Japan Travelogue P2 - KYOTO/TOKYO
We had about 3/4 of a day left in Kyoto and our Shinkansen train back to Tokyo was at 5pm so we woke up early to head to Arashiyama!
We took the train & reached at about 10am and the place was already packed. Like, tourists EVERYWHERE.
We had a few things we wanted to see but our main trip there was to try the Michelin-star unagi place lol.
The place is called Unagi Hirokawa and it opens at 1130am. But queueing starts as early as 10am. Some hotels can make reservations for you but most people just queue tho.
We arrived at 1030am to check out the queue before deciding if we wanted to sightsee first or be kiasu and queue first. There was alr ~30+ pax ahead of us so we just kiasu and queue first lol. #singaporeans
K, not really. Cause we read that if u arrive later and join the queue late, the wait can be up to 3 hours. That’s RIDICULOUS. I don’t even queue 3 hours for like makeup and skincare, dude.
There’s about 30 seatings inside but even if you’re a company of 2, they will sit you at a table of 4 and you get the entire table to yourself. So it goes slow even tho we were so early okay.
We started our queue at 1030am and we only got in at 12ish??
By 11am, this was the queue 😑😑😑
It was insane, if u ask me. There were plenty of locals and tourists amongst the mix so we had really high hopes.
The waitress will show u either a Jap or English menu and the thing is, you can’t place a second order. So it’s a one-time thing. Even if u wanna pay, also cannot lol. I think they have limited amount and have to feed everyone yknow.
If you ask me, you can go to Obana (near Tokyo and I wrote about it in my last Jap travelogue which you can find on Beautypeadia.com > Rambles > Travelogue) and get better unagi.
Maybe it’s not better, maybe it’s the same. It’s just that I didn’t have to wait 2 hours to get my freaking food lah?!
I googled the unagi place and now I get why so many people say that the 3-hr wait is not worth it. It’s really not lol.
If I had to wait 3 hours to get my food, it better blow my mind??? It didn’t. Obana was really good and I daresay the best I ever had so that’s really a much better alternative to consider.
Then we just went ahead and walk around Arashiymaya! Cross some really famous old bridge...
Saw more cherry blossoms...
And took more pictures. Hahaha tripod to the rescue again. It wasn’t hard trying to get people to take for u but it’s less stressful with a tripod! U can adjust where u want it, retake it multiple times etc. Much easier!
On my tripod:
My dad got it for me from a random shop in JB. It’s brandless & the price is around SGD$25 and I checked Qoo10 etc. and it costs about the same if u buy from there. It has the attachment for iPhones and if u remove that, u can use a regular camera on it.
It isn’t the steadiest tripod but it’s light and easy to just throw in the husband’s backpack and carry around.
Do I look slightly pregnant in this picture. Im not. It’s my food baby. There’s just unagi inside HAHAHA #truth
Then idk why we decided to hike up and see 🐒🐒🐒
If you’re gonna go up the monkey trail thingy, be prepared to climb plenty of stony stairs and hilly steps and whatnot.
The monkeys are all at the top of the trail and if you’re steady, it takes about 20-30 mins and another 15 to come back down. The entrance fee is 500Y, I think.
I was cursing and swearing as I climb up and wondered if it was worth it cause erm, monkeys??? But.....
It was fun and the monkeys were cute but I would go for this view. It’s amazing! Very very breathtaking haha
Then we walked to the Bamboo forest and omg it was packed. So packed. Plus the walkway wasn’t really very big lol.
The bamboos were pretty magnificent and it’s really a sight! Worth the walk. We didn’t wanna take out our tripod here cause it was hella squeezy and I didn’t wanna be a nuisance. This couple walked by and the nice Spanish lady offered to help us take cause she saw us looking around. So nice!
Then the husband’s family flew in and we booked a day-tour around Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms! Husband booked it thru Klook and it was pretty ex imo.
It cost $175-ish per person and the tour starts at 830am. The first two sites are garden/park areas and the first is Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden and second is Showa Kinen Park! Lunch was provided at some random restaurant that served like kaiseiki-bento box or smth.
Then we headed to see the Tokyo Tower and took a cruise at Asakusa.
I freaking love 7-11 coffees here ok. I wanna buy a carton back. It’s so convenient and SO NICE.
The park/garden were really gorgeous and very nice for viewing cherry blossoms. Like I saw plenty everywhere in Kyoto but I think in Tokyo, these parks/gardens are still the best places for viewing.
Everyone is so..peaceful there lol. We saw these cute old men just painting the scenery (DAMN GOOD BTW), some people walking their dogs and even one walking her rabbit in a pram hahaha
The area was also definitely GORGEOUS for photo-taking.
The temperature plummeted that one day so I was wearing all my jackets LOL still froze to death tho. To think I come from Boston.
The husband added that I have to write down that that is NOT his belly HAHAHA he just had plenty of maps and papers stuff into his pullover pocket.
But these flowers made the cold pretty worth it. They are sooooo pretty.
We reached around 11plus in the morning and it was pretty quiet! There were some tour groups but cause the area was so spacious, it definitely wasn’t crowded. There was also different species of cherry blossoms blooming at the same time so it was really gorgeous!
I was actually fucking freezing cause it was SO COLD but I was all dressed up so I really wanted to get a picture. Also, I thot my two jackets managed to match quite well. It’s unintentional cause I never thought I would need to wear 2 at once lolz
My ultimate favourite white dress from #TTR! It’s SO flattering and so comfortable.
This was the lunch provided and erm, I didn’t quite like it cause it was cold. If there’s a way we would go out and find food ourselves, I’m sure can find better jap food.
Then it was viewing at Tokyo Tower! Which also wasn’t much cause all I see are buildings and it’s hella boring there. Plus the weather was awfully crappy and it was v cloudy’ There is, however, plenty of souvenir and food stuff at the basement lol.
For dinner, we were on our own and the husband found this GREAT izakaya-place! It’s called Andy’s Shin Hinomoto!
They take reservations and if u call, u can get a seat at the second floor which was non-smoking. We decided on it too late so we only managed to get a confirmed seating on the first floor (smoking).
But tbh, the suction was pretty good and we weren’t really affected by the smoking even tho a TON of Japanese people were smoking. The second floor seemed to have more tourists whilst the first was completely packed with Japanese and they seemed to have just finish work or smth cause most were in suits and workwear. It’s very popular and I must say, the food was amazing.
We ordered most of the special’s menu and everything tasted bomb - esp. the King Crab! Super sweet.
On our last day there, we decided to go for one last ramen and this was recommended by the hotel. It’s called Mugi to Olive and has a Michelin-star leh!
We queued for 15-20 mins during lunch time so it wasn’t bad at all. There was about ~20 seatings or less.
They seemed to specialize in clam ramen and soba? Not your regular tonkatsu ramen if that’s what you like.
The noodles were good and I really like the soup base! The husband had the dipping soba and it was great too. But my in-laws really didn’t like it haha
Made our last trip to Family Mart/Lawson’s/7-11 to grab all the last-min snacks lol. These Starbucks cups are SO CUTE?
And also one last trip to Shinjuku to grab souvenirs cause I hadn’t had time to shop??? Sad.
I really wanted to stock up stuff from the drugstores but I really didn’t have time leh.
Also, my Japan drugstore haul is up on IG (@/Beautypeadia) ! Didn’t wanna do a post cause it’s damn little only plus I haven’t try most of the stuff lol. So head over there to see what I bought k!