Matcha snack and yakitori – Roppongi and Shinjuku
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.
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.
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.
Still, it was very nice to walk amongst. Maybe it would mean more if I was a classier, more fashionable consumer.
We did stop for a snack at a cafe called Kyo Hayashiya.
Rice dumplings and red bean, matcha green tea ice cream, and matcha jelly with sweet syrup. Served with houji tea.
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.
Roppongi Hills gave more upmarket shopping in cool, architected surrounds.
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 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.
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.
Dinner tonight was yakitori – barbecued food on a stick – at a small eatery we happened to pass while looking for a different yakitori place.
I’ve almost finished my evening’s haul of bottled green tea, which means it’s time for bed. Night, everyone. :)