Japan: Day 4 @ Tokyo – #explodinginjapan

Photo 27-12-15, 7 06 08 PM

Having some massive wanderlust these days, dreaming about going to places, just because I’m like a free soul right now HAHA! Explodingbelly is heading to Bangkok in a month’s time and back to Japan in March! Exciting times ahead before I evolve into a working adult! Here’s day 4 of my travelogue because I’m efficient like this!

Just in case, you’ve missed the previous posts, they are as follows:
First timer tips to Japan 
Day 1 @ Osaka
Day 2 @ Osaka
Day 3 @ Tokyo

Day 4 was a glorious Sunday, and we took a leap of faith to visit the FIRST Shake Shack outlet in Japan! YES. Since I won’t be going to the States for this highly acclaimed burger place any time soon, I thought I HAD to visit them since they were in Japan! Ah, I wish I had the money to franchise them here because… EVERYBODY LOVE BURGERS, and shake shack redefines your burger experience man.

We got up nice and early at about 10am and took a quick 10 minute train to Aoyamaicchome Station (Aoyama).
Photo 27-12-15, 9 30 04 AM
I tucked my Gudetamago to sleep first, of course.

I was a little nervous at the start because I was afraid that I can’t find shake shack since it is located some distance away from the train station! That Sunday was probably the COLDEST day we experienced throughout our trip, and walking through the throat piercing cold winds was torturous. Photo 27-12-15, 11 04 04 AM
I just couldn’t get over the serenity and beauty of the streets of Aoyama, and this was just the start. A pity it was SO COLD then, it made it slightly less enjoyable.

We had to walk about 10 minutes to get there, and along the way, breathtaking views took over the quiet streets. Photo 27-12-15, 11 09 04 AM
Just look at this. The symmetrical roads, the sky, the trees, and everything. I had to snap this really quickly because we were crossing the road. HAHA! PLEASE DON’T ANYHOW LIKE ME.

I actually didn’t know whether we were on the right track, but thank goodness this appeared in front of us. Thanks to trusty google map.Photo 27-12-15, 11 09 24 AM
Look at this. I just CANNOT. Photo 27-12-15, 10 19 22 AM
My mum and I just gaped in amazement. This place was BEAUTIFUL. It was so quiet and nice, something you wouldn’t find in Singapore, not even at East Coast Park. Then again, is ECP really the nicest place in Singapore? HAHA! Photo 27-12-15, 11 12 49 AM Just across the road was SHAKE SHACK, FINALLY. I excitedly ran across the road and… Photo 27-12-15, 10 20 24 AM
Guess what greeted us?
Photo 27-12-15, 11 13 53 AMThis was the craziest line I’ve seen. It was never ending. I actually took a video of it and I’ll upload it on a separate post on my review of Shake Shack. The video lasted for more than 30s. It was that long. Photo 27-12-15, 11 11 37 AM We actually contemplated leaving but I thought it was quite a pity if we left since I wanted to try shake shack rather badly. So we didn’t, and my mum started being occupied with her phone, while I started playing with my camera and snapped a lot of nonsense. Like this man on the bike. Photo 27-12-15, 11 55 12 AM These trees. #amiaphotographeryet?Photo 27-12-15, 11 53 24 AM Oh we are getting closer to the entrance!Photo 27-12-15, 10 20 30 AM I thought this was really nice as well. In fact, the entire place just makes every picture look good.

We queued for a good 1.5 hours and finally got our food.
Photo 27-12-15, 11 47 23 AMSat in the miserable cold, I was shivering as I put the burger in my mouth. BUT NO REGRETS. NO REGRETS AT ALL BECAUSE THESE BURGERS TASTED AMAZING.

After our really satisfying brunch, we decided to take a long walk to the streets of Omotesando. In fact, I realized that the whole of the Omotesando area was HUGE, and we probably covered just 1/10 of it that day because we were rushing from one place to another, especially since we’ve spent almost 3 hours at shake shack!

We were seriously dying of the cold then, and the winds no give chance. IT WAS BRRRRR.. We had to resort to heading to 7-11 and Family Mart along the way to hide from the cold a bit before continuing since it was a pretty long walk! Photo 27-12-15, 1 57 23 PM Look at this! Oh my SO BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE JAPAN!

And finally, we saw my mum’s kind of heaven. A whole stretch of international labels along the streets of Omotesando.Photo 27-12-15, 2 01 18 PM Photo 27-12-15, 2 02 39 PMHEHE LOOK AT THIS CUTIE DOG. I actually thought it was a real dog. I think I had a case of brain freeze or something.Photo 27-12-15, 2 15 44 PM To the right, it looked simply like a village with stretches of cafes. We didn’t enter unfortunately, because I just had one place in mind – DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY. We were basically searching for that and stumbling upon all these places on the way. HAHA!Photo 27-12-15, 2 15 57 PM Look what a huge and pretty MOS Cafe! We actually had a MOS cafe opposite our hotel that we didn’t visit at all. I regret A BIT. HAHA!Photo 27-12-15, 2 17 39 PMOmotesando was PACKED FULL OF PEOPLE. It looks just like Orchard Road though, just less smokers/NO smokers every where and a whole lot cleaner!Photo 27-12-15, 2 20 16 PM Here’s a view of the place from the overhead bridge – PRETTY. And I vow to visit the street just outside the station on my next trip! Photo 27-12-15, 2 24 23 PM We stumbled upon this pretty place while turning into one of the quieter lanes on our search to find DAB (Dominique Ansel Bakery).Photo 27-12-15, 2 29 51 PMPardon the language, but when we finally found them.. FUCK. I was genuinely annoyed at the queues EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE I tell you. We were right at the end of the queue, and while we thought this was still okay, my mum went into the bakery to use the toilet and saw that there was a longer queue inside the bakery, which continued up the stairs… Photo 27-12-15, 2 39 42 PMWhile this was up on my number 1 of my to-go cafes in Tokyo because of the amazing bakes I saw online and on instagram, I made the painful decision to leave the queue because I don’t think we should waste our entire day just queueing for food. Moreover we weren’t really hungry then, and I rather explore the place on my first trip to Japan.

I was very sad when we left the queue. I swear I got cry. I’m emotional about food like that.

I felt better when I walked out and saw a DARS specialty shop just across the road. I really liked DARS milk chocolate last time, and being a specialty shop, I guess they had pretty cool flavors, and I WAS RIGHT!Photo 27-12-15, 3 00 40 PMThere was no one when we first entered the store, and while we were inside, this crowd formed. It’s like WE ARE THE BRINGER OF FORTUNE. Photo 27-12-15, 1 57 34 PMThey had really cool flavors like tomato and basil, which I bought for Benny and family. They also had Madelines and matcha azuki chocolate! PRETTY COOL! I bought several boxes as gifts but didn’t get any for myself, because you know the feeling of aiya it’s not expensive when you buy for others, but when it’s for yourself, you wouldn’t spend that kind of money? YEAH.

We shopped a little more and entered a small street, and realized that it was Harajuku! My mother’s sharp eyes and lobster senses identified Luke’s Lobster. Honestly, I’m not quite keen on having any lobster rolls, but she’s a HUGE. HUGE. fan of lobster rolls… So.. Photo 27-12-15, 3 56 56 PM We joined yet another hour long queue.. And I don’t know why we gave up DAB, and joined the queue here instead.

Since we hadn’t had our coffee fix because we were intending to get it at DAB, I had to search for a takeout coffee place while my mother stood in the queue – using her phone, as usual. Photo 27-12-15, 3 38 30 PMGUESS WHAT! I FOUND GONG CHA IN JAPAN! OMG! I don’t know why was that so surprising but it’s quite surprising what. HAHA! AND PANCAKE DAYS WAS LOCATED JUST ABOVE IT. I don’t know why I was still a little belly conscious when i was in Japan, when i usually let loose on my diet overseas, so I didn’t pop by Pancake days on this trip. I think now cannot exercise, so cannot anyhow eat, that’s why. WOES. Photo 27-12-15, 3 30 35 PM LOOK! Got cute server! HEHE!Photo 27-12-15, 2 40 47 PM We got 2 hot drinks, and I can’t remember what were the drinks we got actually. It was not too bad, especially comforting in the freezing cold. Photo 27-12-15, 3 26 45 PM I also spotted the atas popcorn store. It was so empty, I didn’t dare to enter. The dogs are made of popcorn too! VERY COOL RIGHT!

After an hour or so, we finally got ONE lobster roll. *roll eyes* QUEUE SO LONG AND BUY ONE LOBSTER ROLL? Cause I was belly conscious lah. And I didn’t expect the roll to be so small.Photo 27-12-15, 3 11 00 PMLook at the amount of lobsters though. It’s CRAZY. CRAZY. I heard this is made from the claws of FOUR lobsters. The meat was SO FRESH?! and really sweet, we regretted not getting more even though we were both still really stuffed from burgers!

I was excited to finish the meal here because… I spotted Kiddyland just outside this street. SNIGGERS. Kiddyland, like what its name reads, it’s a land for kids. It’s this HUGE ASS 4 storeys high TOY SHOP, just like the one we went yesterday! SQUEALSSSSS!

Let me take you guys on a visual tour again. HEHEHEHE! It was also really crowded there, so.. No pictures of all the levels, and I was also too engrossed in buying my own things. HAHA!

Basement 1 was SNOOPY TOWN! So basically it was ALL SNOOPS.
Photo 27-12-15, 4 22 32 PM Photo 27-12-15, 4 22 43 PM HEHE I want to kidnap!Photo 27-12-15, 4 26 54 PM
The first level was a mix of Adventure time items, Ted, and some star wars stuff.Photo 27-12-15, 4 28 23 PMHere’s Ted, and he was quite expensive. This cost about $14 if I didn’t remember wrongly. Okay I actually just bought a $14 gudetama key chain in Singapore.. Shit. I regret.

The 2nd level had my favorite shinchan, I didn’t buy any though, cause I wanted to save money for gudetama! They also had toy story stuff! Photo 27-12-15, 4 34 48 PM
The top level was gudetama, hello kitty and rilakkuma!Photo 27-12-15, 4 15 04 PMI caught this for S$2 while my mother was in the toilet. HAHA CHEAP THRILL RIGHT? Also, this goes into the bermuda triangle in my room. I don’t know where is it now. HAHA!

The sky was dark at about 5pm when we left Kiddyland, and we decided that Gongcha wasn’t enough for our coffee fix. We stumbled upon a random cafe, and decided that it served good coffee because it’s called coffee and cake. HAHA!Photo 27-12-15, 5 05 31 PM The cafe is actually situated in the basement. It smelt really smoky and looked really dodgy, and I was too tired to take any pictures. HAHA! The coffee was not too bad but just not photogenic. So.. No pictures. Photo 27-12-15, 5 24 51 PM We also saw this HUGE ASS Nike store, which I didn’t enter because I swear off sports already. I think. HAHA!

We then took a 15 minute walk to shibuya since the three areas were really of walkable distance. By walkable, I mean like 10-15 minutes walk away from each other kind. Thanks to Google map again.Photo 27-12-15, 7 06 08 PM We reached the more ulu part of shibuya first, and we actually mistook one of the smaller crossings to be shibuya crossing because we were noob. We continued walking and actually saw the actual shibuya crossing and I went crazy.

Wait.. before that, my mum wanted to look for her Hermes first.. So we shopped for a bit before we went to this viewing space opposite the famous shibuya starbucks to snap pictures of it. It was not really pretty because of the reflection from the glass, but it was quite a sight in real life. We stood there mesmerized for a good 10 minutes. Photo 27-12-15, 6 44 51 PMThen we decided to experience it on our own by crossing the street. HAHA! Actually it just feels like crossing any other roads lah. No diff one.

We did more shopping until the departmental stores closed at about 8pm. What a bummer. I wanted to visit Gontran Cherrier’s cafe at Shibuya as well, but we decided that we were too full for it. Yeah, don’t know why suddenly appetite shrink in Japan.

My mum then remembered about her friend’s recommendation about roasted sweet potatoes, so we began our quest to search for it. It’s funny how we cannot eat cakes but can eat sweet potato. We walked around the WHOLE of Shibuya just to look for this stupid sweet potato, and here are some of the sights we saw:Photo 27-12-15, 7 25 56 PMDAMN HUGE UNDERARMOUR STORE. It was 4 storeys as well, but GOT NOTHING ONE. VERY BORING.Photo 27-12-15, 7 29 05 PMThis looks really happening as well, but it was 90% restaurants, 10% selling stuff that didn’t pique our interest. Not like ximending. Haha! The 90% restaurants part was quite a bummer as we already decided to have ichiran for dinner, and I WANT TO SHOP!Photo 27-12-15, 7 35 13 PM We spotted Pablo for the Nth time this trip, and actually queued for the tart only to realize that they were left with the small sized HUGE ASS TART (ironic hor), and ran out of the more popular human sized normal tarts. A pity though, because I’ve been dying to try them since I’ve had Bake’s!

After a super long walk, and many detours, we went back to the same spot where we started, and realized that the sweet potato store was located within a large budget store. Hmmph. Photo 27-12-15, 7 50 58 PMThen we were told that we have to wait for another 27 minutes (how exact) for the sweet potatoes to be ready. Bleh.Photo 27-12-15, 7 54 34 PM (1)The wait was worthwhile though, as the sweet potato was a GREAT comfort in the super cold weather. And it was DELICIOUS. So, so, so GOOD!

We then headed to Ichiran for dinner! By then it was already about 9.30pm and we stood in line in the cold because ichiran was located at the basement! The queue remained stationary for the first 45 minutes. Since we had time to spare, and were not very hungry after having that sweet potato, we stoned. Photo 27-12-15, 8 38 32 PM Yes Ichiran is opened 24 hours! I immediately checked the operating hours of the subway and realized that it was still in service even after midnight. So.. I queued in peace.

After 1.5 hours of wait (more pictures and ordering details on the review post), we finally got ourselves a booth each!Photo 27-12-15, 10 18 05 PM Everyone eats alone here.Photo 27-12-15, 10 18 28 PM Here was my booth and I was thrilled because I like to eat alone. I’m weird I know. Photo 27-12-15, 9 26 08 PMWell.. Touted as the BEST ramen in Japan, I initially thought it would be overrated. But it was… NOT. BEST RAMEN I EVER HAD. And I’m even craving for this for the past couple of days, it’s crazy!

We eventually boarded the train and headed back to our hotel, and guess who got gudetama ice cream along the way? HEHE!  Photo 28-12-15, 9 13 31 AMOkay lah, it wasn’t that nice, honestly.

Speaking of hotels, if you guys are intending to visit Japan in the future, do check out HotelsCombined – HERE, to get the BEST hotel deals! What HotelsCombined does is, they help YOU to find the best price online amongst all the travel sites including Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, or even more ulu sites like Amoma or Hotelopia, and discover deals that you may miss if you were to search for them on your own! Hehe, now we don’t have to note down the prices from the different sites, and that probably saves us a lot more time to plan our itinerary! Don’t say I bojio!

Here’s the end of my Day 4 travelogue! Stay tuned for Day 5 with more hearbreaks and misadventures, as well as our experience at Tsujiki Fish Market!

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