Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Last few days in Tokyo

Last full day in Tokyo.  Wet and Windy.  Great, superb dinner the night before, for all of us.  Still waiting for pictures and some narrative from the kids, as they went to Ain Soph, and dropped a Benjamin plus there (actually, technically, they dropped a "Fukuzawa" there, but that is ok). The remnants of a typhoon are roaming through Honshu, with wetness all over.  Not heavy but enough to be very irritating.  Can't cross a street without getting wet.

I try to plan a full day completely under a roof, including Shinjuku, but I didn't quite succeed.  Much of Tokyo is easy to do either underroof or underground.  But you have to know what you're doing.  I know Tokyo Station very well, and get from Marunouchi to Yaesu, and almost to Takashimaya way in Nihonbashi without getting wet.  Even almost to the Imperial Palace too.  But Shinjuku is a challenge.  I just don't know this place well.  If I had a choice, I would rather know Tokyo Eki, since it is a more high end area (we're snobs) and is the long distance train hub of Japan.  Shinjuku is arguably the commuter hub of Tokyo.

A breakfast of Kuri yokan, ringo, Matsuya Cider candies and 7-11 potato chips, Connie's favorite food of all time!  

We get to Shinjuku.  Easy.  But I get off on the wrong exit.  Once you do that, you're screwed.  Advice:  use Google maps to plan your exit strategy from a train station.  Sometimes, the proper exit is at the rear of the train.  Sometimes the proper exit is at the front of the train.  Sometimes at the middle.  While one is still on the train platform MAY be the last time you have the opportunity to get your exits right. In other words, you can't get there from here!!!  Even after several years of going through stations, it is still challenging to me (but I love puzzles).  Em is trying to navigate on her own in Tokyo now.  She'll be good in a few decades.

We find a vegan friendly ramen place called Afuri.  Here is a self timer pic at the counter...  Sam is right above the camera.

Below, see the dipping sauce for Connie's Yuzu Tsukemen.  The young 'uns get vegan ramen, seen further below.

Here is my non vegan tsukemen!

I would give Afuri a thumbs up.  Tabelog is ok, rating wise, likely because Japanese are very critical raters of food.  Tripadvisor is much more generous.  I would go back again.  I admit, I messed up with ordering on the vending machine.  I put in a Fukuzawa, not realizing.  I kept pushing a button, not realizing that the coupon kept coming out each time I pushed the button.  I bought 4 tsukemen bowls for me!!  Ha!  I decided to look dumb, like a dumb foreigner.  I told the lady that I mistakenly ordered way too many bowls.  She was nice, she smiled, and she said not to worry.  She quickly came back with extra money for a refund!

We finally got to Tokyu Hands at Takashimaya at Shinjuku, but not before we actually had to walk outside.  I think there was a way to get there without getting wet.  But I even put my tail behind my legs and went to a tourist info office to ask if there was a way.  The kind woman said there was, but it was really complicated.  Forlorn, feeling like a failure, I told the three women I was with that we should walk in the rain across the street to get to Takashimaya.  My head hung down.

Tokyu Hands takes a back seat to Loft.  Nuf said.

We get back to our room at the Four Seasons.  We again decide to divide and conquer.  Connie and I go back to Shichisai!!!  This time it is less busy and there is no line.  We sit down and get a nice view of the noodles being made.  Mmmm  Sapporo.

These noodles were good.  Not great.  A bit overcooked.  The egg, also, just slightly overcooked.

But noodles still chewy.

The girls meet up with us and we end up back at Mihashi.  Connie is turned off on this place, the place which provided much pleasure for us for many humid, hot summers in Tokyo.  Too icy of ice, rather than fluffy ice.  She thinks it is ice, premade.  Could be.  The service is not as nice as before either...

I had gotten a Baum Kutchen at B1F at Takashimaya, to have with a Sapporo Classic for my decadent dessert.  But this Baum Kutchen wasn't good.  I only ate a quarter.  Not moist, and too dense.  Too bad.

OK, last day in Tokyo.  Sun is out and there is no sign of the typhoon rain of the day before.  I make an executive decision to go to Sensoji in Asakusa.  A quick jaunt on the Ginza line gets us there. We walk along some of the shopping arcades and this sign catches my eye. I didn't realize that Mc delivers.


The kids lighting up their stubs.

We're headed back on the Ginza line to Tokyo Station.  Sammie had too much the night before.

We decide to go to Saryo for lunch and dessert.  A really nice place we went to in what-seems-like-forever-ago.

After lunch, and checking out, we head to Haneda on the Yamanote and Monorail.  We get there really early, and have a relaxing time roaming around the International departure hall of Haneda.  I am eyeing Rokurinsha!!!  Sammie wants Rokurinsha tsukemen, but doesn't want to eat the dashi, so we need to find shoyu.  I have a great idea.   I go to the sushi place and order Kappa and Oshinko.  I ask for extra shoyu.  The lady pours more, and I say a little more!  Twice!

Sam is happy.

No Sapporo.

We get three tsukemen's and I eat all the meat from them!

Eggs a bit overdone, but the noodles are superb.

Airplane food, meh, even on JAL.

Well, another trip which was superb!!!

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