A visit to Tokyo would not be complete without a trip to Tsukiji Market, and we headed there for breakfast on our 2nd day in Tokyo.
We took the longer route, getting off at Tsukiji station, and walking through many shops to reach the actual Market.
Once there, we went to take a look at the queues for Sushi Dai and Daiwa, without the intention of eating there. In that same row though, there are equally if not more awesome food to have!
At one end of the street, there is a shop (Daisada) specialising in eggs, specifically tamago! A stick of tamago cost us only 120¥, and it’s super yummy! The omelette was silky smooth, and the rich flavour hit us with every bite into it!
There’s also Tenfusa (天房), a tempura restaurant that serves really good tempura.
They do not have an English menu though, so you might end up playing charades! I kid you, it’s pretty simple to just point at the pictures on the menu and order. Alternatively, just ask for the mix tempura set, it’s the most value for money in my opinion.
If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese tempura shop, then Tenfusa is the place you’ve been looking for! It is really a hole-in-the-wall kind of shop, with a nondescript entrance, and limited seating inside. Fret not however, it is not all bar seating here, and there are a few tables and chairs as well.
I especially loved the fish & prawn tempura, which had a slightly smoky flavour and was not too oily. The little tempura prawns were really good too. I got the mix set (1,200¥), while C got the ebi tempura (700¥). Go check it out! 🙂
On our way back to Tsukiji station, we finally found Chuka Soba Inoue (中华そば 井上)! We had unwittingly walked past it earlier on our way to the market. :p
I quickly joined the queue for a bowl of shoyu ramen (700¥). The chef churns out bowl after bowl like clock-work, and it’s really impressive watching him work.
The bowl of ramen is huge, and has 4 slices of pork, and a lot of ramen noodles. The broth is pretty good as well, but there’s a lot of salt in it.
After slurping up the last of the ramen, we continued on toward Tsukiji station, where we caught the train to Shinjuku (changing at Roppongi). At Shinjuku, we changed trains again, this time to the Keio line, heading toward Takaosanguchi. Those on JR rail passes may wish to take the JR line to Takao station but note that it doesn’t go directly to the base of the mountain.
Stop by the information centre just left of the gantries when you exit the station. You can pick up a useful map there. 🙂
After grabbing a map, we walked a short distance to the cable car centre and purchased return trip tickets (930¥ each). Single trip tickets are 480¥ each. The price of the cable car ticket is the same as that for the chair lift, but it was closed when we were there, so we got the cable car tickets.
The cable car is more of a ropeway tram (similar to that at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong), and it does get really steep at one point. Although the ride is only 5-10min, hiking up the hill to the same point will easily take you more than 40min.
From the cable car station on the mountain, it was another 40min of hiking to ascend to the peak. We took two different trails; the suspension bridge one (route 4) on the way up and the temple one (route 1) on the way down. The suspension bridge trail lacks proper paths, so do come prepared.
It’s not an easy trail either, as there were many parts of the trail that require you to step over overgrown tree roots and steep inclines. It is definitely (in my opinion), way more interesting than the other router though.
After reaching the top of Takaosan, we were disappointed to find out that we couldn’t see Mt Fuji due to the mist.
We still took a few pictures around the summit before trekking back down, so it was not a totally wasted trip.
We caught the Keio line express train back to Shinjuku, and just knocked out for the entire journey. I guess the cold weather and the hiking made us really tired.
We took the subway to Ikebukkuro station from Shinjuku station, as the Pokemon Centre was located near Ikebukkuro. Take Exit 35, and walk past the bustling shopping street till you reach Sunshine Building. The Pokemon Centre is on the 2nd floor of the Alpa block.
Even though we had been to the Pokemon Centre in Osaka, this one had a slightly different feel to it, and carried some items that the other did not. So yes, we ended up buying some stuff! :p
We left to meet a friend at Shibuya station, and took the Fukutoshin line direct from Ikebukkuro station. After meeting up with J in front of the Hachiko statue (a popular meeting point), we took the subway to Akasaka-mitsuke, where J had reserved a table at a restaurant.
We found out upon arriving at the restaurant that it was a ninja-themed restaurant, and was aptly named NINJA. To get to our table, we had to go through ninja ‘initiation’. Following our ninja guide, we ducked under, jumped over the obstacles, and somehow survived the initiation. :p
J ordered some dishes for us to share, and all were rather tasty! 🙂
After a good dinner and catch-up session, we finally left the restaurant after being chased out (they close at 10pm). :p
Summary of Day 2:
– Tsukiji Market
– Pokemon Centre Tokyo
– NINJA restaurant