Okonomiyaki in Harajuku – Tokyo

Okonomiyaki in Harajuku – Tokyo

 

Hey Guys! Are you ready to start the week with more food?

Hope your answer is yes. Today it is time to talk about okonomiyaki. Let’s talk about the origins before we carry on. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake mixed with ingredients that you like. Actually, okonomiyaki means “grill what you like”. The basic dish is usually made out of pancake batter with cabbage, green onions, seafood, and dashi.

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Finding good okonomiyaki in Tokyo is very hard. This is because if you want to get  ‘real’ okonomiyaki, you should be looking at tickets to Osaka or Hiroshima because those are the regions where the dish originates from. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time required to go there, so after reviewing dozens of restaurants, we decided to go to Okonomiyaki Yai Yai in Harajuku.

 

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You will find restaurants that only specialise in different styles of okonomiyaki. One thing is sure, if you go to a good okonomiyaki restaurant, you will have a teppan (iron griddle) right at your table. Okonomiyaki places usually allow you to cook the okonomiyaki for yourself, but we didn’t have enough experience.

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First, we had the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki with kimchi, pork belly, and lots of green onions, and then we had the Osaka style one with seafood, cabbage, green onion, and ground pork. You guys might be wondering, what’s the difference? Don’t worry, I’ve got the answers.

Osaka style okonomiyaki is the most famous one. This is the type when you mix the ingredients into the batter and then you pan fry it as a pancake. At the end, you top it off with katsuobushi (dried shredded tuna) and mayo.

However, Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is when you cook all the ingredients separately and then you assemble everything, so it is like a layered pancake.

To be honest, both of the pancakes were crazy delicious.

Wishing everyone a nice week.

See you on Wednesday (yes, the post will be about food),

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

 

Shopping in Tokyo

Shopping in Tokyo

Hello everyone? How are you doing?

Hope you have some fun activities for the weekend. This weekend I’m visiting a lot of places, so expect more posts about restaurants. But today we are talking about one of my favourite activities to do, which is shopping, so consider this as a guide.

There are several places to go in Tokyo when it comes to shopping, but here I’m only covering the places where I have actually been in the past two weeks.

GINZA

Ginza is a very hype place to go to these days. The district gives home for huge department stores like Mitsukoshi, and Matsuya. Also, there is a good mix of brands out there from high-street retailers like H&M, Uniqlo to luxury houses like GUCCI, Dior, Fendi etc. And of course, the Dover Street Market is in Ginza as well. What I like about Ginza is that there is a pedestrian only zone, where no cars are allowed, which is very nice because you have more space to move between the crowds of people. You will find bars, restaurants, coffee shops there as well.

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Omotesando

Now Omotesando is the absolute winner to me. Omotesando is an avenue starting from Aoyama-Dori and ending at the entrance of the Meiji shrine. The architecture is very nice and the avenue is lined with zelkova trees.

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Here you will find mostly luxury flagship stores and the Omotesando hills mall as well. Other than that, there is a huge variety of coffee shops and restaurants starting at very low prices and then there are the fancy expensive places too. When you are at Omotesando, don’t forget to explore the small streets around the avenue. You can find small Japanese restaurants specialised in serving one type of food like gyoza, ramen, and okonomiyaki.

 

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I would suggest that you start at Aoyama-Dori and walk through the avenue. Then you can go to the Meiji shrine, or just turn right and you will find yourselves at the entrance of Takeshita street, the famous shopping street of Harajuku.

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Takeshita street requires patience to go through it. It is very tiny and usually, there is a massive amount of people trying their best to taste and buy everything. It is not that long though and it is worth to go there.

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Do not forget to stop at zaku zaku for a soft serve ice cream. It is one of the best soft serves you will ever have. Once you are finished and you are not exhausted, go to Laforet Harajuku, a department store with brands that I have never heard of, but it is worth the time to check it out.

That is it for today. Hope you enjoyed the reading.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

 

Japanese Coco Curry

Japanese Coco Curry

Hello everybody!

It is time to talk about food again. To be more specific, coco curry. Before I start, I want you to forget everything that you know about curry. This is required because coco curry is a completely different dish compared to the other types of curry. It is nothing like Thai or Indian curry.

Now if you are in Japan, getting coco curry should not be a problem. There is a restaurant chain called CoCo ICHIBANYA. When you are in a major city, in my case Tokyo, it is pretty easy to find it.

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Also, I am bringing some good news, they do have an English menu. A lot of the restaurants in Japan won’t have English menus, so usually, you are limited down to the illustrations and pictures on the menu if you don’t speak Japanese.

 

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First, the menu can be a bit confusing but it is super easy to order. Before doing anything, choose the base. This can be pork, beef, or hashed beef. Vegetarians don’t be alarmed, they have a vegetarian option as well. After you have chosen the base, decide how many grams of rice you want. I think 200 grams is more than enough but hey, there is the option to get 500 grams so somebody must love their rice. Now it’s time to add some heat. You can go up to level 10 spiciness, however, I heard that if they see you are not Japanese, even if you ask level 10 you would probably get level 5 or 6. After this, there is the option to add honey, but I skipped it. And for the finale, you can add extra toppings. This is where you can let your creativity and imagination carry you away. You can add veggies, meat, eggs etc.

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Ta-da, the coco curry is ready. It tastes nothing like the curries I had before, and it was amazing.

My order was:

  • beef curry with 200 grams of rice
  • level 4 spiciness
  • extra toppings: mushrooms, fried garlic, and cheese (yes, cheese because cheese is life)

That is it for today. Hope everyone is doing good.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Dominique Ansel Bakery – A must visit when in Tokyo

Dominique Ansel Bakery – A must visit when in Tokyo

Hey everyone! How are you doing?

Let’s start the week with a place recommendation. This weekend I went to the Dominique Ansel bakery with a couple of my friends. The bakery is one of the most talked about places nowadays. They make a lot of different cakes and sweet, but we went there for the special stuff. They are famous for their frozen S’more and they always have seasonal specialties. Now they have the what-a-melon soft serve and the creme de la corn soft serve. We went for the frozen s’more and the what-a-melon.

Thank you Yui – san for the video.

 

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Everything was heaven, however the place is a bit pricey, especially the seasonal offer. You can find the bakery at two locations in Tokyo. The first is in Omotesando (this is where we went), and the second one was opened recently in Matsuya – a department store in Ginza. I would personally suggest that you go to the Omotesando one because it is a lot bigger. The one thing you have to prepare yourself for… THE QUEUE. We went there pretty early so we stood about 20 minutes but in the afternoon it was crazy. But if you love food and sweets, it is definitely worth going there. If you want to try something else besides these, try the cronut or their Tokyo only cake, the Paris Tokyo.

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Paris Tokyo cake – “A twist on the traditional Paris Brest with matcha ganache and a soft passion fruit curd” 

Please do not ask for the cheesecake, it is just not that great and it is not the place to go to when you want cheesecake. Hope you will check this place out, I’ll leave the link to their website down below. Wishing you a wonderful week.

See you on Wednesday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Link: http://dominiqueanseljapan.com/en/food

 

 

The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingū)

The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingū)

Hello everyone!

Hope everything is well and you are doing something fun for the weekend. I am still enjoying Tokyo fully so it is time for another shrine post. By the way, Japan is filled with shrines and they are very beautiful. Make sure you visit some while you are here.

 

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I think the best way to approach the shrine is from Harajuku station. You will see a big torii gate, the one on the picture actually and just follow the route. Torii gates are the indicators that there is a shrine nearby. The shrine itself is inside Yoyogi park, which gives a very forest like feeling considering the fact it is inside the city.

 

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It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the shrine and you can see a lot of interesting things on the way there. These barrels on the picture are sake barrels. No, they are not filled with sake. When they are put out at a shinto shrine, you call them “kazaridaru” and they are donations and they serve as a symbol of bringing people and gods together.

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The shrine was finished in 1920, and just as Sensō-ji, it was destroyed in the Second World War but then it got rebuilt. This shrine felt more sacred compared with the previous ones. Probably because of the environment. You forget that you are in a big city.

 

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You can get your omikuji at the shrine, but I went for an ema. Ema are the small wooden prayers that you hang there and it is said that the priests – actually they are called kannushi- pray for them.

 

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When you are done with the shrine, don’t leave. Head towards the inner garden. There is an entry fee of 400 yen but it is worth it. The inner garden is considered a spiritual spot with high energy levels because of Kiyomasa’s Well. You can definitely feel the serenity of the inner gardens when you go there.

 

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That is it for today guys. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Ichiran Ramen Tokyo

Ichiran Ramen Tokyo

Hello everyone! How are you doing?

 

I hope all is good and your week is going great. Today it is time to talk about one of the best meals ever, which is Ramen. If you are in Japan, you will have tons of places to choose from. From specialised places to fusion restaurants.Basically, you can find ramen here everywhere. The question is, is it a good one? There are websites that tell you where to go to get the best ramen ever, so I decided to go to Ichiran.

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Ichiran is a chain of restaurants who specialise in tonkotsu ramen. Tonkotsu ramen is a type where the broth is based upon pork bones. They boil them for several hours and after that, they add the rest of the ingredients. Tonkotsu ramen is originally from Fukuoka, so if you really want to experience the original tonkotsu ramen, you should go there but I have some good news for you, Ichiran originates from Fukuoka as well.

 

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First of all, if you go to an Ichiran, do expect a queue. When you get to the entrance, first you have to get a ticket from the machines that you can see on the picture. Basically, you place your order here, so think ahead. After you paid and got your tickets, you can enter the restaurant.

 

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This is the time when you will get a so called order sheet, where you can customise your order. As you can see, there are a lot of options to do that. This is when you will wait until a booth is free.

 

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Sorry for not having pictures of the inside but the place was filled with people and it was actually pretty dark, and I didn’t really want to disturb anyone with my flashing phone. But this is how it looks like when you sit down. After that, you give the tickets and the order sheet to the waiter who is going to be standing in the small window in front of you. By the way, the tap on the left is for the water.

 

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When you finally have your ramen, dig in and don’t forget to slurp.

Itadakismasu! (いただきます)

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace – Tokyo

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace – Tokyo

Hello my dears! How are you doing?

 

The upcoming weeks, I will be talking about Japan. Tokyo to be exact. I already posted some of my adventures and this will continue until I’m here. There will be food recommendations, places to go etc. A couple of days ago after I visited some museums, I decided to check out The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. There are quite a lot of places nearby. I would suggest you go to Kudanshita station and from there you can visit the:

Nippon Budokan – an indoor arena used for judo competitions and concerts

Science Museum – research the exhibitions before you go because most of the descriptions are in Japanese

The National Museum of Modern Art – definitely a must see if you like art

 

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After you visited the above – mentioned places, you can head to the east gardens to have a nice walk or just to relax a bit. There is no entry fee however, they check your bags and you shouldn’t bring alcohol with you because drinking and smoking is prohibited. After all, we are talking about the Imperial Gardens.

 

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The gardens are quite big, and you should check the map of the different routes and exits available. There are toilets and vending machines inside the gardens so don’t worry too much about drinks if you didn’t bring any. You can also find some locals hanging out there.

 

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There is a very cute part of the gardens where they have lots of different plants and trees with explanation tablets which say the type and the breed of the plants. When you are finished with the gardens, take the exit towards Tokyo station. The area is filled with restaurants and coffee shops so you can have a nice meal.

Wishing you all a nice week.

See you on Wednesday,

The Fashion Eclectic.