Land of the Falling Sun

on Tuesday, May 3rd 2016 at 3:28am JST
in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Boy is it late. One more quick post to get us caught up to the present (and then I can get myself caught up on sleep)...

After freshening up in the room, we headed out to the atrium lobby, which in the evening is a busy mix of bar, lounge, and restaurant. Amidst glasses of wine the sun set on our first day in Tokyo, which couldn't have looked better from 43 stories up:

Land of the Falling Sun

Land of the Falling Sun

I was in touch with a friend from high school, also named Alexander, who has been living and working in Tokyo for several years now and offered to take us out to a locals dinner. This entailed venturing out to Meguro, to some very small locals restaurants where the menus are only in Japanese.

Land of the Falling Sun

Land of the Falling Sun

First was Onoda Shoten, which is a sort of Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant. The entire place is very literally smaller than my apartment. Copious quantities of meat and veggies were ordered and grilled very hot, along with several rounds of drinks.

Land of the Falling Sun

Land of the Falling Sun

Land of the Falling Sun

Land of the Falling Sun

That was all pretty filling, but for the true locals experience you have to hit more than one spot. So we next went to nearly Minato-machi Baru, which is a sort of Japanese-Italian pub.

Land of the Falling Sun

The place had something like five different menus, some with food and some with drink, all entirely in Japanese, which Alex luckily talked us through:

Land of the Falling Sun

My cola highball (highballs are quite popular in Japan).

Land of the Falling Sun

Also on the table were fried oysters, some fantastic potato salad, tiramisu, and a sort of Hors d'oeuvre plate of bread and curry nuts and salads, which we hadn't ordered. Apparently as Japanese pubs such as this it's standard for them to bring out a plate like this, which you're then charged for, as a sort of table charge (but at least you get food in the bargain).

Land of the Falling Sun


It was getting close to midnight, and not only were we tired but wary of missing the train back to Shinjuku, which ended at 12:30am. We made it back to the Shinjuku train station, and walked back to the hotel the same exact walk I'd made at 6am that morning. A full circle day if there ever was one.

Land of the Falling Sun


Well, it's now 3:30am, and I've been up nearly 26 hours. Time for bed. Till tomorrow!


Sky Treat

on Wednesday, May 4th 2016 at 4:42pm JST
in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan

To avoid being up till 3am again tonight I'm gonna try and blog as I go a bit today. Let's see how it goes!

Today's first stop is the Tokyo Sky Tree, a very tall tower that opened about 4 years ago. It's so tall in fact that you can see it from our hotel room:

Sky Tree Town

But it nevertheless took about half an hour for us to get there via the subway.

Sky Tree Town

Once we got here, though, it wasn't hard to find. Sky Tree has its own subway station.

Sky Tree Town

Unfortunately it's very windy today so we wouldn't be climbing the tower itself.

Sky Tree Town

But there's a whole entertainment complex and mall here to explore:

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

Deciding where to have lunch proved a bit of a challenge:

Sky Tree Town

We ultimately decided on a place specializing in Yōshoku cuisine, which is sort of weird Japanese interpretations of western (mostly European) dishes.

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

My lunch: menchi-katsu (a breaded and deep fried meat cake) with omurice (an omelette filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup):

Sky Tree Town

This was also one of the only restaurants we've visited to offer soft drinks (sodas are big in Japan, just not during meals apparently) so I tried this melon soda, which was very sweet and quite tasty:

Sky Tree Town

We continued to explore-it was very busy due to today being another national holiday:

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

i got to try some Tokyo Cider- cider in Japan means soda, usually a sort of bubblegum citrus flavor soda (if you've tried Ramune it's a bit like that). It even came in a souvenir Sky Tree bottle:

Sky Tree Town

The tower itself:

Sky Tree Town

Sky Tree Town

On to the next adventure!

Sky Tree Town


©2016 Ben Wszalek