Tokyo: Our Japan Food Diary

Tokyo: Our Japan Food Diary

Time for one of my favourite things to talk about when it comes to holidays. The food!

I’ve already posted about the first leg of our trip to Japan here where we spent the first few days in Tokyo.

You can also check out my vlogs from the trip. I’ve just posted Day 1 up on my Youtube channel and can’t wait to get cracking on the rest.

So, onto the food. Here’s what we ate during our first few days in Tokyo.

Genki Sushi – Shibuya

This was actually the first and only time we ate sushi while we were in Japan! Surprising but there is just so many different variations of Japanese food that you can get. We wanted to try everything!

Plus this was our first meal in Tokyo and I was so jet lagged that I only took this photo…oops! We mainly stuck to nigiri sushi and my favourite was definitely the fatty tuna. So good!

Genki sushi is kind of like conveyor belt sushi but you order dishes and they come to your table via a little train type thing. So fun.

Sukiya – so many locations!

Sukiya is like staple Japanese fast food. They mainly serve gyūdon which is basically a beef and rice bowl. We found this next to our Shibuya hotel so we ran in out of the rain and it was exactly the kind of comfort food we were after.

We both had beef, rice and cheese. It was so good that we ate at two more branches on our Japan trip.

Street Food at Asakusa

When we went to Senso-ji on the first day we decided to try as many kinds of street food as we could.

Ningyo Yaki

These are little cakes filled with red bean paste. So cute and tasty! We both enjoyed them even though Topher isn’t a huge fan of red bean paste.

Kinako Dango

This doesn’t look like much but wow oh wow was it good. Dango is mochi balls on a skewer and comes in many different varieties. This type is covered in soy flour which tasted like peanut butter in my opinion. I think this is my second favourite type of dango.

Mitarashi Dango

Say hello to my favourite type of dango. These mochi balls are covered in a sweet soy sauce. Served hot from the street they were the best treat of the morning.

Daifuku

Daifuku is mochi stuffed with red bean paste. This particular type also came with a large strawberry on top. Topher was happy to find that this vendor also did a version where it was stuffed with thick custard instead of red bean. Both were delicious though a little messy to eat!

Melon Pan

Our final bit of street food was a melon pan ice cream sandwich to share. Melon pan is basically sweet bread. It’s name comes from the outer shell which is a criss-cross pattern that looks like a melon. This particular shop that I got it from only had a few flavours of soft serve ice cream to choose from (despite having about 30 you could have in a cone!) so I panicked and chose matcha.

Topher does not like matcha at all so I had to eat a lot of this…oh well!

Toraji

Korean BBQ has become pretty popular in Japan and I saw this restaurant on youtube so had to give it a go. This particular branch was in Shinjuku and we both went for the lunch set meals. You get a plate of meat and veg to cook, a bowl of rice, a bowl of miso and some little side dishes. It was one of our more expensive meals but pretty reasonable considering how much food you got.

Mensho San Francisco – Shinjuku

This is a chain that was started by a guy originally from Japan in the USA but a branch finally opened in Japan. I’d heard it was good so we decided to give it a go. We both went for their wagyu beef ramen which was very good. The beef cooked itself in the broth!

A Happy Pancake – Shibuya

Ever since I discovered soufflé pancakes online a few years ago I’ve been dying to try them. So A Happy Pancake had to be added to my list. We showed up just after opening and had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. I just went with the original ones with maple syrup and honey butter and they were to die for!

Keep in mind if you ever go here that the pancakes take a while to cook so bring your patience with you. They are definitely worth the wait though.

Reissue – Harajuku

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary then get yourself to this 3D latte art cafe. They have a book full of options and the creations are super cute. Rather expensive though!

Street Food in Harajuku

We also decided to try some random Harajuku food (minus their famous crepes as we were too full from breakfast) as we walked around.

Potato Tornado

We got this ginormous thing covered in soy butter and it was delicious though in some places a tad too salty.

Sanshoku Dango

We picked up this dango in Daiso which is a 100yen store. We spent a fair bit of money in here. They do all kinds of snacks, homeware and beauty stuff among other things. This was my least favourite dango but it did have a lot to live up to with the other two we tried. I just wanted to be able to hold an emoji!

Calbee Store

Calbee is a Japanese snack maker famous for their different type of crisps. You can get fresh ones in their Harajuku store with different toppings. We got some crisps covered in chocolate sauce as well as some veggie flavour sticks. The pink wrapped one was a freebie we were given at the till.

We both enjoyed the potato stick things – the regular flavour were all sold out. And I loved the chocolate covered ones. It reminds me of when I was a weird kid who would put plain crisps and chocolate in my mouth at the same time.

The freebie was one we opened on the shinkansen (bullet train) the next day. They were prawn flavour crisps covered in strawberry flavour chocolate. Topher liked – I did not!

Food Show – Shibuya

Food Show is a food hall in a department store in Shibuya. We were low on time and money at this point in the day so I got this luxury egg sandwich I saw on Youtube and Topher got a pork bun and some pork gyoza.

My egg sandwich was amazingly good and I wish I’d been able to buy a second one. I will never be able to replicate this at home.

Topher loved what I will forever call his pork feast. And that’s everything we ate in Tokyo!

Next up, our adventures in Kyoto.

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Tokyo: Our Japan Travel Diary

Tokyo: Our Japan Travel Diary

Me being me I had to take about a million photos on our trip to Japan. Especially of both the sights and the food so naturally I have had to split them into separate posts. Even then I’d still probably grab a brew before sitting down to this one…

First up, our first stint in Tokyo.

If you haven’t seen the trailer to our whole trip – check it out here.

Day 1

We flew from Manchester Airport via Helsinki, Finland and our trip started at around 10 in the morning our time. It finished at 9 in the morning Japan time. Ouch. Oh and did I mention we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm? Double ouch.

We took a coach from Narita Airport to Tokyo as it’s actually between an hour and an hour and a half trip between the two. Neither of us are particularly good at sleeping on planes (though Topher is a pro at falling asleep on any other mode of transport!) so we were tired!

The train is slightly quicker but we opted for the bus as it was half the price and we could hand our luggage over to the bus driver. Then all we had to do was navigate the subway from Tokyo station to Shibuya.

We dropped our bags at the hotel and went out for lunch before mooching back just in time for 3pm check in. We were desperate to get showers and fresh clothes we after we sorted ourselves out it was back into the wilderness of Shibuya. Lots of rain this evening so we mainly spent our time in shops. Hello Disney store!

We spent a fair bit of time in Tokyu Hands which is a department store. So many weird and wonderful things in there.

We managed to stay out until around 9 before heading back to the hotel to collapse.

Day 2

In the morning we had a little lie in and then headed over to the other side of the city. Asakusa is an older area of Tokyo which houses the oldest shrine – built in 645 AD. Sensō-ji. Our plan was to explore and sample the street food.

We got lucky with the cherry blossoms as I thought we’d miss them all but there were still a few blooming when we arrived in Tokyo. Yay!

It was about 11.30 by the time we got to the temple so as you can see it’s pretty crowded. Sensō-ji is open from 6am though you can wander through the main grounds 24/7. So if you want photos with less people around then get there early!

It was a beautiful day so even though it was crowded I’m happy with my photos.

The building in the above photo is Tokyo Skytree; a popular tourist attraction that boasts some amazing views of the city. We didn’t go here as I was given a tip for a free view of the city that includes Skytree in it.

That was the building we headed to in the afternoon. Shinjuku Government Building also has amazing views and if the day is super clear, you can even see Mount Fuji.

Unfortunately by this point the clouds had rolled in but it was still an amazing view of the city. Definitely recommended and you can’t go wrong because it’s free!

Afterwards we headed to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro purely so that Topher could visit the Pokemon centre. He had an amazing time and spent a lot of money! Sunshine city is basically a shopping centre with a load of stuff attached like an aquarium and mini theme parks. A perfect day out if it’s raining. We were tired so it was Pokemon, a couple of shops and then back to the hotel.

Day 3

Harajuku day! I’ve been dreaming of visiting Harajuku since I was 15 so the rain did not stop me today. Topher and I got suited up with our rain gear and headed out. Shops don’t tend to open until at least 10am so we had a little lie in.

Our first stop was Meiji-Jingu which is a shrine that can be found in Yoyogi park. The photos below are of the tori gate and the barrels of sake you can find on the way to the shrine. The photos I took of the shrine itself weren’t that great so just look out for it in my upcoming vlog!

Then it was off to Takeshita Street for some shopping.

Not many photos due to the amount of rain and shopping bags we were both carrying! Money was spent. No regrets.

We also managed to find a place that did Purikura. It’s basically a photo booth only Japan has taken it to the next level where you can practically make yourself look like a doll. Topher was up for a laugh so we gave it a go. The results make me chuckle and this is now on our fridge at home.

We also had a wander around nearby where we found a Lush store. I wouldn’t usually rush in to one abroad but I heard they had lots of Japan exclusives. Plus it was worth it for this wall alone!

I may have purchased a few things…

Then it was back to the hotel to pack as we had a super early bullet train out of Tokyo to our next city.

Next up, what we ate in Tokyo.

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Back From Japan

It’s been just over a week now and I can’t believe we’ve been to Japan. Topher and I had the most amazing time. Of course I’m going to have to break down the whole thing into many blog posts because just like our honeymoon, it wasn’t a one destination trip.

One thing we did differently this trip was for the first time, we vlogged the entire thing. Like a ton. I have so much footage to edit my way through so I guess that’s my plans sorted for the next couple of months. It will definitely keep me occupied while waiting for our next Florida holiday in October.

So for now I will leave you with the little three minute trailer I made! Let me know what you think.

Stay tuned for my Japan posts – first stop Tokyo!

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How To Feel More Secure and Protected In Your Home

*This is a collaborative post

Our home should be the place where we feel secure and surrounded by things we love. However, some of us constantly worry what is going to happen, and what if… If you want to get rid of the nagging thoughts, you might want to invest in improving the safety and security of your home, so you can truly relax on the weekends and at nights, as well as when you are leaving to visit friends or to take a holiday.

Advanced Security

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With the smart home technology available for regular households, you can now invest in an advanced security system that connects to your phone, so you always know what is going in inside and around your house. You can monitor each door and window, as well as the driveway and get alerts on suspicious activities. Make sure that you seek expert advice for installing security cameras to ensure that you are getting it right, and you can eliminate common faults.

Regular Safety Checks

It is crucial that you carry out regular safety checks when it comes to the structural integrity of your home. There are several property maintenance companies out there that offer a comprehensive survey, so you can spot the signs of cracks and damage due to earth movement or weather that can cause you greater problems later on.

Boiler and Electricity Maintenance

The most common reasons for accidents at home are related to the heating and electricity system. It is important that you get your fuses and your wiring tested regularly, especially if you are planning on changing appliances or would like to add a new light or feature to your room. If you increase the electricity output, you need to ensure your wires and fuse box can handle the job. At the same time, a gas safety test is recommended to prevent accidental explosions and poisoning.

Roofing and Guttering Maintenance

It is also crucial that you maintain your roof and your gutter, or you will find it hard to deal with dampness or even damaged brickwork later. If you have a loft insulation, you might not notice that you have a broken tile or a crack that can become dangerous. If a gap is formed on your roof, you will face a huge flood at the next big rain, and might even have pests settling on the attic.

Flood Lights

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To deter people with bad intentions and give your neighbours a clear view on what is going on around your home while you are not there, you can also install motion sensor flood lights around the home, to the front of the house, as well as the back. Those snooping around during the night don’t want to be seen, so this is a cost-effective way of preventing crime and protecting your assets and your home you worked so hard for.

Having to face with the consequences of a home crime and emergency is one of the worst experiences you can have. To feel more secure and better protected, try some of these tips.

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My Master Bedroom Mood Board

It’s been awhile since I decorated one of the rooms in our house. I think my last project was the living room which still remains not entirely finished (but shhh). Right now I’ve got my sights set on Topher and I’s master bedroom.

Since the day we moved in our master bedroom has remained it’s dirty beige colour which our entire house was covered in and I hate it. We’ve made small improvements to the room such as putting in floating shelves, fairy lights, a wall mounted TV and one large art print. We even took the doors off our fitted wardrobe as it was a massive space saver. But otherwise the room has no solid theme.

So of course a lick of paint would be the main way to give our bedroom an upgrade. Topher and I have been umming and ahhing over which colour to paint it for literally years now.

Originally we saw the tree wallpaper in my mood board a few years ago while wandering through IKEA and both fell in love with it. Unfortunately after asking a member of staff about it, they told us it wasn’t actually from IKEA. It was just to decorate the house set ups they have.

So back at home I googled it and to my horror found it was a designer brand and super expensive. So we moved on and forgot about it quickly.

Fast forward to last weekend when for some reason I had the urge to google the wallpaper and bam, there it was on eBay for super cheap. The rest of the mood board for the bedroom fell together pretty quickly after that.

So, finally to the mood board

Because it’s quite a busy print, we’ll just have a statement wall (what is it with me and statement walls? Hello and hello) behind the bed with it and paint the rest of the walls white. A running theme upstairs in our house!

Our wardrobe isn’t going to remain open to the room as it just looks messy so my dad suggested putting some mirrored sliding doors in. It will look better and save on space. The old doors were fine but add them to a king size bed and a small bedroom and you’ve got a lot of space being taken up on Topher’s side of the bed.

Then all there would be to do would be adding in a lamp shade. Yes we do still have a bare bulb in there but it’s the last one in the house and it seemed silly to get something when we hadn’t decided on how to decorate yet.

Also our cacti fairy lights would need to get switched out for something plainer as they definitely wouldn’t go with the tree wallpaper.

I’m planning on painting the walls when we get the first bit of nice weather after we’re back from Japan. I’ll have to have the windows wide open and don’t want to freeze!

The wardrobe door will take the most planning so we’ll see how that pans out. Wish me luck!

Does the first sign of warm weather make you want to decorate your house too? Or is it just me?

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