Last weekend I spent alllllllll Saturday in Tokyo. I know what you're thinking, but Amie don't you always spend your Saturdays in Tokyo? ...yes but rarely do I spend an ENTIRE day there! Straight up 10am-10pm jam packed perfect Saturday. On most Saturdays either I'm teaching a class or Steph is, but this day we both happened to be off so we hopped on the train at 9am to meet up with our friends Nathalie, Tony, and their two kids.
We spent the day in an area of town called "YANESEN" which is a combination of three neighborhoods, Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi...get it?! YANESEN. clever Japanese people.
First stop was the main street in Yanaka where they have all these cozy, narrow, cute Japanese stores.
Bentos for 360 yen ($3) ....such a good deal!
We quickly learned that this area of Yanaka is famous for cats so they had cat snacks, shirts, bags, stamps, cups, you name it - they had it with a cat on it.
Hanging out with my handsome little homie, Khiro.
As we were cruisin down the street, we suddenly all stopped and said "WHAT SMELLS SO GOOD?!" That is when we looked up and saw the ever glorious booth selling katsu (various friend things of deliciousness). In Japan, a lot of food places are hyped up and suuuper popular and a surefire way to tell if something is trendy is if the restaurant has pictures of famous people and TV channels trying their food. This katsu place had a bunch of celeb photos out front so we knew it must be pretty bomb...
We all tried the Menchi Katsu (ground beef) and WHOAAAAA. Worth they hype. unreal. so crispy and flavorful.
Nathalie and sweet little Poiema!
donuts that look like cat tails, of course.
Steph, Nathalie and I are all photographers so we were talking this photo of our donuts while Tony was standing on the other side taking a photo of us taking a photo...here's the alternative view...
Nice view of the street we walked down.
We stopped by this shrine (didn't catch the name) which had a really rad modern design. Plus, these dude standing out front looked pretty boss.
haha he was ready for this shot.
We wandered through Yanaka on our way to Nezu for lunch. On the way we stumbled upon all these incredible tiny streets and I was going crazy taking photos. Just so much character!
One of the best finds was this TEEEEEny tiny bakery tucked behind the main road that sold bread in the shape of animals. haha. Honestly, so cute.
Luckily we were with two toddlers so it wasn't as embarrassing to order a bread roll shaped like a rabbit haha. Poiema even payed for her roll and said "airgatooo" in the cutest voice.
For lunch we were on a mission to get to THIS place. The best Udon I've ever had in my life! It's called Nentosu and it's just a 2 minute walk from Nezu shrine. I stumbled upon this place last year and ever since then I've been dreaming of coming back. Why do I not eat here every time i'm in Tokyo!?? That's the real question. It is this tiny restaurant that seats maybe, 15 people tops. When we arrived there was only a 10 minute wait or so and I was eagerly anticipating the deliciousness that was awaiting us...
The kids got plain udon noodles with a thick sauce on the side to dip into...it came in this cute bowl that looked like a jacuzzi haha and the noodles were sooooo long!
AND, THIS. THE GLORY OF GLORIES...THE BEST UDON I'VE EVER HAD. OHHHHHHH MAN. You think I'm exaggerating (ok maybe I do get too excited sometimes) but honestly - this stuff is like gold. The noodles are the perfect chewiness, the sauce is thick and flavorful, and daikon (raddish) adds the best texture, and the fried mochi on top...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? done. done. good bye. see you later. good luck ever trying to top this. Oh, and did I mention this bowl of pure beauty is less than $10?
The spot was a hit with everyone, and Poiema got to eat her rabbit bread for dessert. We wrapped up lunch and headed off to our next stop...and it was only 1pm by this time!!
more on the way...