I visited the University of Tokyo for koyo on day 12 of my Japan trip. University of Tokyo or Todai is known for its beautiful ginkgo trees during fall and indeed it was REALLY stunning! After our visit, we realized it was time for lunch. Without any idea what to eat, we checked out the shops opposite the university and settled on this particular one called Hotto Motto ほっともっと where its main customers are mostly students.
Hotto Motto is a fast food restaurant that serves take out bento aka lunch box. Hotto Motto is not a dine-in restaurant, hence you can only find chairs for you to sit and wait for your order.
Use the ticket machine to buy meal ticket.
There’s one really famous ramen shop located at a small alley in Ginza, Tokyo that’s been garnering lots of fans and curious gastronomers in recent years. Ginza Kagari is the name and its signature ramen, the tori paitan soba (chicken soup ramen) is really no joke! What more? It has a Bib Gourmand status awarded by Michelin. Bib Gourmand means exceptional good food at moderate prices (Wiki). My other Bib Gourmand’s adventure were at Kiji and Fukutaro (both at Osaka).
So on this faithful day 11 of our Japan trip, we arrived at 10am to make camp at Ginza Kagari’s front door. We were first of course. Tsk, it opens at 11am. However, because it was raining, we decided to take shelter at the nearby Matsuya Ginza 松屋銀座, a classy department store. We were all particularly fond of the basement level (read = food!). We went back to Ginza Kagari at 10.40am and were still first in line. Must be the rain. Hehe.
Do note that you cannot queue for others and they only accept cash. So come prepared with Yen and patience.
The front door of Ginza Kagari. It’s not opened yet. While waiting, take the menu and decide what you want.
For our day 11 dinner in Tokyo, we went to a famous chain restaurant by the name of Tempura Tendon Tenya at Ueno. It’s just a stone throw away from Ameyoko, a famous market street. You might noticed that we dine at chain restaurants a lot in Japan. Yeah, save $$ lo. Although it’s not cheap in my standard, at least it’s cheaper than many others restaurant. Haha
I’m sure you know what’s tempura. I didn’t know tendon is actually a dish name until I’m about to write this post and find out more about the name of this restaurant. Tendon means tempura on a bowl of rice, just like gyūdon means beef on a bowl of rice or butadon, pork on rice. Tempura + donburi = tendon.
The crowds at 6pm. Thankfully there were an empty table.
We spent our whole of day 10 at Tokyo DisneySea. Had super late lunch (=3pm) at Mamma Biscotti’s Bakery inside Tokyo DisneySea (click link to see what we ate if you’re interested). For dinner, we went for something which I can say classic; ramen! So happened our point of exit from Disney Resort line at Resort Gateway Station brought us to a shopping mall called Ikspiari. We were really tired, and so dining there to recharge our battery was the best choice. As soon as we saw Ippudo at the mall’s directory, we knew we gotta try it at least once in Japan.
I’ve tried Ippudo in Taiwan and Malaysia. While the one in Taiwan (my first time) blew me away, the one in Malaysia (The Gardens) was a real disappointment. Read on to find out where does Ippudo in Urayasu stands in my book.
Ippudo at Ikspiari is located on the 3rd floor of Gracious Square. There was a queue when we arrived. I think we waited for about 20 minutes. The condiments offered here are different from the two other Ippudos except beni shoga (pickled strips ginger) if I’m not mistaken.
When I was in Fujikawaguchiko on day 8 of my 2016 Japan trip, my dinner plan was to eat hōtō at the super awesome futuristic igloo-like structure (it’s actually cloud shaped but looks more like igloo to me) of Hōtō Fudō’s Higashi Koiji Store. However, luck were not on our side as they were sold out for the day (as early as 5pm!). So, we went to their Kawaguchiko Station Front Store. And… they were sold out too! Wow, are their hōtō really that good? I really wanted to find out.
The next day (day 9), after our visit to Oishi Park and Kindaruma, we went to Hōtō Fudō (Kawaguchiko Station Front Store) for lunch at 12.20pm. This time there were no hiccups. Yay! It was our last meal at Fujikawaguchiko before we depart to Tokyo. We didn’t went to the Higashi Koiji Store this time as the taxi fare from yesterday’s night were quite pricey. So, we settled for the store nearest to us.
Hōtō Fudō (Kawaguchiko Station Front Store).
We arrived Tokyo from Fujikawaguchiko by bus in the evening on day 9. After checking in our hostel, we went looking for dinner nearby as it was already quite late by then and we’re really tired too. We settled on Yayoiken やよい軒, which is just 3 minutes walk from our accommodation. Yayoiken is a chain dining restaurant specializing in teishoku (Japanese set meal) and donburi (rice bowl dish). Ironically, our first dinner at Kyoto was also a teishoku. You can find Yayoiken everywhere in Japan and also in USA, Asia (Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore) and Australia.
This beautiful mackerel! 😍