Blogs from Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya April 25th 2020

When dining with neophytes at a Japanese noodle bar, the question always comes up. What are the various types of noodles, and which one will I like? The short answer, try them all. Or just order what I order! So, basic flour and water, like most pasta, right? But in Japanese noodle cooking, the broth is the key. Stories abound, as some Japanese artisans trace their secret recipes back a century or more. And noodle apprenticeships can last decades! In Japan, there is a fellow who travels around the entire country, doing nothing but reviewing ramen! As I recall, he averages about two bowls of ramen each day. You can find his story in "Rice, Noodle, Fish", a great read for those of you who love Japanese food. I use the book as a reference quite ... read more
Noodle soup
Shirataki noodles
The mighty ramen

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya November 20th 2018

After a bit of investigation from my lovely colleagues at the airport (it's good to have contacts), I find out my case is currently at Narita airport and has been since yesterday. I'm a bit miffed as to why they haven't delivered it already, especially as my only pair of boots are starting to fall apart on me and I really don't want to have to go out and buy new ones. I'm ruminating over the situation when a second later the room phone rings and I perk up with the hope its good news about my case. I am absolutely ecstatic when she confirms it is, and I practically run down to reception. My good karma for helping a women with her case has paid off lol. I run back up the stairs with the ... read more
Myths of tomorrow murial
Shibuya crossing
Me being all artsy

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya August 5th 2018

My next day in Tokyo started with a trip on the metro to the Shibuya are of the city. I had previously looked at the map of the metro and determined it was much like a bowl of multicoloured spaghetti and chickened out of doing it by myself so I was happy to be going on the metro with Michie so I could try and understand it. We took the short walk from the hotel to the nearest metro station and set off for Shibuya. We arrived after around 15 minutes and I had a much clearer understanding of how to find my way around the metro station! When you exit the station there is a statue of a dog - Hachikō - I had never heard of this dog, but, he is quite famous in ... read more
Shibuya intersection
Shibuya intersection

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya May 9th 2018

Our hotel room is on the 30th floor, and the view out to the south over Tokyo is spectacular. What is also obvious from the view is that it's still raining, and it doesn't look overly warm either. We set off towards Shibuya station. We were right about the temperature; I think it might be warmer back in Melbourne right now. It feels like everyone in Tokyo except us has an umbrella, which makes negotiating crowded footpaths a bit challenging. We also see lots of people wearing face masks. We assume they're not all surgeons on their way to a day of heart transplants, so we're not sure whether they're wearing them because they're sick or because they don't want to get sick. I hope it's not the former, because if it is, a significant proportion ... read more
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Nezu Museum Gardens
Issy being silly

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya May 8th 2018

Our alarm goes off at 5am. The immigration staff at Melbourne Airport are in their usual form, and are ordering everyone around as if they’re primary school children. They are particularly severe on the elderly and anyone whose understanding of English is a bit limited. We arrive at Narita Airport and buy a SIM card for our phone. The girl behind the counter gives it to us very respectfully with two hands and a slight bow. I take it from her with one hand and then quickly remember reading somewhere that when someone gives you something in Japan it must be received with two hands, and that to do otherwise is considered highly disrespectful. I break into a cold sweat, and begin to wonder whether coming to Japan might have been a huge mistake. We’ve spent ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya December 25th 2017

Today, our morning started at 8 A.M. where Kate's father drove us from Taishan to Guangzhou. After saying goodbye to the family, I told Kate that we will have to come back to her home if we can every year when we have the holiday break. After getting on the plane at 2:00PM, Kate and I arrived in Japan at 7PM. When we arrived at customs, it took us an hour to get through. By the time we met up with Ralph and our other friends, it was already 11 PM. After a late night we decided to call it an early night. Today, Kate and I woke up and did a quick some quick shopping in the Shibuya market. Surpisingly, there were still people working on Christmas day. We met up with my friends and ... read more
Shoppiny in Shibuya
Sushi in Japan

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya April 19th 2017

We are hurtling to the airport on the 16.40 Narita Express, Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo blurring by. We missed all this with our late night arrival. The darkness from two weeks ago is filled with city and suburbs. The train line is part of life with no buffer zone between track and buildings to speak of. They don't have the luxury of space we take for granted back home. The houses get bigger and the apartment blocks fewer as we get closer to Narita. Space is still at a premium with car pack stackers still common. Rice paddies and bamboo forests now surround the houses and people go about their daily lives. I see a farmer walking on the ridge between two paddies with his dog in tow and children, finished school for the day are ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya April 13th 2017

On the shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo today. This train is even faster than the Thunderbird from Kanazawa. Yet still not the fastest. The Japan Rail Pass doesn't allow for using the Nozomi and I can only imagine the standard and speed of those premium trains. The Hikari is going seriously fast! 450kms in 2 hours 40 minutes to Tokyo, with half a dozen stops along the way. And what a way to travel! We collected an array of delicious lunch items from the subterranean department store at Kyoto Station and decide to wing it in the unreserved carraige for our last Shinkansen of the trip. I instruct Milla to weave in between the boarding passengers and get us some good seats together. In her determination she pushes in front of the orderly queue as soon ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya January 2nd 2017

We took a rest day yesterday- what better way to begin the new year than by sleeping in, eating Japanese 2 minutes noodles and watching TV. Japanese television is very different. It may be the language barrier, by I don't quite understand what the genres of their shows are- many shows seem to be comedy/ drama/ game show? They televised an eating contest between Japan and America one afternoon. It wasn't long before cabin fever hit (the hotel room is smaller than our bedroom at home in all its entireity. We decided to walk down to the entertainment suburb of Kabukicho. Kabakicho is flooded with lights sounds and people. When the 'little green man' flashes everyone crosses in any direction. We came across a British pub and decided to have a pint. The atmosphere was very ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya January 2nd 2017

Today we tackled the busy shopping district of Shibuya. Even the train to get there was packed. Disembarking from the platform, we were overwhelmed by the noisy skyscrapers that streched more miles. As we waited to cross the famous Shibuya crossing, James spotted some people racing Go Karts in the street in Mario Kart costumes. When the little green man began to flash, it was almost impossible to cross the street in time, as we were engulfed in a sea of people. In Shibuya, we stumbled upon a cool little book and entertainment shop. Here you could buy classic books such as 'Where's Wally?' in Japanese. I took sone time to look at the music section and their wide range of J-Pop. I opted to get the CD- 'Uver-World Progultion.' Sounds deep right? Plus the cover ... read more

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