HOLIDAYS, Japan, Uncategorized JAPAN: A VERY EXPENSIVE TEMPURA… 22 February 2010

Despite us adoring the socks off the country, there were 2 bad things about Japan:

1) The freezing cold – well, we went over Winter so what can you expect? The weather hovered between a shivery -2 to 10 degrees, and considering we were outdoors all the time, it got veeeerrryyyy cold. I was wearing 4 (!) layers and still pretty shivery, especially at night. Also, for around 3 days, it drizzled quite a bit. Depressing as I like my holidays super sunny and warm. The weather did get a lot better later though, which was fantastic. Still, I think I prefer Japan more in the heat πŸ˜›

2) The sheer exhaustion – Tokyo’s a real walking city. It’s best to walk around, since taxis are really expensive especially if you’re travelling long distances. Even when taking the train, the stations are massive and walking to the station plus walking around inside the station = a lot of walking. We were walking for basically 12 hours a day or more, every day. My feet and legs were SO tired that every night, I’d lay in bed and take a LONG time to fall asleep (I normally have a knack for falling asleep within 10 mins), because my body would just be too exhausted and I couldn’t sleep – weird but true. And I’d waver between wanting to cry from being so tired, and being so so so happy ‘cos I was in JAPAN!

Fortunately, apart from that, Japan was perfection. I LOVED pottering around the place and poking our noses about. There’s so much to do, every street holds hidden treasures of little shops and cafes. It’s similiar to Shanghai in a way – where the city is bustling with people (though the Japanese don’t shove or spit) and there’s a myriad of things to do once you step aside.


Walking around the streets of Shinjuku, where our hotel was

Gorgeous Japanese women!

Lots of little side-street stalls

I HAS AN UMBRELLA

Statue of some dog that waited every day for years for its master (or something)

Whilst in Asakusa one afternoon, Dad saw “a long queue outside a restaurant” so naturally, we had to go check out the food, despite being NOT hungry at all (had just eaten breakfast)! It was a little restaurant tucked into a side alley, but had loads of locals queueing for their food. We huddled at a small table, on little wooden chairs, and selected from the (very small) menu. Basically, they served tempura.

The tempura came out black-ish. Not like the light-coloured tempura that you see everywhere else. Turns out they use some sort of sauce/gravy that they pour over the whole dish, which makes it that colour. Unfortunately, it also makes the tempura quite soggy – instead of crisp. But obviously the locals like it that way, because the place was packed. The flavour was excellent – robust and very tasty, but if you don’t like your tempura really soggy, then this isn’t for you πŸ˜‰

It was also insanely EXPENSIVE!!!! Almost US$20 for a bowl. Ouch. Especially considering it’s a very casual, hole-in-the-wall type of place. I would’ve expected it to be half the price, which is what most other places would’ve charged. So whilst it tasted okay, it was really bad value. I don’t think we’d go back…


In the (long) queue for a tiny little restaurant selling tempura

Small and cramped inside, but it was sooo crowded!

The famous dish. None of us thought it was that amazing, though πŸ˜›


66 Comments

  • wwenzz posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

    That’s Hachikō…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Ahh yeah just Googled that and you’re right

      Reply
  • pishako posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:19 am

    i actually love the japan winter.. i find it so refreshing n nice

    maybe cos sg is so hot all year round.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Brrrr! I am a chicken so I prefer summer/spring. My parents enjoyed the winter though and they live in SG, but Chris and I came from Shanghai where it’s cold too, so we just wanted so heat

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I do find peculiar that you can’t fall asleep being exhausted. I find exercise makes me fall asleep faster and the sleep more restful.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Yeah, I work myself up into a state of franticness cos I’m just too tired, and I start counting the # of hrs before I have to wake up again, and try to urge myself to fall asleep ASAP!

      Reply
  • tinytear23 posted on February 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

    walking city – so true! i think i walked more in my first month in japan than i had ever done in my whole life before, and i’d want to chop off my legs at the end of the day because they hurt so much!

    now i’ve been here so long i’m really good at walking and enjoy it actually. when i go to shanghai i prefer walking while my friends cry for a taxi ride.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Saaaammmme, I nearly had a breakdown at the end of each day cos I was so tired and zonked! Well, at least it’s good exercise πŸ˜›

      You should blog about your JP adventures πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • tinytear23 posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

        i can’t even get myself to update my fb/twitter, let along blog!

        btw i went to the ferret shop on kaixuan the other day. boy did i have fun there! but i ended up getting bitten by one of the sable babies and had 2 little holes on my palm πŸ™

        Reply
        • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:47 am

          Aww glad ya went! But bummer they bit you πŸ™ Hope you had fun playing with em though, hehe

          Reply
  • pebzz posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:04 am

    The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ – another place to add!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

      It’s so wonderful.. even more than a decade after I was last there. Love Japan πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • finding_tricia posted on February 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

    i love your mummy’s hot pink jacket! :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:46 am

      It’s from Uniqlo and really light (in weight), but ya, the colour’s awesome!

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I love winter in Japan! Was awesome being out in the cold, couldnt get enough of it and the snow. :p In fact I’d much prefer to visit Japan in winter than summer I think. Snow just makes wandering the streets so much more magical.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Arghhh it was driving me crazy cos I was just soooo cold. I much prefer tropical climates πŸ˜‰

      Reply
      • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

        Well also considering you were only wearing a trenchcoat, of coz you would be cold. Lol. Tokyo isnt too bad though, Hokkaido was a lot colder at about -10 to -3 degrees. Even I was freezing outdoors. Did you buy any heat packs? We only started using them the day before we left but they work so well.

        Reply
        • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:46 am

          I was wearing 4 layers and thermals though! I can’t handle the cold :S Ya it was why we didn’t go Hokkaido, would’ve fainted – it’s around that temp in Shanghai’s winter and I can’t handle it, lol

          My mum was talking about the heat packs but I thought since they’re so small they would go cold in a few mins and would be useless. Didn’t know they were good, doh!

          Reply
          • babyflite posted on February 23, 2010 at 4:06 am

            Nah they last a while. We had the little ones in our pockets (even stuck them inside our gloves) and they were good for 6-8 hours. Kept our hands toasty warm since that and our feet were really the part that got the coldest. They had some that you could stick onto your soles as well but I dont know how comfortable that would be.

  • good_lenchik posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

    OMG you took a photo near Hachi!!! I bought “Hachi” DVD yesterday on Dagu Lu and was crying half of the movie. He was waiting for the owner who died for 9!!! years until he died waiting for him. I don’t think there is a human that can do the same for another human.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Ohhhh I was contemplating buying that! Is it a good DVD, should I watch it too?

      Reply
      • good_lenchik posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        Yes it’s good. Make sure Chris is nearby so that he can rub ur tears off. I was crying and hugging Symbi, cause Eewyn is still in Malaysia.

        Reply
  • winterswitchery posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    What I wouldn’t give for 10C right now lol

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      Hehe true, it’s all relative! It’s actually warmer in Shanghai now, thankfully..

      Reply
  • wwenzz posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

    That’s Hachikō…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Ahh yeah just Googled that and you’re right

      Reply
  • pishako posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:19 am

    i actually love the japan winter.. i find it so refreshing n nice

    maybe cos sg is so hot all year round.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Brrrr! I am a chicken so I prefer summer/spring. My parents enjoyed the winter though and they live in SG, but Chris and I came from Shanghai where it’s cold too, so we just wanted so heat

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I do find peculiar that you can’t fall asleep being exhausted. I find exercise makes me fall asleep faster and the sleep more restful.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Yeah, I work myself up into a state of franticness cos I’m just too tired, and I start counting the # of hrs before I have to wake up again, and try to urge myself to fall asleep ASAP!

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    love your trenchcoat hunz!

    i think i like the ‘original’ tempura better!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      Yeah, this one was good, but just not worth the $$!

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

        at $20 a bowl, you would have expected it to come with gold dust right!?!?

        Reply
  • tinytear23 posted on February 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

    walking city – so true! i think i walked more in my first month in japan than i had ever done in my whole life before, and i’d want to chop off my legs at the end of the day because they hurt so much!

    now i’ve been here so long i’m really good at walking and enjoy it actually. when i go to shanghai i prefer walking while my friends cry for a taxi ride.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Saaaammmme, I nearly had a breakdown at the end of each day cos I was so tired and zonked! Well, at least it’s good exercise πŸ˜›

      You should blog about your JP adventures πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • tinytear23 posted on February 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

        i can’t even get myself to update my fb/twitter, let along blog!

        btw i went to the ferret shop on kaixuan the other day. boy did i have fun there! but i ended up getting bitten by one of the sable babies and had 2 little holes on my palm πŸ™

        Reply
        • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:47 am

          Aww glad ya went! But bummer they bit you πŸ™ Hope you had fun playing with em though, hehe

          Reply
  • pebzz posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:04 am

    The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ – another place to add!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

      It’s so wonderful.. even more than a decade after I was last there. Love Japan πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • finding_tricia posted on February 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

    i love your mummy’s hot pink jacket! :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:46 am

      It’s from Uniqlo and really light (in weight), but ya, the colour’s awesome!

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I love winter in Japan! Was awesome being out in the cold, couldnt get enough of it and the snow. :p In fact I’d much prefer to visit Japan in winter than summer I think. Snow just makes wandering the streets so much more magical.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Arghhh it was driving me crazy cos I was just soooo cold. I much prefer tropical climates πŸ˜‰

      Reply
      • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

        Well also considering you were only wearing a trenchcoat, of coz you would be cold. Lol. Tokyo isnt too bad though, Hokkaido was a lot colder at about -10 to -3 degrees. Even I was freezing outdoors. Did you buy any heat packs? We only started using them the day before we left but they work so well.

        Reply
        • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:46 am

          I was wearing 4 layers and thermals though! I can’t handle the cold :S Ya it was why we didn’t go Hokkaido, would’ve fainted – it’s around that temp in Shanghai’s winter and I can’t handle it, lol

          My mum was talking about the heat packs but I thought since they’re so small they would go cold in a few mins and would be useless. Didn’t know they were good, doh!

          Reply
          • babyflite posted on February 23, 2010 at 4:06 am

            Nah they last a while. We had the little ones in our pockets (even stuck them inside our gloves) and they were good for 6-8 hours. Kept our hands toasty warm since that and our feet were really the part that got the coldest. They had some that you could stick onto your soles as well but I dont know how comfortable that would be.

  • marmalade81 posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I remember seeing that restaurant near Asakusa.. glad we didn’t go in! That’s just way too expensive for a bowl of tempura don!

    I also was so tired from too much walking while we were in Japan, I had to get a foot massage twice during my short trip there!! It was pricey but well worth it as I didn’t think I’d be able to continue walking after that :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

      Haha yeah good thing you didn’t go! The food was good, just that it was seriously not worth the money :S

      I was GAGGING for a foot massage too but Chris refused cos it’s way more expensive than in China πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • renew posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Mmm tempura! Were you in Asakusa to visit the temple? The place is so pretty.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

      We were there to check out the markets there, but the temple was there too. It was sooo packed!

      Reply
  • good_lenchik posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

    OMG you took a photo near Hachi!!! I bought “Hachi” DVD yesterday on Dagu Lu and was crying half of the movie. He was waiting for the owner who died for 9!!! years until he died waiting for him. I don’t think there is a human that can do the same for another human.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Ohhhh I was contemplating buying that! Is it a good DVD, should I watch it too?

      Reply
      • good_lenchik posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        Yes it’s good. Make sure Chris is nearby so that he can rub ur tears off. I was crying and hugging Symbi, cause Eewyn is still in Malaysia.

        Reply
  • winterswitchery posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    What I wouldn’t give for 10C right now lol

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      Hehe true, it’s all relative! It’s actually warmer in Shanghai now, thankfully..

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    love your trenchcoat hunz!

    i think i like the ‘original’ tempura better!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      Yeah, this one was good, but just not worth the $$!

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

        at $20 a bowl, you would have expected it to come with gold dust right!?!?

        Reply
  • marmalade81 posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I remember seeing that restaurant near Asakusa.. glad we didn’t go in! That’s just way too expensive for a bowl of tempura don!

    I also was so tired from too much walking while we were in Japan, I had to get a foot massage twice during my short trip there!! It was pricey but well worth it as I didn’t think I’d be able to continue walking after that :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

      Haha yeah good thing you didn’t go! The food was good, just that it was seriously not worth the money :S

      I was GAGGING for a foot massage too but Chris refused cos it’s way more expensive than in China πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • renew posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Mmm tempura! Were you in Asakusa to visit the temple? The place is so pretty.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

      We were there to check out the markets there, but the temple was there too. It was sooo packed!

      Reply
  • ameelia posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:42 am

    We saw that queue too and didn’t bother :p there was also this tonkatsu place nearby that our parents raved about. we even asked the policeman where it was. but when we finally found it… was closed!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Yesss we tried to hunt down the tonkatsu place but ended up in a random one instead!

      Reply
  • ameelia posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:42 am

    We saw that queue too and didn’t bother :p there was also this tonkatsu place nearby that our parents raved about. we even asked the policeman where it was. but when we finally found it… was closed!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Yesss we tried to hunt down the tonkatsu place but ended up in a random one instead!

      Reply

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