We arrived at Narita Airport around 2PM on a Thursday, March 27. Japan is 1 hour advanced compared to the Philippines so it’s like we lost a full hour. Then it took us another hour and a half to get to our hotel because of traffic and also because Narita Airport is pretty far. I guess it’s like driving to Clark airport if, like me, you’re from Quezon City. We got to explore Sunshine City around dinner time already.
Our hotel was right beside a police station. There was this bulletin board with what I assume are wanted signs. Actually, according to a Google search I made just now, the crime rate in Japan is lower than all other industrialized countries. It’s so orderly there. People are all so polite.
We checked out the strip a block away from our hotel. It was a very lively place on a Thursday night!
It had very familiar stores
Lovers in Japan: Maxx ♥ Chino
We were all very hungry so I downloaded the TripAdvisor app on my phone and searched for the best ramen restaurant nearest us. Hot ramen on such a cold night after a long and tiring trip — perfect! Medyo mahirap lang pag yung reviews all written in Japanese haha.
We ended up at a place called Tonchin, a ramen restaurant that takes your order via a vending machine. Very much like Sango, my favorite Japanese burger place here in Manila. I was very sad about the Shangri-la and Rockwell branches closing. The only Sango that’s still open (I hope) is in Mile Long in Makati, and that’s very far from me :s ANYWAY, going back to Tonchin.
Obligatory photos while waiting! Side note: If you are a couple taking a selfie (assuming a selfie is a photo of yourSELF taken by yourSELF) then is it called a couplie? Because it’s a photo of a couple taken by the couple? Or is it still a selfie because only one person has his/her hand on the trigger? ‘Groupies’ just sound wrong because the word means a totally different thing.
It’s hard to find an authentic Japanese restaurant that seats a large group unless you’re at a mall or you shell out and go for a tatami dining room! No big tables, most restaurants we went to had customers sitting right at the bar watching the cooks prepare meals. There was also a little bit of pressure to eat fast because right when our food came, people were standing right behind us, waiting for us to finish and vacate the few seats. Maybe that’s why they don’t have big tables, so they can discourage “hanging out” or as we Filipinos call it, “TAMBAY.”
The ramen at Tonchin was really good! I can’t exactly remember the name of what I ordered. It’s pretty hard without an English menu. Next time, I’ll make sure to take note so that I can be more useful :p Basta I got a soy-based bowl and the second ramen above is Chino’s miso-based one with extra egg. I’ve never been a big ramen fan. Unlike my sister Maxx who is a huge ramen lover, I don’t crave for ramen. But, you know what they say: When in Rome… In this case, When in Japan! The hot soup in my belly was so perfect – ready to be walked off in the cold, cold night going back to our hotel.
We dillied and we dallied on the way home. Though we wanted to sleep early to prepare for a long day ahead of us, we couldn’t help but enjoy the far cry from our hot nights in Manila.
Photo ops were fun because even the alleys were so clean.
Look at this cute izakaya (Japanese bar).
For the duration of our Japan trip we had quite a lot of stops at different branches of Family Mart, it’s become somewhat an inside joke.
By the way, I have an announcement to make… Because of all the fun and chic get ups I saw in Tokyo, I’ve decided to become a fashion blogger
CHOS. Wala akong patience. Haha.
Passed by the SEGA building basement. Puno ng claw cranes/merchandiser! Morbid – the stuffed toy will fall on spikes if not played correctly LOL
And then there are creepy men. I wish I could see where his hands are D: wahaahhaa!
An example of how nice the Japanese are: while Elmo, Arkin, Clara, and Frank were posing for a group photo 2 guys stopped in their tracks so they wouldn’t ruin the shot. After the photo was taken, one of the guys said (in cute broken English) that the picture would look cooler if they used his bike as a prop. We were pleasantly surprised at how friendly they were that we told them to join the photo as well! Tourist mode! (^_^)Y
That’s when we realized all of the bikes along the street right beside us. They were all parked in a neat line and didn’t even need locks! How I wish people were as honest in our country!
We did a little more walking.
Hey, mister, that’s a donut!
And that ends part 1 of my Tokyo diary!:) Check back in a couple of hours for part 2!