TOKYO: THE FIRST 24 HOURS

cover photo 2I arrived back from Tokyo on Tuesday and have been basically sleeping a lot to recover from the jet lag.  I’m starting to feel normal again so here’s the first post of many of the Ultimate Tokyo Food Tour! The flight over was pretty empty so I managed to get some sleep on the plane despite being so excited, I’d been to Japan 3 years ago and have been dying to get back there. On arrival I was reminded just how cute everything is over there including going through customs, there’s cute sounds and images for instructions at immigration lol, not the scary/cold faces you usually encounter. Once through we picked up our JR rail passes and jumped on the Narita Express to our hotel in Shinjuku.

To ease us into Tokyo life, our host Nick suggested we check out Gonpachi Restaurant in Rippongi, this is where the inspiration for the Kill Bill Volume 1 restaurant fight scene came from. This is its selling point so it is quite touristy but the food is not too bad and you get a free shot of sake on arrival – KANPAI!

gonpachi

gonpachi 7

gonpachi 6

gonpachi 2We continued the movie theme and headed for a drink at the New York Bar at the top of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku. This bar is famous from Sofia Coppola’s film ‘Lost in Translation’ starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The views of Tokyo from up there are amazing, definitely a must on anyone’s Tokyo to do list. At one point in the night we noticed a huge bright yellow light suspended in the sky for a few minutes which suddenly disappeared. For a few minutes afterwards we thought we might have been witnessing the arrival of some extra-terrestrials. It wasn’t until the light appeared again that we figured out that it was actually the moon, and that the dark clouds in the sky cut it into a UFO-like shape. The moon is really bright in Japan, and the cocktails are really good at the New York Bar.

park hyatt 4

park hyatt 3

park hyatt2

drinks

park hyatt

The next morning we got straight into some sight-seeing and headed to Meiji Jingu Park which is home to the Meiji Shrine. It’s just behind the Harajuku train station but once you’re in the park it feels like your miles away from any busy Tokyo street, it’s so beautiful. The biggest highlight was randomly coming across a couple of Tanuki hanging out and eating custard buns!! We were lucky enough to see a couple of traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies while we were there too. Pics below:

park entrance

sake in park

meiji jingu

meiji park 9

wedding2

wedding

meiji park 3

meiji park well

tanuki

tanuki 2

diorama

flowers

roots

We then popped into Shibuya for a bite to eat at a little cafe hidden away off the main streets called Hiki Cafe. I had a delicious pasta topped with a Japanese herb called Ooba, it was so fresh! This went well with the home made lemonade. Pics of Shibuya below:

shibuya2

shibuya

me at pet store

Image by Toby Ricketts.

gizmo

puppy in shibuya

hiki

Last stop was for Akihabara to visit Super Potato which is the BEST retro game store ever, its 3 levels of amazingness. Needless to say we all lost our shit there…..

akihabara

akihabara street

akihabara street 2

super potato

pocket monsters

golden axe

famicon

rocket man

metal gear

super potato upstairsSo that was just the first 24 hours of being in Tokyo – phew!

I’ll be back with Day One of the Ultimate Tokyo Food Tour!

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