Japan Food tour – Tokyo Day 1

Today was our first full day with our tour group. It was a looong day! Our guide had switched things around because of a festival going on in Asakusa so we ended up doing a lot of stuff today that we normally wouldn’t have, and still missed out on some things.

Nevertheless, after breakfast in the hotel, we headed off to our Soba noodle making class. The place that has the classes is also a restaurant – a very pricey one:

Restaurant area at Soba Class, Tokyo
Restaurant area at Soba Class, Tokyo

Our teacher, Hashimoto, demonstrated how to make soba noodles:

Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo

And then it was our turn. I made Ela do the whole thing so I could take photos. 🙂 She did great!

Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo

We got to eat what we made – our noodles were cooked here:

Soba Class, Tokyo
Soba Class, Tokyo

And we were in luck that they’d just made some fried noodles for us to snack on. The noodles were served cold, with soy sauce with wasabi and a shallots. Later on, the noodle water is poured into the left over sauce and drunk as a soup/drink. Very nice!

Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo
Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo
Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo
Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo
Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo
Eating our soba at the soba making class, Tokyo

When we left, we passed this little shop with some paper figurines:

Paper statues in a shop, Tokyo
Paper statues in a shop, Tokyo

The next stop was Ginza. We only went down the road a little and had a look in one of the food basements. Amazing fruit and meat and fish at extortionate prices. 2 mangoes for $170!

Ginza shopping area, Tokyo
Ginza shopping area, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo
The food hall in one of the shops in Ginza, Tokyo

You can see where the roads were closed for Sunday pedestrians:

Ginza shopping area, Tokyo
Ginza shopping area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo

Next stop was Harajuku, where all the teenage girls hang out to buy things and get dressed up as comic characters etc. But this doesn’t seem to be the done thing anymore. There were a LOT of western tourists there and very few dressed up girls:

A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo
A not-busy (truly!) day in Harajuku area, Tokyo

After this, we headed to Memory Lane for our Yakitori dinner. Yakitori is barbecued chicken. It is so nice! But not the only thing served in the restaurant as evidenced by the menu. We tried a few things but nothing too out there. Some sort of vegies, tofu, yakitori and pork skewers, asparagus wrapped in bacon (not so nice) and mushroom with beef. We had a beer with it. The place was really tiny so we were all jammed in there!

Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Yakitori dinner, Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Next stop was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a view of Tokyo from the 45th floor. Pretty fantastic views from up there!

Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo
View from the top of the Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Then we headed back to Memory Lane to pass through on our way to Shinjuku. You can see how tiny the Yakitori bars are:

Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Memory Lane, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Shinjuku by night is a neon jungle. Amazing!

Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo

There are hostess bars where you pay cover charge and then pay a hostess to sit with you and you buy here expensive coloured water. We didn’t do this of course 🙂

Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo

Godzilla was mounted next to a hotel:

Godzilla in Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Godzilla in Shinjuku by night, Tokyo

And there was a building advertising the boys. Don’t know if the boys were for men or women…

Shinjuku by night, Tokyo
Shinjuku by night, Tokyo

Then it was back to the station and then back to Ueno station and our hotel to call it a night! The train was packed!! It was like peak hour back home – even though it was at 8.30pm on a Sunday night! Unbelievable!

At the end of the day, I had a look at Google Fit on my phone and we’d walked just over 8km today! No wonder my feet were sore…

Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.

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