Tokyo

It was high time that M went to Japan, so off we went on a short city break to Tokyo.

Instead of staying in our usual low budget joints, we stayed at the Akasaka Excel Hotel which had very nice beds. As per usual with Tokyo, the room was tiny but bigger than our bedroom in Hong Kong at any rate.

At 4pm a Japanese friend met us to queue for a Yakitori restaurant (BBQ Chicken Skewers) named Yakijan in Ginza. This restaurant is fairly well known to people working in Ginza (hence the early queue time), but it  was very nondescript and run by an 82 year old master who couldn’t be bothered to put up a sign except for a lantern that was falling apart. The Japanese friend who had recommended this restaurant to us told us he had been a repeat customer for the past 20 years and that the price was excellent and the quality of food was extremely high. It is safe to say, this was the best Yakitori I have ever tasted.

Unfortunately, I could not find this “Yakijan” in any english website, perhaps more information could be ascertained if one could type and read Japanese.

Meal for 2200 Yen ($22 USD):

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Later on, the same Japanese friend took us to a Magic Bar in Askasaka. This bar was on the 6th floor of a building full of other bars and was the size of someone’s flat. Although the cocktails was very so-so, we did have a private session with the magician who performed very cool tricks with cards, coins and lemons.

magic bar

The following day we ate at Bill’s Breakfast joint near Harajuku. To beat the Japanese people obsession with queuing for food, (especially Western food) we went to eat breakfast at 830am. I have to say, the eggs and ricotta cheese pancakes were very well down. Perhaps they do deserve being named the “number one breakfast joint in Tokyo”.

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We spent the second day exploring Ginza and the underground mall of Tokyo station since the weather was not too nice.

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This was followed by a delicious dinner at 6pm (to skip the queue) in a restaurant called Chikuyotei in Ginza where we ate unagi (eel) from a 150 year old restaurant. Although the eel was delicious, I prefer the eel in Seoul, Korea because it is cheaper, bigger and tastes the same.

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Very delicious eel at a reasonable price of 3000 Yen per person.

The following day we set off to Asakusa Temple to tick it off the “things to see in Tokyo list”. Nothing too special I thought, especially when on has seen the temples in Kyoto, and way too many tourists.

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The entrance to temple

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So we headed off to the newly built Skytree Tower which has an observation deck at the very top. Of course, we did not go up to see the view  which would have costed over 2500 Yen when one can do it for free at the other shorter towers around Tokyo. ( Also when one lives in Hong Kong and is spoiled with the amazing mountain, ocean and city scape combination, Tokyo flatness and lack of sea makes everything look a bit bland from from high up, but I digress. ) We  did however, enjoy browsing through the stores and food court.

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Skytree from a playground with a funny mirror

And how did we end the day? By eating of course. This time, our friend treated us to a restaurant right next to our hotel in Akasaka called Ninja. The food was fusion French/Japanese gourmet and much of the food was black.  Even the servers were in Ninja clothes and had multiple entrances to make their ninja appearance. Even the entrance to the restaurant required some ninja performance followed by a Ninja magician. Very cheesy but entertaining.

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And so, came our last day. Before we headed for the airport though we did something called eating…again! But this time we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market to get super fresh sashimi. Of course we didn’t go early enough to see the famous tuna auction, in fact by the time we got there at 9am, the fish market was basically shutting down. But we did spent quite a while wandering the outer fish market sampling all the food.

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I never realized how big a tuna was

The highlight of all the food we sampled was a simple bowl of Tuna Chirashi made from 2 stern looking ladies at a stall in Segawa.

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So good, so fresh! For 900 Yen
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Normal Tuna Chirashi 900 Yen, Large Tuna Chirashi 1100 Yen, Chef’s Special 1600 Yen. That’s it.
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Two stern ladies running the show.

 

And with that, we headed to the airport.

But not before I saw an ad of Cristiano Ronaldo advertising a face slimming device! Note how device is used as demonstrated by lady in lower left corner.

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Japan is so weird.

 

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