- Tsukiji Market
- Laki Ashi / Boat Tour
- Aura Tachibana
- 10 course dinner
Today was our last morning in Tokyo before we headed off to tour the other parts of the country! I had such a good foodie experience at Tsukiji Market day 1 that I decided to go back one last time for breakfast before we headed out. A familiar route, we took the subway again and wandered around the market without an itinerary. Ideally, we wanted to stumble upon what’s good again. Unfortunately, we were still too early so not many place were open. After aimlessly wandering for awhile and getting frustrated, we decided to just go into the next open place we saw, which happened to be a restaurant with rotating sushi. We walked in and saw that there was only a couple of people– not a good sign in our minds. However, I saw the menu and decided to change it up and get a chirashi bowl while my travel buddy got a nigiri set. They made it for us on the spot and in front of us which was kind of cool, but we saw that they didn’t really handle the fish well like at other places. Needless to say, our meal was slightly disappointing as it wasn’t as fresh as the first couple times we had raw fish.
We left feeling a bit unsatisfied, but full to say the least. Then it was time to hop on the subway again to Hakone, a city known for their onsen or hot springs! I was super excited to spend the day there because after 3 whole days of walking and sightseeing, I was ready to take a break! After a couple subways, we were there and started our trek to drag our suitcase up the hill to where the ryokan was since we didn’t want to figure out their bus system. After about 20 minutes, we arrived to the parking lot where someone came out to greet and welcome us in English. I’m guessing they’re used to all the tourists. They helped us with our luggage and sat us down in the lobby while they got the paperwork ready. Although we couldn’t check-in yet, they stored our luggage and gave us advice on what we could do around the area.
We ended up taking the bus to Lake Ashi because we wanted to do something more serene and scenic and look at the more nature-y side of Japan. We took the bus up the windy and narrow mountain which was mostly shaded with trees. Since it was a different city, we couldn’t really figure out the bus system and just tapped our Suica card, hoping we had enough money. We didn’t, but the driver was nice enough to help us reload it on our way out.
Getting off, we rushed to the same ticket booth as everyone else was to get tickets for their boat ride across the lake. Using my broken Japanese, I somehow translated that I wanted 2 round trip tickets, which took us to 2 different locations before we came back. However, we didn’t understand whether or not we can get off at the different sites because our ticket says non-stop and do not transfer. Therefore, we just stayed on the boat the whole time even though we wanted to get off to explore. We did have to get off to transfer to another boat back (we noticed that literally everyone else was), so we were even more confused but we managed to make it back. On the boat, we were able to go on the 3 decks, take some pictures, and admire some of the scenery that you can’t get in the city. Overall, it was pretty chill but I wished there was a tour guide or someone to explain what we were seeing.
When we got back, we headed to the 7-11 to get a quick snack since we haven’t had lunch. After browsing the whole store, I got an ongori and some candy and my travel buddy got a cup of ramen. We sat on the steps by the water to watch the boats and ate. A cat also starred me down and then fell asleep. So random.
Once we were done, we got back on the bus for the 40 minute ride back. I was super excited when we entered our ryokan, Aura Tachibana, since now it means I could relax! A few other groups were checking in as well so I walked around the small lobby gift shop. When we finally checked in and entered our room, i noticed how simple and uncluttered the room was. There was literally two twin beds and a couch. But of course, our room also came with our own hot spring in the bathroom balcony with a gorgeous view of the green, luscious scenery!
I didn’t waste any time and changed into my yukata and headed downstairs to the public baths. I slid the door open where I took off my shoes and then to the dressing area to take of my clothes, since we had to be completely naked. I then went to a separate room to wash myself to get rid of everything so the water stays pure. After my nice shower, I checked out what the room had to offer. It was fairly small, but it had an outdoor jacuzzi like tub that was burning hot, and on the inside next to all the showers was a large pool that was room temp, a smaller pool with a couple jets, and another one with water streaming down which got all the knots out of my body! I spent about 5-10 minutes in each bath and rotated, feeling totally relaxed after. After I was done, I went back into our room to take a dip in our own private onsen and enjoyed the view.
When it was time for dinner, I put my yukata back on and headed downstairs where they led us to a table all set up with the starting appetizers. I had no idea what to expect, but was completely blown away. We had a 10 course meal and each one was simple, yet beautifully presented and extremely tasty. Each dish was unique in their own way and ranged from seafood, soup, vinegar, fried, etc. There honestly wasn’t anything I didn’t like. They waited until we were done with each course to bring out the next one and explain what it was. We ended with dessert and I can safely conclude that this was one of my favorite dining experiences.
After dinner, we explored the hotel a little bit which included a karaoke room, a bar, and a library. I think they were about to open the bar, but we headed back to sleep– on purpose. I wanted to wake up early to go to the onsen one last time!
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]