May 20, 2015

Tokyo Day 1 - Shinjuku


After a 14 hour flight with a pleasant stopover in Dubai, we arrive in Narita airport. We're tired, but we are so excited! It's 5pm local time, and we can't wait to hit the streets of Tokyo for dinner.



To get in the mood for Japan, I bring Rilakkuma along...

Arriving at Narita airport and the excitement starts to kick in.

First, we need to buy our SUICA & NEX card from the travel office on the lower ground floor of Narita airport. The popular JR pass wasn't going to suit our travel needs, so we pick up a SUICA card instead. The SUICA card is Tokyo's version of the London oyster card, a prepaid IC card which will allow us to use public transport around Tokyo without the hassle of buying single tickets per ride. The NEX ticket is for boarding the JR Narita Express train which will take us to the heart of Tokyo.  


Ah hour in, we arrive at Tokyo Shinjuku station. Our hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is supposedly a 3 min walk from the station but we manage to get a little lost. After a bit of faffing, we managed to find it. With no time to lose, we check in, dump our bags, oooh'd at the bidet toilet, a quick freshen up, and hit the streets with rumbling tummies.

A 10 minute walk into the central hub of Shinjuku and we've wandered into a street full of restaurants. Everything looks lively and ramen bars are everywhere, but we spy this udon joint and head on in.


It's a self serve restaurant with limited English, but there are plenty of photos so it's not too difficult to work out. Right by the entrance, the udon master who will prompt you to choose from the photo menu (English and Japanese luckily), it then gets prepped and handed over to you.

Follow the line that is the metal bar in the photo above, you'll reach a tempura station and you can pick the fried goodies you want with your udon. Each item is priced, so you pay for what you pick.

Moving onto where the man with the white shirt is, top your udon with hot soup/sauce and hand over your money.
 
The seating area is communal, like a food court, so find a seat and tuck in. This is G's favourite way to eat, since he likes to eat and go.


My braised pork udon with tempura sprinkles and negi (a cross between spring onion and leek), sweet potato tempura and prawn tempura. The udon was full of bounce and had such a toothsome texture to it, it completely blew my mind. We'd stumbled into travel-food-jackpot!

The pork was tender, soup was delicious and the tempura was light and crispy. Happy belly.


G went for a raw gooey which made the noodles extra silky and slippery. More tempura goodness on the side too.

I didn't take note of where we were at the time, but after some Googling, here's the address and English name for this great udon bar:

樂釜製麵所 Rakugama Udon
Shinjuku Center Building, 03-5320-8930
Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 1-25-1
Shinjuku Center Building B1F


Filled with satisfied bellies, we take a wander around this block of Shinjuku. It's late and we decide to leave the rest of Shinjuku wandering for another day.



There's a McDonald's conveniently located right by our hotel, so we took a peek at the menu. Yuzu chicken burger sounds interesting, so we grab one for a midnight munch in our hotel room. It was gross.

For every new city/country I visit, there are 3 things which are must do's for me:

1) Going to McDonald's. McDonald's is different in every country and the menu is always customised to local tastes. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I love trying the items I can't get back home
2) Visit a supermarket/convenience shop to check out local goodies to take home
3) Buy a magnet



Back in our hotel room, I do some light reading for tomorrow, sketch out a plan and call it a night. Day 1 was a foodie success minus the McDonalds.



Read my previous post on Japan.

6 comments

  1. Haha we are the same with MC Donald's and it's always better abroad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol Mcd's in Asia is especially good!! =D

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  2. 14 hour flight and you can still stay up to plan your next day itinerary..... What witchcraft is this? 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it revolves around food, anything is possible haha

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Maira Gall