Daylight savings puts me out of commission for a week; a 13 hour difference is definitely slaying me.  After last night’s ramen, I took a luxurious bath (upon checking in, I received multiple brochures regarding Japanese baths*) in my room and attempted to sleep. Key word: attempted.

I ended up watching a war between the sunlight and dense clouds. 

Breakfast:

Royal milk tea

Walked thirty seconds to the vending and ice machine on my floor to get this. You can buy beer from vending machines here! The tea is sweet, but incredibly strong as well. I quite enjoyed the beverage, but it did nothing to help me stay awake. Crashed shortly after this.

Dinner at Botejyu, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan: 

Gouda, tomato & avocado okonomiyaki — hiyashiame: sweetened ginger drink

Hiyashiame is described as a “popular drink in Osaka having a nostalgic taste” on the menu; what that means I don’t know. I’m beginning to think that the Japanese love their drinks sweet but strong. 

I did a search on “best places for okonomiyaki” in Tokyo, particularly around the Shinjuku area since I didn’t want to venture too far after sunset. Botejyu popped up several times and is reportedly eight minutes from my hotel; it took me close to thirty to find this place. Big thanks to one review that stated it was underground. Christina later told me that it was common in Asia to have many underground shops in transit areas; my only two real exposures to underground transit systems are the NYC subway and London tube, neither of which host malls underneath. 

Close-up of the okonomiyaki

To the point: it was an adventure finding this place and I was so ready to begin my food tour of Japan. This flavour was reported to be really popular — it also sounded really interesting and so un-Japanese that I had to try it. I imagine this would be a hit with those looking for a hearty American breakfast, but I felt sick after a couple bites. Okonomiyaki is served in two main styles: “Osaka” (presented here) and “Hiroshima” (with noodles, everything cooked in layers instead of one batter).

I did not expect the egg flavour to be so prominent; this truly tasted just like an omelette with cabbage, cheese, tomatoes and avocado. A third of the way in and I was close to regurgitating everything. Little known fact about me: I haven’t eaten eggs (plain eggs, not eggs in baked goods et cetera) since I was about five or six. And I abhor the taste. Suffice to say, I gave up after a little more than a third, wished I had a friend to help me not waste food, and ran to the nearest restroom after paying my bill. 

Dessert from Cha No Ikedaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan: 

Matcha & vanilla soft-serve

So I figured with nothing really in my stomach, soft-serve was a safe bet (hah, not for a mildly lactose intolerant person but I was just so close to this place!). Highly, highly recommend the soft-serve here. Creamy, not too sweet and potent matcha flavour. 

 

*Apparently the Japanese have designated bathing and showering areas in their bathrooms. And apparently they are really into baths (see Japanese onsen). So when in Japan…