Autumn Japan Trip | 11 Days in Japan | Day 8-10 Tokyo and Yokohama
The following day was a Sunday. Both of us slept in because that's what Sundays are for! When we finally left bed it's already 11 am and we're both hungry, so we got ready and heading out for lunch. We traveled all the way bank to Tokyo as we were going to have our dinner at an all-you-can-eat conveyor belt style dessert bar in Omotesando. But first, we needed our brunch in order to stay alive until then. We went to a place called Everything Salad in Omotesando and I could confidently say it's the second best salad I've had in my life (the first place goes to the Farmacy in London).
I ordered a warm salad with fresh greens and slices of pork, served with a tart ponzu sauce; while Carrie ordered a very delicious looking Caesar salad with avocados. Before our mains arrived, we were first presented with a bread basket of various kinds of fresh, homemade baked goods. We got to choose as many or as few from the selection to go with the soup. The soup of the day were homemade corn chowder and minestrone; we ordered one of each. It was the perfect starter for a windy Sunday brunch. The salad was so fresh and flavorful, the veggies tasted as if they are harvested right before serving. In fact, the selling point of this restaurant was that all the food they served were in farm to fork style.That's why everything here was so fresh and delicious. The grilled chicken in that Caesar salad was some of the richest tasting chicken I've ever had. Eating the food and knowing that all the greens came straight from a local farm made me felt so healthy already.
After our delicious brunch, we went to a lovely coffee shop called Shozo Coffee, which was only couple minutes walk away. According to Carrie's recommendation, I ordered a cup of caffe latte and it didn't let me down. It was so creamy and rich and milky, it warmed me up form the inside out instantly. A lot of places in Tokyo make good coffee, but what made this shop special was the lifestyle philosophy behind the it. The actual cafe itself was tiny but next to it was a cozy semi-outdoor area where they offer shelves of books, free for customers to read and chill.
With delicious coffee in our hands, we officially started our shopping day. Carrie brought me to this local shopping mall called Laforet in Harajuku, and I totally fell in love. There were lots of local brands available here, form high street brands to affordable fast fashion items. I particularly liked this one hat store called kaorinomori which has beautiful hats and accessories sold at rather reasonable price point.
There is also sort of a food court area in the mall for those in need of snacks and beverages. We were drawn to this chips store so that's what we got. Black truffled chips and a bag of lemonade. They did taste great indeed but the packaging was just to die for.
When it's finally dinner time, we went to Maison Able Cafe Ron Ron, a conveyor belt style dessert bar providing all-you-can-eat desserts to satisfy our sweet tooth. There is a time limited of 40 minutes to the dining times, priced at 2,100 JYP for ladies and 2,400 JYP for gentlemen. Within the 40 minutes, everything that came on the conveyor belt was all ours to eat, and each customer gets to choose a bottle of beverage form the fridge to go with the food. Since we had made a reservation online, we also received an extra bottle of complementary tea of choice on arrival. They did have decent cakes and pastries, as well as crepes and puddings, all served in bite size pices; but to be honest, we thought that their savory dishes were even better than the sweet ones! Maybe it was because after having so much sugar, that touch of salt tasted exceptionally good, but seriously their rice casserole and garlic bread was good enough to be sold on their own really. And it's very thoughtful of them to think of the savory option despite being a dessert themed cafe.
We thought the food and cute decor in the dining hall was the best part of this cafe, but we changed our mind once we have used their restroom. One could definitely tell that this cafe was targeted towards females as everything in every corner in the loo was so thoughtfully designed and that shabby chic style interior did have its appeal on a lot of ladies. There was even a styling iron on the touch up area that was free for whoever wants to use it!
We were also very lucky to have found a Bradelis Me shop right opposite to the cafe. Bradelis Me is a subline of Bradelis which is an undergarment shop specialized in wireless bras. Both me and Carrie had been eyeing on them for a while now and we were so lucky in the sense that we just happened to encounter one in a random alley. I'd skip the details of our shopping here, but let's just say we enjoyed our shopping experience and we both got what we wanted. It was honestly one of the most comfortable bras I've every worn, and it provides both shape and support, while still being super cute and comfortable as it's wireless. It's everything I can ask for from a bra.
The following day was a Monday and it was supposed to be a work day for Carrie. Although I had emphasized to my dear friend that I was only here to visit her and she needed not to take days off for me, she still insisted on spending time with me and have fun. She's so sweet and has always been such a great friend to me! We decided to spend the day in Yokohama and this city does has it charm which differs to Tokyo, a great and unique way.
We slept in again on the next day, but that's ok! Then we got ready and headed out for lunch. We didn't have a particular dish in mind but as we walked pass a curry shop called Ananda... it smelled so good even from outside the building we simply had to. It appeared that the dainty restaurant we went into specialized in soup curry. The place was quite small and compact, but it was packed despite it wasn't even lunch time yet. The menu was quite small really, but customers were invited to customize their dish by choosing how spicy they want their food to be. The way the they named the level of spiciness was quite amusing, they used terms such as 'halucination', 'meditation', 'nirvana', and 'universe' to classify the level of heat of the dish. After some struggling over the menu, as we always did, Carrie ordered their chicken soup curry, while I felt a bit adventurous and went for their curry of the day.I always liked a little bit of surprised. None of us have been to this place before so we played it safe and both requested a beginner level of spiciness. That being said, that dish really packs a punch, in the best ways possible of course. It was spicy, but it wasn't just heat, it was also full of exotic flavours from the blend of spices, as well as from the fresh and tasty vegetables and chicken in the dish.
It was quite cold outside that day, making it the perfect day for curries. Yet, we still thought we should get something sweet and icy to cool our tongues after all that heat we got from the curry. That's why we we went to get bubble tea form a shopping mall nearby. Carrie got one of their standard bubble milk tea while I went for their Hojicha bubble milk tea just because that's not something I could easily find in London, and you know how much I love houjicha tea!
Then... we went shopping! Girls can never have enough shopping you know. When two besties went on a shopping day, they just walk and shop and we only stopped to snack when we felt like it. There was this one lemonade shop that Carrie strongly recommended, so we had one of those. It was truly amazing. Tangy and refreshing, with just enough sweetness to make it a pleasant drink. It would have been amazing in the summer but it wasn't half bad even when enjoyed in the winter.
For dinner, we went to an Izakaya because we wanted hotpot. It was freezing out there and noting beats a pot of hot soup in a night like this. The place we went to was called Nijyu-Maru. Although a la carte menus were available, we decided to go for the 2,980 JYP all-you-can-eat menu instead as it was so much cheaper that way (considering one side dish is around 500JYP already). The food was AMAZING! They were on the salty side indeed, but still the food was so good. We particularly liked this bamboo shoots and coriander salad served in a rich sesame vinaigrette. Bad news for those who aren't a friend of coriander but for us this was heaven. We came for the hotpot so that's what we ordered. Unlike most people who usually tries to eat as much meat as they could in a all-you-ca-eat place (as that's usually the priciest item on the menu), we actually kept ordering veggies as they were so fresh and juicy and delicious; plus we are veggie lovers anyways. I imagined the chef who prepared our food must have been so surprised though, because seriously who even does that LOL. But that's alright, we enjoyed our time and had some really good chat, that's all it matters to us.
On the following day, we managed to have breakfast together at the Antico Caffe Al Avis before Carrie headed to work, and me going to get my hair cut. I have tried a number of salons in London but unfortunately none of those have won my heart so far. Getting my hair cut in London is so expensive, let alone how many times have they messed it up and I had to walk around in this ugly haircut for months before I can get it fixed. On the other hand, I never had any disappointment so far in my life when it's done in Japan, and it's so much cheaper! I made my reservation online via the online beauty reservation website https://beauty.hotpepper.jp/ where I can find almost every single salon in Japan that takes online reservations. This time I've chose a salon called A'she which was located about 10 minutes away from the Yokohama main station. For 3,500 JYP I got a my hair washed, cut, treatmented, blow dried and styled. And honestly the final result was so beautiful I don't thing I can even tolerate the salon services I get in London any more.
After my very well enjoyed salon trip, I finally was ready to head to the airport and fly home. It seemed like the terminal 3 building of Narita International Airport was under renovation and the whole building seemed so bare and boring. Fortunately, tourists could also use the facilities in other terminals 1 before they checked into security. The terminal 1 building was designed for travelers going on domestic flights but international travelers are also welcomed to use it. I find this especially important for those who're looking to have dinner at the airport before boarding because let's be honest, there is no decent food in the after security area in terminal 3. There were a handful of eating outlets in the terminal but the options and quality simply doesn't compare to what's being offered in the terminal 1 building. There are also numerous souvenir shops for those who're in need of last minute shopping aka me, which was fantastic. The restaurant where I had my dinner at was called おぼんdeごはん and it's a Japanese restaurant providing traditional Japanese home food. I tried their steak rice bowl with Japanese steak. It was alright, not particularly amazing but it was a fine dinner for sure.
Japan was the only country that I enjoy so much that I don't even miss home when I'm traveling. As much as I loved my time here, the party has came to an end and for my autumn trip this year, this was it. I had so much fun and had so many good food with some of the most important people in my life. I can't wait to come back again next year for another exciting trip!
Everything Salad: 3 Chome-14-26 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Shozo Coffee Store Omotesando: 3 Chome-13 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Maison Able Cafe Ron Ron: 6 Chome-7-15 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Sapporo Soup Curry Ananda (札幌スープカリー アナンダ): Japan, 〒220-0023 Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi Ward, Hiranuma, 1 Chome−38−2 , M2F 咲久良ビル
Izakaya Nijyu-Maru: Japan, 〒220-0004 Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi Ward, Kitasaiwai, 1 Chome−8−6 三栄ビル 2階 横浜西口
アーシェ 横浜店(A'SHE): Japan, 〒221-0056 Kanagawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa Ward, Kinkocho, 6-21 ヨコハマ長島ビル5F