Honeymoon Part 2- Japan
Domo arigato Mr. Roboto! We arrived at the Narita airport in the evening and we were eager to fill our hungry bellies with some ramen!! If you've never been to Japan, be warned that it is not very easy to get around if you don't understand Japanese. My husband had already got us JR passes so we figured it would be straight forward. Of course it wasn't. When we figured out where to go and what train to get on, we could not figure out how to get through the ticket gates. The attendant was nice enough to give us a print out of how to use our passes, but being hangry and exhausted tourists, we looked it over and did not absorb anything. He had actually meant for us to go through the handicap/JR pass gate, but we still kept trying to go through the other ones where you have to stick in your ticket. He finally called out to us in english, "Did you read what I just gave you?" Ugh. He can speak english.... why didn't he before. I laugh out loud every time I think back to that evening.
My goal for Japan was to eat lots of ramen and sushi. Sight seeing was second priority. After checking into the Westin at Ebisu, we headed out to Afuri for dinner. Drool. Best. Ramen. Ever. They added citrus flavors to the broth and it was like nothing I've ever tasted. More drooling. Insert photo:
We visited Tsukiji Fish Market the weekend we arrived and boy was it packed. There was so much pedestrian traffic that we could barely see what each of the shops sold as we slowly shuffled in a single file through the side streets. You don't make a trip there without trying any of their sashimi or sushi so we stopped by a popular looking shop and treated ourselves to a bowl of fresh sashimi. Mmm Mmm. It was the first time I got to try sea urchin. Talk about love at first bite. I'm drooling just thinking about it.
While outside the Akihabara station, I stumbled upon a little shop selling mochi. I decided to try this one out. I can't recall the flavor I got, but I want to say it was something unique like earl grey. I don't like traditional red bean or sesame flavors in Japanese mochi so it definitely wasn't that. Everything sold in Japan is always packaged so neatly!
Gundam Cafe! We stopped by this cafe at the request of my hubby while walking around Electric town. It reminded me of Space Mountain at Disneyland... except in cafe form. Haha! Drinks and food are so expensive :( I think our drinks cost us about $12 USD.
Since our trip was to celebrate our newly married life- what better way than to eat at a Michelin rated sushi restaurant? Behold Sushi Kanesaka located in Ginza. My amazing hubby coordinated this dinner for us to experience a true Japanese omakase experience. This was the best dinner of my life and also the most expensive. I never watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi until after my experience here and I must say what I went through was just like the movie. You can feel and see the attention to detail from the moment you are welcomed in and seated. Everything going on in the restaurant had a rhythm to it which resulted in the most exquisite dinner. This really was about the experience. The food was no doubt superb, but really the experience is something I'll never forget.
While walking the shopping streets of Harajuku I got impatiently hungry and was eager to eat anything! We popped into a little shop that sold Katsu. Best. Katsu. Ever. Our plates were wiped clean... not even a crumb left.
We also came across this delightfully cute shop selling crepes! I'll just say they look better than they taste.
While exploring the Shibuya crossing and the surrounding neighborhood, my legs felt like they were going to break from all the walking. Why do they not have any benches or any sort of structure that you can sit on? We were desperate to rest and the only thing available was to go to a cafe. Every cafe was jammed pack except the L'occitane one. L'occitane has a cafe? Yeah. Apparently they do. We paid a whopping $20 to sit our butts down for about an hour. (They have minimum order requirements) Here's hubby falling asleep due to exhaustion:
Bullet train to Kyoto! On the way there we saw the infamous Mt. Fuji. :) So beautiful.
Obligatory curry pan picture. I'm kind of bummed I never got a fresh one. Oh well. Still good!
More sushi... drool....
A dessert place in Gion that sold green tea flavored treats!
Fushimi Inari Shrine is such a peaceful, relaxing place to visit. We ended up visiting this place twice- once in the evening and once in the morning. Both times of day were so beautiful here. :)
And here we are at Arashiyama forest to see all the bamboo!
The Golden Pavilion! That is real gold! :)
And we made a little hike up the mountain to hang out with real monkeys:
For our last lunch in Japan we found a cute little shop that specialized in making soba noodles. I never knew soba could taste so good!!
A few random photos:
Summary of the places we visited:
Tsukiji Fish Market
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Golden Pavillion (Kinkakuji)
I have to add that hubby booked hotel stay with starwood points and they gave us executive suite rooms! Daily breakfast at the Westin in Ebisu was so good and the best part was it was free! So if you have some extra points, don't hesitate to use them and enjoy yourself! Note complimentary breakfast was not available when we stayed in Kyoto. Happy travels!