Eating My Way Through Tokyo

DAYS 2 & 3


I began writing this while I was on the Shinkansen to my next destination, Osaka, but I've been incredibly busy ever since and haven't the energy to sit down to write. If you haven't read the first entry for this trip, you can access the post here So far the trip has been going well, and funnily enough, I've mostly been taking photos of my food. I seriously cannot help it, I'm more of the 'through my eyes' sort, so I rarely ever experience anything through the eyepiece of my camera. Well, except for Universal Studios today, but more on that in my next post which should be up tomorrow, no later.

Saturday saw us waking up a bit early despite the lack of sleep on the flight over. I actually had to congratulate myself for managing to drag myself out of the bed without so much fuss. Who knew I had that kind of willpower? Our itinerary is sporadic, and is centered around what we feel like doing that day, so we settled on Akihabara and Harajuku. We went to Akihabara because Sean was really keen on visiting a Maid Cafe, but we bypassed that idea when we realised that we couldn't be bothered waiting in line to get into @Home Cafe, so we just looked into the shops, and I picked up an AKB48 single CD for my sister. Speaking of my sister's adoration for the girl group AKB48, we video-called her as soon as we came upon their store and cafe.


After some time of walking around, we decided to grab some lunch, and we spent ages trying to find Komaki Syokudo, a vegan Shojin-Ryori restaurant in Akihabara. We thought it was an actual restaurant, but it turned out to be a section of the first floor of the Chabara Complex, next to the UDX building. Sean wasn't keen on spending almost $17 on a vegan meal (vegetarian meals hold more interest for him), so he went to MacDonalds while I dined alone. They do have an English menu, but their system is pretty simple to understand. They provide set meals, rather than a singular item. The smaller set is somewhat cheaper, and you get three sides with a bowl each of rice and miso soup (refills available). The bigger set, the one I chose, included all of the options for the sides, as well as bowls of rice, miso soup, and a tomato-based soup. I highly recommend my fellow vegans and vegetarians to visit this place, as it is well worth the money, and the miso soup is seriously delicious. I'm generally not fond of miso, so that's saying something.


After lunch, Sean and I headed over to Harajuku, where we explored Takeshita Dori, a long street lined with shops. Takeshita Dori is ridiculously packed on the weekends, by tourists and locals alike, young and old. While there we stopped by Daiso, picked up quite a lot of supplies and food, and then I stopped by an underwear store so I could pick up a pair of bra and underpants. I first visited the store way back in 2010 but my boobs were way too small to rock the adorable designs, so, sadly, I didn't buy anything. Now that I have a decent bosom, I saw no reason to not fulfill that desire and happily bought a cute set.

At the end of our day at Harajuku, we were exhausted, and our feet and backs were killing us. I had originally planned on dining at a vegan restaurant in Shibuya, but after realising how much walking we would have to do, we went to Tokyo Station instead for  T's Tantan, an all-vegan ramen joint that even omnivores recommend. I had to persuade Sean to try it out, and to my delight, he loved it and has agreed to visit it again when we go back to Tokyo tomorrow. This place is located within the station, in an area called Keiyo Street. It's not really so much a street, it's more of a wing of the station.


I got T's Shoyu Ramen with a small bowl of mock meat on rice as part of a combo for $12.00/ ¥1100. The Shoyu Ramen was quite salty, and only got saltier the more I ate, so I didn't drink all of the broth. Sean had TanTan's Ramen with a bowl of curry on rice which had a more creamy broth that was quite tasty and was only ¥50 extra. Satisfied, we headed back to the apartment.

The next morning, we slept in a little bit, and after chatting with our host, we decided to check out later. We took our time gathering everything together, and I ate the tamagoyaki nigiri and the soy beans for breakfast. The host told us that we'd have more success finding a locker if we caught the shinkansen from Shinagawa Station instead of Tokyo, so we went with that idea. Sean and I parted ways at the station so that he could visit Akihabara again for a more thorough look, while I ventured out to Shibuya instead to visit the restaurant I mentioned earlier, as well as stop by the stores along the way.

I stopped by Tokyu Hands, a massive store selling everything from woodworking supplies to cosmetics. There I picked up a pair of sharpening stones for my Japanese cooking knives back at home. I saw some wallpaper on my way out, and they had marble printed ones. They sold out of the shorter roll, so I made a mental note to visit a different Tokyu Hands store. After a quick look, especially at the chopsticks, I left the building and went South, passing the station again for Nagi Shokudo.

Nagi Shokudo is a tiny hipster cafe with vegan food and requires approx. 10 minutes of walking. However, don't make the trip if you're not used to walking up steep hills, especially when your back and feet make you wish you were dead. The food is not worth the pain and suffering. If anything, I would prefer to go through this kind of pain for TanTan's instead. I was served a bowl of rice, some miso soup, soy meat fried and coated in sauce, and a trio of pickles on the side, and they were ordinary, to say the least. Nothing amazing or unique.


An hour or so later and Sean and I have picked up our luggage from Shinagawa station, and while heading to the area where all the shinkansen platforms were located, I managed to find a store selling an all-vegetarian bento set for only ¥870, so I picked one up to eat on the train to Osaka. And it was delicious, even the little ball of pink mochi. As some of you may already know, I don't like squishy food, but I was able to tolerate the squishiness of the mochi because the flavour of it was delicious.



Speaking of squishy food, for a country that loves their tofu, I rarely ever find it in vegetarian/vegan meals. WHY?! Why are you depriving me of my protein?!

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