Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lost in Tokyo, Japan 2014: Day 2 - The long wait

Sunday 2nd November

We landed at Haneda Airport just before 8 am and we basically we took our time since our hotel check in time was not until 3 pm. So far so good. We passed security and got our luggage and it was time to get out and explore! 
At Haneda Airport

Looks so beautiful in the morning
At Haneda Airport you might want to get yourself a Pasmo card which is like an Oyster card. You pay 10,000 yen (~£63) for the card and it includes a 500 yen (~£3.14 deposit) and you can get this at the tourist information desk just by the station gates. Their English is brilliant by the way!
Information desk
I kind of remembered which station we needed to go to but not really. So like a Londoner we looked at the tube map first. We took a train to Shingawa and then changed to get a train to Nihombashi. I forgot we weren't supposed to be getting off here and re looked at all the details then realised we have one more station to get to! Sorry Miss Pinky, but you shouldn't have overpacked!
Heading onto the train

Just like getting on the tube in London but with loads of ads!!

At Shingawa Station

Train approaching on other side

Arrived at Nihombashi

Nihombashi Station (but needed to be at Kayabacho!!!)
We reached our final destination after 2 hours at Kayabacho station. We didn't know where our hotel was so we stopped off at a Starbucks and asked in there. A young girl gave us directions but should've said 2nd left then it's onto your our left hand side....
We actually got lost for a few minutes before a nice guy said it's just around the corner. Hahahah. 
Ice Coffee Frappacino
We checked into Smile Hotel. Their English isn't too bad but don't expect full blown conversations with them. We got a room number but unfortunately we still had to wait so we dropped off our luggage and then walked around the area. 

We went to lots of the convenience stores (konbini コンビニ) and saw a lot of things we could get before we returned back to London. Walking and walking until we finally needed to stop and rest... 
Oden... stinky but tasty!

All sorts of beers

And all sorts of drinks!!

Made Mr Bear jealous!!




The bike signs look detailed

They even have cigarette vending machines... ¬_¬ 

Watch for the sign たばこta-ba-ko for a cigarette vending machine




3D origami in a shop window!!! 

Odd shape building
We dined at Denny's デニース (in Hatchobori) which is like an American style (with Japanese food) diner. It's a 24 hour place, so if you're hungry in the middle of the night this is the place to go to. 

Miss Pinky and I looked at the menu for a long time... And then we realised we had to press this bell for service attention. A bit like Yo! Sushi. This is what we had.
Denny's Hatchobori

Press that bell for service!
Miss Pinky had the seafood soup without prawns. Luckily I asked my Japanese teacher a long time ago how to order without prawns otherwise Miss Pinky would've been disappointed "ebi nashi de onegaishimasu エビなしでお願いします。" She also had a bowl of rice with cheese on top.
Seafood soup without prawns

Cheese and rice
My meal consisted of battered fish (not tempura), aubergine, rice and miso soup. Very basic Japanese meal!
Japanese meal
Total came to 2708 yen (~£17) I think my meal was around £7 and the rest was Miss Pinky's.

They have an English menu, so don't worry if your Japanese is not good, but ideally look at the pictures in the Japanese menu.

My geeky rating: 4/5

Address: 104-0032 Chūō-ku, Tōkyō, Hatchobori 2-chome, 25-10
Website: http://www.dennys.jp/

After this we went back to a convenience store and bought a bun and another drink. We sat at the hotel, used their WiFi (password is at the front desk) and Miss Pinky slept for a bit in the cafe area until we couldn't stand it any longer... I asked at the front desk if we could go to our room early but it wasn't ready yet... 

Eventually the lady at the desk who spoke really good English came to us and gave us our key before it was 3 pm! Very grateful!

We were on the 9th floor. Our room looked very compact. No wardrobe! And no WiFi in the room!!!!!!! Arrrrgh! That's not good! But I guess I needed to get away from all the social networks for a while. Miss Pinky and I slept for a very long time (about 5 hours) before we decided to get up, go out and eat. Miss Pinky was unfortunate to get a drunken Japanese guy coming up to her and talking nonsense... I think he was asking if she was American. We made our escape from the hotel and walked around...

We ended up in a backstreet at a place called Nakau なか卯 . They use automated service. So you select and pay at these machines (lucky there was some English), then the cook/waitress comes and takes your ticket. The person prepares your order then serves it. People leave the restaurant without saying goodbye... And Miss Pinky found that depressing. Oh well.
Nakau in Kayabacho / Nihombashi

Vending machine operated

Kitchen / dining area

They leave without saying goodbye
I had this chicken curry katsu udon and it was bloody good. A little spicy kick into it. Just good! (I think I will make this at some point because I miss it already).
Chicken Katsu Udon and Karaage

Looks good!

Need to make this one day!
The karaage was great too. Fresh and juicy chicken. I love this stuff. ^_^
Fresh karaage
Miss Pinky decided to go on a set menu. But she didn't like her fishy, ricey udon. 
Bento meal

No idea what this is but Miss Pinky didn't like the radish bits
Total here came to 1760 yen (~£11). That's really cheap!!!! Should go this place more often.

My geeky rating: 5/5

Address: なか卯茅場町店 Japan 104-0032 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Nihonbashi, Kayabachō, 3 Chome−1−11
Website: http://www.nakau.co.jp/jp/index.html

We went into the Lawson store that was near this restaurant and discovered that this is how the Japanese created the ice cream cone in convenient packaging. No ice cream vans around the corner then.
The discovery of an ice cream cone... convenient!
Finally we returned back to the hotel. No drunk men about.

End of Day 2 (Miss Pinky wasn't happy about there no being English TV so she went to sleep... Me? I decided to blog! :D).



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