Thursday, October 04, 2018

Day 2 - Second and last day in Tokyo, Japan

D2 - 20 September 2018

Yasukuni Shrine - Tokyo, Japan

We started our day by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine - a Shinto shrine to commemorate those who died in a war for the country. The shrine listed names, origins, birthdates, and places of death of almost 2.5 million people including various pet animals.

In front of Yasukuni Kaikan and detail maps of Yushukan Museum - Tokyo, Japan 

In the lobby of Yushukan Museum - Tokyo, Japan

We did not enter into the Yasukuni Shrine Sanshuden (assembly hall), but went straight towards direction of the Yasukuni Kaikan and Yushukan Museum. That also, we only entered inside the lobby and did not enter inside the museum. Just wanted to know how this historical place looked like.

A very wide zebra crossing towards Daimaru building near main Tokyo station, Japan

From there we went to the Tokyo main station to purchase the train tickets and to shop at Daimaru building as we would then have our lunch there. This time we had Japanese grilled eel for lunch :)

Japanese eel feast at Nihonbashi Isesada - Daimaru Tokyo, Japan

It was located at 12th floor. Nihonbashi Isesada served the Japanese grilled eel - be it a la carte order or set menu type. The above was what I got for my lunch. The portion was just nice. The variety of food was great.

How the seat looked like - Nihonbashi Isesada Tokyo, Japan

Sitting on tatami with hole below the table where you could rest your feet below suited everyone especially the elderly.

Food dummy displayed outside the restaurant - Nihonbashi Isesada Tokyo, Japan

Even though you did not know how to speak Japanese, you could see what you would be getting from the food dummy displayed outside the restaurant. That was also the way they attracted their customers with their food variety offered. You got exactly the food that looking like what you saw there!!! :D

With full stomach, we were ready to browse the next destination - the famous Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) - the Tokyo's eldest temple, a must visit place for people visiting Tokyo for the very first time :) I went there thrice (once in each visit to Japan) and never got bored :D Because apart from praying, people went there to shop many Japanese products - especially souvenirs, and also to try some Japanese snacks like mochi, green tea, etc.

Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) and Nakamise towards Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) in Tokyo, Japan

The place was very crowded, even in raining day. Many people wore the Japanese traditional clothes (kimono). But don't be surprised if they were not Japanese. Like those ladies who were on the above photos (left bottom picture) - both of them were from Korea. Hahaha... The clothes were available for rent and it took a beautiful picture matching with the colorful place that we visited, very Japan type! :D

The main temple to worship the Kannon or Goddess of Mercy - Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

The main temple was to worship the Kannon or also called Goddess of Mercy (or Kwan Im for Chinese) who was believe to grant people's wishes and prayers. Many amulets were sold at the area - for good health, career, love, luck, study, happiness, and so on.

Unique architecture at Ometosando Hills - Tokyo, Japan

We went back to hotel afterwards. Soon after I went out to Omotesando-Hills - a shopping complex - reminiscing my last visit in Tokyo with my friends. It was not a good day to go out actually as it rained incessantly and heavily. Even with umbrella on hand, my pants were half wet. My shoes were fully soaked with water too but it did not stop me to walk all the way to the Nike outlet at Harajuku. I finally got my shoes there and happily went back to hotel by metro.

Plastic layer to cover your shopping bag when it rained in Japan

Before moving on, let me share something interesting from Japan. Well, the last time I visited Japan was eleven years ago, so pardon me if you might find this was a common thing. But for those who never visited Japan before or long time did not visit Japan, you might find it interesting that most shops there would provide plastic layer to cover your shopping bag when it was raining outside. See the above picture to see how it looked like. So when you carried it out in the street, your items would be kept dried all the time. What a thoughtful gesture done by Japanese, wasn't it?

We had dinner at an interesting ramen (Japanese noodle) place called Ichiran Ramen at Shimbashi area - not too far from Ginza, within walking distance. Tbh, I seldom ate at Japanese restaurant in Singapore. For me, Japanese food sounded expensive and tasted so so, and I did not have much interest on eating ramen too. However, this place gave me a different perspective of the existence of delicious Japanese noodle with a very interesting restaurant concept!!!

Queue at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

This outlet was quite small, only had 18 seats. Therefore, long queue was expected. When I said 'queue', it was really queue!!! The outlet was located at basement and throughout the staircase from there to the street level, people occupied half of the staircase area queuing!!! While waiting, we were given up the order form and we had ample time to fill it up.

Form to fill up at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan
We filled mainly the first page to let the Chef know how we would our bowl of ramen taste like (the level of dashi/seasoning stock, richness of the soup, how much garlic we wanted to have, whether we wanted any green onion in it, with or without chashu (sliced pork), the spiciness level of the soup, and whether the noodle texture was hard, medium, or soft. As first timer, it was recommended to choose medium level to try. When you tasted it already, then next time you could decide how you want it to be. The second page was to be filled if you wanted to have extra things with your meal, such as: rice, pork, green onion, seaweed, garlic, and so on.

Ordering machine at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

Before the entrance, there would be a machine for you to key in your order and do the payment at the same time. The direction how to use the machine was provided on top of the machine and the buttons were quite straight forward with picture next to it.

Light panel to inform the vacant seat before the entrance at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

Just before the entrance door, you could find the above machine. It would inform you whether there were any available seat and where (green meant vacant). There was a staff there to assist you anyway. You could also purchase the dried-ramen box (5 portions of noodles per box at 2,000 yen) for takeaway or even bring it back to your home country.

Seats at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

Dadadada..... The above was how you expect your dinner table looking like - cubicle layout! It was a table and chair for each person complete with water tap in each table, empty cup on top of it, new chopstick on the table, and string tied pen for additional order on second page provided in case you wanted to add something to your meal.

How it looked from the back at Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

It was an individual kind of dining experience so that you went there just to eat, and not for chit chatting with your fellow friends - just to make it a quick dining.

How my table looked like after my order came :) Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi - Tokyo, Japan

The Chef would walk around in the alley that separated the two sides of tables (in the middle), to deliver your ramen from the kitchen. Once your food was served, he would close the rolling bamboo in front of you so that you could enjoy the eating privacy with no one looked at you. Interesting, wasn't it??? :)

My happy face :)

And the best thing was, the ramen tasted delicious too!!! If one day I visited Japan again, I would come here and eat this noodle again!!! :)

On our way back to hotel, we stopped at Don Quijote Ginza or Don Don Donki in Singapore for another round of shopping. Tax free was applicable here for purchase above 5,400 yen. Many things were sold here and the place was too long for me.

Well, that was how our second and last day in Tokyo going by. The next day we would move to another town and more story would come in my next post. Keep reading!!! :)

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