Just like that, and there is only less than a month before I complete my study abroad term in Japan. There was time when I felt a bit homesick, but now I do not want to leave. There are still so many things I want to do here in Japan, yet time is so limited. However, I do not think I will leave Japan with any regrets, because I have spent every moment in Japan very wisely.
I always have an agenda and plan every day. It was pretty overwhelming to have a mindset of wanting to visit all the places and try all the food in Japan. I cannot go a day without opening my agenda, and looking through to see if there are any open spots for me to fit more places/ restaurants in there. I managed to go to at least one unique town/ spot of Tokyo, or try the food that I haven’t tried before, or go to a restaurant that I cannot find outside of Japan. I am always doing something every day. By doing so, at the end of the day, I feel very satisfied because I don’t want to waste a single moment to explore Japan (mostly Tokyo in my case). Also, by keeping a calendar, it helps me remember the places that I have been to and the things that I did in Japan. I want to forever remember the joy and happiness that I experience daily in Tokyo.
With that being said, I understand how stressful it is to having to keep up with everything, so I am coming up with the list of the places that I have been to, and want to recommend to everyone.
One life-saving tip: utilize the “save” button on Google Map. Whenever I find a new place, I immediate go to my Google Map, look it up and save the location so I don’t end up forgetting everything, or having a long list untouched.
There were several great shops which I do not remember the names, but I will try my best to make sure the best places are listed.
Note: I am a big foodie, so most of the places will be restaurants, but food is such a large part of the Japanese culture (especially sweets!). I am not sure about others, but the Japanese food/ sweets give me such a strange feeling of happiness that I don’t think I can find it anywhere else.
Most of these places can be found immediately using just the name on Google Map, so I hope finding these places will not be any problems.
- Nabezou / Momo Paradise / MK Restaurant (they have many different branches, from Shibuya to Harajuku to Shinjuku)
- All you can eat for Shabu Shabu (hot pot) and Sukiyaki (special Japanese dish stew served in hot pot style)
- 世界で２番めにおいしい焼きたてメロンパンアイス in Shibuya
- The one and only place that sells this unique melon bread filled with ice cream!
- Soup Stock Tokyo (right outside Sophia in the Atre Building)
- Famous healthy and delicious soups with a wide variety. They also serve curry and different lunch sets
- Hatsudai (初代) in Ebisu:
- White potato cream curry udon (shiroi kare udon)
- Japanese Ice Ouca in Ebisu
- In my opinion, has the BEST ice cream with the most unique flavors (4 tea flavors alone, pumpkin, premium milk, different fruits, cream cheese, etc.)
- Bittersweet Buffet/ Sweet Paradise in Shinjuku/ Ikebukuro/ Shibuya
- all you can eat Japanese sweets (the crepes and waffles here are amazing), on top of salads, Italian cuisines, drinks, etc.
- Cosme Juicery in Daikanyama, Shibuya’s Hikarie Building
- Healthy organic cold-pressed juice/ smoothies
- SASA Grill Burger in Daikanyama
- Serve avocado, salmon, mushroom, and all types of unique and delicious burgers with great atmosphere
- Burn Side Café in Harajuku
- Soufflé pancakes! One of the best
- Rainbow Pancake in Harajuku / Honolulu Coffee in Yokohama:
- Madacamia nut cream pancake
- Pablo Cheese Tart in Shibuya
- They have seasonal flavors! This is a great gift to buy and enjoy with host family because only a whole cheese tart is sold here (but it was so good that I could finish the whole thing by myself).
- Rapoppo in Shinjuku Station/ Shibuya Tokyu Store B1/ Sky Tree:
- Sweet potato sweets!
- Bills at Harajuku/ Yokohama:
- Hot cakes!
- Ichiran （一覧）—everywhere
- Known as the best ramen restaurant
- Harbs in Shibuya/ Shinjuku Lumine Est
- Mille Crepes with fruits filling- one of the best creations in the sweets industry in my opinion
- Tsurutotan in Roppongi
- Authentic and delicious udon. The size of one serving is three times bigger than normal, and the “udon” is all you can eat, so enjoy
- Ice Monster in Harajuku:
- Taiwanese ice shave
- Bake Cheese Tart in Jiyugaoka/ Shinjuku
- Famous baked cheese tart- there is always a line but it is worth it
- Quil Fait Bon: fruit tarts
- Croquant Chou Zakuzaku in Harajuku/ Shinjuku:
- Premium Milk Ice Cream from Hokkaido and churros with custard filling
- Pancake House: Dutch pancake
- Gyukaku (every where): all you can eat yakiniku (Korean BBQ)
- Croissant Taiyaki
Interesting shops to check out:
- Kiddy Land
- Tokyu Hands
- Book Off
- Troll along Harajuku/ Shimokitazawa for unique cheaper goods
Small local towns:
- Shimo kitazawa
- Yanaka Ginza
- Enoshima/ Kamakura
There are many more places that I want to talk more details about, but I am sure if students take time to explore the local stops on their route home, there will be plenty of hidden gems are waiting to be discovered.
- Soufflé Pancake at Burn Side St. Café
- Melon Pan Ice (Melon bread filled with ice cream) at世界で２番めにおいしい焼きたてメロンパンアイス
- Ice shave at Ice Monster
- Premium milk ice cream at Croquant Chou Zakuzaku