Here is a Throwback Thursday for you! This post comes a bit late… Like 2 years late. But after piggy and I got engaged, I wanted to bring this site up to speed! So here I am finishing off loose ends and getting us caught up to 2016. Given that it has been so long since the events of this post took place, I’ll do the best I can to retell the day. I might get the small details off but the pictures really tell the tale. Let’s go!
We started the day 6 by heading out to Tokyo Skytree. A famous tourist destination that beat out the Tokyo Tower as the tallest building in Tokyo.
Heading into the base of the tower is a set of shops and restaurants. Piggy and I found the food court and picked a random udon shop. Turned out it was Miyatake Sanuki Udon, a solid udon spot for a quick meal. Like any food court stall, you line up and get ready to choose the type of udon you like. But the awesome kicker? There are trays of delectable, tantalizing bins of tempura piled in front of you. You just grab the ones you want and the cashier will charge you for whatever you pick up. It’s SO easy to get carried away.
After chugging slivery strands of udon down our throats, we wandered around the shops. A wide array of pastries and baked goods caught our attention. But what caught my eye the most were these colorful “Sansyoku” doughnuts… I must have it.
We bought the doughnut as a snack for later and wandered around the base floors a little more before making our way to the lines for ascending the tower. We spotted gift shops like the Rilakumma store.
And we also got a great shot of the tower from the bottom.
The line was looong but moved fairly quickly. Taking us just about 30 minutes to get our turn for the elevator ride up to the 350th floor (which is also 350m up). Even though Tokyo Skytree can go up to 450m (the tower is 634m tall), we opted not to pay for the additional 100m. Once we were up top, we got a few lovely views of the city.
And how do you make a view like this better? With food of course!
The doughnut was chewy, not too sweet, but overall delicious. It’s very much like a mochi doughnut. The rest of the tower on Tembo deck wasn’t too spectacular. There were a few informational guides but it was mostly a place for the view — good for a date maybe (except for the hordes of kids that were there too).
After enjoying the views from the top of Tokyo Skytree, we headed down to make our way over to La-show-han ramen for a late lunch/early dinner. On the way, we happened to spot this shop with a huge Totoro!
And inside, it was full of Studio Ghibli toys, key-chains, figurines, and the whole lot. Figures from Kiki’s Delivery, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc.
We managed to make our way out of the store without doing too much damage to our wallets. Moving forward on our destination, we hopped on a quick train ride to Kanda station and walked about 10 minutes to…
I had seen this spot reviewed on Ramen Adventures and marked this as a “must” spot. I love, love, looooove Sichuan style food and the MA-LA numbing burn. We made it to the shop right when it opened at 4PM. Luckily, the chef had just arrived and we were his first guests.
A former businessman that traveled frequently to Hong Kong, the chef happened to speak Mandarin and was able to communicate with Piggy. He warned us of the numbing spice he uses in his Sichuan style tantanmen. But we quickly assured him that I love numbing spice and to BRING—-IT—-ON!
Behold, in its glory, the Premium Sichuan Style tantanmen. Packed with sesame and the signature Sichuan numbing burn, this was one of the best tantanmens I have ever had. This bowl before me was definitely an experience, leaving my mouth cooling and tingling from the power of the red peppercorns. Delish!
Piggy decided to scale it back a little and got the regular Sichuan Tantanmen which was perfect for her tastes.
After a fine meal, we thanked the chef for the experience and headed out towards Ginza (again). This time around, we had a plan to stay there until the wee hours of the night. Because Ginza was located right next to Tsukiji market, we would drink through the night and stay up until the famous Sushi Dai opened at 5am. Crazy, I know…
We decided to set ourselves up at the Ginza Lion Beer Hall (by Sapporo).
A German style beer hall, Ginza Lion had plenty of refreshing brews and bratwurst on the menu. Although much less rowdy than other beer halls we have been to, the Ginza Lion was a great spot to sip on some beers and unwind from the hard day of eating.
By around 9PM, we killed some time wandering around Ginza, spotting some of the shadier happenings of Tokyo in the side streets (like 2 young women escorting a significantly older business man). Questionable.
Anyway, we met with Tim, our new friend from Australia that also stayed at our Osaka AirBnB, for some drinks at the awesome 300 bar! This excellent establishment serves 300 yen drinks for cocktails and other liquor. (If you thought 300 had to do with Sparta, you wouldn’t be the only one to think that first…hehe.)
Considering that this was in Ginza, 300 yen for a drink is a killer deal!
The bartender suggested we try the sake in a box, a new experience for us to drink from considering that it was something other than a cup. Although the box wasn’t easy to sip from nor the sake particularly special, we had a great time.
A little past midnight, we were done with drinks and ready to roam. With a warm buzz, we skipped along the sidewalks and made our way towards Tsukiji market which was about 20 minutes walking from the bar. As we strolled in the dark of a quiet Ginza, a bright glow caught our attention. It was a ramen shop lit up and open for business.
Of course, the perfect pairing for any buzz is FOOD — greasy, hearty food — like ramen.
Lo and behold! At 1AM we managed to stumble into a random ramen shop that served an incredibly hearty and satisfying bowl of Japan’s finest noodles. Just look at the huge chunks of cha siu and rich broth. The warm soup heated our bodies and bellies, mellowing out our buzz and fueling us for sushi just 4 hours later.
If there was any way to stay up for 5AM sushi, this was it.