Despite the fact that Japan had recently been affected by natural disasters, it is still one of the very few places I’d want to be. I love almost everything about Japan, good food, culture, and people. Most of the Japanese are hard-working, polite, and have perfected good manners.
Having fresh and good Japanese cuisine in Japan is one of the things I’ve been looking forward to since I was pregnant. As you know, we asians believe that anything raw is not allowed for pregnant women. I think I didn’t have them for at least 9 months.
My main purpose for this trip is FOOD, and we did it right. Warning: This post will make you hungry.
It took about 1 hour car ride from Narita airport to our hotel, Conrad Tokyo. I chose this hotel mainly because of good location. It’s very near to Ginza, Tsukiji Fish Market and not so far from all the areas we wish to go.
Everything is good except for their wifi. Overall, I like this hotel a lot.
Our first meal in Tokyo was at Tempura Ten-ichi *highly recommended*, at Ginza area. This restaurant is cozy and simple decorated. Nothing pretentious. They also have a separate room for us to have a dessert after.
I swear they have THE MOST DELICIOUS Tempura I’ve had so far in my life. They spoilt my tastebuds forever.
Click on photo to view full-size.
Tempura here doesn’t taste like other places, it’s very crispy and yet not too thick or too light. Everything is fresh. Prawns and gingko nuts are my favourite. Eel is very sweet too.
I had many of this. Gingko Nuts.
Melon was so tasty and juicy. It melted in my mouth. Oh well, you probably have no ideas how much I love Japanese melon. I can have it everyday.
The bill was around 28000 yen for two. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, you have to go there. I suggest you to make reservation than walk-in.
We walked around Ginza areas after lunch
and saw this bar with an interesting concept. Just nice when the weather was pretty hot.
We had one beer each (550 yen per glass) to cool us down before heading out for a dinner.
Dinner was at Shabu Zen, at Roppongi. Two plates of sirloin and one ribeye. They look almost the same but taste different. We spent around 22000 yen (approx SGD280) for that, with a small bottle of Sake. It’s an affordable price and food was good.
However, honestly speaking, I prefer Shabu Shabu Gen in Singapore. The food there is quite close to perfection even though it’s more expensive.
Back to hotel after that as we took it easy on the first day. x
Slept around 12am and woke up around 3 for Tsukiji Fish market. We arrived there at 3:30am with a private guide, Mr N.Kamei. This market only permits for 120 pax and many people couldn’t get in so we have to queue up very early at 3:30am. Divided into 2 groups, 60 each. We were in the first group wearing bright yellow vests because we were early. However, there is a waiting time for roughly an hour.
If you can’t stand wet market smell then don’t bother going there. There are many Off-Limits area and heavy traffic. The road is very wet and slippery so sneakers would be the right choice. You have to be extra careful of the traffic.
They allowed us to be inside the Tuna Auction Hall only 20-30 minutes. There are serious business activities inside this market and it’s not so tourist-oriented.
As of January 2013, the highest tuna auction was at $1.6 millions for 222KG Bluefin Tuna fish. That’s is around $7k for 1kg.
In tokyo around 90% of fish in the restaurants are from this market. More than 1400 different veggies. More than 350 different fish. 50% fish are import from china, Taiwan, Spain etc.
After the auction, we visited Tsukijihonganji Temple to feel the early morning atmostphere of Buddhism.
And then looked for sushi places at associated market nearby. This particular restaurant below had very long queue, all the way out until main road. Oh well. I’m sure it must be really good but I was too hungry to wait that long though.
I love the feel of restaurant too, very local.
However, our guide recommended us to try Sushi Zanmai, if we want to skip long waiting times. It’s 24- hour chain restaurant and the owner won the Tuna auction I mentioned earlier. Good, fresh and affordable food.
Click on photo to view full-size.
Fresh, fresh, fresh.
A very simple dish like seaweed soup, was very delicious.
headed to Shibuya for shopping in the afternoon. It was crowded almost everywhere in this area. If you have time, do check out Parco in Shibuya. I love quite a few pieces of womenswear from the local designers such as Lily Brown.
Random shot. I had no idea what he was doing. haha.
Look at the guy in pink T-shirt on the right, his expression…. haha.
Ok, and this will be another highlight of my trip.
Fine dining at Ryugin (Roppongi Minato-Ku) *highly recommended*. We booked table a month plus in advance. It is a very small restaurant and has only about ten plus tables but the food is to die for. Ryugin is a 3Michelin star and ranked #22 in the list of the best restaurants in the world by San Pellegrino. And they really deserved those awards.
Take a look at this interesting menu. Click on photo to view full-size.
The food has very unique taste and well play on flavours and textures.
My favourite was their famous Summer Dish called Swimming Ayu fish grilled over charcoal with bamboo aroma. Smell good, taste great. Crispy and fish head was the best part of all. It was kinda bitter but taste unique.
The bill was around 70000 yen for one full course menu (for 2) and a bottle of champaign. My day was completed with fantastic dinner like that.
I kinda feel hungry right now going through all food photos I took in Japan. Craving Japanese.
ps.- Look out for the next post as there will be a lovely giveaway. x