Thursday, 19 June 2014

Saying Goodbye to Japan.

As you may have gathered from my previous posts Nick and I had an amazing time traveling around Japan. Nikko, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and Ōkunoshima (bunny island!) were all different and wonderful in their own ways. We were really glad we decided to get a rail pass so that we could see more of the country than just Tokyo but there are so many amazing things to do (and eat!) in Tokyo that we ended up cramming a lot into our final three days! 

We arrived back in the city after a five hour train journey from Hiroshima at around two or three in the afternoon and decided to head straight to Hanada Rosso for one final burger. I was still dreaming of the burger I ordered on our first visit so I ordered that again, it comes topped with homemade soy mayo and ketchup and it's super tasty.


I also chose the side of homemade potato wedges again rather than rice because that seems to mesh better with a burger in a bun in my mind. Of course I followed it with the cheesecake which was obviously delicious.


I'm still searching for a recipe for a perfect Japanese style cheesecake so shoot one my way if you have one! 

We went out late that night to the super swanky New York Bar atop the Park Hyatt because that's the bar from Lost in Translation! Drinks were expensive but the atmosphere was great and the view was incredible. After a nice lie in the next morning we headed to another of our favourite spots Pure Cafe for something resembling brunch. I ordered my favourite Mr Mustard Sandwich which comes stuffed full of roasted veggies, grilled potatoes, and a tofu cheese spread. I also ordered yet another slice of cheesecake. 


Nick got another PB & Banana sandwich and a jam filled oat bar that looked good but it certainly wasn't something I'd have picked over cheesecake, Nick's commitment to jam is strong!


We spent most of the rest of the afternoon walking around the city and taking pictures of everything! Even the drain covers are beautiful in Japan.


Whilst we were drinking matcha lattes, yes, again, we really did spend our final days eating and drinking all of our favourite things, we kept seeing young women coming in with adorable Care Bears / Little Twin Stars bags. A little googling told us that there was a Little Twin Stars X Care Bears exhibit right around the corner! How serendipitous! Of course we headed straight there as soon as we finished our lattes. It was unbelievably adorable, look, puffy cloud bears! 


I wanted to pick this up and take it home!


After Nick was all outa patience for cuteness we decided it must be dinner time and we wandered over to Roppongi to try somewhere new. Our first attempt to dine at Chien Fu didn't go so well as we found them closed when they should've been open (according to Happy Cow). It must be so difficult to keep up with the changing opening and closing times of thousands of restaurants around the world so I always make sure to drop Happy Cow an email with an update if something like this happens. It really helps other travellers and without our updates information on the site could quickly become outdated. Another thing about Chien Fu is that if you weren't familiar with Japan yet this place could prove hard to find, it is almost exactly where google maps suggests but, as we'd already learnt, in Japan you have to look up! We found a lift tucked away around a corner next to a convenience store and Chien Fu was located on the fourth floor. This vegetarian Taiwanese spot has an English menu and they helpfully mark dishes containing egg with a yellow dot and dishes containing cow's milk with a blue one.

We started with vegetable spring rolls and what we thought were going to be mock meat steamed buns. The buns turned out to be fried though and they were really freaking good. They came with an amazing sweet dipping sauce that made them one of my favourite dishes of the trip.



If there's a black bean dish on a menu you can guarantee that Nick and I will order it and after some deliberating we went with a black bean tofu dish and a sweet and sour dish with cashews, mushrooms and mock chicken.


We had steamed rice on the side and had no problem polishing off the generous (for Japan) portions.

The next day we had shopping on our minds, I say we but I think we all know that Kiddyland was my favourite Japanese store and not Nick's. Nick actually hates shopping except at the cash and carry, apparently giant food is fun to him, or Whole Foods because they usually have vegan cake! Kiddyland is located in Shibuya and has whole floors devoted to both Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty. Best. Ever.


Nick thought that the best thing about Kiddyland was it's proximity to Pure Cafe so we stopped off for more sandwiches and green tea and raspberry muffins. This was yet another delicious Pure Cafe muffin (I tried a delicious orange and carob chip muffin at the beginning of the trip) it had a subtle green tea flavour and the raspberry was in the form of jam which is always a win in both of our books.


Because I'm always thinking ahead we also grabbed banana bread slices for the plane the next day.

Finally we ended our trip with a meal at Ain Soph's Journey location, we'd already visited once right at the beginning of the trip and we were excited to go back. We ordered the fried soy meat plate again because we loved it the first time around. This time was no different and the tender juicy soy meat encased in crispy batter was spot on.


We ordered the veggie paella next which turned out to be a wonderful choice. I love paella and this came with loads of roasted vegetables including one of my fave's, aubergine, and plenty of black olives.


We were feeling pretty stuffed but we didn't want to miss out on one final dessert so we ordered the dessert combo plate to share. It comes with waffles, whipped cream, rum 'n raisin ice cream, a brownie and vanilla pudding.


The waffles were excellent, crisp on the outside, soft inside and covered in syrup. The pudding didn't look particularly appetising and as I hate pudding and vanilla flavour desserts I skipped that part but Nick loved it. The brownie was dense and fudgey and the rice whipped cream was as wonderful as I remembered it being from the pancake plate we'd eaten on our previous visit.

After dinner we took one last walk around the city at night marvelling at the busyness and abundance of neon lights. Tokyo is such an amazing place, I really hope that I get to visit again one day.


Now from the title of this blog post you'd probably think I was done writing about Japan but you'd be wrong! I have another post up my sleeve and it concerns something I spent a lot of time researching, convenience foods. It's not always possible to eat out at a veg friendly spot for every meal especially in a city where almost nothing vegan friendly opens until 11am so I'm putting together a picture guide of the vegan products we discovered at 7/11, Lawson and Family Mart which should help future vegan travellers find quick and easy snacks and meals on the go.

14 comments:

  1. OMG that Rilakkumma elevator!! Loved these posts so much. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love little twin stars!
    And I love your hoodie!
    So cute!

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  3. Oh, my gosh! So much fun! I've enjoyed every single post. You've definitely made my desire to vacation to Japan even stronger!

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  4. green tea and raspberry muffins sound great! I'm actually baking matcha-walnut biscotti as we speak....

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  5. I loved every bit of your Japan blogy tour! Thank you so much for sharing, and Happy (Late) Birthday!

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  6. The convience foods is a great idea for a post. Looking forward to seeing what you found out there!

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  7. I'm so sorry your trip recap is over, but glad there's another post in the works!

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  8. Wow, I have never seen fried buns like that. I've been on a total steamed bun rampage lately...every time I see them on the menu I have to have them, which is strange because I used to think they were a bit weird. Now I loooove them.

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  9. Sounds like such an amazing trip. A post on convenience foods sounds brilliant, excellent idea! :) And also, the cuteness of that care bears exhibition is overwhelming!! Aww <3

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  10. Ive been silently reading your blog for a while and never realised you lived in brighton (your domain should say it all, duhhhh!). We are neighbours! Those raspberry muffins look to die for!

    http://www.journeysthroughmeadows.com

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  11. the food looks great like the rest of the food pics you posted. but i really love the cuteness of the care bears + twin stars! sanrio & 80s toys for life!!

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  12. I love the drain cover photo! Thanks for posting that. I love seeing different everyday stuff.

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  13. Your trip sounds amazing! I can't wait to go and use your posts as a guide. Ugh those waffles! I love that waffles were included on a dessert plate, lol. Amazing stuff!

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