Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Japan 2012 - Part 8 (Tokyo)

It was a rainy day when we hopped on the train to Shibuya. And the moment we got off the train the heavens opened above us, but thankfully not for long!

Hachiko Statue


Just outside Shibuya station is a statue of Hachiko, the loyal dog. I liked him.

Shibuya crossing


Just past Hachiko is the famous Shibuya crossing, which was awash with a sea of umbrellas due to the weather. We spent some time poking around and looking in the super cute department store Tokyu Hands, where I bought an awesome battery operated chasey toy for the cats.

Vegan Healing Cafe - Felafel Plate


We had lunch at the amazing Vegan Healing cafe, which I now read is closed. Sadness! I loved this place. I had the felafel plate, which was amazing. Delicious felafel balls with sesame and tomato sauces, salad with a sweet dressing and pickles. I love Japanese pickles!

Vegan Healing Cafe - Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream


I tried a piece of chocolate and coconut cake for dessert, which was lovely. Also some chai, which had a funny consistency.

After lunch we walked around and found a lovely little ceramics museum - I love ceramics. And poked around some shops a bit more, there is so much fun stuff to see in Japan. I also visited Lush and bought some hand cream, I still have the pot with its Japanese writing on it. I will not be exchanging that for a free face mask!

Shibuya


Shibuya at night was all lit up! I picked out dinner restaurant, a place called Vege Cafe, after Chelsea's rave review. She even very nicely emailed me a map! But it downloaded a bit funny on my phone and I ended up getting us really lost, but eventually I worked out the issue with the map and we made it there!

Vege Cafe - Salad Buffet


While not entirely vegan, there are a lot of vegan options. It also has a salad bar, and we were starving, so we started with some salad while waiting for the rest of our food to come out.

Vege Cafe - Chips with Pumpkin Dip and Salsa
Vege Cafe - Tempura with Tomato Chili Sauce
Vege Cafe - Bread
Vege Cafe - Stuffed Pumpkin (no cheese)
Vege Cafe - Braised shimeji in foil
Vege Cafe - Soy chai


We had: Chips with pumpkin dip and salsa, Tempura with tomato chili sauce, bread, Stuffed pumpkin (hold the cheese) and Braised shimeji mushrooms in foil. Finished off with some chai. It was a pretty delicious meal! Afterwards we headed back to the hotel for the hotel.

Sensoji Temple
Asakusajirija Shrine
The next morning we took the subway to Asakusa to visit the famous Asakusa Shrine and Sensoji Temple. It was a beautiful day, so was absolutely packed! There is a street heading up to the shrine that is lines with all sort of little stalls, and it is quite a pretty, festive atmosphere. After visiting here we stopped by the nearby Edo-Shitamachi Tradition Museum, which is well worth a look in if you are interested in traditional crafts. Also don't forget to keep a look out for the famous Golden Poo on top of a building down by the river. You'll know it when you see it!

Kappabashi Sogugai Street (Kitchen Street)


I couldn't visit Tokyo without visiting Kappabashi Dogugai, or Kitchen Street. This street is packed full of all sorts of kitchenwares. From baking shops to cutlery, bowls, furniture, kettles, bulk food... everything you could ever think of! There are also many shops selling plastic food for display. I considered getting a little something, but it is so pricey! There is a whole different district a bit out of Tokyo where plastic food is made!

Waiting for the Water Bus


We caught the Himiko Water Bus from Asakusa to Odaiba. The water bus, as you can see, if largely enclosed in glass so you get great views. Thankfully it does not have glass floors! Today was going to be light on the food options for me, so I had packed a whole stack of snack bars!

Venus Fort
Venus Fort
Venus Fort


Odaiba is an artifical island. Apparently it used to be used for defense but now it has all sorts of huge shopping centres and theme park type things there. We wandered into Venus Fort, which as you can see from the top picture was not your average shopping centre. It had a lot of clothes shops and what not there, but it also had awesome shops like Sylvanian Families and also a Kawaii Paradise arcade downstairs. We also wandered into the Toyota exhibition hall which had some pretty cool prototypes and interactive games.

Ginza


After that it was a train ride across the famous Rainbow Bridge, then we transferred onto the Subway to go to Ginza. Ginza also lights up at night. It is strange how advertising ends up kind of looking really pretty! There are also several gorgeous stationary stores in Ginza. For dinner we went to Ain Soph, a vegan restaurant.

Ain Soph - Fancy tea
Ain Soph - Spring vegetable salad and soup
Ain Soph
Ain Soph - Wrap, quiche, nuggets
Ain Soph - Dessert selection and chai


I ordered the Everything Course, because why wouldn't you? It started with some fancy tea, then there was a spring vegetable salad (served in a tall glass) and some soup. This was followed by a plate with a selection of offerings - wraps, quiche and nuggets. Then a dessert selection and chai to finish it off. It was a beautiful meal!

Ain Soph - Mushroom Hayashi Rice


My mum ordered the Mushroom Hayashi Rice, which she enjoyed. Then it was back to the hotel.

2 comments:

Renée MBM said...

So much tasty! I've been told repeatedly it's too hard to be vegan while travelling in Japan. Pfft. Vegan food is srs bsns.

veganopoulous said...

Fantastic! Japan is my dream holiday destination, we're just saving up the money for it. I think I really need to save up for the plastic food, I know I would go really silly in those kinds of stores!