- Tsukiji Market (open fish market)
- Wakaba Ramen Stand
- Tsukiji Sushisei Honten
- Shibuya crossing
- Shopping at Shibuya
- Silkream Ice Cream
- Mugiwara store
- Meji Shrine
- Menya Musashi Ramen
- Makiko and Kanako for dessert
I woke up around 5am the next day and tried to go back to bed until at least 7am when I actually wanted to wake up. It was a semi-success as I drifted in and out of sleep, but I was ready to go and excited for the day. Once I showered, I met my travel buddy down in the lobby where we had our first breakfast provided by the hostel, 2 mini croissants and and some coffee. Simple, yet still delicious.
We headed out to our first stop which was Tsukiji Market. We wanted to make it to the auctions in the morning, but that meant getting up at 2am and logistically, the subway did not run so we decided that going to eat there was sufficient. The Tsukiji Market was basically my first introduction to Tokyo and it did not disappoint! Note: The market opens at 9am, but not every “store” is opened so be mindful when you come too early. We walked around while everyone was still setting up and checked out the places we could actually eat at. We stumbled upon a mom and pop noodle place, Wakaba Ramen Stand, which was literally just selling one kind of ramen. Saw there was a line for it so thought it must be good… and it was!
We wandered around some more and noticed they had some food on a stick, a lot of fish, seafood, fruits, and a bunch of sushi shops that uses the exact same signs to market their sushi. The hint? Go to one with lots of people already in it, or a line. Trust me, it’ll be worth your wait because it was worth ours. It was hard to choose which sushi place to eat at so we saw one with a small-ish line at Tsukiji Sushisei Honten before opening and thought it was popular enough to go in. With that said, we each got the omakase set which was just about the best sushi of my life! It was super fresh and the fished just melted in my mouth. The chef was already extremely nice to explain what we were eating in English so we could understand. 3 breakfasts later, I came out stuffed and ready to explore the rest of the city!
After the market, we headed over to Shibuya where we took on the famous Shibuya crossing and crossed the busiest street that allows pedestrian cross in all directions at the same time. There were literally hundreds of people crossing and we all somehow made it within the time limit. Quite the experience, especially since we didn’t exactly know where we were going. When we made it out, we started heading up and down the streets to see what kind of shopping there were. We ended up at Uniqlo for a while and then headed to Shibuya 109, a department store of 9 levels where we looked at different clothes, shoes, accessories, and pretty much everything a mall has to offer. But guys, don’t worry because across the street, there the exact same one just for men! I didn’t buy anything because it wasn’t my style, but it was nice to take a look into what they wear in Japan.
Wanting to take a break, we walked over to Silkream where we shared an ice cream. However, it’s not your typical ice cream– it’s cremia, a new kind of soft serve with hokkaido milk and heavy whipped cream. It was really light and airy, almost like mousse, but the flavor was packed with hints of vanilla and condensed milk. To me, it seemed a little bit buttery and not as sweet as a traditional ice cream. We also splurged for the cone which is made of a thin cookie, not a waffle and definitely worth getting!
After our ice cream break, I saw a big sign for the One Piece Anime store so of course, my travel buddy wanted to head inside. We spent about an hour at the Mugiwara store, and to be honest, it wasn’t even that big! However, it was the favorite part of my travel buddy’s day so I let them enjoy the fun. After much debate of what souvenir to buy, we finally went on our way, but not before circling that part of the store about 5 times.
With a little pause from eating and shopping, we headed over the the Meji Shrine to instill some culture in us. After getting off the subway, we walked a good half mile before we reached the front entrance where we had to walk a little bit more in through a road that was surrounded by trees, kind of like an open forest. When we reached the entrance of the temple, we stopped at the purification fountain to rinse both hands and mouth to show respect before we entered. Once we entered, there was a whole slew of people in the main plaza waiting in line to buy their fortunes or little lucky charms.
We were already tired after practically a whole day of walking so we sat down and happen to catch a wedding walking through the plaza! They were wearing traditional Japanese wedding clothing and walked while everyone around them (mostly strangers) were taking pictures. All the tourists literally follow the couple to take pictures and they were nice enough to pose. After, we were able to walk around and see the architecture, the fortunes wall, the trees, and even make a couple prayers into the prayer box.
From there, we took about a 20 minute walk to explore harajuku and went into a candy shop and a local Starbucks just to check out the differences. Most of the items were the same. After resting (again), we headed back to Shibuya to meet up with my Japanese friends whom I haven’t seen since the 5th grade! We waited for them by the very popular dog at Shibuya station where every other person was waiting as well. When we finally found them through a sea of people, hugs were given and we were on our way to Menya Musashi Ramen for dinner. When we got there, the wait was small, but we started off by ordering what we wanted off the vending machine! It was all in Japanese but thank goodness we had some natives helping us! We pretty much just got the ones with everything though just to try it out, in the form of dipping noodles. When seats emptied out, we sat down and gave our slips we got from the vending machine to the cooks. They made our ramen in front of us as everyone just sat in a half circle around them. We finally got our huge bowls of ramen, we dipped them into the broth and slurped happily while we chit chatted about our lives. Afterwards, we couldn’t end the day without dessert so we went to the bottom of a department store to get matcha flavored desserts such as a matcha shaved ice with whipped cream and condensed milk. So refreshing after a whole day out!
When it was time to say goodbye, we promised to visit each other again whether it’s in America or Japan. We tiredly too the subway back to our hostel and went to bed in hopes to gain more energy for our adventure the next day!
Want to read more about this trip? Click below!
Japan Day 1 [Shanghai / Tokyo]
Japan Day 2 [Tokyo] Japan Day 3 [Tokyo] Japan Day 4 [Hakone] Japan Day 5 [Kyoto] Japan Day 6 [Kyoto/Nara] Japan Day 7 [Yamazaki / Osaka] Japan Day 8 [Tokyo] Japan Day 9 [Tokyo / Shanghai]