Tokyo 2019 Day 3 – Tsukiji Market, Ueno Park, Nezu Shrine, Maricar, Asakusa Shrine, Skytree

Started day 3 early despite sleeping late the night before. For breakfast, I had planned to have that at the famous Tsukiji Market. Although the inner market where the auction for the giant tunas used to take place had moved to Toyosu Market, the external market was still intact. I didn’t know what time the market would be opened but couldn’t wake up earlier than 8am, I quickly packed my bags and checked out with all my baggage.

Headed to the subway Shinjuku-Sanchome to dump all the bags into a locker since that was the nearest location to my next accommodation and took the train to Tsukiji. It was a 20mins ride and I proceeded to walk in the general direction according to the Google maps. After walking for a while, I realised I overshot and had to track back. Apparently the markets were not very obvious from the main roads. Then as I took one of the smaller street in, I found it lined with seafood restaurants, some of them still not opened at 8plus in the morning. Resisted the temptation to just go into any restaurant, I walked onto a street that was marked as the Tsukiji Outer Market and was surprised to see not many stores opened. I thought I was in the wrong place and proceeded to walk South East but there was nothing. I went back to the few stores where there were also a couple of customers around and started to order some food.

Temple near the Tsukiji Market
One of the statue there
Finally a familiar crab

There was a brightly lit store that had urchin for sale, and ordered one dish of seared urchin to start. The urchin placed on a wooden plate of sorts and the lady used mobile flame torch to go over the top of the urchin, giving a slightly charred texture. Didn’t had time to take any photos of the process because my camera didn’t work as it was too cold and by the time I took out my phone after fiddling (and cursing) the camera, she handed me the delicious urchin, for Y1000. Took my time (of course need to take photo) with this delicacy that tasted slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and it was quite a huge portion! Satisfied with the first dish, I proceeded on to the next stall where there were more people gathered around a stall with a couple of seafood choices on display and a makeshift bbq stove.

Seared urchin store


Yummy urchin!

Y1000 yet again for pointing at one of the scallop that the staff went ahead to cook with 2 mini flamethrowers. Then adding some soya sauce and cutting up the scallop into bite size pieces, I was handed a plate of steaming hot and delicious scallop! After the scallop, I went on to one of the corner shops that seemed to have just open for business. The chefs were busy cutting up slices of sashimi and packing them, while another was making sushi. On the signboard overhead was a Otoro sushi, 3 pieces for Y1500. I didn’t hesitate, having heard from a colleague previously that that was the best part of the tuna, hence the price so I had to try it. Immediately the chef got down to preparing the sushi, skilfully slicing 3 pieces of tuna of the same dimensions and pressing them onto the rice. I had the opportunity to see the size of a giant tuna head that was placed in one of the fridge while waiting for my sushi to be done.

Variety of seafood for BBQ

The sushi looked different, not the usual plain red tuna sushi that I was used to. The taste of the sushi was unexpectedly different too! I couldn’t get a hint of the usual tuna taste at all, and it was really platable. Very quickly, I gobbled up the 3 pieces, dipping into the soy sauce that was available there and yearned for more. Having already spent Y4500, I thought I should stop.

Look at the size of that
Super yummy Otoro sushi
Sushi store


I visited the tamago store last, and spent Y100 for a solid piece of tamago, soft and warm and delicious too. During this time, people were already starting to stream in and other stores were also starting business. I explored the area a bit more and found out that the little alleys from the street into the buildings actually led to more restaurants inside, and I could have spent my time there to have a sushi breakfast, in front of the chef but I am already full (and spent my money) so I left for the station soon after.

Tamago store
Cheap and good!
Outer market with a lot of closed shutters
Line of sushi restaurants inside the building


My first visit today was to Ueno park and then to Nezu Shrine, a shrine with many of the red wooden gates known as Torii. Upon arrival at Ueno station, I proceeded to walk into the giant park. Winter wasn’t the best time to visit the park since it did just looked normal to me. The freezing temperature was wreaking havoc on my camera and it couldn’t be operated most of the time. Frustrated, I depended on my iPhone to take the pictures but had to minimise for fear of it running out of battery before the end of the day.

Ueno shopping mall
Statue in Ueno park
Walking in the park

Within the park, I found myself walking into a Toshogu shrine, an old shrine that was dedicated to the founder of Tokugawa shogunate. Not a big place to explore but definitely one that had historical significance. After walking out, I followed along the path and went past the Ueno zoo that was housed within the park. I decided to exit the park (and there were quite a couple of museums within the park itself but I hadn’t plan to visit it) and walk to Nezu Shrine.

Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Kept alive to remind the horrors of nuclear war
Lanterns at the shrine
Pagoda nearby
Panoramic view of the shrine
Charm to bring home
Ueno Zoo

From the map, there was a Nezu subway station that was closer but I thought I could just walk from Ueno park since it looked near on the map. After some good 15 mins of walking, that brought me past many small streets of residential places, I finally find myself at the shrine. There were already many visitors there, including a bunch of school kids that were out there on excursion. I took my time to appreciate the buildings taking photos and such before heading to the long footpath of Torii. And this place would be the best instagram worthy place to get that shot with the Torii all lining up behind. It was here that I splurged on some charms for my family, including for health, studies and happiness, at Y500 each.

Directions to Nezu shrine
Entrance to Nezu Shrine
At the Nezu Shrine
Main hall
Long line of Torii gates
Stream beside the shrine

I was done with visiting and proceeded to the train station to get to Naka-Okachimachi station. From there I took a walk to one of my favorite Japanese brands, Evisu. I was expecting something really flashy but I was surprised to find the store in a rather quiet part of the street and the entrance was dull. I would missed it if not for the recognising the godly faces on the doors. After entering the store, I was awed by the large variety of products that was available for sale! The staff approached me and asked if I was looking for anything (again with Japanese before switching to Eigo) and I was brought to the 2nd level that catered for jeans. I also found out that the store only has number 1 and number 2 jeans, those that were extremely costly in Singapore.

Store hidden from sight
Recognisable when up close
Demin heaven

I had to get something since I was already here and she helped with giving me some sizes to try on. I was shocked that I had to wear a 36″ waist (normal 30″) due to the extreme shrinkage after wash and was assured that no further shrinking will happen. The number 1 was made in the traditional method of sewing and I was able to customised what I wanted to have on my butt pockets. All in, I paid a hefty sum of Y41k (no tax rebate available), but I guessed its something I was willing to spend on which would last me for years plus it was customised!

Customising my jeans
With something from Japan
Demin products for purchase on the 2nd floor

As I went back to the station to proceed to Akihabara for my 2pm Go Kart experience, I stumbled upon the Ameyoko street. Curious what was being sold there, I stepped into one of the store specialising in cosmetics and found the bunch of products that Wifey wanted, including the Shiseido products! I knew this was going to be the place where I would settle the shopping for family back home. Walked on to another store and found one (Silk Road Cosmetics) that sold SK-II items, where the initial store did not carry. The price was pretty decent (compared to online) and had tax refund so I just went ahead to buy it. I was informed by the store staff that the pharmacies would carry the rest of the other items that I was looking for but I was trying to get to Maricar and left for the train ride to Akihabara station.

A shopping street worth visiting
Ameyoko Street
Magazines store that carried Anello
Silk Road Cosmetics got SKII

For the ride, I had to proceed to another building for the drive off but it was a pretty short walk from Akihabara station. Upon reaching, I found 2 other people already suit up in costumes. Settled the administration with the staff, found myself a spongy spiderman suit and I was suited up too. There was a locker available to place my bag, so I only carried a phone and my camera with me. The staff pushed the 4 go carts onto the street and after the briefing, we mounted onto our rides and then it was a freezing one hour roundtrip to Asakusa and Skytree before going back. It was kinda fun riding a go Kart on the street and in a silly costume sometimes drawing attention of the pedestrians. After downloading all the photos from FB messenger, and a hardcopy souvenir photo, I boarded the train to return to Ameyoko for the rest of the shopping.

At the other store for the short loop
Did a selfie at the red light
The guide’s shot
And one as a postcard to bring home

Sticking to the advice given by the Silk Road Cosmetics staff, I walked further to a pharmacy named Matsumoto Kiyoshi store to get the rest of the items. The store had 2 floors full of cosmetics related stuff and there were staff that could speak various languages, catered for tourists. With the photos given by Wifey, I managed to check off all except one which was some horse oil face mask of a particular brand. I even got myself some hand cream to apply on my cracked fingers (due to dryness of the weather) which I thought worked really well.

The store that had it all

It was past 4pm and I was racing against the setting sun to go visit the Asakusa Senso-ji Shrine. This was the one with the famous huge lantern and upon arrival at the station, I made a beeline to the Shrine after walking past a sheltered walkway. There were just a lot of people, granted the popularity of this tourist attraction. Made my way into the main temple to pray, the Japanese method (throw coin – bow bow – clap clap – bow) and also tried to get myself a Omikuji, the one that one uses a container of sticks with numbers and shaking one out to get the fortune read. Unfortunately, I scored a bad fortune and ended up leaving this paper onto the rail that so as not to bring it home.

Nice sheltered walkway shopping to Senso-Ji Shrine
Hozomon Gate
Gate and Pogoda
Instructions on Omikuji
Bad Fortune!
One of the racks to leave bad fortune
Main Hall
Panoramic view from the Main Hall
Huge Lantern at the Main Hall
Another view of the compound

After exploring the surroundings, I took the main walk path back to the main gate that was on the main road, passing through rows of shops selling souvenirs and food. Got myself a little red lantern souvenir before ending up at the main gate, where there was another huge lantern (There were actually 3 in total which I didn’t know!).

Souvenir street to the main road
Kaminarimon Gate
Asahi beer office in the distant

I walked in the general direction to try to get to the subway for my next destination, the Tokyo Skytree. However, I got lost where I was able to see the surroundings of Asakusa, mostly more shopping. A quick check of the Google map and I was back on track to the station. Hopped onto the Skytree train and walked directly to the ticketing counter with my Klook QR code. At the ticketing counter, they printed out the tickets for me to proceed to the observatory deck.

Another huge Don Quijote
Walking towards Skytree
Station for train to Skytree
Stairs to Skytree
Ticket counters
Retrieved the tickets

Again, this was a busy place as it was another popular tourist attraction. We entered the lift and as with other tallest buildings around, the elevator climbed quickly causing the ears to get blocked once in a while. I took the option of only accessing the lower observatory but had more than an eyeful of Tokyo city all lighted up at the 360 degrees observation deck. There were a lot of people but enough space to get close to the windows for photos. There were also multiple displays with professional photography service as well which I avoided. One of the highlights of the visit was a 10min video presentation of a game Kingdom Hearts above the windows as it went all the way around the floor. There were various cartoon characters showcased, many of them from Disney and familiar to all.

Tokyo night view from observatory
360 view of Tokyo city
Kingdom Hearts show
Familiar Disney characters – Monsters

While on the way back to ground level, I had to go a floor down to take the lift where there was more viewing space then the one above. There was also a cafe at this floor and a small section with a see-through glass floor for those daredevils to look down. A short queue for the lift and soon I was back at ground level.

See through floor all the way down
Souvenir store

There was an integrated shopping mall called Solamachi with retail and restaurants but I was interested in only one of the store, the Pokemon Center. At the Pokemon Center, which I needed to google to find out its location, was a store with tons of Pokemon soft toys and merchandise. I couldn’t decide whether to get a sleeping Eevee or a sitting one and eventually chose the sleeping one to encourage my boy to sleep. Also go him a pair of Pikachu socks, cos he liked both Pokemon but I couldn’t get both soft toys since he had too many soft toys at home. There was also the HelloPika toy that he was interested in but it was selling about the same price back in Singapore so I decided against buying it.

Huge shopping mall
Ground floor shopping
Pokemon Center
One of the displays
Varieties of soft toys

During my search for the Pokemon Center, I noticed a familiar name that I had googled before that had a pillow that my mother was looking for. It was in another mall across Solamachi so I just walked over to Nitori at Central Square Life to find the pillow and sure enough, it was available. Asked the staff for assistance to retrieve the pillow and paid before heading back to Solamachi in search for dinner.

Central Square Life next to Skytree with Nitori

There was a food court available amongst the many other restaurants and I ended up with having Ramen from Ippudo Express for Y1030 to ease the hunger from the lack of lunch all the way to dinner time. Then it was a long way back with all the goods that I bought to Shinjuku-Sanchome station.

Food court at Skytree
Inside food court
Ramen from Ippudo Express

Picked up my bags from the station lockers and I headed to my accommodation for the next 2 nights, Hotel & Spa An. It was a love hotel which I only realised it after the first day in Tokyo (should have known when it’s mentioned adults only!) when I mistakenly walked to the accommodation which offered rest rates (a couple of hours). The reception was behind a counter where I could only see the hands but checking in wasn’t difficult as they got one of the staff to meet me and inform about the details of the room, which when described, I was in awe – It had a sauna, a jacuzzi and KTV!

Hotel & Spa An

With the keys, I went up to the top floor on the 6th and the first impression I had was that it felt more like a suite then anything else! (A massive space upgrade from the capsule that I had for the 2 previous nights) Upon entering, I see a luxuriously designed room, lots of space, a big bathroom with the said facilities, totally happy that I made a good choice staying here. And it didn’t felt like a love hotel (thought it would looked be simple dingy rooms in Singapore context) at all.

Bed and couch
Instructions on Mist Sauna
Bath and Jacuzzi
Separate toilet
So many amenities
and more
Dispensing fridge
Free stuff
Huge TV with VOD
and KTV
Portable song entry and very updated
Gifts from the hotel, Shuriken and spoons

The only complaint I had was the lack of storage space though it had a small locker for important items. I spent some time on the KTV that was amazingly updated with new songs (but not on the original MTV) before having a video call with the family back home using the wifi. Then it was soaking in the Jacuzzi before checking out what was on TV (there was free VOD movies, and lots of porn on VOD or normal TV) and then to sleep on the huge bed.

Tokyo 2019 Day 2 – Tokyo, Akihabara, Ginza, Roppongi and more Themed restaurants

Day 2 started early, wasn’t sure if it was because I couldn’t sleep well in the pod or I was just terribly excited to go explore Tokyo. Googled to find out where I could get some good breakfast and was shown a result not too far in Shinjuku. Got out of bed and got ready to check out. Although I had another night here, I had to check out before 10am and check in again because they had to do some cleaning. However the locker was allowed for guests to be utilised so after taking out what I required and leaving the rest in the locker, I left for breakfast.

Lounge area at the capsule hotel
Good morning Tokyo!
Many parallel tracks in a complex network

Just a stop away, I got off the Shinjuku station and using the Google maps, I walked towards the Aaliya Cafe. The cafe itself was situated at the basement and upon arrival, there were already a few tables taken up by diners. An English menu was given and I made the order pretty quickly for a standard french toast. The food was served on pretty tray but that was nothing compared to the taste of this French toast, it was great! It was nothing like I have tasted before in a French Toast, the soft creamy middle was covered by slightly thin crispy exterior, coupled with the sweetness of the cream, I was loving every bite of the bread!

Aaliya Cafe
Like English breakfast

As soon as I had been served, I was done with breakfast, probably due to rapid devouring of the tasty bread. Paid the bill and complemented the staff for the Oishi breakfast before exploring the stores around. I came upon a Jeans Mate and was elated to find the Anello bags there. Did spend a bit of time considering what colours to get and what size and eventually decided on a dark blue medium size one, amongst the limited choices there. I was quite concerned that I may not find another store that carried this bag, from experience of that store in Shibuya, so I just bought it.

Jeans mate at Shinjuku
Anello bags

Then moving to a tall building that housed a departmental store Laox, I went to look for more thermal flasks, also briefly looking at the watches that were sold there. It was pretty surprising to find the G-shocks actually were costlier in Japan than in Singapore (at least that’s what I thought), and so were the other watches. Proceeding to the household items floor, there was yet again a shelf full of thermal flasks. Sent some photos to wifey back at home and left, knowing that I would probably be able to see another Laox elsewhere.

Laox entrance

Took the train to Tokyo station as I wanted to settle some shopping wishes first. This was for the Issey Miyake famous Baobao bag, and it was mentioned that the flagship store at Marunouchi would be good place to go while the other stores would normally be out of stock or lined with Chinese tourists. Disembarking at Tokyo station, I was in awe of the historical building of the Tokyo station and took a few pictures of it when I came up to the ground level. Then it was just a few minutes walk to the corner block of Issey Miyake.

Exit after at Tokyo station
Issey Miyake at Marunouchi

The staff was conversant in English and I had to carry out a live videochat with wifey to decide the type and colour of the bag that she wanted, as those identified earlier from the website were unavailable. Finally settled for a Y51k bag tax free after introduction of the different combos and even having the staff carried it for size comparisons. Opted to leave the bag at the store after paying as I knew there would be lots of walking around and shopping and it would not be a good idea to lug the bag around but with the commitment to return before 8pm closing time.

Was initially wanting to visit a Muji store but one of the big ones that used to be in Marunouchi was already closed down. Got back onto the train and next destination was IT heaven in Akihabara. Upon alighting at the Akihabara station, the Yodobashi Camera store just next to it and this was the place where I would be purchasing my Nintendo Switch. But before reaching that level, I was surprised to find the entire building selling all electronics and electrical appliances throughout the different levels! It was like a Harvey Norman on steroids. I made a brief walk on one of those levels and saw things like robotic vacuum cleaners but didn’t stay long as my interests were elsewhere. There were thermal flasks (again) which I managed to find the one that Wifey wanted (200ml bottle for Y1980, cheapest yet) and also checking if she wanted anything else. Then upon reaching the 6th floor, I entered, again, the heaven of toys and games. The entire floor had different toys, models like Gundam, arcade games, Gachapon (capsule tikum). There was another section that was security isolated from the rest of the floor, the games section where the Playstations and Nintendo Switches were.

Historical Tokyo station building
Inside the building called Kitte
Inside Tokyo station
Direction to Electric Town
Entering Yodabashi
Sell all sorts of stuff, including thermal bottles
Games heaven
Rows of Gachapon
Lifesize armour
Pacific Rim
Gundam stuff

I was planning to get the Pokemon edition of the Nintendo Switch but it was sold out. Comparing the consoles, it was cheaper to get them in Japan, with the Tax refund. Games wise, whilst comparing with one of the more popular game store in Singapore, the games were comparable or even more expensive, except for the bundle Let’s Go together with the Pokeball. After much deliberation, I ended up getting the console (Y29980) and the bundle (Y9880) and left the games to be purchased in Singapore.

Nintendo switch packages
Huge Nintendo section

Before heading to lunch, I turned on my Pogo and found a raid that was about to begin. I made my way there to check out and experience the Pogo scene in Tokyo, after all, this was the birthplace of Pokemon. I waited for the 10mins or so and people started to stream in. I realised that there weren’t any much difference from what I experienced in Singapore, in terms of demographics of people playing and interactions.

I walked in the general direction towards one popular maid cafe called @Home for my lunch and as I sorta lost my bearings and found myself walking through the tiny street next to the building of @Home. Along this street, there were many girls in cosplay uniform handing out flyers to attract customers to their themed restaurants, something that I guess was extremely popular in this fantasy paradise of Akihabara. I didn’t want to change my plan and continued onwards to @Home. Entered the lift and realised that there were at least 5 floors of this cafe, and I didn’t know which to go. I decided to just go to the highest floor to see and when I exited, it was kinda crowded. So I took the stairs and head downwards and ended up on 5F, which looked relatively less crowded. Waited until one of the staff came over and explained the costs and duration and general instructions.

@Home entrance
5 levels of cafe

I was then led to the front row seats just in front of the stage. Thought there would be some sort of performance but there weren’t any as I found out later. The stage was a place where the polaroid pictures were taken. After making myself comfortable, I was shown a menu for the food with packages that included a photo opportunity with one of the maid of my choice. There was also something known as premium maids that would need additional costs if I chose that but I stuck to just one of them, someone by the name of Mai. There were also options of playing games with the maids, for additional costs, but I didn’t really have the time nor the money to experience that.

Then I was given a “Master” card (cos I was the Master?), something like a membership card that I supposed if you visit often enough, you get to upgrade?? The people around me were a mixture, like a group of 3 local guys there to celebrate birthday, a Japanese couple, a foreign tourist couple next to me and even a single lady. While the locals got more engagements with the maids as I supposed communications were much easier, the staff actually tried their best to carry out small talk with whatever Eigo they could manage.

When my omelette and matcha latte arrived, the maid serving asked for subject as a picture for them to put onto not just the latte, but also the omelette! I asked for a Pikachu which she promptly applied the green stuff onto the creamy latte top with ease. Then for the omelette, I asked for Ironman. “Ummm” then I asked for Mario and more “Ummm” and finally I said “Eevee” thinking that this would be just as popular a figure as Pikachu and it was still “Umm”…Took out my handphone to show her the picture and she proceeded to draw on the omelette with the ketchup bottle. Its tough being a maid, needing to do all this nonsense for customers, I thought.

Food pokemon sketches, the only photo that could be taken

Just before I could eat, the maid informed that I had to say some magical chants to make the food taste good. With clenched fists together at chest level, and moving from left to right to left, I had to chant “Moe Moe Kyun” with her. Could be embarrassing to those not used to doing cute stuff, but I guessed that’s just part of Japanese Kawaii culture. After my chant, I proceeded to munch down my lunch, the food wasn’t bad but it wasn’t something fantastic either (so much for the chant). The main point of the visit was really more to experience theme cafe then to have good food.

A few minutes later, I was being called to stage for the photo opportunity with my chosen maid. Had a few exchanges with her, who spoke pretty decent English. She seemed to look a little more caucasian then Japanese and she claimed that she did have some European blood in her. Then I had to choose a head gear that was either bunny ears or cat ears. Took the bunny ears and with the cutesy pose together with Mai, my polaroid was taken. Back at the seat, I waited for the bill and in between, there was one or two more short exchanges with other maids but nothing else more. Was given the polaroid in a nice card frame, another postcard with a message that I didn’t understand and a pair of chopsticks to take home as souvenirs. The experience though, I felt, didn’t really meet the Master-Maid relationship and merely superficial, such as being called a Master for the sake of it. A simple act of helping the master manage his coat would be nice but the lack of such service showed that the experience focus was more on the acting cute part but not on the service.


My next destination was to go Maricar, the Go-kart that went viral because of its likeness to the awesome family game Super Mario kart with the track on the Tokyo street. It was a couple of blocks away, but along a small street. There was a staff there which I checked for any scheduled trip for the day but was disappointed to find them fully booked. Booked for the next day for a 1hr slot although he recommended a 2 hour drive instead. Paid Y5000 plus Y500 for insurance and borrowed the cable to charge my dying handphone and also to use their toilet that was decorated with disco coloured lighting.

Maricar office
Disco toilet

I decided to return to retrieve the bag that I bought in the morning at Tokyo and upon arrival at the station, I noticed my coat pocket had an unfamiliar ringtone coming out of it. When I reached for it, I was shocked to find not 1 but 2 phones, one of them did not belong to me! I couldn’t pick up the call but tried to call the number from the missed call on my own mobile, to find that the phone belonged to the owner of Maricar and somehow I must have taken it by mistake! Thankfully, he agreed to meet me at Tokyo station instead and concurrently, I went to pick up the bag and not too long after, I managed to hand over the phone to owner’s friend whom was helping him pick up.

AKB48 cake shop
Toys display near the station
Colourful Yodabashi at night
Xmas feels at Marunouchi
Tokyo station at night
Lighted buildings at Tokyo

From Tokyo, my next destination was to visit Ginza, another major but atas shopping area of Japan. I was supposed to get some Shiseido products and there was a Shiseido store in Ginza. As I walked along the streets of Ginza, I was amazed to see that each building was owned by one company, not just for the luxury brands but for any brand! Another interesting observation was that I had seen ladies wearing kimono walking down the street! Didn’t know why this was so but it seemed pretty normal to everyone else.

Sights while walking towards Ginza
Xmas lights still up
Tall Ginza buildings
Tall buildings everywhere
Shopping in a kimono

When I arrived at a red building that was named Shiseido, I went into the first floor and was surprised to find them selling pastries. I thought there was another pastry store named as Shiseido. Tried Google map and walked a few blocks to another Shiseido building and I found out from the security that I was at the corporate office and the red building was the right location, only that the one with the cosmetics were just across the road on the left! Feeling like an idiot, I made my way a few blocks back again and sure enough, another tall block belonging to Shiseido was there! Now I know Shiseido actually diversified into pastries as well.

Shiseido pastries building
Different levels but no cosmetics
Shiseido office

Went into the building that seemed to have an army of staff and showed the photo of what I needed but that was no longer available. What was available though, Wifey wasn’t interested and so I continued to walk towards Uniqlo. The store in Ginza was in one entire block, consisting of twelve floors! They had one entire floor just for heat tech products alone. Spent quite an amount of time getting stuff for the whole family and at the 11th floor where they had collaboration pieces, I bought myself two tees. Went up and down a couple of times when Wifey had “live” suggestions to buy some stuff so had to go to the different stores catering for men, women and kids.

Shiseido, the one with the cosmetics

Then it was time for dinner and another themed restaurant that I planned to visit was Ninja restaurant. While making my way to the subway, I bought myself a sweet potato from a makeshift lorry and as it was too hot, I left it in my bag. Boarded the train and headed towards Akasaka, and this was when I experienced the infamous train squeeze that the viral videos were showing. Somehow, even with what seemed like a packed train, the people on the platform could all still go into the train. Thankfully, it was a short ride for me and all my shopping bags and sweet potato remained intact.

Uniqlo in one tall building
12F of it
Huge shopping spaces
Past collaborations collections for sale
Sweet potato truck
I guessed it meant sweet potato for Y500

Ninja restaurant was part of a long building but the restaurant only had an entrance and no other windows, thus keeping the secrets of Ninja within its walls. I entered without a reservation and thankfully there was available seats (probably because it was late too, but they were opened to 1030pm, and each seating would take about 1.5hrs to 2hrs).

Akasaka street
Ninja Restaurant

After confirmation of my dinner, I was asked to wait for a Ninja who would be coming to escort me. He appeared soon enough, dressed in all black, with only the eyes exposed (came with glasses which was funny) and he brought me through a hidden entrance. I had been informed not to take any photos as it was deemed dangerous for me, thus I just followed closely as we had to walk up and down, even had a wishing well to make a wish and saw a ninja activate a chained bridge to cross a broken bridge with his ninja chants before I arrived into the restaurant proper. I was brought to the Ninja village called “Durian” (or something in that pronunciation) and sat at a table, which was pretty dimly lit. The other tables all had customers but some were close to leaving. I was showed the menu, in the form of an ancient scroll, after handing over my jacket to the ninja (much better than the maid) and ordered the standard 8 course dinner with a non-alcoholic ninja cocktail that was part of a very famous incantations (for those familiar with such incantations especially from the movies in the 80s). As my phone was dying, with the cold sapping the battery faster than usual, I helped myself with the power supply nearby (luckily) as I plugged in my power charger that I brought along, as the ninja staff couldn’t help me find a charger that could charge my iPhone.

In the village
My dimly lit table
Village stuff display
临、兵、斗、者、皆、阵、列、前、行 drinks
My non-alcohol cocktail
My menu scroll

The dish was then served one at a time, just like fine dining, and I am very impressed with the quality of food! From the first dish of shuriken crackers to the last one, I enjoyed every one of them and they tasted really good! After the food, there was a magic show by the master ninja which was nice and she even thought me a trick so that I could bring it back to show to my family. Awesome experience! This wasn’t cheap though at a cost of Y7074 but I thought it was well worth it. After fulfilling my request to take a photo with one of the ninja, I was escorted out of ninja village, again with more drama, ninjitsu magic of extinguishing fire and even a final surprise in the form of a ninja showing me a scroll with a message to come visit again after I stepped out of the main entrance. Lots of effort there.

Shuriken cracker
Tasty cold soup
Goodies underneath
Soup into the wooden mixing bowl
Add a hot stone
Absolutely tasty vegetables soup
Cold noodles
Pork and veges
so soft and tender
Magic, card tricks and photo to bring home
Ninja pose
Final surprise!

As I tried to get to the subway for my final location of the day, I had a videochat with my family whom were about to go to bed. Had to find a place to finish the call before boarding, for fear of disturbing the other commuters on the train. Then to Roppongi I rode, purely for the sake of getting a Hard Rock Cafe Tee. Over in the distance, I took a photo of the orange Tokyo tower that stood out, amongst the street lights of Roppongi. It didn’t felt very different from what was I saw in Shinjuku or Shibuya. Had to get the clothes from the restaurant store as the merchandise store was already closed for the day. Didn’t spend much time before I was on my way back to 9 hours.

Tokyo tower in the distant
Hard Rock Tokyo

Once back, I checked in again, and spend quite some time to do some packing as I had bought quite a fair bit of stuff. Then it was bath time followed by a visit to 7-11 store to get a beer to eat with my sweet potato. Spent some time at the lounge surfing the internet and attempting to finish that massive potato but couldn’t and retired for the night, at about 2am.

Sweet Potato