Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We love Tokyo - Day 3

Day 3, getting up was difficult as usual, and the weather was colder than usual, it actually rained. One of the coldest days ever.

Had a sandwich from Lawson's convenience store. 285 yen.

Weather was too cold and rainy, and i forgot my camera bag, so we took shelter in a Macdonald's nearby.

We had no idea how to order, but the staff were really nice and tried to speak English to us. The burger in the picture tasted exactly like sausage Mcmuffin in Singapore. Except that the bun is sweet, it had red bean filling. Nice.

Train timetable. It says "aliens go home".

Shinjuku station.
Reached Yokohama after a long train journey. There seems to be people everywhere you walk in Tokyo. Not surprising, since Tokyo has a population of 12 million, 33 million if you consider the suburbs.

Yokohama, lunch hour, places are packed and people are so busy that they eat standing up, and in the cold rain.

Although you can't see it, the fork is suspended in midair.

Live jazz in a shopping mall.

Train tickets.

Ramen museum.

Various machines on display.

Cutesy teapots for sale.

Pre-made soup base, made by famous ramen houses.

These eggs are really special. And expensive. They have a liquid-ish yolk inside.

Various ramen.

The interior of the museum was really retro.

I thought i was in 1920s Japan.

Toy stall.

The celling was really cool, reddish and doomsday-like.

Retro scooter.

Mine, the cha-shu, or char siew, rawks.

Yan's, the soup was one of the best. The red stuff is some secret chili recipe.

Couldn't resist trying the eggs.

An acquired taste.

That evening, we reached China.

Well, Chinatown.

After being illiterate for so long, everything was familiar again. It was kinda weird too, when we passed by shops, staff would beckon to us in Japanese, and then switch back to Mandarin after we walked passed.

Train to Cosmo World. Super futuristic station.

The ferris wheel at Cosmo World. We braved rain and cold wind and sub-zero temperatures to take this shot. It was probably 0 degrees or lower.

Christmas tree.

Lots of fun rides. But nobody was on them, too cold i guess.

Hot canned drinks are such a great invention. You can grab them to warm your hands too.

The lighting outside Queen's Square.

Broken Japanese English.

Really nice lighting.

Streets of Yokohama.

The only shot of us together.

KatsuDon dinner at Queen's Square, the waitress who served us was really nice and cute, and according to Yan, she looked like Sora Aoi, not that i know who that is, ahem. Too bad, no pic. She taught us how to eat the raw egg, by stirring it into the salad thingy. She made a"Buru buru buru" sound and a stirring action. Funny.

We ordered extra fatty meat. What's the point of life without artery clogging lard?

Green tea Mochi for dessert.

All sorts of weird arcade games, this one was a music game. You had to time the tweezer carefully, to pluck the hairs from the guy's face as it grows out.

Well i guess thats all for day 3, coldest day in my life. But maybe i am just a frog in the well who hasn't experienced even colder weather, like snow.

Winter Korea, anyone?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Whale meat

Canned whale meat from Japan. Tastes like pork, and the sauce is sweet. 1000yen for 2 cans.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We love Tokyo - Day 2

Day 2, got up quite early, which was rather difficult because the hole-in-the-wall was too comfy. Walked down the streets randomly towards Shinjuku station.

Came across "Songwu", or "Matsuya" fast food restaurant for some breakfast, just one of the many fast food chains in Japan. "Matsuya" is a competitor of Yoshinoya in Japan.

Luckily there are pictures on the vending machine's buttons this time.

Yan's beef bowl with raw egg.

Rice with curry stew. If i remembered correctly, it costs around 450 Yen.

Shinto or Buddhist temple, i have no idea.

Should be a statue of Buddha.

Shinjuku Gyoen. A large park close to Shinjuku station, has 3 main garden types, Japanese, English and French.


Large maple tree, too bad the leaves are wilted in winter.

No idea why are we so fascinated by it.

The tree grants its divine powers to Yan...

Breathing roots.

Look at the fishes!

"Feed us! Feed us!"

Japanese gardens.

Really well maintained. Everyone in Japan takes pride in their work. Even gardeners and cleaners.

I think he was trying to refill his bottle.

English gardens.

More vending machines.

This one sells cup noodles. Since we are fated to meet each other, i bought a cup.

Curry cheese cup noodles, out-of-this-world experience!


French gardens, modeled after Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris. Too bad there are no leaves in winter.

Another fast food chain that we saw everywhere in Tokyo, but didn't try.

Super realistic food models. There was a place selling them, but i forgot where. But those are really expensive.

Writing poems out of Kanji characters.

Meiji Jingu shrine. Devoted to Emperor Meiji. To read more,

You can write down your prayers on a piece of paper and throw it in. I think...

Vats of sake.

Wine from France.

All the lucky charms you can buy in the shrine. Money, health, love, and charms for road safety.

Japanese lanterns.

Wash your hands and rinse your mouth before prayers.

Everyone washing hands.

Entrance to the main temple.

You can get a plague for around 300 yen and write your wishes down, then hang it around the magic tree, where they will be blessed by the priests.

This is a picture of the magic tree.

Throwing coins and praying.

Main temple building, not open to public.

Charms shop, they sell other stuff too.

Hardly anyone smokes on the streets in Tokyo, they are all huddled at the smoking points. Really considerate people.

Harajuku train station.

I forgot the name of this street, but its a really trendy place in Harajuku for young people. Lots of clothing and accessory stores.

Harajuku ward.

Didn't get to try this vegetarian restaurant. Quite famous, according to Yan.

Waiting for lunch to be served.

Contrary to popular belief, i actually adore reading.

My lunch.

Yan's, we had a set with 2 bowls each.

Omotosando hills.

Home of all the prestige brands.

Japan is home to Burberry Blue label.

Japanese favourite, Louis Vuitton.

Some of the weird buildings in Japan. This is a hair salon if i'm not wrong.

Only 5pm and its dark in winter.

The eclectic Prada building at Aoyama.

Everything is see through.

Too bad i had no money to shop here.

The biggest Prada building in the world, larger than the headquarters in Milan.

Funky buildings in Aoyama.

Take 5, we had been walking the entire day. No trains for today. Yet.

Drinks on sale.

I love coffee. One good thing about the vending machines, they are able to dispense hot canned drinks.


Thank you Yan for always looking at the map and ensuring we didn't get lost. Really appreciate it. Without your expertise i would be wandering aimlessly, perhaps it will be less fun too.


How much is the doggy in the window? 159000 yen. That's like SGD2140.

Roppongi at night. You can see Tokyo tower in the background.


And the breathtaking view from the top.

Roppongi Hills, city within a city. But.... we didn't go inside.

We walked all the way to Shibuya in search of dinner. And ended up in a ramen shop. No idea why i didn't take the pictures. Maybe it was too cold. And my brains froze up. Average temperature at night is 2 degrees C.

About to head back, when we saw this. I wished it was a group of girls instead.

Home sweet home!

Internet counter.

Well that's about it for day 2. We had a really long day. It felt like route march from our army times. Except it was freezing. Coats and gloves don't help much either, and i lost one of my gloves too, don't ask me why, i have no idea.

However, from my observations, i realised that Japanese ladies are highly resistant to cold weather. Especially schoolgirls. Really amazing shit.