I woke a little dazed and confused but as soon as I realised I was in my cosy little cave, I rolled over and gave myself a much needed lie in! When I finally rose, I set off to research Tokyo over my hostel breakfast while waiting for my laundry to finish feeling like a perfect picture of Japanese efficiency! I grabbed the subway to Omotesando to stroll down to Shibuya in the sunshine! On the way I passed the most amazing market (which I later found out was the popular UNU farmers market) selling antiques, books, flowers, food and doing some sort of coffee tasting thing so it was packed with Japanese hipsters. From there I made it down to the famous Shibuya crossing which was like Piccadilly Circus both in its population and high rise advertisements. I popped in to Shibuya 109 to visit the thousands of teen girls swooning over the latest fashion stores and the store clerks that screech IRAAAASHIMASHTE at you a soon as you pass! The literal translation is ‘welcome’ but at that pitch it is not so welcoming at all! From there I made my way to a little park with the beginnings of some cherry blossom tree viewing parties (this is definitely a thing in Japan where families just pitch up with picnics!). For my own viewing party I my lunch of a stolen boiled egg from breakfast, a free can of fizzy apple juice from outside a train station, a pack of ritz biscuits from Nepal and my two pound splurge at the local supermarket on this incredible ginger and mackerel rice ball and what I think is called mochi which is like a sweet glutinous doughy ball filled with sweet blackbean paste! I was feeling thrifty, full and satisfied so took an elated stroll down Japan’s Meguro canal to the trendy Daikanyama district. After popping into a random book shop I found myself inside the most perfect bookshop cafe for an overpriced but delicious Earl Grey tea and some much needed blogging!
After some time exploring the endlessly trendy Daikanyama with its gorgeous but disappointingly expensive vintage shops and wonderfully cool concept stores I decided it was time for dinner! Having read about somewhere in lonely planet I strolled back up to the Shibuya area to a great tiny restaurant hidden up some stairs in an apartment block. Now when I sat down and was asked if it was okay that the menu was in Japanese. It was at this point that I figured I was at the wrong place but persevered kind of not wanting to lose face I guess so I sat down and tried to stare at the characters on this laminated page obviously to no avail. One of the waiters then bought me the most wonderful picture menu but with pictures of raw meat on platters and explained each one… “um…. heart… um…. tongue…..um…….liver”. So now I was like right what the hell am I going to have but when he explained one was just beef I went for it! I was quickly presented with a bowl of hot coals and various sauces and watched my fellow diners barbecue their own dinner! I followed suit and god it was good! The beef was incredibly marinated and sizzled beautifully in front of me – a decision well made! It was however going to be a pricey decision for me to stay and try more meat so I strolled just a little further and found what I hoped was the right place! Again with a menu in Japanese I went by the pictures and had the cheapest beer in all of Japan at a pound a pint paired with amazing thin buckwheat noodles topped with a curry sauce. Again the condiment situation was great and there were big bowls of seaweed so obviously I piled it on to make the most of my three quid noodle bowl! Finally full I sat and listened to what must have been a Japanese radio play in the background and made my plans to return back to my hostel for a final night in my pod!