Back to Japan

The first time we went to Japan was six years ago.  One of the things that have definitely changed is that some people actually speak English.  The Olympics are coming and that could be one of the reasons.  I was also so overwhelmed by the place that it took me some time to breath but for whatever reason, I don’t feel that way this time around.  It is truly great to return to a place with a new set of eyes.

The hardest part is the time change.  We got in late in the afternoon and went to dinner.  A super casual place called Ohitsuzen Tanbo.  Trying to not do as many fancy over the top meals this trip.  We had plenty of rice and grilled eel.  

Our first day up, too early, we took a walk through Hama Rikyu Gardens where a 300-year old pine lives.  There are plenty of beautiful green spaces in the city which really makes a huge difference.  

There is a tea hour in the middle of the lake where we had a little matcha to keep us going.

The Tsukiji Fish Market has moved…literally the day before we got here. The inner market where the all the fish comes through including the famous tuna auction has moved to an entirely different location.  The outer markets still exist which are filled with shops and restaurants.  It is still packed with people but my guess is over time the place will change and become more of a tourist spot.

Had to have one of these oysters from one of the shops.  This one was the smallest one I could find.

They take their coffee very serious over here.  Stopped in Turret Coffee for a latte that was so good it was like a treat.

Mitsukoshi Department Store is all about the basement which is a food hall.  No pics so they say.  I did capture these vegetables.  It is not super high end but fun to see.

We went for lunch at Umegaoka Sushi no-Midori where there is a serious line so we left, did a little shopping and walking and came back.  It is like going to SugarFish in LA but many more options.  Here is the special menu.

Egg roe.

G.Itoya is an amazing stationery store that I am not sure could exist anywhere else.  There are 12 floors.  One of the floors is called FARM.  They are growing their own lettuce for the restaurants there.  I really loved this.

The other floors are all about paper products.  These are the possible colors you can select from.

The street traffic is brilliant.  When the lights change, you can cross anywhere.

Before dinner, we attempted to get into Bar High Five but only 20 tables and none for us.  So we walked down the street to a different bar which is located two flights down from the street.  They make a helluva martini.  The bar scene is big and the bars in Ginza are small and unique.

We had dinner at Tempura Konda.  The food is delicious but finding the place reminds me of what I found frustrating the first time we came to Tokyo.  Now that I know, it makes life easier.  Finding these places is just not easy.  This restaurant is located on the 9th floor of a building and the signage is only in Japanese and the street number doesn’t really relate to what it should be.  Good thing someone helped us out otherwise I am pretty sure we would have been strolling for hours.

This is one of the 6 vegetables we had not including the fish and more.  Really well done.

Back to the hotel to attempt to get on to the time zone.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Tracey Jackson

    Best coffee ever there. Enjoy!!!

  2. awaldstein

    They also take their chocolate seriously with ‘bean to bar’ shops, basically artisanal high end artisans.Know this only cause working with a project to bring Venezuelan Cacao into Japan to feed this frenzy.Enjoy!

  3. mplsvbhvr

    It all looks incredible – hopefully I get to go next year. Have fun!

  4. scottythebody

    Very nice day! I can’t wait to read the rest of your tips. I have already made some Google Maps stars for our next trip.I agree about the frustration in Japan. It’s much more difficult to find things and understand what is going on than almost anywhere I have ever been. I just have no hope of making out the street signs or the business signs and they use much less English than other places I have travelled in Asia. But the amazing thing is that, as you point out, there is always somebody there to help you. I’ve had people walk me to my destination before.