Sunday, 15 June 2014

Japan 2012 - Part 9 (Tokyo)

The next morning with caught the JR Line to Ryogoku station, a short walk (past the Sumo stadium, sadly it was not Sumo season) to the Edo Tokyo Museum.

Edo Tokyo Museum
Edo Tokyo Museum

This museum has lots of recreations from the history of Edo-Tokyo. It was quite interesting, and even better was visiting it with my mother, who was full of so much information about everything!

After this, we caught the subway with the intention of going to a restaurant called Point for lunch. However, when we got there they said that they were all sold out, even though they were meant to be open for another several hours. This makes a hungry vegan into a hangry vegan! Though it did lead to one of the best lunches of the trip, after we caught a subway to Shinjuku and went to the top level of the Isetan Department Store there. Chaya is a chain of macrobiotic restaurants, with lots of vegan options. While it is expensive, it is amazing!

Chaya - Croquettes with Potato Salad
Chaya - Bread with Peanut Cream
Chaya - Fettuccine
Chaya - Mint tea
Chaya - Chestnut cake
Chaya - Strawberry short cake

We got a set menu, and we each chose almost the same thing! It started with some delicious Mushroom, Sweet Potato and Grain Croquettes with Potato Salad, which was accompanied by some bread with the most amazing peanut cream. So. Good. Peanut. You could have chosen rice rather than bread if you wanted... but bread and peanut cream! Our main was an amazing Awabi Mushroom and Tempeh Bacon Soy Cheese Carbonara. It was as good as it sounds. I also had a mint tea, which was beautiful. The one course we differed was dessert (all their desserts are vegan). Mum chose a chestnut cake, while I chose a Strawberry Shortcake. That gorgeous strawberry cake was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I dream about that cake. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful cake.

After this very reviving lunch, Mum headed back to the hotel while I went for a bit of a frolic around Shinjuku.

Shinjuku Goyen Park
Shinjuku Goyen Park

I went for a wander around Shinjuku Goyen Park, and wandered around the beautiful gardens until closing time (they play music over loud speakers at closing time, very pretty).

Tokyo Metro Government 45th floor observatory

I then went and got a beautiful view of the city from the 45th floor observatory of the Tokyo Metro Government Building, where you could see all the way to the sun setting bear Mt Fuji.

Shinjuku at night

There is nothing quite like walking around Tokyo at night. So many lights! And where did I walk for dinner? Why, right back to Chaya!

Chaya - Chestnut and burdock root quiche
Chaya - Mushroom terrine with seasonal vegetables and persimmon
Chaya - Vegetable cutlet with tofu and tartare sauce
Chaya - Chocolate cake with chestnut and almond praline gelato

This time I chose the super fancy dinner set. It started with a Chestnut and Burdock Root Quiche as a little 'amuse', followed by a Mushroom Terrine with Seasonal Vegetables and Persimmon. The main was a Vegetable Cutlet with Tofu and Salted Rice Molt Tartare Sauce, and the meal finished with a Chocolate Cake with Chestnut and Almond Praline Soy Gelato. It was all very, very good. The only sad part was that the dessert, while good, was nothing compared to that amazing strawberry cake!

Tokyo Station

The next morning I had a bit of a stroll around the local area. Our hotel was right next to Tokyo Station, which is an impressive building in itself. It was also a short walk to Marounouchi Street, for some window shopping and a visit to the very striking Tokyo International Forum, which is well worth a visit.

Hibuya Garden
Hibuya Garden
Hibuya Garden

I went for a stroll, via the walls of the castle, to Hibiya Garden. This was a lovely garden, there was a jazz band playing, some beautiful displays and lots of people enjoying themselves. I also found another colony of cats there, though again many of them were sadly looking poorly. Though this little friend was looking fairly sleek. A bonus of these gardens? They are a very short walk away from another branch of Chaya!

Chaya Hibuya - Croquettes with cous cous and corn.
Chaya Hibuya - Burger with mushroom gravy and burdock salad
Chaya Hibuya - Strawberry shortcake

Another lunch set! Croquettes with cous cous and corn, Burger with mushroom gravy and burdock salad, and the magnificent Strawberry Shortcake! The only sad thing is that the bread at this Chaya didn't come with peanut cream, but it was still a great meal. Three times in two days, Chaya certainly is worth it (and this wasn't the last time I visited either).


  1. Chaya looks amazing, I love that you just kept going back there! I think I'd have done the same.

  2. oh my goodness, that looks amazing.Peanut cream!!! Must try that, somehow.