FOLLOW ME TO TOKYO: DAY 1
Back in 東京 🇯🇵
We actually arrived in Tokyo at night so we didn't get to do much besides strolling around Shinjuku and having Yoshinoya for dinner (we wanted to try Shin Udon but the queue was insane even at 10 pm). After a good night sleep, we're off to explore the city! It's the boyfriend's first time in Japan so I thought of showing him around the touristy spots. The whole of Tokyo was covered in pretty pink cherry blossoms when I came in spring and I kinda miss that side of Tokyo. But even in late summer, it was beautiful nevertheless. Which is why I say, we're incredibly blessed to be here at the right time because the weather had been amazing, if not perfect. Accommodation-wise, we stayed in an Airbnb at Higashi-Shinjuku (I stayed around the same area last year as well). I'd say the location is not bad but well, it's Tokyo anyway, so the public transport made it very convenient to commute around.
Our first stop: Meiji Jinggu! Would it be weird to say that I actually enjoyed the mysterious yet calming vibe from the forested walking path? (though I won't want to come here at night) We went there quite early in the morning so there was significantly less crowd. And while we were there, we got to witness a parade of the past Sumo wrestlers champions. Because we had an early breakfast (convenient stores onigiris are the best, I swear!), we headed to Ichiran at 1130am (also trying to avoid the lunch crowd hahaha). It was just as good as I remembered it to be! I had mine at spiciness level 3 but it was still too mild (I love spicy food!), so maybe I'll try level 5 the next time!
After lunch we strolled around Harajuku for a bit and had Zaku Zaku's éclair (yummmm!) before posing in front of a Japanese crepe shop for a photo - there are so many of them in Harajuku! Anyway, these crepes are amazing - my favourite's got to be the crème brûlée one topped with a burnt and crackling caramelised coating.
Another popular thing to do in Tokyo, interestingly enough, is to people-watch at Shibuya Crossing (weird, I know!) But perhaps there's an allure to watching people coming in from all directions, flooding the intersection as the crosswalk lights turn green and then slowly diffuse back into the crowd along the streets. And the best place to witness this moment of organised chaos? From the window seat at the second floor of Starbucks in the Tsutaya building. That was exactly what we did before heading for tea at Zenkashion. I really wanted to try their custard cake after seeing it on Instagram so we ordered the afternoon tea set but to our amazement, everything came extra petite?! Verdict: they serve really overpriced afternoon tea & never to trust Instagram pictures.
Our highlight of the day was queueing more than an hour for a bowl of udon at Shin. But thankfully enough, it was well-worth every second of the wait! I honestly was not a huge fan of udon - I had always been more of a ramen kinda girl - until I tried Koya in London and immediately fell in love. Personally, I prefer to have my udon dipped in cold sauce instead of having it in a hot broth. Think thick, square-cut udon dipped in a cold, savoury broth (it helps to retain the chewiness of al dente noodles). Aside from the assorted veggie tempura toppings, I ordered an extra tempura egg with gooey golden yolk and it was da bomb! I swear the Japanese sure know how to cook an egg perfectly!
I know this post is almost two months late but bear with me as I continue to churn out more posts on my Japan trip!