.

the sky was turning dark by 4+ again, and time for me to head back after a quick stop at LUSH for some soaps!

Back on the train. It was really empty, lucky me to escape the work crunch. I was back at our train station at 5.30, and walked around a little before meeting wing for dinner!

and guess what we had for dinner, in tokyo, japan?


Wing raved about the food and i was curious as well.. indian food in japan? well they have the japanese curries and i suppose there was a bit of an overlap, but according to wing, she's never tasted better indian food than the one here! well, that warrants a visit!

so we ordered some chicken tandoori. these are SPICY man, and really generous portions.

this thing is damn good. its filled with cheese inside and i've never eaten it before as part of any indian meal i've had... its like sweet prata stuffed with pizza cheese. omg.

Here's a look at the cheese. Homygawd i need a plane ticket back right now.

butter chicken! its my favourite indian dish and i wanted to compare if its as good as the ones i had in india. this was really not too bad, and again, very spicy!

then came the shocker, the giant naan. it was really table sized.

Here's my reaction.


And that concludes our very full dinner. we couldn't finish half of the food and had to bring them home, which came in handy for breakfast the next day.

We then went to a nearby grocery store to buy some snacks and stuffs, and i HAD to snap a photo of this product.

Eyelash apprication, anyone?

We also bought desserts.

Rovey is curious! They are very yums, and we had them with some hot tea. MMmmm.

I also bought 2 magazines from the kinokuniya nearby! They are friggin  heavy and I had to carry them all the way back to the room, but I only brought one of it back to Singapore (the one on the left with the cover model who looks super like felicia chin!)

The Sweet magazine came with a Paul & Joe pouch and makeup case.

More magazine came with a tote!

There they are! haha actually the reason why i bought the magazines. and I know, our local kinokuniya also have such things.

Here's rovey with the elephant necklaces I got for me and wing from shibuya 109. so pretty!

Nights rovey!

Day 5: Tokyo Tower, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine

Friday, once again woke up bright and early with wing and had breakfast in the apartment before i set out to see the Tokyo Tower. Now i've finally been to tokyo. It's like the eiffel tower, but smaller and in red and white.

Got my obligatory tourist ticket to take the elevator up high.

Proof that I am here shot.

And here are the buildings as seen from the tower, shot using Tiltshift on the canon s95! don't they look adorable?

Next up, i paid some cash to visit the wax museum. to be honest it was kinda creepy as i was the only person inside for the first part and it was freaky to see all these lifelike people sitting still! remind me not to do that the next time. i walked really quickly through the front part without pausing much to take photos cos they might get up and say BOO! to me. at the end there were other tourists around so i was more comfortable ^_^

here's jimi hendrix. the wax museum was metal/rock themed.

they also had some rock/metal memorabilia. these bands probably inspired the japanese goth metal movement.

again, shot with a miniature tower behind me. ok i was slightly bored in the tower.

so i left! on the way, I met a russia german lady who was totally lost. she was so happy to find out i could speak english, and we walked to the train station together as she was looking for one and i was headed that way. i probably saved her half a day of walking around lost as she was going in the completely opposite direction to the station! i had memorized the route to station cos i knew i had to go back the same way. *beams*

So i headed to the most exciting destination of the day, Harajuku!

Thanks to Gwen Stefani and street photography of cosplay, that place is famous worldwide. and for a good reason! it is really quite happening, even beyond the very short takeshita street. it reminds me of haji lane meets far east plaza.

i saw so many japanese queuing for this restaurant!

And I love this shot. The Filth And The Fury + badass motorbike.

I wandered beyond the takeshita street and came upon little indie shops and salons. and this monstrous structure that hosts a cafe/bar. I can imagine it to be really happening at night!

For lunch i stopped for a quick bite at Lotteria. At least I think that's what its called. Its like MOS burger's cousin.

My shrimp and cheese burgah. yummy and does a good job as fuss free fast food.

Back to the Takeshita Street. A lot of shops but sadly once again the fashion style wasn't to my liking, so I was doing more window gazing.

I got myself a yummy strawberry chocolate crepe though! they are famous along the street and everyone eats them.

it was so good. I dream of the fresh whipped cream and juicy strawberries living in harmony with the crepe skin done just right.

I then headed to the famed Omotesando Hills. This is like our Paragon stretch with all the flagships and haute couture boutiques. Did a lap and came back down. The air smelt expensive.

Just next to the Harajuku hippiness, is the scenic and peaceful Meji Shrine and park. It was really nice and quiet.

But the walk to the shrine almost killed me! The entire path was lined with gravel too so it made walking a bit iffy. But it was a once in a lifetime thing so I soldiered on at my own pace.

And here's the shrine! It is essentially a courtyard style but way less chaotic compared to the asakusa one. This is more serene.

There was a wedding procession taking place, lucky me.

I like this shot with the lone photographer looking back at me with the procession in the background.

That's that for Meiji shrine and then its back to the train station! i was lucky as they were closing the park off when i was exiting for some renovations. if i went just a bit later i might have missed it.

When i went back to our home station, it was cold and so i sat down and rested my tired legs with a cuppa :)

starbucks is actually not as expensive as the rest of their things. 430 yen converts to $7 bucks, just 1 more dollar more compared to singapore.

i had the caramel eclair latte. it was not as nice as our toffee nut.

Then it was time for dinner with wing! Yay my favourite part of the day haha. For that night, we crossed Yakiniku off our list.

It was sho good.

Here's wing with the food!

I love the marinate the beef was covered in. Sour and well flavoured! I think mustard is involved somewhere.

We also ordered this pork? beef? stew rice thing that was omg. It might look a bit like our mui fan, but its so good you have no idea. wing loves this a lot!

also while we were eating, i experienced my first ever earthquake! well, it was more like a tremor, but the whole building was swaying gently and everyone looked up in bewilderment as well. it was so cool! i know singapore had some tremors before, but I've never felt those here, so the one in japan was my first. yay.

haha. then after dinner, we went to do something really really japanese.

we took neoprints :P

Here's us in the booth! we could decorate the neoprints with so many different functions, it was amazing. i have not taken a neoprint for like... 6305 years?

happy us went on our ways... but not before finally succumbing to temptation.

wing told me about this french cafe that serves 15 sgd MILK TEA. i was like "what?!" when she first told me but apparently everyone who had it agreed that its really heavenly. and since I will only have that one chance of having it, we decided to go in and order a cup and have a slice of cake for dessert.

here's me waiting for the tea to be prepared. it was a very nice french-inspired cafe.

Here's the $15 royal milk tea. words just cannot describe it accurately. $15? I would gladly do it again. and again. and again... It was heaven in a cup. like drinking milky clouds so light and fluffy with the tea enveloping the entire taste just so barely.. oh man.

Tea and cake, how quaint!

Savouring my clouds in a cup.

Happeh with the dessert and tea. and hello eyebags. time to head home and rest!

On the way, I post with our Happy Vendor 100 yen vending machine near our place! I always visit it every time we walked past. it is a happy vendor because not all vending machines sell awesome drinks for 100 yen! (they rip you off for 20-50 yen more)

and this concludes part 2/3 of my tokyo posts. in fact i'm gonna work on the last part now but meanwhile i'll publish this first! i hope you enjoy my posts as i write all these down while the memories are still relatively fresh in my head so i can refer to them years later :)
  1. hi.. do you happen to have any idea what's the name of that french inspired cafe u had milk tea at? Thanks.

    1. Hi anon, its called George V cafe near the kokubunji station!