It took a 12-hour flight, a smooth train ride, a chaotic walk to the hotel from the train station, a quick tour around the Shibuya neighborhood, and a good night sleep to settle into Tokyo. We woke up to bright skies and were eager to explore the Japanese culture, both modern and old.
After an energizing cup of surprisingly good coffee and a quick breakfast, we took off for Omotesandó, a pleasant tree-lined street with shops and cafés. The street eventually leads up to the Meiji jingu, which we planned to visit that afternoon.
As we casually strolled along, my friends browsed through the huge Hello Kitty store and I was drawn to the pastry shop a few doors down, a good place to formally began my culinary exploration under my motto for food travel–Seize the Moment. Though I didn’t find the best Mont Blanc, the experience was enough to hint at new possibilities.
Soon after, we were contemplating what our first full meal in Tokyo should be. With all the suggestions and information we gathered from friends, we decided on classic Japanese–Katsu (deep-fried cuisine) at the Kaisen Restaurant.
The choices include tonkatsu (pork), shrimp, fish, potato, and many more. Even if you select pork, you have more decisions to be make. Do you want hire (pork filet), or rōsu (pork loin)? And what type of pork? Regular, special, red pork, or black pork? Even with our Japanese friend explaining the menu, it still took a while to decide. Since we didn’t want to miss anything, we ordered almost everything to sample.
As we moved on to Meiji jingo, our first few hours were a great start for discovering Tokyo.–but it was just the beginning . . .