September 05, 2015

Tokyo Day 4 - Roppongi Hills, Sensational Ramen At Mutekiya Ramen, Kabukicho and Piss Alley

Last few hours left in Tokyo and we squeeze in Roppongi Hills, the most sensational ramen at Mutekiya Ramen for dinner and a very quick glimpse of Kabukicho and Piss Alley.

Once we arrive back into Shinjuku station after a day trip to Hakone, we go back to our hotel round the corner for a quick freshen up. I love the location of our hotel, and being so close to Shinjuku station was just super for quick refreshers like this. Hotels in Tokyo are not large in size, but they are super clean and very comfortable. We loved our stay at the Hotel Sunroute Plaza, and the vending machines with drinks and ice cube extras were such a nice touch.
 
We make our way to Roppongi Hill's Tokyo City View Observation Deck to catch the evening views over this incredible city I have come to love in just a few days. From Shinjuku, it's a direct 10 minute ride on the Oedo Subway Line.

Roppongi Hills houses apartments, offices, shops, restaurants, an observation deck, a museum and recreational areas. This spider figure was pretty cool, very large and quite eerie at night!

These night view photos of Tokyo give me goosebumps! It's so wonderfully romantic and alive with bright lights from around the city and cars zooming about. The observation deck was a peaceful way to spend time soaking in this amazing city and I was happy that we were able to make time to see this.

A cafe inside Roppongi Hills. This is the kind of stuff you see all around Tokyo and there is just no other city like it.

Whilst we were on the observation desk, we saw the lights from the rainbow bridge and the ferris wheel, but didn't manage to see Tokyo tower light up. As we left and were on our way out, we were lucky to just catch it as it lit up!

Our evening ended romantically with a golden heart, a pond, and sparkly Tokyo Tower in the background.

Our bellies were rumbling by now. We had missed dinner and it was close to 10.30pm as we left Ropponghi Hills. There was a ramen bar on my eat list we had yet to tick off, and after a bit of stumbling around, we finally got ourselves to Ikebukuro. From Ikebukuro JR station, it's the East Exit and a 10 minute walk to Mutekiya ramen. This ramen joint is open until 4am every day!!

And the queues at nearly midnight are still nuts.


Once we are finally inside, it doesn't take too long for our food to arrive. And the ramen was sensational!!

The broth was just so delicious and coated every strand of the bouncy ramen. Adding freshly pressed garlic and a splash of vinegar took this bowl of awesomeness to another level! This was serious travel food magic.

The gyoza's were missable though.

This was our favourite place for udon in Tokyo and mustn't be missed. There are chains all over Tokyo, and whilst we couldn't see an English name for it, the Japanese characters were easy to recognise.

Back at Shinjuku and on our way to Kabukicho, this little takoyaki van had midnight-snack written all over it! I've heard Tokyo takoyaki differs from takoyaki in Osaka, the home of takoyaki and that it has a cleaner flavour.
 

I was happy to test out that theory although we had not yet headed to Osaka at this point on our trip. I have to say I didn't enjoy Tokyo's version too much. There was a lot of dough and just a bit average. Still, I liked that I could buy takoyaki from a van at 1am!
 
As you're not allowed to take photos once inside Kabukicho, Tokyo's red light district, we just took a quick stroll through. Nothing unusual or dodgy to report, but all the men in black suits standing outside the club and bar doors were a little scary at this time of the night.

5 minutes round the corner is the famous Piss Alley which we knew about after seeing it on B-Kyu's blog. We imagine this alley would be busy in the evening with lots of tiny but incredibly cozy izakayas to offer a chilled beer and lots of beer snacks and light grills. Sad we weren't able to fit it in this time, but this is on our hit list when we eventually make it back to Japan.

And that's the end of our amazing adventures in Tokyo. 

This was the most exhausting part of our honeymoon. We literally hit the ground running as soon as we landed and throughout the 4 days, we had about 5-6 hrs sleep every night after walking for an average of 12-14hrs during the day. But it was worth the sore feet and tiredness to see/eat/experience Tokyo to the max on our short time here.

We're heading to Kyoto first thing in the morning. Sayonara Tokyo, but it's not goodbye forever. I'll be back.
 


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Maira Gall