• 20.09.2017, 13:30

Ramune soft serve

  • Categori: Mat

Last year when we went to Mandrake in Akihabara we saw a soft serve stand. This year on our way there, I was praying that the same stand would be there as I really wanted something cold to eat on a very hot day! We saw the same stand on the same place and decided to buy soft serve before heading to Mandrake!

There are a few flavors to choose from such as Vanilla, Matcha, Chocolate and Vanilla, Ramune (soda pop), Melon, Mango, Vanilla and Caramel, Vanilla and Strawberry and Black sesame. Their price range is between 250-350 YEN, between 17 and 25 NOK.

What I find fascinating about this soft serve machine is that the flavors are in capsules, like the one on his hand on the photo below. In contrast, here in Norway it is one big machine that either has the normal flavor or chocolate or something else. There is not much room for all the different flavors that he serves. Also, since they are portioned it means that there won't be that much waste on precious soft serve ice cream :D

Anyways, without much further ado, here is my delicious ramune or soda pop soft serve!

One would think that having a soda flavored ice cream would taste horrible, but this one was actually quite good! it didn't taste milk-y but soda pop-y.

We had to eat the ice cream in the vicinity of his stand though. In Japan they don't really walk and eat much. There are often designated places for people to eat at.

  • 19.09.2017, 13:29

Starbucks in Japan

  • Categori: Mat

I don't really like Starbucks, but I do like Starbucks in Japan!

Why? Well because they have Matcha Frappe! and I am a big fan of Matcha, seriously Norway, please hop on the matcha wagon already!

I don't know why, but I always go to Starbucks in Shibuya to watch the Shibuya Crossing. I have seen it a lot of times before, but I still want to see it.

Anyways, while I was in Starbucks, I went to try a new drink/dessert :)

A bit blurry, sorry about that. I tried the Chocolate Cake topped Frappuccino with Matcha Shot. Cake in a Frappe, yes you read it right.

I think it cost around 620 YEN around 44 Kroner. I was sceptical at first, but really wanted to try it.

You can see below how it looks like!

In order to drink it you mash the cake while inside the frappe! It is surprisingly easy to mash the cake, it was quite soft.

Was it good? YES it was! It was like heaven in my mouth :P but yes, it was very good. Surprisingly good :)

Now Norway, if you get this I will be your number one customer :)

  • 18.09.2017, 12:28

Ramen

  • Categori: Mat

Japanese ramen are the best! We found a ramen shop at Akihabara. I really suck at explaining directions, and I also do not know the name of it. However the ramen shop is located at the same street as Kotobukiya going towards KFC, sorry that is the best explanation I have of the ramen shop.

Here is the store entrance!

The thing about this ramen shop is that you pick your order outside on a machine. Yes, you order and pay outside.

I chose the Kotteri Tonkotsu Ramen with All Toppings for 1050 yen, around 75 NOK. After ordering and paying, you get a receipt which you give to the waiter inside the shop.

Upon taking our seat, we were served water or ice tea, I really can't remember. There are also these manual grinders on each table. They are so that you can grind your own sesame seeds :)

Luckily, if you don't know how to use it, there is a poster with directions plastered on the wall :)

Here is my ramen with all the toppings. Although it may appear as if it is a small bowl, trust me, it is not. I almost couldn't finish this one because I became quite "mett" or "hearty" immediately, sorry can't find the right translation.

By the way, the egg! Oh my goodness, the egg is so good. The egg white is warm, while the egg yolk is kind of cold! I have been to a restaurant in Norway which serves ramen, and their egg is just normal boiled egg.

I should stop making these food posts soon, I make myself hungry and miss Japan by seeing my photos :P

  • 17.09.2017, 13:27

Genki Sushi and Kaisen Misakikou

  • Categori: Mat

If there was one thing I was looking forward to on my trip, it was getting to eat Japanese sushi again! Japanese sushi is a whole different level that here at home!

One, Japanese sushi is quite delicious! Maybe it is how they prepare the rice. Two, they look good! Most sushi places here at home does a sloppy job! While I think in Japan, food preparation is an art! Three, sushi belts are not overpriced!

I think it is safe to say we have our favorite sushi belts. Favorites because we keep coming back to these places!

The first one is Genki Sushi located at Shibuya!

There are sometimes queues on this place, so often you have to make a reservation.

To order anything, you just choose from the screen! There are screens on every seat! Drinks are served by waitresses however I am not sure about soups. Otherwise food comes to you on the conveyor belt! Unfortunately I don't have photos of how it looks like. But basically there's this moving plate as I call it. There is space for three plates. When you order something, the chefs places your order on those plates, and that moving plate travels to where you are seated either on the upper, middle or lower lane. When your plate arrives, there is a sound to remind you that "Hey! Your food is here!". You then take your orders, and have to press a button so that the moving plate can come back to the kitchen!

We usually order melon Soda which costs 120 for medium and 180 for large, around 8 NOK and 13 NOK. By the way, large is the same size as Norwegian medium.

Melon soda's color is green, but it is delicous! We order it because you can't find any green drinks in Norway and that flavor.

Sushi or nigiri varies in price depending on what they have as a topping! If I remember correctly they are from 110 to 440YEN, so basically anywhere from 8NOK to 32 NOK! They are good sushi and quite cheap. We never pay more than 100 per person for a lot of sushi!

Here are some of the things I have ordered from Genki Sushi, I wasn't able to take photos of everything because I was to hungry! I try to order things we don't normally find in Norway.

This one has got to be one favorite! This is yes, a cheese burger nigiri! This is absolutely delicious!

We were lucky enough to have the tanabata menu before we left so I ordered Tanabata Egg nigiri :D They were also delicious.

Honestly, I didn't want to eat it because it looks too pretty to eat!

Moving on to the Kaisen Misakikou! This one is located at Nakano Broadway! Their sushi place is a little bit similar to Genki sushi, the only difference is that they have a moving sushi bar as well as a conveyor belt like in Genki Sushi. Their moving plate here is formed as the Shinkansen ( bullet train)

On the upper lane is the conveyor belt, while the bottom is the moving belt.

Just like Genki Sushi, you also order through the screen placed for each seat.

Here are some of the things we ordered! There are a lot of unagi (eel) order, because my boyfriend loves them!

Making this post made me crave for sushi! haha

Oh! I forgot to mention that they serve matcha on both sushi places. There is a hot water dispenser if I can call it that, on the table and matcha powder. They also give you these number plate that has the same number as your seat. So when you finish your order, you just give it back and then you pay :)

  • 16.09.2017, 17:24

Japan Ice Ouca

  • Categori: Mat

Japan Ice Ouca has one of the best ice creams I have eaten! It is a small shop and is located near Ebisu station.
 

When we arrived there, there was quite a queue. We didn't get to taste the other ice creams they were offering because we were already set on what we wanted to have, well not I. My boyfriend was set on having the same thing he had last year, I was not. It wasn't until I saw the poster to the right that I knew what I wanted. I am a sucker for matcha ice cream 😁

I realized that this is not thebest photo of their menu, so my apologies!

The cute teddy dessert or Kuma-chan comes in a variety of flavors and they cost 640 yen around 46 NOK! Teddy or Kuma-chan comes in five different flavors, however I do not know what the other three flavors are aside from Strawberry and Matcha! My apologies, I should have asked them ✌

They also offer scoops of ice cream in different sizes where the smallest is 400 yen around 28 NOK and the biggest for 720 yen around 52 NOK.

Here are our shaved ice Pink Kuma and Green Kuma :D

They are so cute, and if you notice they have different "backgrounds" on their serving plates. Green Kuma is in a matcha ceremony, while Pink Kuma is well surrounded by ice!

Here is my Green Kuma up close! His ears are made of dried peaches by the way, while his eyes are made of red beans :)

I almost feel bad for Pink Kuma as his eyes are falling off! To be fair it was hot and my photoshoot took a bit time so he started to melt! Pink Kuma's ears are made of strawberry :)

Here below are some of what we ordered last year!

I seriouslt cannot remember what this Yellow Kuma's flavor is! I think it was orange or something like that. If you notice, he doesn't have a nice "background". The serving plate was quite small and plain.

This one! was absolutely delicious! The different flavors are coffee, peach, matcha and watermelon! They didn't taste artifical at all, they tasted quite natural! If I remember correctly the cookies or biscuits were quite neutral it taste, while the seaweed was sweet and salty at the same time. They all complemented each other.

If I visit Tokyo again during the summer season, I would definitely come back here! This is worth a re-visit!

  • 16.09.2017, 12:23

Mocha Cat Café


During our last day in Tokyo we just hanged around Akihabara, because it is our favorite place, almost. We stumbled upon a Cat Café where you pay 200yen/10 minutes. I am highly allergic to cats, but I owned a cat once when I was in the Philippines. I wanted to go to a cat café, but not my boyfriend, because he didn't want me to have a reaction. Given that it was 200 yen/10 minutes, I didn't see any harm. I can survive inside a house for 30 minutes with a cat before I get my reaction.

It wasn't until we were inside the café that we learned that we had to stay a minimum of 30 minutes. They give you wristbands that states what time you came.

Just to be clear, just because it says café doesn't mean we eat a meal here. There was a strictly no food or feeding of the cats. They actually have a lot of rules. First we had do remove our shoes, and wear indoor slippers. Then we had to disinfect our hands with antibac. Also one rule is to not pick up or carry any of the cats. We could pet them and take photos of them. Also we weren't supposed to be so noisy, I think. Also, the cats looked healthy and well groomed.

We stayed there for exactly 30 minutes. I must admit 30 minutes went by quickly!

I did not get any allergic reactions at all! I actually find it weird that when I am in Asia, I am not allergic to cats, but when I am Norway I am highly allergic to them. I wonder why actually.

  • 15.09.2017, 20:21

Koiwa's fourth Awa Odori Festival


Our host informed us long before our stay that Koiwa is having a festival. She gave us the date and time in advanced and gave it again when we were there.

On that day, we managed to go to other places and do some sightseeing before heading back to Koiwa to see the festival. A big part of the area was crowded with people, some of the performers and some of the viewers. Here are some pictures from that day

The festival was just amazing and was such a wonderful experience. It was fun and seeing how coordinated everyone was was also quite amazing. Part of the reason why I admire Japan so much is that even though they are technologically advanced in a lot of aspects, they still manage to keep or save their traditions.

  • 15.09.2017, 11:20

Meiji Temple


If there is another place I love re-visiting it must be Meiji Temple! I have been here all the times I have been to Tokyo, and still am not sick of this place.

While in Tokyo, I met my aunt and her family who was also there. We met up in Harajuku and ate som lunch. Afterwards I asked them if they have been to Meiji Temple, and they haven't so we decided to go there. They enjoyed the place as much as we did and we got to take a lot of pictures :)

Here is the entrance to the park or temple.

You wouldn't really believe that this place is just right beside Harajuku, which is such a busy area.

Here are some pictures I have taken from our visit there.

In this area, you get to wash your mouth and hands before entering the temple. The rules of washing the hands and face are written in both Japanese and in English.

​Unfortunately, parts of the temple was closed. We wouldn't be able to take photos of the temple as it is forbitten. At least it was when my brother and I went there when it was still open. 

  • 14.09.2017, 16:19

Ozashiki Odori Dance


When my boyfriend and I went to Asakusa, our goal was to find a mawashi which is a belt sumo wrestlers use. Upon exiting Asakusa Station we saw Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center. We decided to go inside and inquire to make our search easier.

A lady was standing by the doors and asking if we wanted to watch a Geisha show, tickets are free of course. Since we didn't really have any agenda for the day, we decided to watch the show. How often do you get to watch Geisha's perform? Rarely.

So I asked for two tickets, and luckily we only had to wait under half an hour. Yey!

Here is a photo of the introduction. The guy was explaining to us some things both in Japanese and in English. We later moved in front as there were a few seats available. Initially we were supposed to be standing during the whole show.

After we got seated, they had a little surprise. There were numbers on the seats and those called were the lucky ones who are to play a game on stage. The game was about who could spin the fastest.

Here are the three Geishas who performed the different acts.

These ladies were the singers and the musican.

The final act was made by a Hohkan which is a Geisha's male counterpart in the Ozashiki Odori Dance. He was really funny! The sad part though is that there used to be 470 Hohkans, but now they are only 7 :(

 

Over all it was a wonderful experience :D

 
  • 14.09.2017, 13:18

Robot Restaurant


When I first visited Tokyo I wanted to go to the Robot Restaurant, however my brother and I didn't have a lot of time. During my second visit to Tokyo I wanted to go there as well, however for some reason it went to my ''forgot to do list''. This year though I really wanted to experience it. My boyfriend was against it since it was weird and he has seen the weirdness through YouTube. I managed to change his mind after much convincing.

I booked our reservation around two or three weeks before our arrival. The entrance fee was 9000 Yen per person and meals were 1000 yen per person. Around 720 NOK per person with the meal.

We went there on a Friday on their latest show that started 9:45 PM. We were there about half an hour earlier though.

Payment was made at a place right in front of the restaurant. The walls were filled with pictures and signatures of known people who has visited the place. We could also borrow lockers for free!

This is the outside of the restaurant.

I had to take a photo, I am the one sitting on the red haired girl. That sounds so wrong.

We had to go down some stairs, and it was too much lights.

We were then lead to a waiting area. The waiting area reminded me of cruise boats. The velvet chairs and the live entertainers.

I think we sat there for 20 minutes before we were allowed to down to where the action is starting. On our tables our food was already there, also we sat at the front row.

The food we got was very good by the way, but kind of difficult to eat while watching an action packed show.

The meal we both ordered was grilled boneless short ribs. A little too difficult to see, that's because when we could open our bento boxes, the show already started. You see we had to wait sometime before we could open our meal.

We had some breaks during the show. I think we got 15 minutes break about three times.

Anyways, here are some photos from the Robot Restaurant.

The show was very entertaining! The performers were great! It wasn't as weird as I expected, but then again I have watched some Japanese shows, movies and anime where they can be as random as this show. It is still an experience though.

Also, when we were on our way to leave the place, like the last floor before the exit. We were met by women in bras and thongs, well they were standning at the door talking to some men. We found out a few minutes later when we were picking up our things from the locker that there is a strip club right beside Robot Restaurant, so that explains it .

  • 13.09.2017, 18:17

Kokono- Tonkatsu

  • Categori: Mat

We went to Kokono on our way to Maricar to eat lunch. It was located inside a building with a lot more other restaurants.

One has to pay for food already at the reception or waiting area, which meant you had to already have decided what to eat. Both my boyfriend and I chose Tonkatsu, around 900 Yen each or around 65. I may have gotten the price wrong though, so please forgive me :P We were also asked if we were smokers or not.

We were then lead to a room where we had to take of our shoes. The reason we had to take our shoes off was because the room is one big step up, and the floor is made of tatami. It would be highly unhygenic if you have your shoes on on a mat you may sit on.

The dark part on the photo is well also the floor. So I am guessing you can choose to sit Japanese style or western style where your feet are on the ground.

We were served cold tea, and their cold tea is literally cold tea, without any added sugars like we have in Norway.

Here are the different sauces, wet tissue and chopsticks

Here is my food. Tonkatsu! Tonkatsu is a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet served with shredded cabbage, rice, miso soup and pickled radish and something else that I don't know.

When they served us our food, the server closed the door to our room. Quite nice if you ask me, we were able to eat in peace without others looking at us.

The food was good! However, we had to rush outside when we found out we had under 20 minutes to find Maricar. I was so thankful that we decided to eat before doing the MariCar, or else we would've been very hungry for the whole duration of our tour.

  • 12.09.2017, 12:16

Date in Akihabara


The lovely thing about technology is that we can reach people from different countries just with a button. A few months ago I got to know someone through IG. She is from Tokyo, but has an interest in Norwegian as well :)

A few months ago I told her I was going to Tokyo, and since she lives near where we live we decided to meet. Since after easter, I have been collecting some Norwegian goodies. The day after the Easter holiday I actually went hunting for Påskeegg, with no luck. You would think they would still have some påskeegg given that they started selling them way before easter. All easter eggs were gone the day after Easter holiday was done. I did find påskeskum and påskemarsipan.

So yeah, I have been collecting chocolates such as Smash and Stratos chocolate bars, and not to mention melkehjerter. I also bought salted liquorice. So my luggage was actually quite heavy because of my collected Norwegian goodies.

Anyways, we did meet in Akihabara from 11AM on our third day. We decided to go to Starbucks and ordered some drinks. We had such a good and interesting conversation that we had to force ourselves to end our meeting at 5PM. If we did not do it, we would've stayed and talked until late at night. Since she had to study, we ( my boyfriend and I) had to end our meeting. Her studies are much more important. I didn't leave empty handed. She gave me some Japanese snacks. I felt so guilty that I wasn't able to give her as much goodies as she gave me.

 

She gave me four different KitKat flavors: Pudding, Dark Chocolate, Ginger and Matcha. Matcha is my favorite!

She also gave me some snacks. Potato Chips with honey, popcorn, wasabi snacks and Pretz with some kind of fish eggs. I forgot what kind of fish eggs they were, they were smaller than caviar but kinda like roe eggs?

My boyfriend and I ate the one with honey and it was good, so we bought another one. The popcorn I just ate yesterday. It is salty, but not as salty as the ones they serve in Norway. It was deliciously salty, like the saltiness had a taste that was pleasant to the taste buds. Does that even make sense? Otherwise I haven't tried the other two

Lastly I got a Hello Kitty handkerchief, a postcard and bookmarks from Kyoto. The bookmarks are really lovely! I do not want to use them in fear of ruining them!

I am planing on saving up on Norwegian goodies again so that I can send it to her. I actually forgot to bring Kvikk Lunsj! It's the most Norwegian sweets and I forgot it.

It is nice though to be able to meet friends you meet online :) and not to mention to be able to have friends from all around the world :D

  • 11.09.2017, 14:15

L'Ueno and the cutest pastries!


Ever since I discovered this place with my brother on December 2015, I keep coming back to buy something from this place. This is a bakery located near Ueno Station. If you walk from Ueno Station to Ueno Jr Line station, one can walk past this bakery.

L'Ueno has the cutest pastries I have seen. They're so cute that you don't really want to eat them.

Just look at how cute they are

We visited late at night, so we didn't by a lot, only a few.

Here is a koala, a bear and a lion. I think the lion is matcha flavored, while the bear is chocolate and the koala as well.

We also bought these blocks that had sakura (cherry blossom) filling, red bean filling and chocolate filling.

There is a new baby panda on Ueno Zoo so Ueno was filled with souveniers of a baby panda, these breads are celebrating it as well.

All these pastries were good! I'm saying this because there are some pastries that looks good but taste's horrible. These however both looks cute and tastes good!

I must say that they only accept cash, and not visa card. So I ran out of cash and had to stand at the counter while waiting for my boyfriend to come back from the nearest ATM. That was 5 minutes of awkwardness :P

  • 11.09.2017, 12:09

Maricar


Before coming to Japan, we booked a MariCar tour. MariCar is where you can go-kart in the streets of Tokyo. We wanted to try it last year, unfortunately my boyfriend did not have a licence that time nor did we have an international drivings permit.

This year though, both of us have a licence and we did a research on the requirements. We booked a tour to be done the day after we arrive in Tokyo. We booked it the day after our arrival so that we could see more of Tokyo or maybe see someting that interests us, and visit those places,

One of the requirements for MariCar is an International Drivers Permit. Without it, well you cannot drive. We fixed it here in Norway by going to KNA. KNA and NAF issues international drivers permit :) For Japan it is the Geneva convention variant.

Our booking was for 2 PM and was to last for three hours.

This was our course. Photo borrowed from Maricar.com

SuperHero Kart Tour SL

We went to Shinagawa around 12 so that we may have a good margin. We actually got lost a bit and then had to take a detour to eat lunch. We arrived at the place around 1:45PM 😁

It wasn't hard to find the place, since we had Google Maps as our guide, also we saw other people in costumes, so we followed them.

Also the entrance is full of go-karts 😜

Chosing a costume was a bit difficult, there were so many to chose from. I would also like to add that we were only three people driving, we thought we would be a big group. It was only I, my boyfriend and our guide Ryan (really nice guy). It was okay to be three people :)

Our MariCar tour was fun! We had some our pictures taken on some places. I drove on the wrong side of the road, since they drive the opposite side in Japan. Also you feel like a celebrity with people waving and taking photos at you, in full blown Yoshi costume! We had some breaks by the way!

Three hours went by so fast! It was fun and we did get to see places we visited afterwards.

We paid 16 000 YEN or around 1700NOK for two people! It is not that expensive and the experience is worth it! I think I would want to try it again. NExt time though I would maybe bring a GoPro that doesn't get low on battery fast. I think my GoPro had low battery in the middle of a three hour tour, such a bummer.

For those who are interested just visit their site MariCar . You can also chose a different starting place, we just chose Shinagawa 😄

Here is my Maricar Video :)


 

 


 

  • 10.09.2017, 14:06

Marion Crepes


If you walk along Takeshita Street in Harajuku, there are creperies on almost every corner. There are a lot of crepes to choose from and they are quite cheap.

Before we left for Tokyo I learned of Marion Crepes from Running Man. Running Man is a variety show from South Korea, but they did a segment where they were in South Korea. Through the show I learned that Marion Crepes is the oldest creperie in Harajuku.

Marion Crepes was fairly easy to spot. It is, if I am not mistaken the only blue creperie store among the many pink creperie stores.Not pictured, but in front of Marion Crepes is another creperie :P

There are a lot of crepes to choose from, as I have mentioned earlier. So picking a crepe to try is kind of hard. Below is some of the varieties you can chose from. One thing I like about Japan is that you get a visualisation of their menu with their models.After looking at the menu for a few minutes, we decided on which crepes to try. My boyfriend chose the Brownie Crunch (no. 92) for 600 YEN, while I chose Green Tea Milk choco brownie (no. 88) for 500 YEN. Converted to Norwegian kroner they cost 44 NOK and 36 NOK! Now that's cheap.

Here is the brownie crunch

While here is my Green tea milk choco brownie

Unfortunately, I didn't get to taste the brownie crunch, but my boyfriend said it was delicious. My green tea milk choco brownie crepe was delicious!

I do recommend trying crepes when you're in Harajuku :)

Kathleen

Jeg liker å skrive om reisene mine, men siden de skjer så sjeldent så deler jeg litt av min hverdag. kan kontaktes: kathleenblogg@outlook.com

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