Japan Day 1-3: Tokyo

March 13, 2020


I have put off working on these blog posts on Japan for SO long because of a few reasons. First of all, I did a crazy amount of things during this trip that I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Second of all, I've been contemplating about the format, whether I should group things by days or by categories. And lastly, I want these posts and guides to be helpful to you and therefore I want them to be perfect. Truth is, they won't be perfect and I have to understand that it's ok. So here we are, let's dive in!

Japan has always been a familiar yet strange place to me. I grew up in Hong Kong so traveling to Japan is just a little over 3 hours and I've gone countless times during my childhood (especially when my dad was living in Tokyo). This trip last year was truly the first time I went there as an adult. I've been to Tokyo and Osaka before but not Hakone and Kyoto which is why we only spent 3 days in Tokyo so that we can explore other places...

Where to stay:
Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
Luxury, sky view, cool bar, lovely room
Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi
Convenient location, close to (some rooms have view of) Tokyo Tower, nice spa.


I usually hate (and refuse) to wait in line for food, so trust me when I say Shin Udon is absolutely worth the wait and the hype! Apparently it's the best udon in Tokyo! I had the "carbonara" with a tempura bacon and cheese and it was seriously the most delicious udon I've ever had (and I've had a lot)! They don't take reservations so make sure you plan for the wait. We waited about an hour and a half in the rain (the restaurant is very tiny, can seat only 8-10 people) and I would go back in a heartbeat.


Next up... Sushi Tokyo Ten. Wow what a meal! Sushi Tokyo Ten is reservation only, omakase styled meal, and it is on the pricier end. We had 22 courses in 2 hours including items such as abalone and uni. Everything tasted so fresh and I even loved the things I usually don't care for. Make sure you show up on time, we were about 5-10 minutes and everyone was seated and had started.


I had such a lovely experience at Higashiya, a green tea and wagashi (confectionery) shop and cafe where you can slow down and experience tea drinking in the most respectable level, that I wrote a separate blog post about it here.


Tsukiji is the infamous fish market (it recently moved to a new location) where lots of restaurants and shops remain. It was so much fun exploring and tasting my way through all the little alleyways in this market. We snacked on a few things before sitting down at Sushi Zanmai for lunch. It's a popular conveyor belt sushi chain and it's soooooo good AND cheap too!


Speaking of sushi, I want to share with you another fun sushi spot to try, especially if you're on a budget... Standing Sushi Bar. Yes, there are no seats, but that means less wait time. However, we went here after Shin Udon to have sushi for dessert and there was no wait. I wish I wasn't so full when I came here because the fish were so fresh and the sushi was incredible!


Yoroniku Ebisu, where do I even begin? Initially, I wanted to write a blog post dedicated to this restaurant but I became a pescatarian two months ago so I feel that meat isn't as relevant to my lifestyle anymore. Anyways, I am so glad this meal was one of the last beef I've ever tasted! This is a multi-course meal with all A5 wagyu beef. A5 is the highest grade and therefore this meal is rather on the higher end but so so so worth it! Everything is cooked in front of you and your server will tell you which sauce to use and how to eat. It was amazing!!! I've never tasted such buttery soft beef! Please note, this is also reservation-only and you can book it here.


Last but not least, let's talk ramen! Ichiran continues to be one of the more popular spots for ramen. Last time I was in Tokyo back in 2008, I had Ichiran and it still does not disappoint. I still love the venting machine (when you enter, you order from a vending machine) and those little individual booths where you really focus on eating. Here's a heck for you... Most Ichiran locations have really long line but the Roppongi one was empty when I went! Shhh!

I hope you've enjoyed this little write up on Tokyo (mostly where to eat lol). Again, this is just a summary of what I did and I even left a few things out as to not to overwhelm you. If you want a more in depth look at everything I did, you can check out my stories in the Japan highlight on my Instagram. I documented everything over there! Stay tuned for Hakone blog post coming up next!

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