HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!
It is already 2011 and it's been 2 months since my trip to Japan and yet here I am, still trying to finish up my Tokyo posts... The holiday season has been pretty crazy for me and it finally feels like all the madness is dying down. Hopefully, this will mean my backlog will shrink and I'll actually get some work done.
Now, back to the task at hand...
Our vacation was coming to an end and we still had so much to see and do. Even though we knew visiting the temples at Asakusa would be a tourist trap, we couldn't resist. Yes, it was crowded as hell, but it was a good experience. The temples were beautiful and so was the weather, a perfect day for sightseeing. As soon as we got to the temples there were little kids dressed in traditional gowns bowing and dancing - very cute. After the kids, there was the dragon act that could barely make it through the crowds. Total show for the tourists, but yes, I ate it up.
I think out of all the places we've been to, this place had to be the most crowded. It took skill to maneuver through and around the crowds. J says I walk like I drive... haha. It's not my fault my normal walking speed is faster than the average person's! We stopped by one of the many food/snack shops mixed in with the souvenir shops, a homemade fried bean cake stand. We munched on the green tea and red bean ones to hold us over until lunch. We still needed to go to Akihabara, the land of electronics...
Since my itinerary got so mixed up from the previous days I didn't have a lunch spot already in mind when we got to Akihabara. So, we just roamed around looking for a ramen shop. It didn't take us too long to find one, since there is a ramen shop on almost every corner in all of Tokyo. We stumbled upon a small ramen shop called Kouryo, a chain ramen restaurant around Tokyo. J and I already knew that most ramen places take their orders by ticket, so we didn't look too foolish trying to order. Thank God there were pictures of the ramen...
I ordered a regular chasu ramen and J ordered a chasu ramen that came with all these other things. I tasted his and mine, both were the same. His had more texture due to other ingredients, but the soup and noodles were the same. The ramen was really good. We were tired and hungry so it totally hit the spot. I know this wasn't one of the best ramens in Tokyo, but still, it was better than most ramen noodles I've had in LA. Obviously. The noodles were chewey and had great texture - very slurpable! The soup wasn't too oily or heavy. The chasu was okay, I think I've had better chasu in ramen at a ramen place in Torrance (I don't remember the name). All in all, a very satisfying lunch!
After we finished our bowls of ramen, we headed back out to the streets to hunt down more souvenirs to take home. Also, by this time, J had become obsessed with figurines and was on a mission. But, in the midst of all this figurine madness, my usual after-dinner sweets craving came to play. And, on cue, we saw the Crazy Crepe stand.
There were so many options, but I wanted something simple: custard with strawberries. Simple and delicious. It was sweet, but light. I love how they roll it up so it's easy to eat while you walk. After our quick dessert, we still roamed the streets of Akhiabara. It really is the capital of electronics... I've never seen so many T.V.'s and other electronics in one place in my life. If Ginza is what a girl's heaven would look like, I'm sure Akihabara is heaven for the fellas. Technology and maid cafes? Of course...
The rest of the day seemed like a blur. We hopped over to several other parts of Tokyo in search of souvenirs and figurines, only to return to... Tokyu Hands. I'm telling you this place has everything! Maybe since the week was almost over and we only had a couple of days left, but the days kept getting shorter. I felt like I had been in Tokyo for a while, but at the same time my time here felt extremely short. So short that I would forget all the memories here within a day... So fleeting that it felt like I was dreaming while I was awake... I'll probably wake up at home in bed... I was homesick, but was not ready to leave.
At least my full tummy reminded me that I was still there.
4-14-1 Akihabara 2F
Nearest Station: Akihabara