Monday, August 07, 2017

Land of The Rising Sun #1: Konichiwa Tokyo!

I wrote few diary-itinerary post on travel sections, and I will make sure to write it for every single trip that I went to including this 11 days journey in Japan. I hope this first post of Japan trip will help for those who are going to Tokyo soon! It's really big city, tons of things to discover and their food is amazing, let's check it out.

Flying with AirAsia X.

30 April 2017 (Sunday)


There wasn't much happening on first day because we arrived pretty late at night, but I have explained fully about it on my previous post, which is 'Our Airbnb Experienced in Tokyo & Osaka as a First-Time Users' so make sure to check that blogpost out 😉 .

I do remember being so excited and our journey was went pretty smooth because you know why? they give priority to pregnant women so we didn't have to que up at the immigration lines (yaussss). Well, since it was almost 11 PM, we are pretty tired, and it was my niece past bedtime so we need to go home.

At first we plan to take train to Shimokitazawa (where our Airbnb located), but then we decided to get taxi. Guys, don't be surprise when I tell you that the fee is around RM600 for two taxi (yeap make sure to close your mouth before something flies in). Desperate times call for desperate measures and I think its wise decision to take taxi (for that night only).

In front of Harajuku Station

1 May 2017 (Monday)


The first day is up and one tip for you is don't wake up too early because most of the stores in Japan open at 10AM, but since I didn't know that (my bad) we woke up around 7AM.  It was pretty bad because we are hangry. But, I got an important plan to settle first.

When I write itinerary for Japan, I divide it into four cardinal direction such as west, south, north and west part of Tokyo. I'm not sure about you but this is my first time using this method and it's kind of working out. All the places I went on this post is the western part of Tokyo.

  • JR EAST TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER, SHINJUKU STATION.

Let me tell you something, we are looking for this place for almost two hours and it was really stressed me out. It's like we are going in circle because we thought it was located at the same station but nope.

The reason why we need to go here is to settle everything that we can't do in Malaysia, like purchasing Shinkansen ticket, train ticket to Mount Fuji for Shibazakura Festival and get some extra info about Japan.


This is the station that we are looking for!

  • HARAJUKU AREA 

I'm stressed, my stomach is growling it's time to grab some food and maybe toys. From Shinjuku to Harajuku we walk to to get some Halal kebab at 'Mamo Kebab Harajuku' but it was closed. Thank god there are Family Mart located just beside Alice on Wednesday.

Too starving, I finished eating Onigiri in just matter of time and decided to walk around the street and found this cute stationary store named 'Asoko'. Their items was pretty affordable and attractive, but in the end I didn't buy anything because I'm saving up for Universal Studio Japan and cosmetic products.

Artistic wallpaper at Asoko.
Asoko selling cute stationary items!
Kiddyland is kind of mandatory if you want to buy toys for your kids. I can't exactly tell you what is the price range because I was focusing on something else, all I can tell you is they have Pokemon stuff.

I am really excited to tell you about this next place and it's a must place to visit when you are in Harajuku. Its none other than Takeshita Dori! I was ready to go through sea of people (due to Golden Week). Please make sure to plan your trip accordingly if you pay a visit during their national holidays.

I was planning to buy tons of socks and this place sell A LOT OF IT! Here is fun fact about me, I love socks because I wear flat shoes 99% of my time (I'm telling you this in case if you want to give me a present)  😝 . By the way, I bought 3 pairs of socks for 1,000 yen and I'm not going to stop here.


Our main plan is to eat some kebab and we found out there are popular halal kebab store around this area. If you want to try, make sure to find 'Dream Station foodcourt' that located inside a building.

People are lining up to get 'King Kebab' and I'm not just talking about foreigner. Price starting from 500 yen (for medium size), if you want to upgrade to large size it's started from 600 yen. You will also get one free drinks (carbonated drinks and such).

Halal Kebab at Dream Station foodcourt.
Our heavy meal for today. I don't remember what we ordered though.
Taste wise I would say quite bland even though I choose mild sauce. If my younger brother (we shared the meal) couldn't even finished it, so that's conclude everything. If you are hungry, and just around the corner this area, you can try it and let me know how was it.

I was not satisfied about the meai because they received tons of good review. Sorry if I was being mean or anything but the kebab is pretty average. To be honest I am more likely to eat this french fries again if I visit Harajuku next time.

Let me tell you one story, when we arrived at the foodcourt we thought that people forget about their stuff. I can see umbrella on this one table and on the other there was even a bag pack. Don't be shock and find another empty table because the one that I mention is taken. (Ingat tak masa dekat sekolah main cop cop meja? Macam tu lah).

Look at that cheesy goodness.
Meiji Shrine is our last stop for the day, this is my favourite places out of all because of the calmness. I realise I'm not a 100% city girl and I need an escape from it. There are also Yoyogi Park nearby and it's a great time to walk and maybe have some picnic.

The entrance is free and make sure to check out their website because during my visit they have a 'Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival' ceremony. Unfortunately we couldn't experience anything but I really hope to bump into one some day.

Main entrance of Meiji Shrine.
If you want to take a break, drink some hot chocolate you may do to that at their cafe (located at the entrance of the main gate).

The entrance to the shrine is free, but if you want visit their garden you need to pay a contribution fee. We didn't go there because our interest is focusing on the main shrine only. On our way there, all I can feel is serenity. 

Before we headed to the main shrine, we stop by a place that display barrels of wine, or in Japan called as 'sake'. There are two sides, and on picture below is the side of a kazaridaru (a decorative display). Honestly, the history is really interesting, and it attract me to read all of the info on the description box.

READ: Meiji Jingu Shrine by Japan Travel Advice


Cafe in front of Meiji Jingu main gate.
In front of kazaridaru.
If you are interested to know more about this place before headed there, make sure to visit Meiji Jingu site. I kind of regret not to read before coming to the shrine, and make sure learn from mistake and get a glimpse about it.

It takes time to go back and forth from the main gate to the main shrine, but it's a must visit especially if you are nearby Harajuku.

Next up, let's go to Shibuya!


Welcome to Shibuya!
You need to come here if you want to see tons of people crossing the road, it is really remarkable. If you want to record a video make sure to get a view from the top. I record mine from the Shibuya Station but there are other places that you can try too.

It's time for the three musketeer (mom, Afiq and me) to go for adventure while the rest of my family went home to get some rest. First, we plan to visit Hachiko statue but we couldn't find it. But don't worry on our last day in Tokyo, we managed to meet Hachiko personally 😉 .

Then, we roaming around this area to do some window shopping. We found tons of Anello bags around this area but I think it was a bit pricey for me. We do get some things for my brother who wanted some original Champion stuff.


Night view at Shibuya 
Before headed home, we need to eat first. For food, I usually didn't plan earlier instead we search it while we were in Japan (it was very last minute and time consuming) but thank god, the pocket wifi is really fast here.

First day food journey starts with Shabu-shabu at Hanasakaji San. To get to this restaurant, take the south exit of Shibuya station for 1 minute walk to the place. This place get a tons of good review and I might say it's the only Halal Washoku in Tokyo.

Make sure to view the slideshow below to view the Halal menu, interior of the restaurant and also the food that we ordered. *click arrow to view on full screen*




This hotpot dish comes with thin sliced meat and vegetables that waited to be boil into the broth. Basically shabu-shabu is like a steamboat but Japanese style. 

One more thing to know about this restaurant, you need to order one set per person, I'm not sure why but yea that's how it roll in Japan. 

I order the Halal Woshoku with Halal Shabu-shabu which cost 4,500 yen. The other set 'Halal Shabu-shabu' price for 4,000 yen. This two are the most affordable set you can find in the restaurant. There are other meal which called as Halal Woshoku Dinner (full 7 course dinner) which can take up to 18,500 yen (insane right?)

The food taste okay and personally I like the Shabu-shabu more because of the broth. It's not salty and have a balance taste to it. While the Woshoku (4 dishes include rice) was kind of 50-50 for me.

Shabu-shabu girl is going to served you with food.
If you are muslim and want to eat shabu-shabu, Hanasakaji-san is one your choice. It's easy to find food in Japan but kind of hard to find a restaurant with Halal certificate. Honestly, I would like to repeat this again if I have big budget, but if not I would like to lookout and try more Halal Shabu-shabu in Japan.

That's all my first post for my Japan trip, I will update next post very soon so make sure to stay tuned! (it rhyme lol).

Meiji Shrine
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