HOLIDAYS, Japan, Uncategorized JAPAN: DISCOVERING AN ARTIFICIAL ISLAND AND YUMMY RAMEN 25 February 2010

There is an entire man-made island in Japan.

It’s called Odaiba, accessible by crossing the Rainbow Bridge from Tokyo (yes, it all sounds rather fantastical!). Created in the 1950s, it morphed from an island built for defense into one of shopping, relaxation and entertainment. It has a myriad of shopping centres, and also the likes of Fuji, Panasonic and Sony with their headquarters and prototype showrooms there.

We took the monorail across, to enjoy the scenery as we crossed over to Odaiba. It takes about 10 mins before you’re plonked on the massive island. I basically made a bee-line straight for the shops 😛 Didn’t end up buying much, though, because I was gobsmacked and fascinated with one of the pet stores there. IT IS MASSIVE. Spacious and super-clean, the stuff were cheery and helpful, everything was laid out so precisely, and it was just so ridiculous clean and nice-smelling! When I walked in, I thought I’d walked into a supermarket or store, not a place that sold pets.

Best of all… the pets were all in the peak of health, alert, clean and happy. It was surprising to see the difference between animals in a regular pet store, and those in a Japanese pet store. I spent over 2 hours there, just gawking at all their stuff, and cooing at the animals. Best shopping trip ever 🙂


The Rainbow Bridge

On the monorail to Odaiba

Randomly, the Statue of Liberty

Looking towards the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo city

Some ad that they were filming, about 200 people dancing to Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion”!

Shops everywhere!

The Panasonic, Sony, etc prototype centres were all there.. cool

Clean glass walls housing lots of happy animals

OMG they have baby ferrets!! So sweet and cuddly 🙂

Back in Shinjuku, Chris and I were walking around amongst the 235203482035 different restaurants, trying to find somewhere to eat. On a whim, I’d decided I wanted ramen and by a stroke of luck, we found a little hole-in-the-wall type place (though it actually was right in the middle of the busy walking street) that was PACKED. We eagerly went in and sat down on their (again, teeny tiny) seats by the counter. A mere 2 mins later, our ramen came out.

WOW.

It was completely different to ANY ramen I’ve had before. The broth, that is. It was so surprisingly rich, it honestly was like drinking liquid pork fat. Chris took a bite of his seaweed sheet (which was half in the broth) and said “Oh! This seaweed tastes really fatty” and we realised it was because it was soaked in the broth. The noodles, all squiggly and tender, were delicious slurped up with the fatty broth, and they were VERY generous with the pork slices – 5 large in my bowl! Usually ramen shops only give 2-3 small slices.

They don’t offer tea there, you just get a cup which you pour iced water from a big communal jug. Everything is extremely no-frills and messy, but it all adds to the atmosphere.

Okay! Mum just told me the noodle place’s name.. ‘cos I’d totally forgotten 😛 It’s Tenjin Hakata Ramen, we went to the one in Shinjuku. You can find it ‘cos there’s a big pig statue in front of their shops. They’re famous, so now I’m feeling pretty smug and pleased we found (okay, stumbled across) it randomly all by ourselves!

So the noodles are Hakata noodles which are a little thicker than regular ramen. The portions are very decent, and that fatty broth.. OMG. You can see as it’s being made too – in a massive vat next to the cooks. He opened the lid and when we peeked in, it was full of pork and pork bones boiling away. Mmmm…

A total heart-attack in a bowl. If you like fatty, rich, luscious food like we do.. you’ll LOVE it. If not, you’ll probably stomach about 1/2 of the bowl and then feel ill 😛 But it’s luscious. Next time we’re in Japan, we’re going back!


The famous Tenjin Hakata ramen shop at Shinjuku

Boiling the ramen pork broth in a HUGE vat

Ultra rich, ultra fatty ramen *heart attack*

Crepes for dessert, to wash down all that fatty broth

Wandering around the red light district of Shinjuku 😛


18 Comments

  • starbucksweetie posted on February 25, 2010 at 2:32 am

    All these pics make me want to go to Japan.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 25, 2010 at 8:04 am

      It’s an AWESOME place, we’re already planning our next trip back.

      Reply
  • la_periwinkle posted on February 25, 2010 at 4:04 am

    you are making me so jealous on ur japan trip postings! haha.. anyway do u think u send me a copy of ur itinerary? me n hubby thinking of going there too end of this year.. thanks!!!

    Reply
  • pishako posted on February 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

    the thing abt eating in japan is that… i think all their food r fabulous!

    u shld try kisoji if u like shabu shabu , they have a few branches in tokyo; it’s a local favourite restaurant and prices are from about 6000yen onwards per pax.. their beef slices are superbly cut, so is their sesame sauce for dipping.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

      Ohhh thanks for the tip!! we didn’t get a chance to try that. not even shabu shabu unfortunately 🙁

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on February 25, 2010 at 2:32 am

    All these pics make me want to go to Japan.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 25, 2010 at 8:04 am

      It’s an AWESOME place, we’re already planning our next trip back.

      Reply
  • la_periwinkle posted on February 25, 2010 at 4:04 am

    you are making me so jealous on ur japan trip postings! haha.. anyway do u think u send me a copy of ur itinerary? me n hubby thinking of going there too end of this year.. thanks!!!

    Reply
  • pishako posted on February 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

    the thing abt eating in japan is that… i think all their food r fabulous!

    u shld try kisoji if u like shabu shabu , they have a few branches in tokyo; it’s a local favourite restaurant and prices are from about 6000yen onwards per pax.. their beef slices are superbly cut, so is their sesame sauce for dipping.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

      Ohhh thanks for the tip!! we didn’t get a chance to try that. not even shabu shabu unfortunately 🙁

      Reply

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