Where to go! What to do! Where to eat... actually mostly just that lol.
I don't say it enough but I love Tokyo! Though I have been raving so much about NYC these days it might seem like I'm a traitor lol but frankly, safety and clean subways mean a lot to me haha. I mean, I love Fifth Avenue and the swanky lights of Times Square but creeping around some of the alleys between Fifth and Sixth scared the living lights out of me and the subway stations could seriously do with some air freshener.
Japan on the hand.... is always clean. With good food at every corner and toilets everywhere (even on the trains!) And more importantly, they are all CLEAN!!!! I often tell people you can even eat off the floors of the bathrooms at the train stations wtf.
Every year, I try to take two holidays with the hubs (I know it seems like we go on a lot more but tagging along on his detachments doesn't count) and we usually end up in Japan because - and these are his words - until we have eaten EVERYTHING he wants to eat in the country, we are not allowed to explore new destinations lol. And because the mother-in-law has more than once asked, "Why do you all keep going back to Japan? What's so nice there?", we decided to bring her along to experience Japan through our eyes. Like c'mon lady, I'll show you what's so nice! And yes, this includes me and my Instagram needs too lol.
Anyhow, from one mother-in-law, we ended up including the father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and two nephews as well lol. Travelling with the toddlers is definitely not easy (and they are not even my kids!) but thanks to my planning (and patience), and the hub's military style of instructions (and impatience) and our incredibly thick skin (I think I'm on the blacklist now of our favourite yakiniku restaurant...), here's how our #GoJapan2016 went.
Random streets of Shinjuku. I sound like a sucker tourist but we always base ourselves here (even though my friends always suggest Roppongi Hills), mainly because...
The hub's fishing shop is here. This time round we went back with the father-in-law who is the grand master of all fishermen... so the mother-in-law and I ended up having some time to ourselves for froyo.
She took these pictures lol.
I had just returned from LA then so I was still in the Menchie's froyo phase. The Menchie's I tried in Tokyo wasn't as good as the ones in NYC and LA cause they have a smaller selection of flavours but their mochi toppings made up for it lol. I was bummed for a second when I heard that Menchie's in Singapore has closed down but aiya, good riddance lah. I tried them once at Vivo and srsly, it was so vile that I'll take Marigold anytime.
The hubs took A LOT of pictures of my in-laws because they hardly have pictures together and here's one where I look like a crazy stalker on the loose.
Some random soba/ udon shop where we had dinner at in Shinjuku. I loved the broth! It's not hard to look for it I think? It's just one stall with the super long queue (ya, typical Singaporeans. See queue only must join) that's near the pet shop at Shinjuku - you must know this pet shop right??? They have the MOST adorable shiba inu puppies.
Oh, it was right at the entrance of this street!
Squad goals with the mother-in-law lol.
Tokyo by night <3
More with the mother-in-law.
The next day, we went to Harajuku.
For this giant candy floss from Totti Candy Factory at Takeshita Street.
Honestly, I had no expectations cause I don't like candy floss to begin with (yes, you guys know it by now. Everything's for the gram...) BUT I was impressed with this! Every layer had a different flavour - strawberry, grape, orange etc and the hubs who doesn't even like sweet stuff enjoyed this as well.
Sigh. Japan, why are you so amazing?
Then we went to RedRock for their beef bowls.
Sigh. Again. Please take a look at this perfection.
There's always a queue at RedRock and what we have realised is, going at non-standard meal timings such as 3, 4pm helps to beat the queue... a little. There's still gonna be a queue but it'll be about 10-20 minutes tops.
Then we strolled over to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando for this standard Instagrammer shot lol.
Shibuya by night. Gets me every time.
By the way, if you're wondering why the pictures are kinda Zach-ish, it's because he was also in Japan at the same time. With Nui and his entire Yang warriors clan lol.
The next day, we woke up early for...
Tsukiji fish market!
Sorry to offend any sushi connoisseurs, but I've since realised that it is okay to skip the queues at Sushi Dai and Daiwa and just go for the random street stalls at the market. Seriously, you're in Japan. Anything - and I really mean ANYTHING - will taste better than what you can get in Singapore. I usually go for the chirashi bowls (or anything with uni really).
My handsome 2-year-old who turned into a monster right after this photo. I've learnt the hard way that naps for toddlers are a real thing wtf.
spade sperm a sperm.
One thing that really messed with my brain when I was in Japan was how early the sun sets... usually around 430pm. Which means, not enough daylight for me to take photos!!!
The Tori no Ichi Festival that takes place at Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku only twice a year. Observed by the Japanese to pray for wealth and good fortune, it is held every November on the days of the rooster (yup, they believe in the same 12 zodiac signs as the Chinese!)
Ya, how many photos of chocolate-covered bananas can one take right?
With more than 200 stalls selling food and other festival knickknacks, it is not to be missed if you're in Tokyo then. The grounds of the shrine are also open 24 hours during this festival. I just stalked the Internet for 2017's dates but they are not out yet... so you might want to keep a lookout for that!