A bit of a delayed post since I’ve been having trouble uploading all the pictures, but here it finally is! 🙂
After 8 months, I’m extremely lucky enough to go back to Tokyo, Japan! I was in charge of creating the itinerary and planning other details alongside my aunt – which was a really exciting and awesome responsibility!I was looking forward to this trip for several months – it’s what kept me going in school (“suffer now, enjoy later”) as I spent fewer hours sleeping and more hours into school work. Like my previous travel/ Japan posts (click here to read one), I’ll break down my trip per day. For this trip, I went with my grandmother and my two aunts!
Day 1: April 11
Our flight to Tokyo, Japan leaves at 9AM, so my family and I were at the airport by 5:30AM. After dropping our bags off, we headed for the airport lounge for a light breakfast (since they’ll also be serving brunch on the plane later on) as we waited for our boarding time.
I was itching to leave since at this time of the year, it’s really hot here in the Philippines and I’m missing the cool air of Spring. Fast forward to four hours, we finally landed!
I was immediately hit with nostalgia when I saw all the Japanese characters all around and when I heard “arigatou gozaimasu” from the usual “thank you” and “salamat” I hear at home. I was grinning from ear to ear as we made our way to the Narita Express to catch a train to Shibuya.
At around 6PM, we arrived at our hotel Shibuya Tokyu Rei – which was at a convenient location (less than 5 minutes walk to JR Shibuya station’s Hachiko exit and beside Bic Camera).
We quickly settled down and headed for Ichiran Ramen (a must in Tokyo) for dinner.
As expected, there was a long line (especially at dinner time) and we waited for around 40-minutes to an hour before we were finally seated.
In all of Japan, this is one of the best ramens I’ve eaten.
After dinner, I went to the Disney store (just across the street) to go souvenir hunting.
Afterwards, we headed for Bic Camera and window shopped until closing hours. That’s day one!
Day 2: April 12
On our second day, we headed for Gontran Cherrier Tokyo (which was conveniently located across the street) for breakfast.
I order the pain au chocolat and iced coffee. The taste is simply amazing. I still dream about it.
After our delicious breakfast, we headed for Harajuku since it was really near (I once walked from Shibuya to Harajuku and it was really relaxing)!
We arrived pretty early and most of the stores were still closed.
Luckily, the Calbee Plus store was open, so we ordered some freshly made chips (despite the fact that we just had a filling breakfast).
We also headed for Zaku Zaku (which is also a must) for their delicious cream puffs.
Afterwards, we went shopping in Takeshita Street (I really love two particular stores there – one is World Connection and the other is a clothing store – I don’t know the name, unfortunately), Kiddyland Harajuku (I freaked out when I went to Snoopy Town hehe), and more.
For lunch, we went to Tendontenya for delicious tempura.
And went back to Shibuya for more shopping.
For dinner, we went to Torikizoku Shibuya (having prior reservations made).
We went shopping some more after dinner and ended the day early!
Day 3: April 13
Today we left early to go to Tsukiji Market! I was really excited because the last time I went, I had such a good experience with my friends and family. (Also, I’ve been craving for fresh sushi / sashimi / anything for a long time.)
I don’t usually research on restaurants in Tsukiji, I just go wherever I please. We were so lucky to stumble upon this little store (I’ll do some research on the name and come back when I finally figure it out):
When we got in, I was surprised to see that it only sat about twenty people at a time with the sushi chefs in front of you!
My aunt ordered the Omakase (¥3,600) while I ordered the Takumi (¥2,571) – it had a small difference (lesser by two kinds of sushi?) You’ll have to excuse my lack of pictures from here since I was too busy eating – HAHA.
This is what my grandma ordered:
After everything, my aunt told me “I don’t want to leave yet”. I agreed and asked her if we could order one more dish – my favorite, salmon sashimi! (And she agreed!) Everything tasted so good and the sushi chefs were so fun to observe! The service was great, and the atmosphere was so fun and light.
After eating we thanked the chefs, paid for our meal, and started walking back to the station. Along the way back, I saw a man selling fresh strawberry daifuku(s) / ichigo daifuku. I couldn’t resist!
The strawberry was so fresh and the mochi was so soft – it was such a confluence of flavors!
After Tsukiji, we headed for Tokyo Station (you can read about it more here). We started with Okashi Land –
These freshly roasted + covered in chocolate almonds are so good. A must-try!
AND THIS! No, it’s not ice cream. It’s like liquid chocolate mousse? It’s so creamy and not too sweet!
We headed for Character Street next:
We were supposed to go to Ramen Street for lunch at Rokurinsha Ramen (another must-try), but we were too full, so we headed back to Shibuya for some shopping. Fast forward to several hours later, we got hungry from shopping and my aunt wanted wagyu beef so –
We luckily found a great place nearby and made it with time to spare (since their operating hours were only from 11:30 PM to 3 PM then 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM) – it was 2 PM at that time. [Here’s a tip: eat wagyu beef for lunch as the prices are cheaper!]
After late lunch, we shopped in the nearby Uniqlo and Matsumoto Kiyoshi (drugstore) for a couple of hours when I saw a sign for the Fuyija Cafe (home of Country Ma’am cookies and more)! We went in for snacks / late dessert.
As it was getting late, we had time to go to one more place – we decided to go to “Donki” (Don Quijote). On the way there, I asked if we could stop by Starbucks since I wanted to try the Starbucks pudding. Unfortunately, the line was too long, so we left after one look at the shop (this was the one placed in front of the Shibuya crossing). However, it was not all in vain! I exchanged some dollars for more yen and saw this:
We walked to Donki and I left my family there after paying for my shopping. I had a mission. I was going to Animate!
On the way to Animate, I saw a Starbucks branch and slipped inside. The American Cherry Pie frappuccino was released that day, so there was a lot of people buying it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the taste of cherries, so I didn’t bother trying it.
Instead, I ordered the simple iced coffee and finally –
– bought the pudding cups!
I couldn’t resist. Cute packaging PLUS one of my all-time favorite dessert, pudding? I don’t like matcha, so I asked my aunt to eat it for me (I just wanted the pudding cup, after all, heehee).
I ran to Animate and bought merchandise for me (plus some friends at home) and went back to Donki to meet up with my family. I didn’t take long since I remembered where Animate was (oh the memories). We had a quick dinner at Freshness Burger (which was beside Donki) and went back to the hotel after a tiring day.
Today’s damage! HAHA.
Last day tomorrow 😦
Day 4: April 14
For breakfast, we went to one of my favorite pancake places in Tokyo: Hoshino Coffee!
[Here’s a tip: If the Starbucks across the street is filled with people, but you want a great view, try Hoshino instead!]
Everyone ordered a plain pancake soufflé while I ordered –
– the special menu strawberry pancake soufflé!
While waiting for the food to arrive, I did some window shopping:
After eating, we all headed for Shinjuku for Tokyu Hands!
After a few hours, one of my aunts and I headed for Naka-Meguro for the Peanuts Cafe! I made reservations months in advance and was pretty excited to go back!
Cherry blossoms! Meguro River is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing/hanami.
I ordered my “usual” – Snoopy’s favorite drink: Root Beer Float!
We also ordered the shrimp and avocado salad – which was really good!
And the meatball + tomato sauce pasta!
After a lovely afternoon, we went back to Shibuya to wrap-up our last night of shopping. We ended up eating dinner in Cafe MUJI – which I also recommend.
After dinner, I decided that I am allowed to finally go to Taito Station to play! (HAHA with a limit of ¥500 only. I remembered how much money I placed in here when I was living in Tokyo.)
Unfortunately, I was too busy shoving everything in my luggage so I didn’t get a “damage report” for the day!
Day 5: April 15
Our flight was late afternoon, but we had to leave Shibuya early since we’ll be going to Narita and not Haneda. For breakfast, we went to Family Mart. I had one more thing I wanted to do before I flew back home.
…and that is to eat Famima Chicken! I swear this is a MUST. The chicken literally melts in your mouth. It’s so tender and the flavor is just amazing.
Breakfast (+ snacks for later):
With heavy hearts, we loaded our luggage on the bus and headed for Narita airport.
When we arrived, we went to Saboten for tonkatsu:
It was the perfect “last” meal in Japan for this trip.
And that concludes my entire trip! Thank you for reading and I apologize for the extremely long post + differences in photo quality. I finally got my own camera so I assure you that my content is slowly improving!