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Melbourne, VIC
Australia

Les Petites Choses

T O K Y O

Kelven Ng

We had been waiting a long time to make a trip back out to one of our favorite places on earth, Japan. Luckily, we got our chance to do that during the Christmas season again (we were here in the Winter season of 2013). Since this was not our first trip to Japan, we wanted to focus less on the touristy things and instead key in on the things we care about most (eating). The result was that our entire itinerary was centered around the restaurants we had to visit.

Here are a few shutter clicks from our walks around the city.
Tokyo-Wandering.jpg

Where we stayed



Tokyo Conrad

We stayed at two different hotels during our stay in Tokyo. The first three nights were spent in the Tokyo Conrad. It was hard to imagine that we could have found a more comfortable and luxurious stay in Tokyo. Since it was our first trip in over (an exhausting) half a year, we figured we would spoil ourselves a bit. We felt spoiled.

The Tokyo Conrad is located in the Shiodome area which is within walking distance to Ginza (for shopping and eating) and the Tsukiji Fish Market. Both locations were about 15 minutes away. We made full use of the location and walked around a bunch. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
Tokyo-Hotel-Conrad.jpg
Ascott Marunouchi

For our second leg in Tokyo, we decided to switch it up and stay closer to Tokyo Station. The Ascott Marunouchi is fairly new and had only been open for a few months but the pictures were of a hotel that was very modern, clean, and very spacious for Tokyo standards. When we got there, we were not disappointed - in fact, it may have been nicer and definitely newer than the Conrad.

Proximity wise, the Ascott Marunouchi was only about a 15 minute walk from Tokyo Station. You could get there by foot or by taking the Marunouchi line just 1 station. We felt spoiled. The view. The quality of the finishings. The space. It was an extremely relaxing and luxurious stay for our last leg of our trip to Japan. We will be back.
Tokyo-Hotel-Ascott.jpg

Where we ate



Since our trip was all about eating, we did a lot of it. Here are a few of our highlights in no particular order.

Ginza

Tempura Kondo - Our first foray into tempura fine dining, we were pleasantly surprised at how refined the entire meal was. We came here for lunch on a weekday and the entire restaurant was booked full. Kondo has Michelin stars to its name and we enjoyed ourselves but would not say that it was mind blowing (maybe we set ourselves up for disappointment there).
Tokyo-TempuraKondo.jpg
Sushi Tokami - Located in Ginza, Sushi Tokami was our first sushi stop this trip. Hiroyuki Sato is the head chef that has propelled this restaurant since its opening less than 5 years ago to now being one of the top sushi restaurants in Tokyo. The shari (rice) was plentiful (holding a fine balance between just right and too much) and was a bit heavier on the vinegar. The neta was not seasoned too much as the chef relied on the fish being served to really serve as the main driver of flavor. The meal felt similar to Sushi Sho (3 Michelin star, highly regarded restaurant in Tokyo) but we enjoyed Sushi Tokami more.
Tokyo-SushiTokami.jpg
Sushi Iwa - 4 years ago, we came to Sushi Iwa and had what we would like to call it the best meal of our lives. This time, we could happily call this meal one of our top 3. The selection was on point and we were happy that they kept one of our favorite dishes from 4 years ago. We would highly recommend anyone who comes to Tokyo in search of a fantastic sushi meal to come here.
Tokyo-SushiIwa.jpg
Sushi Suzuki - Our last sushi meal on this trip was at another recommended Sushi-ya in Ginza. The omakase this time required us to be a little more adventurous.
Tokyo-SushiSuzuki.jpg
Tsukiji Market

Daiwa Sushi - A well known sushi-ya in the Tsukiji Market that is only beaten by Sushi Dai in popularity, we were excited to try this place so we could do the comparison ourselves. We came away unimpressed unfortunately. The meal was rushed and from our memory, the meal we enjoyed at Sushi Dai left a greater impression.
Tokyo-TsukijiDaiwa.jpg
Nakaya - Since we were staying so close to Tsukiji, we decided to roam back on another day for breakfast. We stumbled into this kaizen-don restaurant. A bowl of rice topped with delicious seafood, we had an incredibly satisfying meal. A far better experience overall than we had at Daiwa Sushi. Easily the best Chirashi/Kaizen don we have had anywhere.
Tokyo-TsukijiDon.jpg
Shinjuku

Ebisoba Ichigen Ramen - We love ramen and we enjoyed 5 delicious bowls of this stuff while we were in Tokyo. Ebisoba Ichigen though, may have been our favorite. They have multiple locations but the original shop is based in Sapporo. The visit was well worth it as the shrimp broth was so unique to anything we have ever had outside of Japan.
Overall

Japan is amongst our favorite places on earth. This was only our second time here together but we left just as we came - longing to visit again. The food, the culture, the indescribable feeling that this country gives us keeps us coming back. Though we just left, we will be coming back sooner than later.