tokyo day 03: ramen, shibuya, shrine, yakitori alley

tok0015ramen

Did not sleep well last night, woke up between 3-5am, didn’t wake up till 10am. Luckily we had no particular plans. It ended up being decent timing, we went to Rokurinsha at Ramen Street Tokyo Station, which supposedly serves the best tsukemen in Tokyo, if not the country. This style of ramen is called dipping ramen, with the noodles (absolutely excellent) and soup (thick, full flavour) are served in separate bowls. We take some of the noodles, dip it into the soup and slurp to our heart’s content. There is a permanent queue there, we got there around 10.50am, just in time for them to reopen at 11am for lunchtime service. Still had to wait around 30mins, totally worth it.

tok0016shibuya

Next stop was shibuya, the pedestrian crossing outside the station is arguably the world’s busiest intersection. The best view, from my research, is at the 1/F window of the starbucks right at the crossing. Good view.

tok0017market tok0018market

A 10min walk from shibuya is the weekend farmer’s market at the united nations university. Fantastic looking produce — fruits, vegs, flowers, honey, bread, pastry as well as small food trucks that look exactly like the ones at the real food market in London. We rested for a while with a drink of sangria from one of the trucks (alcoholic for me, non-alcoholic for mm).

tok0020shrine tok0021shrine

From the market we walked around 20-30mins through the harajuku champs elysee (same wide street with trees either side, same designer shops) to the meiji shrine set inside yoyogi park. A pleasant walk in the grounds, we stopped for a drink — coke float for me, coffee for mm. The shrine consisted of several large buildings, when we entered we joined the locals in the hand washing ritual. No photography was allowed at the main shrine, where people were praying.

tok0022yakitori tok0023yakitori

It was already 5pm so we debated where to go for dinner. At first we thought of going back to tsukiji but since we were only 1 stop from shinjuku we decided to go to Omoide Yokocho, otherwise known as memory lane or the more local name of piss alley. The narrow alley is situated next to shinjuku station and consists of dozens of tiny yakitori stalls. We went to one that proclaimed that it serves the best yakitori in Tokyo. A mother and daughter team ran the place and we had a mixed chicken and pork platter, green peppers and squid grilled skewers. Washed down with a beer. The place started getting busier as we left.

Back to the hotel later than the past 2 nights, by the time we made it downstairs to the onsen it was 8.30pm. Soaked for half an hour, had peaches and yogurt back in our room.