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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Shinjuku National Goen - French Garden

What I thought was interesting about the Shinjuku National Goen (quite apart from the beautiful flowers)
was how lovebirds would spend the day there
basking under sun on a field of green green grass,
whisper sweet nothings into each other's ears, 
and get lost staring into in each other's eyes. 

Midori Sushi

The queue at Midori Shushi here could easily take up to 2 hours! 
But when the sushi is cheap and good like this, no wait is too long.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - South Observatory Tower

 Unbelievably (to me, at least), entry to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is free - 
but finding this entrance itself was no easy task. When we arrived, the lights were off,
and we thought that the building was closed.

Good thing we asked a passing-by guard who despite having trouble making us
 understand him, managed to lead us into some back alley and some entrance underground before 
we managed to get 220 meters all the way up here to catch this beautiful view of Tokyo City.

Meiji Shrine

Didn't think I'd be able to catch a wedding procession here at the Meiji Shrine, but then this happened.  

Ide Brewery Tour - the owner introducing the range of sake produced at the brewery.
Ide Brewery Tour - samples of the different types of  rice used to make sake. 

At the Ide Brewery Tour, we were showed how sake was made, 
and got a taste of some owner-recommended sake. 

Peak of Mt. Fuji - 3776 meters.
Peak of Mt. Fuji - 3776 meters

Loose volcanic rocks 

What I thought made the hike and descend at Mt. Fuji challenging were the loose volcanic rocks that line the trail (we took the Yoshida Trail - said to be the easiest trail). 

Lake Kawaguchi
Lavender Farm at Lake Kawaguchi

The pitstop at Lake Kawaguchi was a nice escape from all the hustle and bustle that Tokyo has to offer.

The other story I thought is worth sharing on my stay here is my lil' experience at the Onsen Togawasou.

Managed to steal some shots of this bath while it's empty

When I entered the Bath, what immediately took my breath away was how beautiful the view was,
but then it also struck me as odd for the Bath to have such a view.
And that's when I realized how "open" the Bath really was.

The real shocker however was the many naked women behind the curtain.
Trimmed, shaved, bushy - you name it,
washing themselves under the shower and soaking in the Bath.

And then the possibility of having to actually shower/soak naked with other women hit me.

But the experience is invaluable, for it at least taught me two things (as if I don't already know):
(1) that the stress of disrobing my Yukata before the judging eyes of other (naked) women is insurmountable-
(2) and the only other stress worse than that, is that of washing myself (and hard to reach areas) before the very same bunch of women.

Tsukiji Fish Market

At the Tsukiji Market is where I got to see a tonne of things I have never before 
 - and bewildered by the whole experience I am
like a little girl going to the market for the first time in her life

Basashi a.k.a Raw Horse Meat at Hôtô Fudô

When it came to food, we didn't just stop at what Japan is well-known for e.g. the sushi, sashimi, tempura and etc.. We went a tad bit further and had... raw horse meat.

Though I am still a little appalled by the entire idea of it, 
the brutal and rather uncomfortable truth is, the taste of raw horse meat is really quite out of this world - in a good way

Gyukatsu - deep fried breaded beef cutlet.

The other not so conventional (but a rave in Japan) delicacy is Gyukatsu. 
Google "Gyukatsu", and the first thing that pops up is Gyukatsu Motomura
I thought the sight and smell of the beef cutlet sizzling on the miniature brazier, and how it melted in my mouth after was quite an unforgettable experience. 

Yakitori (beef and eggplant) at Kushiwakamaru 

This Yakitori place is worth mentioning because the wait is the longest.
Didn't manage to take a picture of some of my favourites:
Bacon-wrapped Mochi
Bacon-wrapped Capsicum stuffed with Cheese!

Roppongi, Tokyo

Tokyo Tower from Roppongi

Two of my favourite shots were actually taken in Roppongi.

Coincidentally, the taxis drove by just when I pressed the camera shutter, 
giving the pictures the much needed depth and contrast in color. 

Much like life. Some of the best things happen when you least expect them.

Like, falling in love when you thought you couldn't.
Like, finding love when you stopped believing.