You may be wondering what I do in my free time here in Japan (as in the time I am not at school teaching) and the answer is simple - I hunt down new food spots to try.
Thankfully, I live close to Tokyo which is one of - if not THEE - top culinary city in the world so exploring the vast array of food options is a never ending hobby of mine. I usually search the web for highly reviewed restaurants, or sift through instagram food pages to find beautiful looking creations that can be found in this city...and recently I stumbled upon one incredible looking sandwich...
After seeing a photo of a beautiful sandwich...I immediately knew I had to find the next free day in my calendar and go to the restaurant ASAP. The sandwich spot, King George, just so happened to be in Daikanyama aka one of my favorite neighborhoods of Tokyo so I gathered my two friends Yuki and Steph and made a day out of it.
BEHOLD. VEGETERIAN + TURKEY.
We got to the spot and saw a long line outside and knew it must be as good as the photos make it out to be...and even though there were 10 people in front of us, we got in pretty quickly (15 minutes). The interior is so cute...artsy cozy hipster vibe...we walked up to the third floor and sat at a nice table and ordered right away. I got this BEAUTY which is the vegetarian + turkey on sesame bread. Not only did it look amazing...it also tasted BOMB!!
Steph got the 8th avenue, which is also a fan favorite. The sandwiches were HUGE and filled you up to the brim making the 1500yen price not so bad. Also, we chatted with the owner who started the restaurant with her husband a few years ago. They are from Canada/Hawaii but now live in Tokyo and started the shop because they noticed a serious lack of good sandwiches in Tokyo...the American in me almost cried out of gratitude to them!
After devouring that sandwich, we went walking around some of my favorite shops in Daikanyama.
After meandering around Daikanyama we walked 10 minutes over to Naka-Meguro which is a hot spot for young working people and a cool place to get coffee and shop.
Typical High School students and their uniforms (this was on a Saturday and they were still wearing them! Must have had a school event...)
A lot of dramas (tv shows) are filmed in Naka-Meguro by the water and it is an ideal place for people to live (if you have a lot of money).
We made a pit stop at Onibus coffee...a popular spot for coffee aficionados. Leave it to Tokyo to be home to some of the coolest coffee shops in the world.
After a nice cup of coffee we headed to Traveler's factory (they also have a story in Narita airport) where they sell the cutest leather journals, pens, notecards, etc. After spending 30min browsing through all their goods, I finally bought a spiral notebook, a bookmark, and a few pens. This might be my new favorite store in Tokyo.
In Japan, practically everyone hangs their clothes to dry. Although I have a two-in-one washer/dryer machine, I usually just use my washer and hang dry my clothes. The thing is, I am still a bit lazy and hang my clothes over my doorframe, or on my door handles haha so I greatly admire and respect people who take the time to hang their clothes properly. This apartment is probably home to an elderly couple but that is me just guessing based on their fashion style and immaculate pinning!! I aspire to be like them.
I loved this grandpa just hanging out outside.
As I mentioned before, Naka-Meguro is a popular location for a lot of Japanese dramas. There is a popular drama that airs on friday nights and one of the main characters is a chef at a restaurant...THIS restaurant to be exact! haha. We walked past it and recognized the long walkway leading to the front of the restaurant and had a slight freak out moment knowing that some famous Japanese actors have stood in this exact spot! lol.
After coffee at Oni bus and shopping at Travelers, we walked back to Daikanyama to get the ever popular Paletas fruit popsicles. The line was out the door but it moved quickly. Now that the weather is warming up, it seems as if everyone wants their hands on some fresh fruit popsicles. These did not disappoint.
So after a nice afternoon, Steph and I said bye to Yuki and headed to Suidobashi station where we met Ikeda sensei for a Tokyo Giants baseball game. Ikeda sensei has a relative who got us discounted tickets and he invited us to join him and his son Kai for our first Japanese baseball game!
One obvious difference between American baseball games and Japanese baseball games is the FOOD. I am talking bento boxes, curry, yakisoba, karage (fried chicken), edemame, etc...not to mention 'beer girls' aka girls who run up and down the aisles with giant backpacks filled with beer refilling peoples' cups time after time.
I've never been much of a baseball fan, but living in Japan has changed that a bit. Japanese people are serious about their baseball teams and games are really lively and fun. In this game, the Tokyo Giants played the Hanshin Tigers and were playing well the first few innings but then gave up 4 runs in one inning and 2 home runs in the 9th!! Basically, it ended in a blowout.
Awesome plate of Karage and french fries!
Tokyo Dome is exactly that, a dome...making the weather next to perfect (no sweater needed, and not too hot either) and we had so much fun cheering on the teams and watching the many mascots dance around.
We took the train back to Kashiwa with Ikeda sensei and Kai, who conveniently live 5 minutes from where Steph and I live. We passed the time by playing Japanese word games and talking about Kai's school friends. Funny thing, the lady who sat next to us at the ball game thought Kai was a girl because of how cute he is! haha.
It was an awesome jam packed day in the city! Definitely going back to King George to try more of their sandwiches (and salads) and definitely going to another ball game soon!