We were on our feet pretty much our entire Day 1 in Tokyo so it’s no surprise that we woke up late on our second day. Spoiler – we woke up late the succeeding days too haha-huhu.
We started our day with breakfast made with love by Pao – coffee and burnt bread haha! You may check out how it looked like in my vlog, linked below. :)) Since we don’t usually get up in time to grab a decent breakfast, we stock up at night for things to eat before we head out for the day. We also did this when we were in Taiwan. It’s been a good strategy for us; we don’t get cranky because of empty stomachs while commuting to the first destination of the day. 😉 Our box of coffee just cost us around JPY 230 yen for 10 sachets and the bread I think was JPY 125.
Our first stop for the day was Yoyogi Park. I read somewhere that it’s a busy place on Sundays so we wanted to check it out. Since it’s was already around 3 in the afternoon when we headed out, I wasn’t expecting as much happenings to be taking place anymore. And well, I was right. So go early haha! I think I just saw 3 groups of people performing on the streets and some already packing up. BUT, even with that self-imposed slight misfortune, I think the park was still a good place to go to that afternoon. Yoyogi Park is a huge area that the energies you’ll feel are varied. Some people look like they’re enjoying their quiet time, just staring out in the water, probably reflecting, while some people were giving off such high-energy vibes through badminton matches and big picnics on mats.
It was personally a peaceful vibe for me. 🙂 I enjoyed the wide space and the sound of water from the pond with the soft sunset. The best part of our park trip was seeing Cherry Blossom trees! I initially couldn’t believe it and I had to ask Pao several times if those were the trees haha. I thought I wasn’t going to see one because it supposedly starts blossoming by late March so I was thrilled to see 3 trees there just waiting to be admired… and be taken photos of! The Cherry Blossoms are beautiful. It made me want to stay in Japan for the rest of the month just to see them in full bloom. But seeing a few when I wasn’t expecting any at all was of course, more than enough.
From Yoyogi Park we went to Takeshita Street which is this stretch full of shops (mostly clothing), food stalls, restaurants, and Purikura places. Pao and I love photo booths; we are avid customers of those in Timezone haha. Purikuras are Japanese style photo booths which take picture taking to the next level! You go inside 2 booths, one for taking your pictures and another for designing your photos. The picture taking booth has floor stickers that will show you where to stand and animations that provide suggestions on how to pose. Hence, our well-directed shots as seen below!
The end results are our faces edited to have bigger eyes, slimmer, cheeks, and glowing skin. This Japanese standard of beauty made me look good…and made Pao look, according to my sister, like a member of the Volturi haha! After taking photos, you proceed to the next booth to design your prints. What I love about Purikura booths was that I wasn’t pressed for time in designing unlike other photo booths. Not sure if the time was unlimited but I surely didn’t panic that I’m running on seconds. Purikuras cost around JPY 400 and the machines usually need four 100-yen coins so do prepare change.
At Takeshita we also got to try Marion’s Crepes! I researched this while preparing for our trip and was eager to try it. My verdict? You get what you see… but a good outcome of “you get what you see”… if that makes sense. Like you see all the ingredients going into the crepe so there’s nothing mysterious about it, but altogether it was a treat. I love the crepe-ice cream-syrup-fruit-whipped cream combination of these Japanese desserts. You get different textures and different kinds of sweetness in a well-designed packaging that makes the whole experience of eating it enjoyable. We also got some from a local street vendor and it was equally yummy. I mostly blame this and Ichiran for the pounds I gained for this trip. 🙂 Each crepe costs around JPY 400 – 600, depending on the flavor you choose.
I mentioned in my Day 1 post that commuting in Tokyo is expensive. Since I glimpsed on Google maps that Shibuya was not far from Harajuku, we decided to walk it out. Thought it was also a good time to just stroll around and feel like we’re locals haha. It took us 40 minutes. Make me do this in Manila and you’ll get a big fat no. But in Tokyo where the weather is good and the streets are safe, it was a NO…. NO biggie. 🙂 40 minutes was just 40 minutes, surprisingly. We soon found ourselves in Shibuya amidst our chitchats, realizing that we already hit the famous Shibuya Crossing.
Shibuya Crossing is every bit as it is described in articles. I was “location-struck”! The intersection is bursting with energy; never running out of people or cars crossing it. The mundane activity of crossing streets becomes extraordinary in Shibuya Crossing. I found myself giddily walking from Point A to Point B, feeling unbelievably lucky and sincerely blessed to have such opportunity!
After the hustle and bustle of the Crossing we made our way to what we came to Shibuya for – Umegaoka Sushi No Midori or Midori Sushi for dinner. I was a bit concerned since we arrived in Shibuya past 8 and had no reservations, but thankfully, it was not an issue. We took a number and waited around 30 slots to pass for our turn.
We weren’t able to go to Tsukiji Market during our trip so we had our best raw seafood experience here. And maybe it was because this place was great that it didn’t bother us that we weren’t able to go to Tsukiji. We will definitely go there the next trip though!
Sushi No Midori looks like the Japanese restaurants here in Little Tokyo, Manila. There are tables seats and bar seats. We got seated at the bar which I was really looking forward to because I wanted to see the chefs preparing food. In front of us were fresh catches of the day being proportioned for orders to be sent out to lucky people like me.
We ordered the Special Sushi Assortment with Soup and Chawan-Mushi (JPY 1,600) their Chirashi bowl (JPY 1000), 3 pieces of Tamago Sushi AT JPY 50 each!
3 pieces of Tamago Sushi AT JPY 50 each!
3 pieces of Tamago Sushi AT JPY 50 each!
Typed it 3 times in case you missed it. But seriously. I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY HOW CHEAP THEIR TAMAGO SUSHI WAS! And mind you it was big and good! JPY 50??? That’s like PHP 25! My goodness… crazy!!!
From the Special Sushi Assortment my favorites would have to be the Tunas, we had both the regular one and I think the medium fatty one that was almost buttery in my mouth, the Shrimp Argentina which had a good balance of chewy and juicy, and the Uni – fresh, creamy uni. It was almost the same fare in Chirashi bowl, makes me wish now that we ordered other items.
We also got 3 mugs of beer for JPY 500 a mug. In this aspect, kudos, Philippines. Hahaha!
Total for our meal is around JPY 4,050. And for generous servings of fresh and yummy food, paired with an ambiance that is casual but well-mannered that allows for hearty talks, I say go to Sushi No Midori if you’re in Japan! 🙂
With full bellies after dinner, we made one final stop to Hachiko’s statue before heading home. I’m glad I have watched the movie years back because it made our visit to this well-loved dog’s statue more meaningful. I think we were there on good timing too. I always see tourist photos of people in the Hachiko statue with other people in the background but our visit wasn’t as busy.
From Shibuya we went back to Itabashihoncho and called it a night. As with Day 1, ending this post with a vlog of our second day in Tokyo. Enjoy! 🙂