In retrospect, I forgot one tiny detail when planning for the trip… I forgot to ask for restaurant recommendations! So I had no concrete ideas about what to eat in Japan, other than sushi, sushi and more sushi.
Since we stayed in the Shinjuku area, there are lots of places to choose from for a quick breakfast, before starting our day of sightseeing. On the second day we were in Tokyo, we discovered this bakery Gontran Cherrier, and I totally fell in love with their pastries.
For me, one of the the most exciting pastry was the matcha and citron (green tea and orange) croissant.
In addition to those gorgeous croissants, one of the highlights of the trip was having sushi for breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market. There were some really insanely long lines in front of some of the sushi restaurants (this line actually wrapped around to the parking lot on the side).
Instead of waiting in that line, we walked around a bit, and decided to go into this restaurant.
The service was really friendly here. The other patrons seemed to be regular customers who knew both the chef and the waitress. Oh, and the sushi was also delicious!
Since we didn’t do much planning about where to eat, a lot of times we would just pick a restaurant by sight. A few times, we went into a restaurant that didn’t have English menus. I could get by with reading some of the Kanji, but sometimes we just had to rely on either hand gestures, friendly staff or the plastic food models. At a restaurant near the Sensoji Temple was the one of several occasions I was thankful for the plastic food models outside of the restaurant. The short menu was only in handwritten Japanese, so I had to resort to the “point and smile and nod” method of ordering at this restaurant. I think I ate buckwheat noodles.
I was endlessly amused by all the plastic food models. Don’t these beverages look tempting? I think sometime in the future, I would like to attend a plastic-food making workshop. (I wonder if it’s as fun as making the real thing?)
This is part of an ice cream cone display case in front of one of the dessert shops. I was almost tempted to pay $15 USD for an ice cream sundae, just to see if would come to the table wearing a hat and carrying a bunch of chocolate.
In addition to some of the meals mentioned above, we also had a dinner at a conveyer belt sushi restaurant near the Shinjuku station, and okonomiyaki pancakes at one of the department store food court restaurants. Both were fairly tasty meals, and it was a treat to sit down to a meal in a pleasantly bustling restaurant to rehash the day and plan our itinerary for the next day.