Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tokyo Shinjuku [01/02 - 17/02]

I'm back to Hilton Shinjuku Tokyo hotel and will be here for the next 2.5 weeks.

My fellow colleague Thomas, recommended to me this sushi joint by the name of Kiraku. It is a 15mins walk from hotel to the sushi place, located in the Honmachi area of Shibuya district.

Here is the sushi chef and his wife.

This is my standard ordering fare in each visit. It cost around 4200 JPY per meal. The soup is also splendid. One of my favorite is actually the sweet shrimp head soup.

On one of the night, I have dinner with my colleague from Singapore, Phil at a local Yakitori place.

The menu are all in Japanese.

My staple drink is the Japanese green tea.

Prior to visiting Japan, I heard about Lotteria Kobe Beef burger. On a Saturday while walking past Omotesanto, I stumble upon the Lotteria joint and in I went. It cost 1,500 JPY for the set meal below.

In one of my visit to Shibuya, I stumble upon girls giving away free chocolates to "guys who will not be getting chocolates for valentine's day".

I also dropped by Akihabara, but only just a walk along the street and I went back to the train station.

My colleague wanted to visit DisneyLand. And we heard that evening tickets are much cheaper at 5,000 JPY. So we went to DisneyLand in the evening.

There are still many people around in DisneyLand at this time.

Here I am in the Loony Toons area.

It started to drizzle a bit in the evening and every took refuge in a shelter area. The night shows still continue and I am able to catch a glimpse of it.

Here is one of my favorite ramen joints - Ippudo at Shinjuku Nishi station.

One of the night, my fellow colleague decided to bring us to a very local place - standing yakitori bar. It is really very local where the tables are all make-shift.

I am trying to find a large supermarket to do all my shopping. I stumble upon the Ito Yokado supermarket at Oomachi. I still find the supermarket to be quite small.

At the top floor, they have pretty good Oyster fried and Crab fried meals.

I went back to Ueno shopping street, where they sell lots of local produce.

And here is the result of my shopping. I will be buying even more from the airport.

Towards the final two evenings, I found out about Kani Doraku (かに道楽). It is a famous chain store started from Osaka which serve crab cuisine. There are two branches around the Shinjuku station area. I went to both branches over the two evenings.

On the first night, I have a mixture of crab dishes.

And on the second night, it is steamboat crab.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Shinjuku Gyoen [14/02]

A fellow colleague recommended us to visit Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑), a garden just slightly to the east of Shinjuku station. There is an entrance fee to this garden, which cost 200JPY.

I decided to visit the garden on the 14th Feb, by taking a shuttle bus from my hotel to Shinjuku station and taking a 15mins walk from there. 

The entrance tickets are dispensed out from a vending machine. Entry to garden is also via ticket gates similar to those seen in train stations 

It is still winter season, but spring should be coming soon. A number of trees are bare. 

There is a large open space area in the garden which has very good view of buildings around.

I read online that plum trees will start to blossom at this time. There are a few trees where the flowers are starting to bloom as seen below.

The garden is quite visitor friendly with maps around the place.

At one corner of the garden is a Greenhouse.

The greenhouse is temperature and humidity controlled. Most of the plants grown in the greenhouse are similar to what I would find back in Southeast Asia. I quickly zip through the pathway and back out to the gardens.

There is a circular bench area where visitors can sit and enjoy the flowers.

There are more plum trees in this area.

I approach a zen-like stone bridge and garden.

This area has a number of small lakes where ducks can be seen floating by.

Comparatively, today is much warmer compare to the rest of the days. It is a great day for picnic.

I walked one round around the garden and I'm back to where I came in from.