Sisters in Japan, Day 8: Yanaka & Ebisu, Tokyo

Our Tokyo mini-vacation continued with another early morning walk-about for me followed by group touring a little later in the day.  Since LR would feed at 6 and then go back to sleep, the whole family would sleep in until 10.  Delightful!  Except my jet-lagged self couldn’t manage it.

On Day 8, I took the subway to Nakameguro where there was another City Bakery!  SMS and I had found the Hiroo outpost when we lived in Japan but it was under renovation during this trip.  The pastries are amazing!  I bought one for there and one (two) to-go.  I was so happy!

Afterwards, I took the subway to Shibuya and walked over towards Aoyama.   I went to MUJI Found and bought a fold-over pouch, piece of linen cloth, and fermenting paste for pickles.  Guess which one of these things I still haven’t used?  Hint: It weighs 1 kg and rhymes with permenting faste.

I headed back to Hiroo with a stop in my favourite park.  It was a long-ish walk and by the time I got back, everyone else was set to head out on our field trip of the day, the Yanaka neighborhood and the Asakura Sculpture Museum.  SMS and I had been there before and I wanted to show Brady and Ricardo how cool it was.

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Unfortunately, no strollers were allowed (lots of stairs) so Ricardo and LR chilled outside while Brady and I went through.  It’s really an amazing traditional house with a more Western greenhouse artist studio in the front.

Afterwards, we walked around the Yanaka neighborhood, stopping for a beer/sake along the main pedestrian street.

 

Next, we walked towards Ueno Park but came upon the cutest outdoor cafe, Ueno Sakuragi Atari.  This was an awesome find!  We had a beautiful seat outside under a veranda with climbing plants while enjoying beers and snacks (marinated eggplant was my choice).   I suspect this cafe is in a few non-US guidebooks since there were a few tourists but no Americans.  I would definitely recommend this place in any Tokyo guide of mine- it was great!

We caught the subway in Ueno and headed back to Hiroo.  After getting ready, I went out to Bar Trench in Ebisu to meet Norfolk friends for a pre-dinner drink.  Bar Trench was super cool with great cocktails.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to drink them rather quickly, which was a little bit of a faux pas I think since we didn’t seem to appreciate the craftsmanship.  But we did!  Just quickly.

Also, at Bar Trench, and a few other places in Tokyo, I noticed that there’s a seating charge.  It’s usually Y300-500 with higher prices noted in the highly touristed Golden Gai.  It’s not a big deal, but something I hadn’t noticed when I lived there.  Maybe I didn’t go to nice enough cocktail bars?

After drinks, we met up with Brady, Ricardo, Rachel and other friends for a shabu-shabu tabe-houdai (食べ放題) and nomi-houdai (飲み放題), aka, all we could eat and drink over a 90 minute period.  We were very good at it!  It was a lot of fun because it was an experience I’d never tried before and we were with great company!

After dinner, we walked from Ebisu to Hiroo for our last night at the New Sanno.  The next day, we were going to part ways with the M-R clan heading back to Atsugi while I went to TeamLab in Odaiba followed by a quick overnight trip to Kanazawa on the West Coast of Japan.

 

 

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