On this day, a year ago: we landed in Tokyo.
We had just enough energy to queue to pick up our Japan Rail Passes and portable Wi-Fi hotspot in the airport, and make our way to the city without falling asleep on the train (although there were a bunch of really close calls 😴).
In normal conditions, without being so sleepy, it would have been challenging to navigate all the passages in Tokyo station with our luggage, as there are lots of steps and few escalators.
But to make things worse, I was experiencing the terriblest of muscle sorenesses “thanks” to Devvers’ personal trainer Francesca, who had agreed to train me too just a few days earlier. For the following week and a half, I could not lift myself, let alone anything else. Even breathing deeply made me feel muscles I didn’t know I had—and thus this part of the trip was truly extenuating!
Once we checked into our hotel, things were to become more soothing, as we could leave the heavy bags in our room, and venture into the restaurant area of Tokyo station in search of some food, and we ended up having ochazuke:
I hadn’t tried ochazuke before: it consists on a bowl of rice with various toppings, which yes, sounds very similar to donburi, but here you have a little kettle with tea, which you can pour into the bowl. What’s also important is that there are lots of lovely crunchy bits to top the rice too, called furikake.
It was so comforting. Not that the food in the trip so far had been bad at all—it was surely the best I had had on a plane, in my life! But the combination of flavours and textures, the warmth of the tea and the coldness of the beer were just what we needed at that time. A cosy hug with a touch of chill. A warm outdoors jacuzzi with rain falling on your skin. You get the point.
And then we finished with a weird dessert from that Japanese institution: the convenience store.
It had like three or four different types of dessert in just one: cream, mousse, profiteroles, sponge… and it felt just perfectly normal in our absurdly tired state 🤪
Eventually, we couldn’t stand it anymore and went to bed. Then woke up later, entirely convinced that it must be at least 4AM.
It wasn’t even midnight.
It was a long night.
Posts in this trip:
- 8/5/2019: Tokyo via Helsinki
- 9/5/2019: Jetlagged in Tokyo
- 10/5/2019: Tokyo to Matsumoto
- 11/5/2019: Narai – Japanese Coffee, Korean BBQ
- 12/5/2019: Matsumoto to Kanazawa
- 13/5/2019: curry for breakfast, a sugar tree, a pretty new café, sake tasting and excellent kaiseki dinner in Kanazawa
- 14/5/2019: a fancy izakaya, a visit to the sake district, okonomiyaki and more sake in Kyoto
- 15/5/2019: a vegan Buddhist breakfast, Kyoto temples, a yudofu lunch, and a monumental kaiseki dinner
- 16/5/2019: back to Tokyo, a hidden coffee parlour, music, stationery, and beer and snacks in Shibuya
- 17/5/2019: Asakusa, Ginza, kaiseki dinner, and vertigo-inducing cocktails
- 18/5/2019: Art in Waseda; views, yakitori and beer in Ebisu
- 19/5/2019: Art and soba noodles in Roppongi, hipstering in Nakameguro and Daikanyama, and kaiseki dinner in Ginza
- 20/5/2019: we find a Valencian bar near our hotel, fabric shopping in Nippori, sake tasting, tonkatsu for lunch, and beer with old friends
- 21/5/2019: an atmospheric walk, hanging out in Katsutadai, and a delicious last dinner
- 22/5/2019: back to London, via Frankfurt