Hello everyone! I honestly didn’t think I’d have a part 3 to this! I didn’t realized how much we actually did in Japan. Those 10 full days in Japan, were amazing and life changing. I enjoyed every moment when I was there, even though my feet were killing me and by this point in the trip I had a very bad cold. It was well worth everything. Without further delay, here is part 3!
November 10th – Our Foodie Adventure in Shibuya
If you couldn’t tell, my Fiance and I love food. The food in Japan, was way more amazing than I ever could have imagined. There are tons of amazing restaurants in Japan, one area of Japan that has a lot of affordable yet unique restaurants is Shibuya. So, with that information, I mapped out a food journey for the day.
The first place we went to, isn’t in Shibuya, but it was on the way to Shibuya. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of the “Perfect Pancake” online, well with some research I was able to find the restaurant that makes them. It is Ginza West Aoyama Garden, it’s an adorable cafe that is slightly fancy. It’s not too fancy, but it’s up there. I thought there might be a wait, but we go there early enjoy to get a table right away.
We both ordered the pancake sets which includes a drink and a pancake. I got a Matcha Latte with my pancake. My Fiance got green tea and a chocolate buttercream topping for his pancake. While we were waiting for the waitress brought over a silver tray with our toppings, sugar, and syrup. It was adorable and I couldn’t get over how cute this place was. Once the pancakes came, I stopped my Fiance from digging in and took pictures. The pancake was amazing, I’m trying to find a recipe for me to replicate the pancake. It’s worth trying to learn, it was so good.
After we ate our delicious breakfast we walked around for awhile. We had to get over to Shibuya, so we hopped on a train and ended up at the top of a very busy street. The street was lined with so many stores and people. We stopped at a home goods store and window shopped for a while. The next place on my list was the Dominique Ansel Bakery. My original plan was to get some baked goods and try them out. They had many different baked goods that looked so good. I was excited to try them all.
However, we saw a sign for their second-floor cafe and we realized we were hungry. We went inside where the host took us to the second-floor cafe. This place was gorgeous, it was like my dream decor everywhere. I was so mesmerized by the decor I didn’t look at the menu for awhile. This place is a bit pricey, but they had a Brunch special we took advantage of. The brunch special included a main dish, soup, salad, and a drink. The deal was only around 1200 Yen, which is around $12. I ordered the lobster roll with an iced matcha latte and my fiance ordered the Cuban sandwich with a ginger ale.
When I say this food was amazing, I mean it. It was so good. It was the best lobster roll I had ever had and the best matcha latte. It was well worth the wait and the price. We didn’t end up getting any baked goods. Mostly because the next place on my list was cookie time, which is a cookie shop. I didn’t feel that bad about not trying any baked goods.
We continued exploring the street. There was a massive souvenir shop that we stopped at. It was 3 stories, and I was able to get some really good souvenirs for my family. Everything was of great quality for a reasonable price. It was also a tax-free shop, so we were able to get a lot of things. We walked out of there with two big bags. After that shop, we continued down the street towards Harajuku station. On our way there, we saw a Lush shop. Now Lush is an American company that makes bath items. I was excited to see one because I live in a smaller city that does not have a Lush. The closest one to me is a 2-hour drive that I’m not willing to make. We stopped in Lush and got enough bath bombs for the rest of the trip!
We arrived at Harajuku station, it was beautiful and old-timey. We went down a large hill that took us to CookieTime. Which is an amazing cookie shop! My fiance and I both got ice cream sandwiches which were made using their freshly baked cookies. It was a fun shop and a great place to just relax for a little while.
After Cookietime we went towards Togo Shrine. I was super excited to go to the shrine, however by the time we go there it was closed. So we were not able to go to the shrine. I was very disappointed, but still happy I could see the shrine arch. We ended up going down the famous Takeshita Street which is lit up and filled with adorable things. We took our time going down the street and just really enjoyed being surrounded by all of the lights.
A couple hours went by and we went in search of the restaurant I had chosen for dinner. It was an Okinomiyaki restaurant that had high reviews called Sakura Tei. It was off the beaten trail and covered with graffiti art. I think we would consider it a hipster restaurant in America, but it was great. We ordered two different Okinomiyaki, Gyoza, and our drinks. It was so much fun to make the Okinomiyaki. I enjoyed it a lot.
By this time it was getting pretty late, and we had a journey we had to take to make it back to our apartment. Our apartment in Tokyo was located in Sumida. In order to get from Shibuya to Sumida, we had to switch trains 3 times and that takes awhile. We headed home after a day full of eating and walking. We ate the most during this day, but it was so worth it.
November 11th – Tsukiji Market
At this point in our trip we were very tired and just wanted to slow things down a little bit. We slept in on the 11th and then headed over to the Tsukiji market. I did a lot of research about the places we were going to so I could learn more about them. During my research, I learned that since Tsukiji Market has become such a tourist hot spot, they created an outside market for the tourists. That is where we went, the outside market.
When we got off the train to walk to the Tsukiji market we walked by a temple that looked different than any other temple we saw in Japan. It had more of a western style to it. We found a sign and learned that it was the Tsukiji Honganji. It was originally constructed in 1617 in Yokoyama but then was rebuilt in 1934 in Tsukiji with the current style.
After visiting the temple for a while, we went back to heading over to the Tsukiji market. It was crowded just like all the tourist spots, but it felt even more crowded because the streets were so small. We wandered around looking at all the fresh seafood and the different vendors. For awhile we were looking for a place to eat, but we couldn’t find one in the market.
Once we were done looking around, we decided to just leave and find something to eat. We walked onto the main street and found a ramen shop.This ramen shop was another chain restaurant, but one we hadn’t eaten at yet. It was amazing. It had spicy tonkatsu ramen that had different toppings than what we’ve had so far.
After we ate the ramen, I started to really feel horrible. My cold had still not gone away and I had no energy to do anything. So after the market, we simply went back to the apartment. It was sad that I wasn’t feeling very well during my last few days in Japan. We went to the apartment and took a nap. Once I had woken up from my nap, we went to the bakery around the corner from our apartment and picked up some more baked goods.
This day wasn’t as exciting as the others but it was still nice to just be in Japan. We did half of the things that were on my itinerary, so it wasn’t to lazy. We watched a lot of Japanese TV, which by the way, is amazing.
November 12th – Ueno Zoo
My original plan for the 12th was to go to Kamakura. However, I was feeling worse and I didn’t want to travel all that way when I felt like that. Instead, we decided to go to the Ueno zoo! I love Zoos they are my favorite. We also got to go back to the Ueno park, which is a beautiful park as well. Before we went to the zoo we grabbed a bite to eat at McDonald’s. After that, we went in! It was a huge zoo and I really enjoyed it. It was also super crowded. I had not been to that large of a zoo in a while. Where I live there is a small zoo, but it doesn’t have my animals.
After we went to the zoo, it was around 2 pm and we decided to go to the Ichiran at Ueno Station. The line for this Ichiran was super long but well worth the wait as always. We went back to the apartment and watched more Japanese TV. For dinner, we ended up getting a pizza from this local pizza place around the corner. It was a hole in the wall type of place that was passed every day to get to the train station. We ordered one regular pizza and then one that was a little bit different. The regular one is like a meat lovers pizza, while the different one was a seafood pizza. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the seafood one, but I ended up liking it. The sauce wasn’t a red sauce but kind of like alfredo. It was so good.
Again, another day in Japan that wasn’t super exciting, but very satisfying. Days like this would probably happen if I was living in Japan and it made me feel even more comfortable with being in Japan. It really started to feel like a second home. Whenever we return to Japan, it’ll be great and will probably feel like I’m visiting a good friend.
November 13th – Skytree
The 13th was our last full day in Japan. We just wanted to relax, get any last minute souvenirs, and enjoy being in Japan. I didn’t have anything planned for the day so it was mostly just us relaxing. We decided to go back to the Tokyo Skytree, it was super close and we didn’t really explore the Skytree when we went at night. Everything was closing, so we decided to go back and do some things we didn’t get to do.
The Skytree was two stops away from our apartment, while Coco Curry was one stop away. You probably have seen a trend of us going to eat Coco Curry, and you better believe I was going to eat there one last time before we left Japan. We got off at what I called the Coco Curry stop. The people that worked there had started getting used to us, and seemed more comfortable with taking our order. It was good but also bittersweet since this would be my last time eating at coco curry.
After lunch, we hopped back on the train and got off at the Skytree. Now there were two specific things we didn’t do the first time we went to the Skytree. One, we were going to get crepes and two, we were going to go to the pokecenter. The Skytree has a multi-story shopping center inside. We wandered around taking in the sites. At this time the Skytree was decked out in Christmas decorations. It was great to hear the carols and all the decorations.
First, we went to the pokecenter. We had issues finding it, the maps in the Skytree are confusing. Eventually, we found it and bought more Pokemon merchandise. Once we got everything we wanted from the pokecenter we decided to go find the Harajuku crepe shop, it was at the bottom of the Skytree. They were amazing and reminded me of the ones you can get in Europe.
We continued to wander around the Skytree until we both decided it would be best to go home and start packing. During our stay in Japan, we bought so many things. We had to buy another bag so we could take everything home with us. Luckily, I only brought one personal item on our way to Japan. So I just had another carry on item. By the time we packed everything and had everything ready for the next day, it was dinner time. Across the street from the apartment was a Korean style grill place, we ended up eating there. I had the best pork and beef of my life in this tiny restaurant. We walked back to the apartment for the last time and took in everything.
November 14th – Traveling Back Home
We woke up early on our last day in Japan. Our plane took off at 5 pm and we needed to get to the airport 3 hours before. We also had an hour and a half train ride to the airport ahead of us, so we needed to leave around 12 pm. After completing the checkout process for our Air BnB, we started our final walk to our train station. On our way, we stopped by McDonald’s and got breakfast. Then boarded our train to the airport.
We arrived at the airport at around 2 pm. The airport in Japan is super efficient, and something that would take 2 hours in America took about minutes. After finding our gate, I went on a mission to spend the last of my Japanese cash. I didn’t want to come back to America with Japanese cash I couldn’t do anything with. I bought even more souvenirs and some snacks for the flight. Then, we got our last Japanese meal and then we were off!
The flight back home was strange. We never really saw the sunset, it was just forever dusk. The flight was also extremely bumpy, so even though this flight was 2 hours shorter than the first. It felt like it was 2 hours longs. I kept falling in and out of sleep, but not complete sleep. So time felt like it was going slow. We landed in Atlanta at 3 pm on November 14th, after having left at 5 pm on November 14th. It felt weird to lose a day, but not according to the clock. We caught our connecting flight, and we were back in town at 5:15 pm. It took us 15 minutes to fly from Tokyo to our town, according to the clock.
I enjoyed every moment when I was in Japan. I will be writing more about Japan in the future, mostly about what I did and which things I liked better than others. I hope you stick around to read those posts! Maybe they’ll help you plan your trip to Japan.
Thank you so much for your support. Have a wonderful day!