Tremendous Tokyo

Here’s my best-of-Japan, a mix of Tokyo and Osaka:

Best part/scene/place: It is hard to decide, as Tokyo has so many different scenes, from the Hanami at the Meguro Kanal, to the bars of Shinjuku, to the Harajuku in the Park. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Tokyo.

Best drink (alcoholic): Sake. What else?

Best restaurant: Afuri Ramen, a tiny place in Ebisu, with the best modern Ramen variations.

Best bar: Advocates Café for beers at the street corner, then Dragon Men afterwards for a bit of dancing.

Most visited place: Difficult to tell as I did not develop daily routines there. Time was too short in Tokyo with two weeks, and even shored in the other places. It would probably be the bars

Song of the month: Gwen Stefani’s What you waiting for. Those Harajuku girls!

Best speciality: Ramen, Ramen, Ramen. I ate at least 20 different versions, all slightly different, all yummy. It’s a dish I will definitely integrate into my cooking.

Best sight: Again, hard to tell. The Tokyo Tower at night. The Harajukus in the park. The Geisha I saw hurrying over the street in nocturne Kyoto. The nightly shopping in Osaka. The museum in Hiroshima.

Most underrated/overrated: Most overrated maybe the Imperial Park in Tokyo. I expected a bit more, having been to japanese gardens all over the world. It is a nice park, and an impressively calm space in the middle of 37 million people. Underrated? I can’t really tell. Everything was mesmerizing. Shopping in a supermarket could be a visual adventure… everything was so strange, interesting, and over the top.

The most beautiful place: The falling cherry blossom leaves at Meguro Kanal. It’s an unforgettable sight, day or night.

The reasons to come back: I would like to spend more time in Tokyo, just to hang and soak it all in. On this trip, I was in a very touristic mode, visiting places, but not spending nearly enough time there. I’d like to do an Onsen in the winter, see the Fujiama, spend a few nights in Kyoto.