Asian Invasion: Part 1

May never return

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Welcome to Japan (well, Tokyo to be precise. Later on Kyoto). And please note that while the locals are extremely courteous and welcoming..not a word of English was exchanged. So first things first, lots of patience and luck. Here’s the full scoop:

1. If you can avoid Narita Airport, that would definitely work in your favor, as it is at least 75 minutes away from the city. The last thing I wanted to do after 15 hours of traveling and 12 hours of jetlag was get cozy in a two and a half hour bus ride to the hotel (you can take a train as well but we were schlepping too much). So check out Haneda Airport.

Stop #1: Tsukiji Fish Market.

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We didn’t understand a thing. #RiskyBusiness
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I wanted to hoard everything.

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Okay, I know uni is the kale of life for the adventurous gourmet eater, but there was no way I could get myself to try it…Just look at that spiky creature…I couldn’t.

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More mysterious eats…

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The Japanese don’t mess around with their shrooms. I thought I had my shit together knowing about my morels and chanterelles but really…they school you.

Next stop after a lot of strolling around (and getting lost in supermarkets) was lunch @ Dim Joy, inside the Mitsokushi department store. Again, zero English so we played it safe with a round of veggie dumplings. 

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I thought that yellow ball was a lemon…but it was a pumpkin dumpling. The rest are a variation of mushrooms, tofu, rice and other mysterious things.

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That’s a deep fried hijiki seaweed and soybean spring roll, and a pan-fried daikon rice cake with mustard greens. There were some other dumplings and rice and mushroom dishes…

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PS. These are the deceiving menus around town, where every header is in English and than…you’re screwed.

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Cool mirrored mall entrance at Plaza Tokyu. I’ve never seen so many malls in my entire life.

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We found an awesome little beer garden on top of the mall in Harajuku; Omohara Beer Forest.

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Somehow for dinner we got lost on a Google Maps adventure, lost our patience and ended up at a hole-in-the-wall called Mushroom Tokyo. Ummm, it was an experience. The only thing on the menu is mushrooms pretty much…So you kind of leave there and might need to inhale a cheeseburger.

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And by mushroom salad…he meant: shredding ONE mushroom on a plate (but the olive oil and…mushroom salt were very tasty) We kinda needed a few.

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And if there’s an egg on top, I’ll always take it. There’s a shroom underneath. The restaurant was in a cool hood near Harajuku. There’s a place across the street called Kaffir Lime that was a great little Thai restaurant/another hole-in-the-wall, I’ll get back to that one.

So…that was Day #1. There are seven more.

Also, essential info: when going to Japan, there is nowhere to exchange money so come equipped with an ATM card because there are a million Seven 11’s and that’s where you go for the cash.

Next, not a single place in the city has wifi. Supposedly there’s a little portable wifi gadget you can bring along and pay for monthly, that’s definitely a good idea if you want to communicate with the outside world.

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4 thoughts on “Asian Invasion: Part 1

  1. Hi Alexa, enjoy your stay in Japan. I love this place…Bj, Vera Bobrow ( amiga da sua avó Golda )

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