Numazuko is a kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi chain known for their particularly fresh and tasty seafood, and compared to the other kaiten sushi places I’ve been to, there’s no doubt that Numazuko is among the very best. There’s a steady stream of tempting sushi pieces on the belt at all times, but if you want something else than what’s rolling by, you just ask one of the chefs to make it for you.
Midori Sushi is one of my favorites for good, affordable sushi in Tokyo. The chain has several outlets throughout the city, but the most popular branches are the one in Ginza and the one in Shibuya featured here.
I love spicy miso ramen, and Kikanbo in Kanda serves some of the best. The Kikanbo ramen restaurant has recently moved from the location on the corner to a place, a little further down the road. The corner spot is now hosting another Kikanbo restaurant, which serves tsukumen, which is noodles you dip in a thick sauce.
You choose your preferred level of spiciness ranging from non-spicy to devil spicy. I’ve previously struggled with handling regular spicy at Kikanbo, but for unknown reasons I decided to order the devil spicy ramen this time. The staff warned me that it was very spicy, and told me that I could still change my mind, but I insisted on getting the devil spicy ramen.
Of course devil spicy was way too spicy for me, and after only a couple of sips, I was sweating like a pig. I gulped down 4 glasses of water, but I was still gasping for air, and the Japanese man sitting next to me, started to look worried. I tried circumnavigating those red pepper flakes, but it was impossible, so after eating the egg, I gave up.
Kikanbo, Kajicho 2-10-9, Chioda-ku, Tokyo, Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am-9:30pm, Sun: 11am – 4pm, nearest station: Kanda, Address in Japanese: 鍛冶町2-10-10, Chiyoda, 東京都 〒101-0044
After our brunch at Denny’s, Rieko’s husband took Saki home and Rieko and I went to visit Tokyo Skytree. International visitors have the opportunity to purchase fast-line tickets (and bring their Japanese friends) so that’s what we did.
I met Rieko more than 10 years ago, when I did an internship in Japan. Rieko went to college in California, so her English is very good. She was therefore assigned the glorious task of taking care of me (ha ha), and we soon found out that we had a lot of things in common.
I told you about the retro arcade games at 1-Chome Playland in a previous blog post, but inside Decks, the same shopping mall in which Playland is located, there’s also an indoor amusement park called Joypolis. I’ve never considered visiting Joypolis, because it isn’t very big, and the admission fee is a bit steep.
Update: Hapi Neko is now permanently closed
In Tokyo I visited Hapi Neko, which is a cute little cat café in Shibuya. I’ve been there a couple of times since I first discovered it, because even though I’m not a cat person, I really like the place. It’s like a nice and peaceful cat oasis in the middle of Shibuya’s hustle and bustle,and the cats seem to be enjoying themselves. In fact, the cats pretty much rule the place, and the humans visiting the café are just humble subjects.
After my onsen visit, I went for a stroll in some of the Odaiba shopping malls. I always end up at Decks, when I’m in that area. Not so much because of the shopping, but because there is this really cool floor with retro arcade games and shops selling all sorts of quirky stuff.
I spent most of my second day in Tokyo at Oedo Onsen Monogatari, which is a tourist-friendly onsen, not too far from central Tokyo. Before shower facilities became common features in ordinary homes, people would go to the communal baths, typically located around an onsen (hot springs in Japanese). Today people visit onsen to relax and enjoy the health effects associated with the hot spring water.
There’s a 5-hour time difference between Dubai and Tokyo, and I didn’t go to bed until 2:00 last night. I could easily have slept until noon, but between 10am-5am they’re cleaning the capsule hotel, and all guests are required to leave. Half asleep I therefore stumbled out of my capsule to get some breakfast. Jetlag does the strangest thing to my appetite. Even though I was hungry, I didn’t feel like eating breakfast food. In fact, I wasn’t sure what I felt like eating, but then I spotted Tsukiji Gindaco, which is a popular takoyaki shop.
In Tokyo, everybody is drinking the Coffee Jelly Frappuccino from Starbucks right now. It’s a seasonal drink, only available from July 2nd to August 31st, and it has become so popular, it might turn out to be the Japanese equivalent to Pumkin Spice Latte.
Japanese Wagyu is Japanese beef of excellent quality from a few selected breeds. Based on a cut between the 6th and 7th rib, the meat is evaluated in terms of yield and fat marbling, and then assigned a grade. The highest grade is A5 and this is usually what’s served at most upscale restaurants in Tokyo.
It was a warm night in July last year, and Poul and I were walking through the streets of Ginza on our way back to the hotel. This was the summer Poul discovered ramen, so we probably had ramen for dinner that night. Anyway, we wanted something stronger than noodle soup to round off the evening.
When I was in Tokyo in April I went to the teppanyaki restaurant Okahan in Ginza. Teppanyaki is meat or seafood and vegetables prepared by a chef using two spatulas on a griddle right in front of you. It is really tasty and very easy to love.
If you ask my taste buds about the best area in Tokyo, they would answer with a big, roaring “Tsukiji!!” The fish market and the streets surrounding it is a foodie paradise packed with affordable sushi restaurants, and with a rustic, slightly chaotic vibe, that you don’t really find anywhere else in the city.
As promised, here’s a blog post with some more info about my capsule stay at Tokyo Kiba Hotel. I’ve always wanted to stay at a capsule hotel, but every time I’ve been close to making a booking, I’ve changed my mind last minute, thinking it would be too small, too inconvenient and too WEIRD.
Though this time, the capsule hotel was pretty much the only option I had, if I wanted to stay in an area not too far from central Tokyo without spending my entire travel budget on accommodation.
After I got back from Hamamatsu, I stopped at Tokyo station to have dinner at Ramen Street, which is located on the basement floor in the retail complex 1st Avenue.
Wednesday evening, I had arranged to meet with Ryoko who blogs at Ryoko Traveler. We’ve never met before, but we’ve known each other through our blogs for years. During the last couple of years I’ve met quite a few blogger friends and my experience so far is, that if I like the blog, I’ll also like the blogger.
I spent most of the day yesterday strolling around in Kanda and Akihabara. I was looking to buy a new camera, so Yodobashi Akiba (the largest electronics shop in Tokyo) was the destination for my strolling, but before I went there, I had my first bowl of ramen on this trip, and what a bowl!
*Geek post warning*
Have you seen the movie Wreck-It Ralph? Do you remember in the beginning of the movie, when Ralph is the only one not invited to the party (they even invited Pac-Man!)? It broke my heart…