I was slowly agitated from my sleep to some really bizarre Japanese talking. Confused as to where I was, I rolled over and opened my eyes to see Chris on the bed with his laptop, trying to teach himself Japanese and repeating phrases back to his computer. I gave him an odd look and went back to sleep again.
A short while later I came to life again, and we decided to get ready and head to Slappy Cakes for a pancake breakfast. Now we had our pick of days to fancy an American style breakfast, but it just so happened that we chose a Sunday. The one day where it seemed the whole of Tokyo and their aunt also had that same craving. We queued up anyway and when we got to the front we had two options; wait another hour for a table with a grill where we could create our own pancakes “DIY” style, or just get over it and sit at the bar.
Being with someone who reverts back to being a stroppy teenager when in need of a feed, we settled on the latter. I went for peanut butter batter with pecans and white choc chips in the middle, and seeing as I was on a holiday I thought “what the hell” and threw some whipped cream on the top as well. Just to go all out I ordered a raspberry colada drink to top it off. Definitely a calorie bomb of a dessert breakfast. We made it three quarters of the way through the food, which was a fair effort. The pancakes were perfectly fine, but I think the novelty of making them ourselves would have been so much better!
Afterward we decided to take a walk (waddle) to Harajuku to see if we could see any Cosplay girls. It was a fairly simple walk, with an uninspiring detour through a back street, before we were in the middle of Takeshita-Dori. Being a Sunday, it was manic there and we shuffled down the street like sardines. I found a Daiso and my inner shopping-demon came out. I bought way too much stuff I didn’t really need, and a few things I didn’t know existed, along with some Christmas presents to take home.
Chris wrestled me out of the store and we continued on towards Omotesando to check out some shops, souvenir stores and streets around there. This street felt very westernized so after a brief ogle we continued on our way, getting distracted by an odd condom shop we weren’t expecting to see glaring out at us at the intersection. I was keeping my eyes peeled for a famous Gyoza place, but had no joy there so we walked across to Yoyogi Park to see the Meiji shrine.
I was regretting sandals being my footwear of choice after this trek, but it was a pretty park and felt very Japanese. It was tricky to get any great pictures without someone’s forehead framing the shot, so we gave up and strolled back in the direction of our hotel, powering straight past it to the Metropolitan Government Building to check out the good views. Even after our half walk half sprint we missed the entrance to the south side by about 5 minutes, so we went up the north tower instead.
It was nice that they didn’t charge a fee (they definitely would in the UK), and the views at dusk were quite good, but I think the north side would have been better. They had a rather quirky souvenir shop here and Chris decided to buy a keyring of a cartoon Japanese samurai with his face printed on the head. And he complains I buy a load of tat? We headed back to get the lift down, and I found a tourist stamp to stamp my passport with on the way out.
After our mammoth walk we went back to the hotel to rest our feet briefly and get ready for dinner. I really wanted to eat at “Kushiya Monogatari” after reading about it online, and set out to find it with our City Maps 2 Go app and my guidebook. This place was a nightmare to find, we did a few laps of the area and were close to giving up until I saw the Japanese character for skewer flickering at me from the corner of my eye. It was right by memory lane where we ate last night, and we must have walked past it at least three times.
The lift up there looked dark and old, so Chris refused to get in and we schlepped all the way up to the 5th floor of the Sunflower building. (It looks nothing like a Sunflower). We then had a fourty minute wait so turned back around and retraced our steps all of the way down! After all of the walking, we had definitely earned another calorie laden meal. Chris had no excuse to not let me in Don Quijote for a spot of shopping, so I picked up some magnets to take home for the fridge and yet more “tat”. I managed to spend the fourty minutes navigating my way around the store so before long it was time to head back.
Once again I had to accompany my lift-phobic boyfriend up the stairs and we were shown to our table, complete with funky under seat storage for our bags. We plied all our stuff in and set off to explore the buffet area. Before even getting to the skewer section I had a plate loaded with katsu curry and yakisoba. The skewer idea was such a novelty concept and there was a mix of meats, vegetables and bizarre offerings like potato smileys, star shaped chicken nuggets and doughnut balls.
We loved eating here and the DIY cook it yourself concept was fun, surprisingly the cheesy mochi spring roll was one of our favourites! It’s a shame heath and safety is so over the top in the UK, I can’t imagine a restaurant like this ever being allowed to open at home. We coated, dipped and fried like pros and I attempted to show the curry who was boss, eating the rice with my chopsticks. The Japanese guy next to us obviously took pity on me and bought me back a spoon, which I was very pleased about as I couldn’t see them anywhere!
After two rounds of savoury we gave the desserts a go; a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, Japanese cakes, soft serve ice cream and the very tasty doughnuts we fried ourselves and liberally coated in syrup. Coming up for air we realised we we’re losing the battle as we could feel our insides being generously coated in a thick layer of oil. We paid and waddled out of there, this time I was quite glad to be taking the stairs.
We found ourselves again distracted by Game Station and spent over an hour in there playing various games. I discovered a musical whack-a-mole machine which occupied a fair amount of my time! Before long it was past midnight and Chris had to pull me away, so we headed back to the hotel with a quick stop off in Family Mart for some nibbles for the morning.