Arrived at Haneda airport at around 3+ and there was a taxi waiting to take us to Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. Checked into our room and relaxed for a bit and then had to go down to meet with Mr and Mrs Kunimatsu - my ex boss from JTB Singapore (the first company I worked for when I got back from Japan in 1986) - a little diversion here - I gave birth to my daughter in December 1986 and in January 1987 went for an interview and got the job, JTB Singapore opened in March 1987 with the 2 of us (Kunimatsu san and myself), and as they say, the rest is history.
So they came to take us to one of the oldest sukiyaki restaurants in Tokyo. The restaurant started at around 1880 or something. The main branch is at Akasaka, but since we were staying in Shinjuku, went to Times Square which was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. So many changes in Tokyo! Our first course was a mixed appetiser. Second appetiser was roast beef sushi. Then came the chawan mushi with Matsutake. And the main course was of course the sukiyaki and my oh my, the meat is full of marbling and is so tender it melts in your mouth. Am still dreaming of the taste!
Monday we had a half day Tokyo sightseeing tour with Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower and Asakusa. They dropped us off at Tokyo station and we had to find our own way back to Shinjuku. Got on the Chuo line and it was an express to Shinjuku. Magic! hehe Walked back to the hotel where Kunimatsu san was waiting for us at the hotel to take us to lunch.
View from Tokyo Tower
View from glass viewing platform
Walked back to Shinjuku to have lunch in another old establishment, this time a tempura restaurant. It was a Monday and a PH at that and even though there were no office workers queing for lunch, it was still busy and there was a queque outside the shop. Kunimatsu san pointed out that there was another tempura shop just diagonally opposite from this one but it was quiet! So this must be good then, to have a queue! So anyways, we waited for about 15 mins and then got our seat at the counter. The tempura was really good, as they fry and serve only when you have finished your food, so the pictures shown are very lonely, as you dont see the whole picture!
Queue outside the tempura restaurant
Dessert - Tempura ice cream!
Lunch done, went back to hotel. While Pat rested in the room, I still had things to do. As I told him to pack for a week and a bit, I had to go look for a coin laundry place to wash our clothes. Luckily, there was one which was about a 10 - 15 mins walk from the hotel. Yen 400 for wash and and Yen 400 for tumble dry. Put my clothes in the wash and then asked them to put it in the tumble dryer and I would collect it later on in the night. Already sat there for half an hour for the wash and could not bear the thought of sitting another half an hour waiting for the clothes to dry, besides, all the dryers were in use!
Walked to Shinjuku, trying to find my way to Odakyu department store, but only found Keio department store. Went down to the supermarket section looking for food for dinner as we were still full up from lunch. If you do get a chance to go to Tokyo or any busy city in Japan, go to the supermarket at around dinner time and you will understand what I am trying to say. It is so busy with shoppers and they have such a huge range of food, that you are so confused as to what to buy! Decided to go and look for Odakyu department store and this time found it. Shinjuku station is so huge and they have so many restaurants and shops there as well. Got to the supermarket and got some food, except I cant remember now what I bought and then had to find my way out again! After our little dinner in the hotel room, Pat and I took a walk back to collect our clothes.
Next few days were coach/trains trips to Mt Fuji, Hakone, Takayama, Shiragawako, Kanazawa and Kyoto.
I shall let the pictures do the talking.
Little autumnal colour
Another view of Mt Fuji in the distance from Lake Ashi
Lunch in Nikko
Sunset in Kanazawa