Since my foodie partner had to leave for the airport in the morning, we bought breakfast bread the night before. Just a few red bean breads from Kimuraya. (An old bakery that has been around Tokyo for over a century.) When it was time to split ways, I tagged along to the transferring station to make sure my partner got on the right train. Good thing I did or it could have been another long day spent on the train! Although he arrived at the airport early with time to spare, since he can’t read Japanese, he ended up ordering udon with yuzu which he doesn’t like…

I headed back to the hotel to spend the remaining few hours with my dad before heading to my grandparents. Since the timing was awkward, we decided to check out Tsukiji even though it was a Sunday. It was too early to eat lunch and full of tourists so we only browsed a little before walking over to the river.  After my dad took a bunch of boring photos, he headed for lunch in Ginza while I was bound for my flight to Kagawa.




centre the bakery

Even though we had an unfortunate dinner the night before, our breakfast the next day was much better. We planned to shop in Yurakucho during the late morning so my foodie partner found a bakery for breakfast nearby called Centre the Bakery. Reviews raved about the delicious shokupan that people would wait in line for before the store even opened. When we arrived, there was a long line for the bakery but luckily open a few people waiting for the cafe. The lunch menu is more popular because it includes sandwiches so the people waiting outside were actually waiting for lunch!

We were quickly seated inside where we could choose 3 different set menus. A. Jam Set, B. Butter set, C. Jam & Butter set. There were 3 different types of bread where you had to choose 2. I chose the Jam set with the Yamagata and Hokkaido bread, while my foodie partner chose the Jam & Butter set with Hokkaido and Japan bread. The fun thing about this bakery was you had to choose a toaster from the front of the store. It was a bit intimidating and confusing at first though. But in the end, the bread makes all the difference not the toaster! I think this was the best shokupan I’ve ever had in my life. Crispy and fluffy at the same time. I can understand the long lines now. Their jam offerings were pretty great too although the chocolate nut butters are different at each table. If you want a different one, you might have to ask a table to switch. The butters in my foodie partners set were also surprisingly good. You could actually taste the difference.

After a satisfying breakfast, we had a long day of shopping, meeting my mom’s friends and one last dinner with my parents before we all parted ways the next morning.




mont blanc

mogumogu_112516xx.jpgSince we still had time after returning from Kamakura, I wanted to check out Jiyugaoka – famous for dessert shops. But since it was already around 4pm, tea time was ending and many of the popular cakes were gone at the shops I wanted to try. So we headed to Mont Blanc which supposedly was the first cake shop in Japan to serve mont blanc cake. My foodie partner and I shared the chestnut tart with tea. I thought it was ok but my partner thought it was pretty good. We rested for a while at the cafe which has a large seating area but later this turned out to be a mistake. When we decided to head out for dinner, we first stopped by a baking store further delaying our time. By the time we started looking, all the restaurants were full with reservations! I think we walked around for almost an hour in the cold. Going back to the hotel would have taken too long but now I know, there’s almost nowhere to eat in Jiyugaoka! We should’ve just bought food from a grocery store or convenience store instead. Instead, we had a sad dinner at a kaitenzushi restaurant. Not good…


akimoto kamakura


The second day with my foodie partner, we headed down to Kamakura for sightseeing and nama shirasu (raw whitebait). We boarded the train after a disappointing hotel breakfast and over an hour later, we were in Kamakura. We got off a stop early to walk around Enkakuji with other tourists. Then we decided to walk instead of taking the train again into the town center. At one end of the center is the Tsurugaoia Hachiman-gu which we decided to check out before eating lunch. It was a good choice since we got to see the end of a traditional Japanese wedding. Everyone was whispering how beautiful the bride was.

We quickly walked to the restaurant I found beforehand since I knew a line would be forming soon. When we arrived, many groups were already waiting but figured everywhere would be the same. After an hour wait, we were finally seated. Apparently the wait was long because one of the set menus include tempura which would take 30minutes! Luckily, we were able to eat the nama shirasu don (raw and boiled whitebait over rice) which is a seasonal dish but can also depend on the day’s catch. It wasn’t mind-blowing but still delicious with the two different textures. I would want to eat it again if it was readily available.

One embarrassing thing happened where I spilled my miso soup on the floor. The lady next to me kept apologizing for not being able to help. oh.. only in Japan 🙂



恥ずかしいことに、食べ始めた時、味噌汁を床に落としてしまいした。隣のおばさんは親切でティッシュを渡してくれて、その後何度も役に立てずすみませんと謝っていました。私がこぼしたのに…日本だけだ… 🙂

gelateria marghera


My foodie partner arrived Thursday noon but suffered the consequences of Tokyo’s confusing train system. After 3 hours (what should have been an hour and a half) on the train, he finally arrived at the hotel. It was a cold day with November snow for the first time in over 40 years in Tokyo!

Our first stop and main reason for going to Tokyo again was to order rings. Last summer we found rings we liked and I found that the designer had her own atelier in Ebisu. We headed to the area and after some debating chose a design we liked. Since there were a couple of hours before dinner, we did some shopping at the department store before looking for a restaurant. Unfortunately, many of the restaurants we tried were full with reservations but we found a slightly fancy yakitori place with open seats. After my foodie partner experienced his first yakitori izakaya, dessert time!

I already knew what I wanted since I had been eyeing this gelato place since my last summer visit. They serve gelato but also ice cream sandwiches half dipped in chocolate. I debated between the marron and pistachio but chose the marron since it’s a limited seasonal flavor. The cookie was crunchy and slightly flakey like a digest biscuit. And the ice cream was chock full of marron pieces. So delicious.. I would like one right now.




gontran cherrier


My second night in Tokyo, I met a good friend from college who now works in Tokyo. We ate dinner at a vegetable based izakaya in Shinjuku that was delicious. (I tried to go again at a different location but it was completely reserved) After dessert at a nearby cafe, I needed to look for a bakery to buy breakfast for my dad and I. I first planned to try  Joël Robuchon but my friend and I couldn’t find it for some reason! So I went to my second choice Gontran Cherrier which was obviously placed in front of Shinjuku station (east exit).

An almond croissant for my dad, a matcha white chocolate scone for me, and a mont blanc croissant to share. The scone had the perfect crispy outside but soft inside texture. The croissant was pretty good too. The only thing with the mont blanc croissant was that the chestnut paste was at the bottom with nothing near the top. Still a delicious bakery. I went around closing time so most of the goods were gone but it looked like they offered many kinds of breads and pastries! They have a couple locations of this bakery in Seoul too so I’m looking forward to trying it soon.





kanda yabu soba


My dad and I spent a day shopping at Kappabashi (a street filled with kitchen supply stores) near Asakusa during our stay in Tokyo. Unfortunately it was a holiday but many of the shops I wanted to go to were still open that day. We had a successful couple hours gathering kitchen supplies and before we knew it, it was already 1pm. My dad used to live in Tokyo for a few years so he suggested looking for something in the Kanda area.

I did a quick search on my phone and we found the area had many soba restaurants. Our first choice had a line out the door even though it was already 2pm. But there was another popular place around the corner. The restaurant was already crowded but we came at good timing and got a table right away. I ordered the yamakake soba (grated yam and soy sauce over soba) while my dad ordered classic soba (seirou soba) with aiyaki (duck and green onion pan fried). I’m not a big soba fan but this was delicious and the noodles were easy to eat. Maybe I was really hungry too. The portions might be considered on the small side but  it was a good choice for a late meal since it wasn’t too heavy.



dashi chazuke en


Even though our hotel in Shinjuku was nice, there was no breakfast included. So I looked for something near the station on my phone. There was an ochazuke place that seemed like a good breakfast option. It ended up being the type of place where you buy the food ticket from the vending machine before you enter. I ordered the grilled salmon ochazuke and you can choose the amount of rice from s, m, l size. For some reason, I chose the m size which was too much. Luckily, my dad was there to finish my food for me :p  The ochazuke came with pickled vegetables and a small piece of soft tofu. The dashi to pour over the rice is separate so you can control how much to add. Usually I’m skeptical of these restaurants but the food tasted much better than I expected. I ended up going here again (at a different location) for a light lunch with my foodie partner when he joined us in Tokyo.


d47 shokudo

mogumogu_112216.jpgAfter my parents visit in Seoul, we all jumped on a plane to Japan. My dad and I spent a couple of days in Tokyo while my mom flew to my grandparents and my foodie partner to join later. My dad and I hurried to our hotel in Shinjuku to buy a sim card before meeting my uncle. The sim card was successfully set up but after we met my uncle it stopped working! I was planning to meet an old friend for dinner at her work at a gallery in Shibuya Hikarie but I couldn’t contact her. I headed towards the department store hoping I would find her easily. Luckily I did! And she had forgotten her phone so we couldn’t contact each other anyways!

We headed to the restaurant down the floor from the gallery called d47 Shokudo. It offers a monthly revolving menu of teishoku (meal set) using ingredients from the different prefectures of Japan. They have a sister household goods shop with the same concept on the same floor. I ordered the Shimane teishoku and my friend ordered the Nara teishoku. My meal included a salt baked fish with miso soup, rice, and pickled vegetables. It was very simple but delicious.

For dessert, I wanted to try their limited time chestnut parfait but it was sold out for the day. We headed to the basement but the stores were also closing so we headed back to the top floor. There was a cafe bar offering dessert so we settled on tiramisu and ice cake. It was good to see my friend since it had been 5 years since we last saw each other. Shibuya Hikarie seemed to have a good basement food floor so that will be for next time too.