Lost In Japan: Day 9 – Hello Shinjuku

For these posts in Japan I actually wrote the bulk of the text during downtime (train/plane/bus journeys and late evenings mostly) so I could have a nice way to properly look back on my honeymoon.

Yet again we are on the move. There was still so much in Kyoto that we did not get a chance to do in the two days we spent touristing about. Still, I guess that’s why I am planning trip number two for… who knows when. All I know is that Nara, Osaka and Sendai are candidate cities.

After a breakfast of rather delicious pastries from the Kyoto station (my favourite was the pesto and bacon one). 

It was all aboard the Hikari line once more (fourth time now) for our two and three-quarter hour trip to Tokyo. Apart from a woman who dropped her phone between the train and the platform. I think we had to leave her behind as well as her husband and an older couple who I am venturing were her parents. Every modern commuters worst nightmare!

Of course, we brought some bento boxes with us. It took us ages to decide on the ones we wanted (the agony of choice) but I went for pure cosmetics and got one with Mt Fuji on it. Makes sense since this this trip is meant to afford some of the best views as long as you sit on the left hand side of the train. Being saddos (or smartos) we got a later train just for this view… which sadly never materialised because it was too cloudy,

I also opted to go for some Hikaru Utada music for some of the journey. Listening to J-Pop on a bullet train? Talk about living the dream! I just wish I had a CD player to play the Hikaru Utada album I bought in Hiroshima.

List Item: Try half of the combined 1001 food books

Food item: Umeboshi

Since this was one of the first days on this trip where I might not have been able to link back to a particular food/sight/other list item I was on the lookout for one of two foods. Luckily for me, I managed to find a dessert onigiri that contained umeboshi (pickled plum).

Hubby opted, as his dessert choice, some mochi triangles stuffed with sweet potato. I might have swapped some riceball away in order to try this.

Konichiwa Tokyo! And hello Shinjuku, the base for our remaining time in Japan. But before we explore a bit, it’s time to settle into the hotel and think about dinner.

Food item: Fugu

Before heading for Japan my mum tried to make me promise that I wouldn’t have fugu. I could not make that promise. The thing is, if something is safe enough that there is a restaurant chain (think more Prezzo than Pizza Hut) where parents feel able to bring their children… what is there to worry?

That’s pretty much my thought on the matter. So we went to Torafufu in Shinjuku (eventually, because Tripadvisor sent us the wrong way) in order to try fugu – in three different ways: sashimi, battered meat and fried skin.

When sliced for sashimi it doesn’t really taste of much. We had a soy-ponzu sauce with the fugu and you actually needed it. I have to say that it was a lot nicer deep-fried. It tasted a lot like cod cheeks/kibbeling when deep fried. Although, I have never had to contend with a deep fried pectoral fin before. The fried skin? Well there isn’t much to say other than it tasted like the salt and cayenne pepper it was seasoned with.

Progress: 766/933

After defying death it was time to explore Shinjuku… and I have to say that, as an area, it felt like Time Square on ‘shrooms. The whole place is a marvel of neon signs, huge buildings and crowds of people. I can see how it can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle.

We decided that we would just follow the lights. It lead us to a seven floor arcade, a 17-screen cinema that was showing Pixels (remember that film?) at 1am and so many many restaurants.IMG_2607

Now for most of this I was walking ahead like an eager-eyed child, but eventually I have hubby the reins and said he should choose the next direction. That is how was accidentally ended up in the “sex area” of Shinjuku. We found this out because a guy came up asking if we wanted beer, sex or massages. Saying no to these he got very affronted and basically yelled “well what do you want then, this is the sex area”. Now I’ve never met a purveyor of sex before, but he seemed awfully rude. I did my best not to guffaw and hubby quickly led us back out and I took the reins once more.

The long exploring and altercation with a sex salesman made us hungry again, so we broke a little rule of ours and bought a snack in Burger King. The rule being that it had to be Japan exclusive – so we got a Shogun burger, because why not.

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