meandmywonton

me and my wonton blog

Posts Tagged ‘japan

TOKYO & HAKONE – Travelogue

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We lost ourselves in Tokyo, and in exchange found so much….from ramen heaven tucked away in Roppongi basements, to hidden gems that line the side streets of  Shibuya and Shinjuku.  We logged miles on foot, by train, up the subway, down the subway, and on repeat. A quick stop for a beanie, scarf, life-saving gloves and a matcha green tea latte at Mos Burger (to rest our weary toes and hack into some wifi), and we were off again…

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I hear Disneyland is surreal. I suppose being in Disneyland Tokyo with cultural differences makes it even more surreal. Kids didn’t scream and shout, they politely waved and smiled. There were orderly long lines as I waited and rode my first spaceship ride. Whoop whoop! That place was dope, with the exception of the twenty minutes I spent looking for Marc.

My first time to the happiest place on earth – Tokyo edition, was preceded by an earthquake…a soft lullaby that gently swayed all sixty floors of our Tokyo Bay hotel. But apparently, 5.0 is nothing for the locals.

A Haiku for my last post on Japan feels appropriate, but I lack the motivation. Instead, I’ll pretend to wake up again in a ryokan swathed in five layers of comforters (ahhhhh) on a tatami mat, while mineral spring baths and a most wonderful kaiseki dinner and breakfast await. And yes, that is a syphon in the hotel bar.

Ahhh, Ginza. It’s a little slice of snack heaven on earth. Smile-inducing Belgian waffles followed by a dash across the busy intersection to Wako, where I passed the luxury goods as if I had tunnel vision, up to Ladurée for a macaroon, then back down towards (insert choir music) food mecca. Everything my greedy little heart and eyes desired…I could find here. With our tummies satiated, I slowed down long enough to pet a Celine bag on our way out.

I left Japan with a mad crush on fur-hooded shearling-lined green parkas – it was the choice coat for every other girl here, and they all wore it well. Upon returning to Japan, I’ll be sure to make a reservation at Inakaya, lest we be turned away again by the friendly sumo-like doorman. Silly us to think we could just show up.

I do really miss being able to get over-priced bottled hot green tea from the vending machines everywhere.

Sayonara Japan!

INSTANT GREEN TEA – Travelogue

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I admit, I drink instant green tea. In fact, I’ll boldly admit to loving it since discovering it eight years ago. I’ve never found it again since…until now. Ha!

To reacquaint myself, this time when we were in Japan, we searched, asked, and ducked into every grocery, corner, mom and pop, and convenience store. How do you say “nada” or “big fat zero” in Japanese? Absurdly, Marc found it while grabbing some snacks from the gas station on a pit stop to the airport. He bought out the store – all two bags. What a man.

But (insert choir music)…we found them by the shelf-full at the airport gift shop(!!!!), conveniently located next to the green tea Kit Kats. (Ironically, this is where instant green tea and I met all those years ago,  a chance encounter as I was unloading leftover Yens.) Hmmmmphr! At the airport, of all places. I guess only foreigners dare to drink instant green tea.

Cuz he looks pretty dope in his panda scarf from Harajuku….here is Wonton:

Written by kc ley

May 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

MT. FUJI – Wanderlust

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There’s something surreal about plunging down one of the world’s longest roller coaster with Mt. Fuji as your backdrop, or trying to scream politely (like my japanese neighbors) while being chased by zombies in the never-ending house of terror. (If AMC’s The Walking Dead came to life, I would be one of the firsts to go – sadly, from fright!)  House rules were given in the mother tongue leaving us in the dark (pun intended).

But nothing compares to the surrealism of catching a fiery red sunset as we coasted down the side of the Shy Maiden, who wears a cloak of clouds most of the time. We lucked out this day. We saw her as clear as the moon (who also made an appearance.)

One thing I’ll always remember for the rest of my life is the sunset – the color so fierce like the yolk from a preserved duck egg, it’s size and orange-red brightness punching my eyes, causing tear ducts to swell.

from 5th station:

one of THE best thing i ate (from an altitude of 2300 meters) : scallop jerky

the sun and the moon:

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN HAKONE AND TOKYO – Wanderlust

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So how come I can’t get a Doughnut Plant doughnut in SF, but I can get one in Tokyo, at a rest-stop no less?
But this was no ordinary rest-stop. This rest-stop wonderland…sigh. (aka Ebina.)

We were on our way from Tokyo to Hakone and this green tea doughnut made the trip across the country-side that much better.

The variety of restaurants, kiosks, groceries…is visual overstimulation leading to eye socket short-circuiting.

After a sampling of deep-fried fish skin chips, I settled on the doughnut and this Taiyaki.
The doughnut was about $5 bucks and this ama-ha-zing Taiyaki filled with hot custard was only $1.50 us.

Snacking, and back on the road, we passed the most beautiful sights, one of which was the un-escapable
Mt. Fuji.

A little Shabu lunch:

Off to Hakone!

Here are some more shots of Mt. Fuji :

Written by kc ley

March 9, 2012 at 1:29 AM

MICKEY D’S IN HARAJUKU – Wanderlust

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The Mickey-D’s in Asia are different than the ones in the US – so warm, well-designed, friendly. Not ghetto. I felt like I was given a moral hall-pass, and so I went for it. The fried chicken – which tastes like nothing I’ve ever eaten here – is so (i’m)-damned good!

I enjoyed it on the street amidst the colorful people on corners in Harajuku.  I’ll go back to feeling guilty later and eating ethically, but for those few degenerate minutes on the streets, it was bliss.

These bikes were all parked without locks. Ah…what a world they live in.

These combat boots served me well on this trip – good boots.

Written by kc ley

February 16, 2012 at 3:56 AM