Another trip report by my son from one of his weekend side trips to Tokyo while studying in Hong Kong. Well, actually I am not sure there was much studying done but lets just not go there. I am not sure what I will face when he gives me the green light to go ahead and review it. This one turned into a foodie trip report. Both my kids really like Japanese food. I like it too…but not as much as I would have if I was not allergic to shrimp #sosad!
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During my time studying abroad in Hong Kong I took a few side trips. This post will be about my time in Tokyo, Japan. A family friend of mine was visiting at the same time and offered a place for me to stay so I took a quick flight out for a weekend. You can read about my Cathay Pacific business class flight experience & lounge hopping in the Hong Kong Airport HERE.
Navigating the subway to get to my friend’s hotel was not too difficult due to the very helpful tourism desk at the airport. The whole bus and subway system is much more complicated than Hong Kong’s. The first night we hung out in Shinjuku, a busy commercial district.
It was Friday night and as expected there were a lot of people out and about.
We went to this style of restaurant/cafe called Yakitori. My friend is fluent at Japanese and familiar with Japanese culture since he lived there for a year as an exchange student and says Yakitori is a very common hang out spot to drink and eat. Everything on the menu, drinks and food, was 280 Japanese Yen or $2.80 USD. The drink seletion includes all sorts of beers, mixed drinks, and sodas. The food consisted of small appetizer type dishes.
This is karaage – japanese fried chicken.
The next day we went to an area called Asakusa to look around.
Asakusa Station:Nakamise Shopping Street:
Me with my friend and his brother in front of the grand Nakamise Shopping Street gate.
The street was lined with assorted shops. The majority of them were souvenir and snack shops.
We tried a very interesting oyster stick snack. Very odd tasting, I didn’t exactly like it.
View of the Tokyo Skytree:
At the end of the street there was another temple.
There were some people dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos:
People at the temple were doing some sort of prayer or ritual with smoke and ashes.
People were surrounding this fountain and washing themselves with the water. I am not familiar with the significance of these rituals or if they are just touristy things to do.
Later that day we went to get dinner at one of the best sushi places in Tokyo, Hina Sushi. I was super excited since sushi is one of my most favorite foods. The outside displays just got me more hyped.
We ordered all you can eat which was around $40 USD each. Very expensive but when is the next time I’ll be in Japan eating authentic sushi. Here are two of the four plates that we split among 3 people:
Needless to say the sushi was absolutely amazing. Everything was so fresh and tasty. Definitely the thing I will miss the most from Japan.
Japanese street food:
Billboard for the upcoming Olympics.
The next day I had to try the other famous Japanese food that I love: Ramen.
My friend took me to a place known for their pork ramen. The structure of the restaurant was very interesting. Customers go to a vending machine where they key in their order and insert money, they get a receipt and hand it to the chefs while you wait in line until a spot on the bar is open. The ramen was very different that what I expected. The noodles were a bit flat and thicker than what you typically think of ramen. It was delicious, the pork was insanely tender and flavorful.
The next day we went to Akihabara, the “technology district” of Tokyo. There I spent the day looking around a bunch of arcades, video game stores, and assorted gift shops that brought a lot of memories back from my childhood of playing Pokemon.
Stopped for a quick bite of sashimi over rice.
Later that night… more sushi of course.
We later went to a traditional fish place. We had to take off our shoes and sit on one of these very low tables.The food was very fresh tasting and unique. Just writing this blog post makes me miss Tokyo so much.One of the huge multi-directional crosswalks that Tokyo is known for:Next up on my list of famous Japanese foods to try was tonkatsu – fried pork cutlet. The tonkatsu here surprised me with how much better it was than the ones in the States, it was actually my favorite meal of the trip.View from during an above ground subway ride:
I spend the last day in the shopping district of Harajuku. Most of the stuff was more expensive than in the U.S. but I found a few cool clothes at some thrift shops really cheap.
To kill time before my flight we sat down for a cup of coffee at a highly rated trendy cafe called Blue Bottle Cafe.
The last supper… that ended up giving me stomach issues on the way to the airport. Avoid small sketchy looking curry katsu places!
It was time to say goodbye to Japan. I really enjoyed my time there since the culture was really different than anything I have experienced before. Please tell my dad to burn some miles on me, thank you!
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Good riddance August!
A good friend of mine helped launch Uber Local Offers yesterday. Now available in SF and LA.
Dad, burn more miles on Junior.
Amen. But Dad will probably assist JR in collecting points.
Working on it…
Contentment is alternating between sushi and tonkatsu in Tokyo!
Heading back to Tokyo on JAL first in couple of days. Looking forward to the 100 yen store.
Ramen is actually Chinese. the one you had was typical Chinese with seaweed added. I have run in to many Chinese Ramon places in Tokyo. Soba and Udon are Japanese noodles.
Love Soba and Udon. There are more ramen and soba places in Tokyo.
For those staying at Tokyo Hilton, fairly close to Shinjuku station isa fantastic Udon place called Udon Shin. Best Udon noodles I’ve ever had. Small place so it can take some time to get in.
Told son to come and read the comments!
Been to Tokyo 3xs. Last trip we spent $US21. On conveyor belt sushi; and unlike the US, we left stuffed. It was so good.
I’ve been busy doing trade shows. Glad to restart my TBB with a report by BuzzJr.
Better By Design says
Good stuff – Tokyo is amazing.
Impressed by the confidence and intelligence of Junior, navigating international travel & dining like a pro!
I am impressed too, must be mom’s genes lol
Tom R says
What? TBB Jr. didn’t spend his whole trip in the hotel club lounge and room?
Nice pics of the various neighborhoods and food. Can’t wait to go back to Japan.
bwahahaha! That was funny!
Yeah, very funny…
If he ever posts a pic of underwear on the hotel floor he is going to be FIRED 🙂
Jordan L says
I can’t believe your son found my favorite tokyo ramen place! Menya musashi is my fav! I go there multiple times on each trip.
Also, hilarious that there’s a blue bottle (SF bay coffee house/raoster) in Tokyo now.
Wow, that’s wild! He is surprised about this post because he felt it was not his best one. On the contrary….so he will do one about eating in Hong Kong. Well, school starts Tuesday so if it does not get done before then it may not happen until much later.
Jesus Christ, I want sushi.