Tag: Tokyo

Tokyo: The Food Edition

Tokyo: The Food Edition

Here is the run down on all our Tokyo food experiences:

Sushi

We started and ended our trip with sushi. On our first day we headed over to “Umegaoka Sushi No Midori”, which was highly recommended online. The place was really popular, even on a Thursday at 2:30 pm we had to wait for 45 minutes to get a table. The sushi was very pretty and yummy though πŸ™‚

On our last day we went to Sushizanmai, a big, popular chain. At 10:30 am we already had the first sushi in front of us, no wait on a Monday morning πŸ™‚ The place was pretty empty, so we sat at the counter and watched the masters work.

Making our own Sushi

Another Airbnb experience: a sushi class with a Japanese sushi master. We met Nori and 2 other participants at a grocery store where he showed us all the necessary stuff to make sushi. We then went to his apartment and made nigiri and maki sushi. He was really strict about the technique – a real sushi master has to train for 8 years after all – and made us practice on playdough first πŸ™‚ I didn’t take many pictures because of fishy hands but thankfully our host was on it πŸ™‚

Tsukiji Fish Market Food Tour

The Tsukiji Fish Market will be relocated in October so we were lucky we still got the see the old building and craziness happening inside. I booked a tour through Ninja Food Tours that included lots of tastings and it was really fun! First we had a chicken, egg and rice dish and then really started the tour. The market also has a big wholesale vegetable and fruit portion and we had some yummy strawberries there. Pretty fruit is considered a nice gift but we passed on the 50 USD cherry box and 60 USD mango πŸ˜‰

We also checked out all the crazy fish and sea food of the inner market and then had ate at the outer market. The place is huge and busy so I’m really glad we went with a guide who knew what he was doing. We had sweet omelette on a stick as a palate cleanser, then an amazing tuna bowls, pork dumplings, some matcha drinks, tried some dried fish candies and finally had a mochi strawberry dessert.

Kobe Beef

For Thorben’s Birthday we went to a kobe beef restaurant and indulged in a dinner with 8 courses, 7 of which included beef. We ate it grilled, baked, fried, marinated, raw, inside a dumpling … It was delicious πŸ™‚

Tokyo: Temples, Shrines and Blossoms

Tokyo: Temples, Shrines and Blossoms

Last Thursday was Qingming Festival, or tomb-sweeping day, which meant that on Thursday, Friday and Saturday the office was closed. To make up for the Friday off, Sunday was a working day. Not for us though because we extended the 3 day weekend by two more days and flew to Tokyo for some sightseeing, food and to celebrate Thorben’s birthday πŸ™‚

Comedy and the Golden Turd

On our first night we went to the comedy show “Get a comedian’s take on life in Japan”, the first Airbnb experience I’ve ever booked. It was a pretty funny show about Japan, the way of life, history and culture. Most importantly, Meshida explained the “interesting” golden statue we’d seen on our walk there. Apparently, the building is a brewery, the statue is from a French artist, the plan was to put up three of them upright, and it’s supposed to be a flame. Now it’s known as the golden poo or golden turd. Gotta love Tokyo πŸ™‚

Sensō-ji Temple

After the show we walked over to the Sensoji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The temple and the five-story pagoda are lit up beautifully at night.

Free Walking Tour

Friday morning we did a free walking tour. We started in Akihabara, where the Electronic Town (aka a cluster of lots of nerdy shops) is and then went to the Yushima Seido temple with a big statue of Confucius. Next, we went to the Kanda shrine. There, we learned how to make a wish/pray at a shrine: First, you bow once, then you throw a coin into the donation box, clap twice (to wake up the Gods), make your wish and then bow twice. Afterwards, we wandered through Ameyoko shopping street and finished at Ueno Park.

Meiji Shrine & Harajuku Free Walking Tour

After a morning at the fish market (more on that in another post) we did another free walking tour in a different part of Tokyo. We learned a lot about the early history of Tokyo, back when it was called Edo, and the Samurai and Emperor still ruled. Half the tour we spent visiting the Meiji Shrine and even saw a wedding party leaving. Then we went to crazy Takeshita Street which is mostly tailored to kids and teenagers and saw the old Olympic stadium.

Shibuya

We went to Shibuya for 2 things: to see the Hachiko statue and the Shibuya crossing/pedestrian scramble. The guide book called it the Times Square of Tokyo and it’s supposed to be a one of the busiest intersections. It wasn’t as crazy on a Sunday morning but Hachiko was still very cute πŸ™‚

Photography walk

Another Airbnb experience I booked was a photography tour with a local guide. We went to a lot of different scenic places and Thorben and our guide switched cameras a couple times. Maybe Thorben will upload some of of the pictures later but for now it’s just the ones from my iPhone πŸ™‚

We first went to the observation deck at the Tokyo Government building, then to a close by small shrine, Tokyo station, the Imperial Palace East Garden and finally the Nezu Shrine. While 80% of the cherry blossoms were already gone (they were a couple weeks early this year), we caught some of the late bloomers on the way to the Imperial Palace and lots of other pretty flowers. Especially the azalea (a rhododendron species) at the Nezu shrine were beautiful.

In case you’re wondering where all the food pictures are … I’ll discuss that in detail in a separate postΒ  πŸ™‚