JAPAN | Night Walks ~ What to do in Tokyo After Tours | Lakad Pilipinas

Tokyo Japan Evening

We mostly spent the light of days outside Tokyo. On our first day, we rested, tired from the flight from our unbelievably cheap flight from Manila to Tokyo via Cebu Pacific. But on our second day in the city, we woke early to catch a train to visit Hakone, hoping to have a glimpse of Mount Fuji amidst dreary weather. On the third, we scrambled across Asakusa for a day trip to Nikko. It’s all well and good, but how about Tokyo? Don’t we want to see Tokyo?

Of course, we did. We saw Tokyo after dark.

 

SHIBUYA

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Evening
THE STREETS AROUND SHIBUYA

From the onset, we visited the famous Shibuya Crossing. Taking transparent umbrellas with us, we boarded the subway from Asakusa where our lodging, Wired Hotel, is located. Unsure of where to exit, I asked a Japanese crew, “Hachiko?” And we were led to the proper exit.

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Hachiko Evening
HACHIKO’S REVERED MEMORIAL OUTSIDE SHIBUYA STATION

We checked the memorial for the dog who waited, Hachi [GPS MAP], right on one of the sidewalks along the Shibuya Crossing, before joining the throngs of people waiting for the lights to change by the curb. This is unlike your ordinary city crossing; surrounded by towering steel and glass buildings flashing colorful signs and larger than life LCD images, the crossing is a one time thing. All vehicular activities on all the converging roads stop, and people on all sides cross at the same time.

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Crossing Evening
WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS TO TURN RED AT THE SHIBUYA CROSSING

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Crossing Evening
AND IT’S TIME TO GO!

It was my second time at the world’s busiest intersection but the excitement of seeing hundreds of people swarm across the road in a single instant was still electrifying.

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Restaurant
BUYING A TYPICAL MEAL IN TOKYO

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Restaurant
PORK AND RICE IN A BOWL, CHEAP BUT SERVING SIZE IS A TAD TOO SMALL

The sidestreets of Shibuya are no less exciting. Surrounded with multitudes of electric signs reflecting on the wet pavement, we looked for dinner. I revisited a restaurant I ate at four years ago, Denzo [GPS MAP]. We ordered the same way I did back then, by punching a button on a vending machine right outside the door and shooting in your yen on a slot. I was, however, unable to find the exact same meal I ate before.

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Ichiryu Ramen Restaurant
ORDERING AT ICHIRYU RAMEN ON TABLETS MOUNTED ON WALLS

Tokyo Japan Shibuya Ichiryu Ramen Restaurant
ICHIRYU’S TOO TASTY RAMEN

We also discovered another restaurant, Ichiryu Ramen [GPS MAP], serving extremely tasty ramen and fried chicken. This time, we ordered using tablets mounted on the tables. It was kinda confusing for non-Japanese folks like us and we had to ask for help from their staff.

 

ODAIBA

Tokyo Odaiba Evening
ODAIBA ON A RAINY EVENING

The next evening, we took a longer ride to an artificial island on Tokyo Bay, Odaiba. Klook’s unlimited subway pass, doesn’t work here so we had to shell out additional yen just to visit it. Our main target, really, was one of the many BIC Camera Stores in Tokyo.

Tokyo Odaiba Statue of Liberty Evening
THE ODAIBA STATUE OF LIBERTY AGAINST THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

A few minutes before we alighted, we passed by a Golden Gate-like suspension bridge that the Japanese dub as the Rainbow Bridge. We saw it again from afar, after visiting BIC and purchasing a lens, from the balcony of Aqua City mall [GPS MAP]—this time with a replica of the Statue of Liberty on the foreground.

Tokyo Odaiba Gundam Unicorn Evening
THE NEW UNICORN GUNDAM AT TOKYO

The light drizzle and the chilly weather was no match for a determination. We crossed Odaiba’s expressway on an elevated walkway and visited the life-size Gundam at the promenade of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza [GPS MAP]. Gone is the classic RX-78-2 Gundam, replaced by a shinier and pinkier Unicorn Gundam in destroy mode.

 

SHINBASHI

Tokyo Shinbashi Railway Restaurants Evening
LOOKING FOR GRUB UNDER THE SHINBASHI RAILWAYS

Our dinner was several kilometers away. We hopped down at Shinbashi Station and proceeded on the many izakaya or taverns underneath the elevated railway. Unable to find one with outside seating, we settled on Torahachi [GPS MAP]. And we’re mighty glad we did.

Tokyo Shinbashi Railway Torahachi Restaurant Evening
A VERY JAPANESE RESTAURANT FILLED WITH SALARYMEN

Stepping inside was like walking on a Japanese movie. The whole space was packed with salarymen out having a good time after work. Most still have their coats on, but a few have tossed them aside, hanging them on pegs along the wall.

Tokyo Shinbashi Railway Torahachi Restaurant Yakisoba Evening
ONE OF THE BEST YAKISOBA I’VE HAD

Tokyo Shinbashi Railway Torahachi Restaurant Yakitori Evening
YAKITORI, GOES WELL WITH ASAHI BEER

Tokyo Shinbashi Railway Torahachi Restaurant Chicken Skin Evening
WE REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS IS

The food was excellent too; we ordered two plates of yakisoba, a lot of yakitori, some fried unknown chicken innards, and bottles of Asahi. With the train rumbling above every now and then and the narrow restaurant filled to brimming with rowdy salarymen, it was a very Tokyo affair, indeed.

 

SHINJUKU

Tokyo Shinjuku Evening
SHINJUKU EVENINGS

After a day of roaming around and getting drenched in rain at Nikko, we headed for Shinjuku’s Piss Alley [GPS MAP]. Its name is as infamous as its reputation back in the day. The alley used to be an illegal drinking quarter filled with hostess bars a few years before the Second World War broke. Without restrooms, patrons used to piss on the nearby train tracks to relieve themselves.

Tokyo Piss Alley Shinjuku Evening
THE ONCE INFAMOUS PISS ALLEY

Tokyo Piss Alley Shinjuku Evening
VERY NARROW PATHWAY

Tokyo Piss Alley Shinjuku Evening
AND VERY CRAMPED RESTAURANTS

Now, you won’t see anyone pissing outside anymore. The place has been somewhat gentrified, but not overly, which is good. The alley is still as narrow as can be, and so are the yakitori restaurants on both sides of its walls. In fact, we had such a hard time finding one with an empty seat that we had to walk out of Piss Alley and choose a restaurant on the street next to it.

Tokyo Horumon Jonetsu Shinjuku Evening
WE OPTED FOR SOMEWHERE MORE SPACIOUS

Tokyo Horumon Jonetsu Shinjuku Evening
THE OFFERINGS AT HORUMON JONETSU

Tokyo Horumon Jonetsu Shinjuku Evening
WE BARBECUE OUR OWN FOOD

Horumon Jonetsu [GPS MAP], our restaurant of choice, wasn’t that bad though. It was pretty unique. We seated ourselves on the second floor and we’re soon barbecuing our own meal right on the table! Apparently horumonyaki—derived from the word hormone—is a popular dish in the Japan. It’s mostly made up of pork and beef innards, but in this particular restaurant, they have chicken too, which are then barbecued somewhat in Korean style.

Tokyo Horumon Jonetsu Tamago Kake Gohan Shinjuku Evening
TAMAGO KAKE GOHAN, TYPICAL FOR BREAKFAST BUT WE HAD IT FOR A LATE DINNER

Tokyo Horumon Jonetsu Edamame Shinjuku Evening
EDAMAME, THE UBIQUITOUS JAPANESE SNACK

Besides honing our barbecuing skill, which was clumsy at best, we also got to try their edamame, or soy beans, that reminded mo so much of 1Q84’s protagonist Aomame, and their extremely good tamago kake gohan—a bowl of rice topped with raw egg and ra-yu chili oil.

 

ASAKUSA

Tokyo Senso-Ji Temple Asakusa Evening
SENSO-JI TEMPLE AT NIGHT

On our last night in Tokyo, we visited that which was closest to us, Asakusa’s Senso-ji Temple. We pass this old Buddhist Temple, the oldest in Japan, in fact, day in and day out, but we were always taking it for granted since it was simply a few minutes walk from where we were staying.

Tokyo Senso-Ji Temple Asakusa Evening
SOUVENIR STORES ARE ALL CLOSED

BEER NIGHTS ON ONE OF ASAKUSA’S COVERED STREETS

After a late night bout of grocery shopping—think spicy karashi Japanese mustard and local beer—we headed over a covered shopping arcade [GPS MAP] to drink a few cans of alcohol. All the stalls were closed, and along with a few locals sleeping on the covered sidewalk, we watched people passing outside struggle with their umbrellas against the incoming storm.

Tokyo Senso-Ji Temple Asakusa Evening
THE SENSO-JI TEMPLE AT NIGHT

Tokyo Senso-Ji Temple Asakusa Evening
ABSOLUTELY NO PEOPLE

Tokyo Senso-Ji Temple Asakusa Evening
FAREWELL, TOKYO

With beers consumed, we then headed over to Senso-ji Temple to admire it sans the usual packs of tourists. It looked different without people milling around and with rain gently pitter pattering along its empty pathways. It was more than beautiful in its loneliness.


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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2 comments:

  1. As always, I love your photos!!! Hand held lng ung mga night shots mo? Amaziinng!!!

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    1. Hi Arrianne! Thanks for appreciating! Yes, all the shots are handheld, and most of them are shot using a mobile phone, lol. It was kinda hard to take photos using my camera at the time due to constant rain :D

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