Tokyo is the final stop of my 5 weeks trip. The attractions I have chosen to visit here are Tsukiji Market, the Metropolitan Government Building observatory, Shibuya, Akibahara and Ginza. The time required to take in the sights at these places are no more than 30 minutes each. What do i do with the remaining time? Eating and shopping of course! Unfortunately for us, jet lag was affecting our appetite. Furthermore, shopping made it difficult to stick to planned-for meals as one gets carried away. The thing about Japan is, though, food at shopping areas are all not too bad.
Tsukiji Market was the first stop and we had sushi at Sushi Maru. It was good. Pictured above is the grilled sashimi set. It doesn’t come cheap (each set typically costs 2000 to 4000 Yen), but i think it’s worth the price.
Weather was overcast and no Fuji-san was to be seen from the Metropolitan Government Building observatory. We missed it while on the Shinkansen to Kyoto as well. No fret for us as we’re sure we’ll be back to Japan.
At 9pm, we finally regained some appetite and went to the famed Ichiran Ramen. There was a queue even at this hour. Many in the queue were Taiwanese, some of whom had just arrived from the airport. The Ichiran Ramen branch at Ueno is especially convenient for foreign visitors since the Keisei Skyliner terminates at Ueno. About the Ramen: I fail to see what the hype was about. I chose the slightly less fatty broth, slightly harder noodles and half portion of the ‘secret recipe’ chilli powder. The chilli powder was quite hot, so much so that it spoils the taste of the broth, even when I have chosen to have just half portion of it. The noodles was a bit mushy and sticks to your teeth. The pork char siew felt like it was just cooked and was not seared at all. The broth was decent enough even if a little thin and I still finished it. The bowl of Ramen with extra noodle portion was 980 yen. The egg cost an extra 120 yen. Pardon the colour of the photo – the interior was rather dim. I suppose you could say this was part of the scheme employed by Ichiran to entice the customer.
You have to de-shell the soft boiled egg yourself, which was too much hassle, especially when you’re not given a spoon to scoop it out if you’ve halved the egg the way i did it. It is also served cold. Obviously it wasn’t marinated at all. I very much prefer the egg to be already dipped inside the noodles.
After i had a haircut at QB House in Ginza (just for fun), we went into a random Ramen place (Hokkaido style). Other than having a little too much vege in the bowl, everything was done right. Rich broth, egg de-shelled and in bowl, seared tasty pork belly, and chewy but not sticky noodles. It was cheaper than Ichiran Ramen, at 950 yen, egg included.