Tokyo, Day 1: Arrival + Food Trip in Tokyo

JANUARY 14, 2016 (THURSDAY)

Thanks to our company, I was able to go to my dream country since high school. Since it was in January, it was still winter in Japan so being from a tropical country, it was a challenge to look for and buy winter wear. I already had a few winter clothes from our Korea trip last 2014 but I saw Uniqlo Megamall selling HEATTECH EXTRA WARM tops. I knew that I had to buy at least two since I tend to feel cold easily. A few tips when looking for winter wear:

  • Uniqlo and H&M are go-to places for both clothes and accessories. Best to go there during sale since you can get 20-70% discount.
  • I was lucky that our Korea and Japan trip happened in mid- to late January so I was able to take advantage of the end-of-season sale in various stores.
  • Some of my friends also told me that you can get good items in ukay-ukay stores. I went with some of my office mates before our Japan trip and true enough, everything was cheap — boots around Php 300-600, coats for about Php 400-800.
  • “Cheapest” way is to find a relative or close friend who has the same size as yours and borrow some clothes and coat. 😉

Back to my actual travel — our first day was dedicated for our flight to Tokyo, and we arrived at Narita International Airport around 4PM. Note that Japan is 1 hour ahead of Manila.

Thanks for the safe flight, Delta Airlines!
NARITA na kami sa Tokyo!
Spacious and clean airport parking lot

We met with our tour guide, Toshi-san — even if he is already a senior citizen, he walked so fast and he was quite talkative! From the airport, he took us to an area near Akasaka to have dinner at Tofuro Restaurant.

Dinner for first night: Tofuro Restaurant

Most of the dishes we had tasted good. There were only 2 dishes that I was not a fan of, but mainly because of personal preference — these had white/red beans in it.

Salmon Carpaccio
Nabe (hotpot) for 4 people
Appetizer which tasted weird to me

Karaage
Chicken meat for hotpot — to be formed into balls before dunking them into the wok

Adzuki with mochi(?)

After dinner, we headed to Hotel Monterey Akasaka for check-in. The room was quite small for 2 people but not really complaining since the bedroom and bathroom were both really clean and neat. Japanese toilet is also awesome, by the way. Toshi-san warned us though that it is not advisable to buy and bring one home since as far as he knows, the water used in Japan and Philippines are of different kinds.

Once we have checked in and rested for a bit, we decided to go out for midnight snacks. But first, we had to look for Uniqlo so that a few of our office mates could buy winter clothes and accessories…

Unfortunately, one of my office mates and I got separated from the group. Getting lost was not that bad though since we were able to see a few more sights in the area…

Lovely Christmas lights on trees
View of Tokyo Skytree from where we were
Beverage vendo machine — you can find this in nearly every street
Back to one of Akasaka’s alleys

Eventually, we were able to contact each other (thanks Viber!) and decided to re-group in our hotel. After getting back together, we decided to look for a place to have our midnight snack. We passed by Gindaco Highball Sakaba which was full of people standing up — both inside the store and outside the freezing street. We roamed around the area for a few more minutes until we decided to go back to Gindaco. The only available table was only outside but we did not mind since we were hungry already. Interesting to note that it is a standing bar so all customers were just standing while eating and drinking. It was unusual for us but a cool experience.

Back to the food — I was so excited to order since their main item is takoyaki. Yay!

My food: Regular takoyaki

Their takoyaki was really big compared to those sold here in MNL + each plump ball contained a big chunk of octopus. Each bite was really good and even Hana’s (Little Tokyo) paled in comparison with this one. They also offer other variations of takoyaki such as green onion and cheese.

Regular takoyaki
Takoyaki with green onions
Takoyaki with cheese
Our group enjoying takoyaki and alcohol

After eating, we headed back to our hotel and called it a night so that we have lots of energy for Tokyo Disneyland the next day.

Cute chibi firemen — spotted these uniquely-designed manhole covers in some of the alleys near our hotel

 

LINKS TO OTHER TOKYO 2016 POSTS:

Tokyo, Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo, Day 3: Mt. Fuji, Komagatake Ropeway, Lake Ashi + Cruise

Tokyo, Day 4: Meiji Jingu, Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Ueno Park

Tokyo, Day 5: Akihabara, Shibuya – Tokyu Hands, One Piece Mugiwara Store, Ichiran

Tokyo, Day 6: Tsukiji Market, Kawagoe, Maisen

Tokyo, Day 7: Revisiting Asakusa

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: