Japan: Tsukiji and Harajuku, Tokyo.

07 December 2019 Saturday
Day 8:

Our last full day in Japan.

We made a brief stop at Les Initiés once more, where Florian picked up another Chaussons aux Pommes and a Financier.

img_7225

The financier had beautiful caramel notes from the burnt butter, and its edges had a lovely crust that held a moist, tender interior. As for the Chaussons aux Pommes, it was still a great delight second time round for Florian.

After our quick stop-and-go, we set off for Tsukiji Outer Market. Even though it was raining, it was still teeming with people.

img_1844

We wandered around the food stalls and openly salivated at the wide array of grilled, raw, steamed, and fried seafood. Some of which I’ve never seen before!

img_1847

There were casual eateries and kiosks everywhere selling sushi rice bowls, sashimi, sushi sets… Anything relating to seafood, they had. To be honest, I don’t know how much of it was catered to tourists. I assume a lot of it because, why not?

img_1851

While we gawped at all the food around us, we chose to leave it at that. We inhaled the appetising smells of grilled food but lapped it all up with our eyes.

img_1850

Steamed buns!! And suimai!!

img_1852

UNAGI!

img_1854

SCALLOPS!

img_1853

Instead, we picked out Tsukiji Itadori as our lunch venue of choice to have an early-ish lunch. Just as well because we only had to wait about 10min to get a table in the warmth. The queue built up right after we arrived. We could have taken the counter seats without waiting but it was a bit more exposed to the cold.

img_1861

Chefs at work.

img_1860

Itadakimasu!

img_1862

Here, every person had to order a bowl for themselves. Ie. No sharing.

img_7232

I ordered an Aburi Zeitaku Kaisendon. I was happy to settle for the basic kaisen don but dear hubsy argued that I should treat myself and go big, especially with it being our last day in Japan. So, I obliged.

img_1864

My bowl came with Otoro, chu toro, salmon, white fish (hamachi?), shrimp, octopus, squid, scallop, anago and uni. The anago was my favourite! It was soft, tender, not too sweet, and so luxuriant on my tongue. I let Florian try some and he couldn’t help but agree. The scallops too, were extremely fresh with the hint of smoky char enhancing its sweet delicate flavour. Uni is still not my favourite. The otoro was seriously melt-in-the-mouth. In fact, it melted on my tongue. While I found that exceptionally impressive, it was a touch too oily for me. My preference was for the chu toro which struck the right balance of fat and lean for me. The ebi too, was delicious.

Florian’s bowl consisted of negitoro, ikura, crab flakes, uni, shrimp, hamachi, salmon, chu toro, otoro, scallops and squid.

img_7231

He enjoyed the tuna especially, him being a tuna-man.

After lunch, we walked a little towards Ginza where Starbucks had me running up and down their stairs 4-5 times because they served me chamomile latte instead of chamomile tea. I brought it down, they asked for a receipt. I went up, got the receipt, went back down and they asked for the card we used to pay. I returned back up, for the card, and went back down. Then they asked for the same signature used to sign for the card. Florian had signed for it so I had to run back up and chase Florian down to settle everything. It was only then, that I finally got my tea bad in water.

From Starbucks, we moved on to visit Meiji Shrine. I half expected it to be overly touristy and thus, overhyped.

img_7234

However, while there were people around, there was a calm and peace that enveloped the area.

img_1869

There was a dignified air around the temple and its compounds – quietly magnificent with gorgeous, tall trees flanking the wide pathways.

img_1871

img_1873

img_7236

Cleansing ritual before entering the temple.

img_1877

Just as we were leaving the temple, we saw a marriage procession taking place.

img_7237

At first, with all the black clothing, I was unsure if it was really a wedding. It was only until we saw the bride and groom under the red umbrella that we could feel certain. It felt a privilege to be able to bear witness to something so sacred and intimate.

img_1881

We understood nothing, but it was beautiful.

From Meiji Shrine, we made our way to Harajuku. It’s really a place for the young ones and those keen to shop. Florian and I were neither. We only sought out a cafe to keep us warm while we figured out what we wanted to do for dinner.

As per our initial plan, we returned to Shinjuku in hopes of scoring some yakitori. Location #1 was closed for a private event. Or maybe because they saw Florian and didn’t want foreigners in. But this photo I took of Florian walking to their entrance was too cool not to post.

img_1897

Location #2 was permanently closed.

So we wound up going to Mo-Mo Paradise for Shabu-Shabu/Sukiyaki.

img_1898

With a name like that, I honestly wasn’t expecting much at all. It turned out to be a kind of ala-carte buffet and quite upmarket.

img_1900

The quality of meats and vegetables were undeniably fresh and of top quality.

img_1901

Service was also quite commendable.

We mostly stuck to the Beef Chuck which was leaner and very tender.

img_1905

And I happily helped myself to copious amounts of vegetables from their veggie trolley.

img_7260

Free-flow ice-cream to end. Florian favoured the Yuzu, and I, the Matcha.

img_1908

It was a great last meal for our Japan trip. No regrets!

Overall, we were spoilt by the food in Japan. We never had a single bad meal! I’m not sure when we’ll be back next but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before we return.

08 December 2019 Sunday
Day 9:

A very early morning, a train ride, a Skyliner train ride, and two plane journeys later, we were home. And how fitting it was that on our flight from Tokyo to Bangkok, we caught sight of Mt Fuji bidding us farewell.

img_7262

Sayonara, Nippon!

For now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s