Saturday, January 25, 2014

Konnichiwa // Japan

Since my classes/exams have been cancelled due to the snow storm, I've got some time to tell you about my trip to Japan over the winter holiday. But before we embark on our Tokyo journey, you have to click here to set the tone.

Getting off our 4 hour flight, we're cranky, excited, and (above all) starving. So we make our way to the hotel via subway to dump our luggage and go scout out a place to eat.

Thankfully, one of the area's best restaurants is a stone's throw away from our doorstep.

Sake lines the walls of this bijou little eatery as we head upstairs to be seated.

The excitement to get drunk on sake eat some authentic Japanese food is too much for us to bear so we end up taking the stairs two by two.

Finally seated and sorted with English menus, we scan, randomly point to and order several dishes.

This soup (which remains a mystery to us).

But was mmm-worthy nonetheless.

A Japanese omelette
Alongside fried ham and edamame

And the creepiest but most delicious dish we have ever laid eyes on.
It has shredded fish sprinkled atop a pile of ramen, caramelized veg and a raw egg with a unique twist - the shredded fish is still moving.
Completely taken aback, slightly nauseous but so incredibly intrigued by this dish, we dive and find that it is one of the best stir fries ever to touch our tongues.
Who cares if it's still half-way alive, anyway?

Full to the brim we waddled out of the restaurant only slightly drunk on sake but decided to make room for some ice cream because why not.
The next morning, we wake up sometime around 9 to get a head start on exploring the city.
Cameras at the ready, everything seems picture-worthy.
Like this 'No smoking' sign that reinforces the Japanese law that smoking anywhere besides the designated smoking areas is illegal.
This too-bloody-cute water hydrant sign.
And this soda machine.
Literally everything we see is 10x more unique than anything we've seen before.
Especially considering this straight-out-of-France bakery/restaurant right round the corner from the subway station.

Several large cups of coffee and a bag of bread at the ready, we hit the jam station.

After several minutes contemplating whether to go for the tartine or omelets, we place our orders.
Omelets for the win.

Fueled up we make our way to the subway and ride over to Ginza - one of the major shopping areas.

Where we saw traditional Japanese arts & crafts

And some less-than traditional snacks..

Being the shopaholics that we are, we couldn't help but pop into ABC Mart - a huge shoe department store (girl's dream come true).
After ooing and aahing, my eyes locked with some Puma beauties.
Crazy / funky / far out / what-have-you, these shoes made me know love at first sight is a very real thing.
Newly equipped with proper walking shoes, we went back out onto the streets to hunt down a shop for afternoon tea.

Finding one, we sat down, reheated and munched on this hazelnut delight. A bottom layer of cheesecake topped with hazelnut paste 'pasta', that is.
Making our way back onto the subway to go to the "Lost in Translation" hotel, we make friends with a local Harijuku (girl?).

Before hitting the bar for some late night cocktails and jazz, we go for a typical Japanese dinner - ramen noodles, hard boiled eggs, pork and rice galore.

Relaxed, revitalized, and genuinely hyped up on the city we're visiting, we take in the view and let all our worries sink away behind Mt. Fuji.

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