Where were we? Ah yes, Tokyo and my solo adventures without my Japanese interpreter (Greg).
Off I went into the big jungle that is Tokyo, with my minimal Japanese....!
I ended up in a fantastic guesthouse Shinagawa Guesthouse, if you're wondering - with my own tiny room that cosily fit my bed, my bag and me, very japanese! I ended up bonding with the guys that worked at the hostel and we all went for a wonderful lunch at the Michelin star soba restaurant, Sangoan.
The entire meal came to 2,000 Yen = $16USD to eat at a Michelin star restaurant. So if you're in Tokyo don't miss visiting Sangoan.
I ended up with a cup of Sake chatting away to the locals using my few japanese words.
I also saw a creepy spirit begging for money. Check that video out here.
Bathe in black waters - Check ! I found out I was up the road from a special 'Black Water' onsen (Japanese bathhouse), so of course I managed to get there and try it out. There was a black water bath which apparently has healing properties - but I felt like an egg being boiled in soy sauce (they are quite popular here). Nevertheless it was extremely relaxing. If only London had bathhouses!
With the help of Fumi and Eric, who we met in Vietnam all those weeks ago, we sampled as many sake bar's as we could. Eating, drinking, walking, meeting new people, more eating and drinking. Bed time was around 3am during this week ; )
There are quite a few to choose from, but the one I ended up at was awesome. 8bit Cafe, a shrine to all things 90’s. Nintendo, Gameboy, Sega, etc etc. Order a drink and start playing Super Mario Bros….ah good times. Sadly you realise how much you’ve aged when you die continuously on the early levels….
Oh yes! It was an hour wait in line but oh so worth it. You are assigned a sushi chef with whom you are supposed to converse with, sadly our communication was limited, but that didn't affect the delicious sushi let me tell you. Each nigiri is made by hand in front of you, slicing the fish creating the rice rectangle in cupped hands. Then a small amount of soy glaze is put on so no need for dipping in soy (it's also a bit of a no no). Fresh fish, so fresh it was jumping when they got the fish out.
This is always on my checklist but I was surprised here. Apparently Tokyoites are crazy for Portland. Why? Hipsters, Americans, Cool. So I was taken to the first Portlandia style coffee shop selling Stump Town Coffee. Even the japanese owner had worked in Portland.
I found Cinco de Mayo Festival in Tokyo. Why? hmm I don’t believe they have a large spanish population but any excuse for a festival right?! The flamenco done by Japanese kids was amazing and bizarre.... Just further down they had a large second hand clothes market, then the NHK festival for kids was on, with awesome kiddie activities.
I’ve always wanted to do this and was so excited to finally go! After signing up online and getting a time and date slot I entered my first cat cafe and was not disappointed.
The cats lounge around and you, slave human, are allowed to feed them buying little kitty treats from the onsite cafe. Some say this is an amazing money making opportunity, I say its cat lover heaven.
This is the general craziness of Tokyo, from dressing your pet bunny, to you and your dog having matching hairstyles...ah Tokyo!
This is a repeated effort, each time I go to Tokyo I day trip out to try and see Mt Fuji and get the most awesome photo. Every single time I seem to get a wonderful shot of white clouds. This time was no execption. Luckily I made up for it by eating the best gyoza in Japan (Gyoza Centre) and wandering through Hakone's Outdoor Art Museum - amazing!
One day I'd love to live there. Sad goodbyes were said and I boarded the plane to Istanbul and see Greg......
Next post: Greg and Jade travel to Cappadocia and see fairy chimneys - do fairies live in them?! Find out next time!
Till then keep travelling!