Matcha snack and yakitori – Roppongi and Shinjuku

cheese croquette from Lawson

I have a small brag. I actually spoke Japanese to someone yesterday, AND SHE UNDERSTOOD. I didn’t understand her reply, though, so we awkwardly switched to English. But just this evening, I said something in Japanese to someone else AND SHE UNDERSTOOD and there was no awkwardness. So – level up! ^__^

Tonight, I enjoyed a cheese croquette from Lawson. It was good. Today was a day of many good foods.

napkins at Shakey's

 We came across Shakey’s in Takadanobaba; went in expecting to order a pizza and be done with it, but stumbled face first gaijin style into an all-you-can-eat lunchtime buffet. Aside from standard pizza flavours, we got to try a squid ink pizza; a potato, bacon and mayonnaise pizza; and a chocolate banana pizza with cornflake topping. So good.

three pizza slices and a fried potato

one savory and two sweet pizza slices

cosy ambience at Shakey's

Adventuring was supposed to be the day’s highlight. Our guidebooks tout Roppongi as an amazing hub of amazingness. Don’t get me wrong – Tokyo Midtown was beautiful and clean and felt nice to be at, but with Lonely Planet calling these complexes the picture of contemporary Tokyo, I feel like I’ve missed something.

inside Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi

bamboo in the foyer of Tokyo Midtown

interesting looking arches outside Tokyo Midtown

interesting looking arches again

Still, it was very nice to walk amongst. Maybe it would mean more if I was a classier, more fashionable consumer.

a water feature outside Tokyo Midtown

walkway outside Tokyo Midtown

manicured garden bed outside Tokyo Midtown

We did stop for a snack at a cafe called Kyo Hayashiya.

quaint cafe decorated wall

tea and a trio of matcha treats

Rice dumplings and red bean, matcha green tea ice cream, and matcha jelly with sweet syrup. Served with houji tea.

matcha jelly with sweet syrup

matcha green tea ice cream

rice flour dumplings in red bean

On the way to Roppongi Hills, we passed (read: went inside) a pet shop. Puppies and kittens everywhere! They looked well taken care of, but were really eager to follow someone home. Especially the gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog pup. My heart was squishing.

white pomeranian puppy

silver tabby kitten resting on heated pad

hairless kitten in cardboard pyramid

french bulldog puppy, dressed up

cute little brown puppy I don't know the breed of

bernese mountain dog pup

silver tabby ragamuffin kitten

Roppongi Hills gave more upmarket shopping in cool, architected surrounds.

looking up at indoor water feature in Roppongi Hills

neat, tidy, aesthetically pleasing shopping mall interior

seating area outdoors

undercover walkway

giant spider art piece in outdoor meeting area

There’s definitely a forward-looking feel in the Hills, and I can see what our guide means by this being a prototype for the future of Tokyo. But for us, for today, not much.

Shinjuku marked on a map

shop called titty & co

Shinjuku didn’t wow us the first time we went. But we realise now that was because we went during the day, didn’t know what we wanted, got lost and ended up seeing a bunch of stuff we didn’t fancy at the time. The place feels different at night, when the greys turn to black and the lights come on.

Shinjuku at night

Shinjuku street

I’m well aware that my night time city photos are starting to look the same. Three days into this trip and they’re a blur for me already. This seems to be essence of Tokyo – the colourful lights, the things that stay open, streets teeming with life and bubbling noise. There are 13.23 million people living in this city, and we see some wee yet overwhelming handful of them emerge from their offices and daytime hideouts as the neon suns arise.

Taito Station storefront in Shinjuku

pedestrian street in Shinjuku

evening shoppers in Shinjuku

Dinner tonight was yakitori – barbecued food on a stick – at a small eatery we happened to pass while looking for a different yakitori place.

Sumibi Yakitori restaurant

yakitori menu

Japanese menu and table accessories

kitchen and bar

"egg hodgepodge with chicken"

sake on the menu

drinks and sides

pickled bean sprouts and carrot

marbled sashimi

cheese stick

assortment of yakitori meats

ume (plum) onigiri with chicken broth and pickle

salmon onigiri with chicken broth and pickle

I’ve almost finished my evening’s haul of bottled green tea, which means it’s time for bed. Night, everyone. :)