Finally back where i started. My emotions were all over the place. Its very hard to describe Tokyo. Unbelievable. Must see. Better than it looks like in the movies. But lets start at the ‘beginning’.
Arriving from the ‘cosy’ tropical Okinawa islands the capital shocked me. With its size, weather and the whole atmosphere. Just sooooo much more different – time to jump in. My accomodation was in Asakusa (one of the prettiest area), Sakura Hostel. I spent 2 nights there – originally booked 3 but because my flight departed very early on a Sunday last day i changed my mind and decided to sleep in the airport instead (was a great idea). So i payed around 6000 yen for 2 nights in this hostel and there was a very straight forward train from Haneda Airport. Asap i arrived i bought a 48 hours public transport ticket – Tokyo Subway ticket for 1200 yen (public transport is a bit complicated in Tokyo – there are more companies and u need different tickets to different trains) which was very handy.
Didnt have much spare time on that day – i booked myself to a very posh restaurant in Ginza area. The restaurant where only women work. Not just floor stuff but the whole kitchen is filled up with Chefwomen. It was a very interesting experience – Japan has got a very weird approach (oldschool) to women working in the kitchen. In my whole journey i havent seen any womanChef in kitchens unless it was a ramen stand and she was boiling the noodles. Is still a very men focused professional and this was one of the reason for me to try this place and see how is this working out.
The place name is Tsurutokame in Ginza. I booked myself for the bigger degustation around 18.000yen. The place has no michelin star (im not pessimistic but dont think it can win ever cause of the ‘women power’) but in the priciest district in Tokyo so u have to pay the name. I tried and tasted things i never before in my life*. Was a great experience and had a great goodnight sleep afterall.
footnote*: a post is coming about the menu – pinky promise.
23. Day. Tattoo Day!!!!
Before the trip i was very keen on to get a ‘japanese style’ tattoo from a great artist. I did find what i want – they cancelled on me saying fully booked. Bit of a sadness but was not that desperate. But before the journey they emailed me again saying someone cancelled so i can have an appointment in that day i could be free to go. JEEEEEEZ. Another TICK.
Studio was SHIRYUDOH located outside of Tokyo. Had the morning off so i transfered myself to the Ueno District – enjoyed the parks and plenty of Sakura/Cherry Blossom trees. Also there is a crazy Market called Ameyoko – worth a pop in. Plenty of food stalls – great fish and seafood selection. The ‘shouting type of’ sellers mostly Europeans and from Middle East (only 3 turkish men wanted to marry me lol) and big selection of very cheap clothes. Was fun.
I planned 2 hours to get to the tattoo studio (they have a very precise description in their website) and i did needed this timeframe. It was in a private flat – very stylish one. Took about 2 hours to draw my origami koi fish to my right ribs. Cost 45.000yen – but worth every penny. Love it.
Getting out from there i was already a bit late to a meeting with my chef friend Miki from the restaurant Terre a Terre at the old times in Brighton. We used to work together hundreds of years ago before i quit and she left to New Zealand.
Was great to catch up with Miki and know more about her story after she left. Moved to New Zeland, working and studiing for years aiming to get her settled status there. How funny life is – she just got her permanent status when she met with ‘THE ONE’ online so decided to try together moving back to Japan and getting married starting a brand new life. Now i think she was hunting for a job (got fed up of cheflife – lol no surprise) and working on a baby project. Was a great meeting – walked pass thru the district of Yanasen with its lovely oldscool individual artesanal shops then had a great dinner in a recently opened tiny restaurant with lots of potencial.
Had a great night sleep again – as i didnt stop all day. Tick.