The Japan blog continues! 🙂
Day 1: June 6
After a fun (but tiring) weekend, we embrace the start of the week with a test (boo). Luckily, according to the flowchart and exam schedule, this week would be pretty chill – so we went out a lot.
Day 2: June 7
Today, the only thing due in school were some paperwork for one of my classes – so yey! I went back to the dorm right after to sleep and clean my room.
Day 3: June 8
Winona, Pam, and I planned on going to Ueno Zoo – but due to time restraints, we changed our plans instead and went on a mini-food trip, haha! It was around lunch time when we headed to Tokyo station after our classes. Tokyo Station is an interesting place to stop by when you’re in Tokyo – since the station is filled with shops (you don’t even have to get out of the station)! We decided to hit Ramen Street first to eat the best ramen there. After some research and debate, we lined up at Rokurinsha (六厘舎) – which is known to have the longest lines (you can check out their menu here – it’s in Japanese though, so use Google translate). Luckily, we arrived before the lunch crowd, so we only had to wait approximately 30 minutes. The store is relatively small, so it only seats about twenty people.
This ramen shop is known for its tsukemen (つけめん) noodle dish (it’s a type of Japanese noodle dish in which you dip the noodles in a bowl of very thick soup first, then you eat it). To learn more about the difference between tsukemen and ramen, you can read about it here.
We all ordered the original tsukemen dish – which cost us just ¥850! The dish arrived really quickly, and before you know it, we were stuffing our faces with one of the best noodle dishes I’ve ever eaten. This is the first time I’ve eaten tsukemen, and I’m happy to know that the dish lived up to the hype.
We were really full – the fullest we’ve ever felt, and that’s saying a lot; BUT the food trip must continue.
For dessert, we decided to have the traditional Japanese dessert of anmitsu (あんみつ). Luckily, this Japanese dessert place, Mihashi (みはし) was just a little walk from Rokurinsha.
Afterwards, we had an impromptu trip to Akihabara where we spent the rest of the day in.
Day 4: June 9
Today, the results of the Ghibli Museum ticket lottery will be announced (if you recall from my previous blog post when I entered); and unfortunately, I didn’t get the ticket. Oh well, that means my friends and I have to buy the ticket the hard way – lining up early and buying it quickly!
[Note: You can only purchase tickets in Lawson.]
Day 5: June 10
My mom and brother are coming to Tokyo to visit me (last week it was my dad, uncle, and aunts)! Also, today is the day for the general sales of the Ghibli museum! My friend, Miles (pronounced Mye / Mai) lined up for us (since we had classes during the release time) and was able to get us all tickets! Yey!
After school, I headed for Haneda Airport to pick up my mom and brother. We were all pretty happy to see each other after a couple of months – and I was excited for my brother since it was his first time in Japan! We rode the bus to Shinjuku (thank goodness the bus stops directly at the hotel) then we began exploring Shinjuku.
We went to Takashimaya for dinner (at the basement floor, they sell really good food for a discounted price after 7 or 8PM)!
Day 6: June 11
I was pretty excited about today because today’s the day we’re finally going to Tsukiji Market! [Side note / fun fact: Tsukiji Market is one of the largest fish and seafood wholesale market in the world. Also, the market is scheduled to move to a new location by the end of the year.]
My friends wanted to tag along (as we’ve never really been to Tsukiji or Ginza before), so we all set off to Shinjuku in the morning to meet up with my family then headed off to Tsukiji Station (Hibiya Line). The lines were crazy long and the hot weather didn’t really help, but with a lot of patience and guessing games, we finally were about to enter the restaurant!
We really didn’t pick a specific restaurant here – as long as we got to eat fresh and delicious sushi. We decided to pick Umai Sushikan because the line was not too long, the restaurant was air-conditioned, and the prices are friendly (see the menu here)!
Also, they sold the teacups (which had cute sushi designs) and accepted major credit cards!
I ordered the sake oyako-don (if memory serves right). On top of warm rice is a mix of egg (Tamago) and seaweed (nori) with raw salmon and salmon roe on top! You can add a side of Chawanmushi (savory egg custard) – one of my all-time favorite Japanese dishes – for a small amount of money too.
We were hooked immediately after the first bite – it tasted so fresh and so good. We left with full stomachs and happy hearts.
We decided to explore Ginza a bit and walked there (about 10 minutes walk). We ended up at the famous Hakuhinkan Toy Park (which consisted of about five floors of different toys) and spent a lot of time there.
My friends and I separated, but rejoined later in the Fujiya Cafe – one of the best places to go for desserts!
Day 7: June 12
Today, my family wanted to finish their shopping, so we spent the entire day in Shinjuku! We literally shopped until we dropped haha. I ended up going back to the dorm around 11PM or later! Tomorrow, my mom and brother will go back to the Philippines, so today was the last day that we would be able to go explore Japan.
That concludes my tenth week in Japan! 🙂 See you in the next blog post!