Japan Nov 2009 Day 3 (part 2)
Then we walked through Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori 竹下通りto Omotesando Hills and finally Shibuya.
The crowd is crazy on a weekend afternoon!
Marion Crêpes, the oldest Japanese crêpe joint in Harajuku and reputably whole of Japan. Its even older than us!
The “menu” next to the counter. Ordering was easy with this as every “flavour” has a number tag attached to it.
Waiting while your crêpe is being freshly made. Shouldn’t have any problems finding it the crowded Takeshita Dori. Just follow your nose! If only photographs speak in not just sight but smell! oooh… the aroma. YUM!
People sighted eating crêpe everywhere!
Another crêpe joint along Takeshita Dori. Since the opening of Marion Crêpes in 1976, other crepe outlets started mushrooming along the street and surrounding area. Crêpe has since been synonymously linked to Harajuku like sashimi is to Tsukiji!
One of the many interesting looking shops that carries the current trend of fashion and knick-knacks.
The street that adjoins Takeshita Dori and Omotesando Hills houses Forever 21, H&M and La Foret, the centre of street fashion in Tokyo. What’s in trend and what’s not, this is the place to be to find out.
La Foret, one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in the Harajuku shopping district. Much like 109 in Shibuya.
Ometosando Hills is quite different from Harujuku’s Takshita Dori despite being so close. The former is packed with little shops selling novelty and uptown fashion. This attracts swarms of schooling youngsters. The former is littered with classy boutiques of international labels like LV, Prada, Polo Ralph Lauren etc. And just to heighten the shopping experience, a little gully with flowing water runs perpendicular along the entrances of the trail of boutiques, where the sound of trickling water is supposed to instil a sense of bliss and tranquility. Well, we didn’t experience much of that. So much for tranquility. Just hope that the drain isn’t clogged with leaves and litter to become a mozzie nursery!
Maisenまぃ泉, the infamous Tonkatsu joint in Tokyo. If you think Tonkichi in Singapore is good, try Maisen. 🙂
But just look at the queue! We arrived way passed lunch-time and there’s still a line of hungry people outside the door.
The queue outside the door. If you think this is bad, try peering through the door or glass windows and I’m pretty sure your jaws would drop! The queue of diners-in-waiting wind and twine around the restaurant from the first floor to the second! There were even people standing along the staircase! When we saw this, we headed straight to the takeaway counter!
A takeaway counter located to the right of the main door. If you see a queue inside the restaurant, pop straight to the takeaway counter without even bothering to think. The wait would be excruciatingly long.
We bought for ourselves a “medium range” bento. Not the most expensive Kurobuta one but looks good nonetheless, at least on the menu board. :p Oh yeah, and two humongous Ebi Fry to go along. So pricy! They had better be good…
Pretty standard presentation. Cabbage, pickled seaweed on the side with a small pickled prune Ume on the gohan. Sauces and pickled ginger in little plastic sachets at the back. Well, this is a takeaway, what to expect. The tonkatsu was cut to the exact size to fit the box! The katsu and gohan are cold! Stupid us! We should have asked for a hot set. I like my rice hot… especially in such weather.
Check out the humongous Ebi Fry! Huge prawns generously donned with a layer of panko bread crumbs. They are almost as long as the katsu! And so crispy! Pichi Pichi! And no, these are not Ebi tempura. So don’t embarrass yourself by calling them that!
Slightly cold, but still very crispy on the outside and juicy inside! Wonder how they managed to maintain the texture. No wonder Maisen is famous.
Drizzled lightly with Maisen’s very own Tonkatsu sauce. I’m pretty sure the katsu slices are squirming with orgasmic pleasure!
The tonkatsu sauce was both sweet and savoury at the same time with a tinge of tangy sourness.
What a pretty manhole cover. Just to remind us that we basically sat down along the side of a quiet road near Maisen to devour the Tonkatsu bento. People and dogs walked passed us and a few cars drove by but we didn’t really care. Yes, Maisen is THAT good…. Before we knew it, the gastronomic adventure was soon over, leaving us craving and lingering for more…
We took the subway down to Shibuya 渋谷駅 for a bit of walking around. We knew this ain’t really the place for shopping for us. More for little girls and boys with the bishonen look… and bishonen wannabes of course.
Statue of Hachiko ハチ公 the famous Akita known for his loyalty
He was also one of the very few pure breed Akitas left in Japan during his time.
The famous Shibuya crossing
Snapshots of the aerial view at Shibuya crossing from a Starbucks joint in one of the buildings. If my memory serves me well, its within HMV.
Huge crowds gathering as they wait for the lights to change.
And off they go!
Three Minutes Happiness, a concept shop at Shibuya selling wares similar to those at Muji 无印良品. The name’s kinda interesting though.. happiness in 3 minutes time.
Peek at what they are selling.
Bathroom toiletries section with an array of soap and shower foam bottles.
We took the subway back to Shinjuku
百果園 a fruit stall along the streets of Shinjuku. Apart from whole fruits, they also sell peeled and cut fruits-to-go and used to attract a lot of tourists and the local crowd. But quite a number of similar shops mushroomed in the vicinity and must have hit their business considerably.
Sights and sounds of Shinjuku
Kabukichō 歌舞伎町,, used to be the notorious red-light district in Tokyo but have since undergone some infra-restructing. A lot of restaurants are found in this area and had since become a popular place for dining.
But some parts of Kabukicho still retains the “colours” of the yesteryears but have become more subtle.
No entry for those below 18 years old. Doesn’t take an idiot to know to know what lies beneath.
Many of these places tout themselves as “no entrance fee” 无料.
Some are more daring with their advertisement displays.
Back to the usual shopping streets.
Dinner at Matsuya 松屋, a donburi 丼 fast-food franchaise chain in Japan. J’s order is a katsudon カツ丼 that came with a small sweet corn salad and miso soup.
Mine was a beef rice bowl gyu-don 牛丼 with a bowl of rich tonjiru 豚汁.
Cheap and good! But then again, we were real hungry after a long day walking around…