Where do I start, umm, well.. let me tell you, that JAPAN is absolutely amazing! FOOD, people, shopping, transport, mountains, wildlife, scenery, buildings, colours and language are just mind blowing. It was an unforgettable trip, and I'm not just saying it because I got engaged!!! Ekkk
So, I am going to start with Tokyo the largest city in the world full of madness and so much excitement, not smiling isn't an option! We landed bright and early from a night flight in Tokyo Haneda airport at about 8am Saturday morning. My first completely Japanese experience happened in the bathroom, where I was greeted with a warm seat for my tush, harmonious music to tune out any unfortunate bathroom noises and a ridiculous amount of buttons to play with. Flush was the last one I was going to use, before wash, blow dry, heat- I think the only button missing was vibrate :)
Our next adventure was to make it to bustling Shibuya, which we thought would be easy ( I liked our confidence, you need it there). The train system is frightening when first given the map and told your stop is somewhere in the middle, with 20 different coloured lines running in different directions, I was wondering if we could just get a taxi!? DON"T!!! It is all apart of the experience + taxi's unlike other Asian cities, taxi's are extremely expensive, comparative to US, UK or AUS prices.
Standing at the airport train station, with mount Fuji visible form the window was the first of many breath taking moments on the trip! Nature just takes my breath away. Seeing as everything was in Japanese we thought we would ask around for anybody that speaks English??? (Not many people do, but they will still help) This kind elderly man (who spoke next to no English) said he knew where we wanted to go and would show us. (Now imagine, you're in Sydney, London, or New York city and you are trusting a complete stranger with 0 English to guide you half way across the city-shall we go for it?) Well, there wasn't many other options, so we followed the kind man onto the next train and onto our exciting adventure!
After this kind soul had taken us onto the right coloured train line to get to our stop (given us the number of stops till our destination) he thought we would be ok to continue the rest on our own. Glad he trusted us too! :) We arrived in Shibuya before lunch and made our way straight to the AirBnB apartment we had booked in advance, it was such a lucky find. The inside of the apartment was nothing to rave about, but the location was close to the best restaurants, shops, night clubs, bars, coffee stops and train station -so we were over the moon. We dumped our bags, put a couple more layers on (because it was freezing) and set out for food!!!
The apartment owner suggested a local ramen place, and we were in! We made our way down the streets, till we found the hidden gem and stepped inside a tiny room seated with about 12 spots for the lucky people that were able to snag one. As we walked in we were greeted by every staff member in the room with a shout いらっしゃいませ (irasshaimase) it means 'welcome'. Almost every Japanese restaurant does this, I loved this! You pay before you eat, and you order and buy your meal through a vending machine at the entrance; this was a completely new experience. We, being tourists had no idea and needed a little assistance from our new other non-English speaking friend. He gave us a dummies menu in English with some basic words and pictures. As soon as we saw a picture with noodles, we knew that was the one. This was the first of many warming ramen dishes, which should be an essential on a winter Japan trip. Soy sauce ramen soup was my favourite, but salt ramen was also delicious, just a stronger flavour. If it is your first time trying ramen, go for soy sauce, our western taste buds seem to fancy it more.
My life really does revolve around food! I love learning about produce, reading new recipes, trying to create my own. Here are some of my food, travel and creative journeys, I hope you find them interesting or just delicious!