Sunday, September 4, 2016

Japan - Shibuya

Me and my sister did our research only one night before we ventured into Shibuya on our own. This was our first time navigating around in Japan all by ourselves! Thankfully we had the internet to gather our information from, as well as friends who answered our never ending questions. They all claimed that it's very simple but I just wanted to be very sure. I didn't want to be lost in Tokyo, especially not when we're responsible for leading the rest of our family including the grandparents.. Later kena scold ah! Haha.

Shibuya was one of the top must-go places for me in Tokyo and I had a really fun time!

We left from Resort Gateway Station... Funny thing that happened here was, my mum took my grandma to take the lift, while the rest took the escalator. Next thing we knew, the escalator doesn't lead to the same place as the lift so we couldn't find them for awhile! Haha.

I remember telling myself that I must share how to take the trains in Japan since I didn't find simplified answers on google while researching, but now that I'm back, I realize that I don't really remember the details anymore! The map looks so confusing to me now. Haha. I always thought that train maps are extremely easy to read (e.g Singapore's MRT map), but that's not the case in Japan.... Some signage don't show the full map/ all the lines / all the stops, so we were clueless!

There are so many routes to get to Shibuya, but we weren't sure which one was the best. Should we take the shorter distance or the one that require lesser number of train changes? In the end we took the Keiyo line from Maihama, and transferred to JR Yamanote Line at Tokyo Station.

And the machine, it took us some time to understand the concept! Haha. Sorry I forgotten everything already so you gotta google yourself :x

The transfer wasn't as straightforward as our local stations... Change of lines required some walking and we were surprised at the distance between the Keiyo Line and JR Yamanote Line. It felt like we were walking from one end to another in a shopping centre instead of a train station! Shops and people everywhere. Luckily, there are huge signs leading the way.

We had no idea that in a single route, there are different train categories... Remember to look at the signboard before boarding!! Lucky for us, the places we went to are major stations so we managed to get off at the correct station hahahaha. I forgot if we took Rapid of Express, but either is great because the journey was shortened due to skipping afew stops. We arrived at our destination faster than our initial estimation, which was based on the train stopping at every station.
- Local (Stop at every station)
- Rapid (Skip some stations)
- Express (Skip some stations)
- Limited Express (Stop only at major stations)

We successfully made our way to Shibuya!!

The iconic Shibuya Crossing.

Walked towards the direction of a cluster of shopping malls and saw Shibuya 109!

Shibuya 109 has a circular layout, so you just go on the escalator to the next storey, go one round, then go up the escalator again. The clothes found here are quite trendy, catered towards the younger crowd!

Took such a nice photo for my sister..... Can't say the same for the photo she took of me in the exact same background. Sigh, 别说了 :'(

We observed that almost all Japanese women are had good grooming, wore makeup, dressed well. That's very good ah! In Singapore we have alot of barefaced girls walking around town with casual tees and flip flops. I'm one of them! Sometimes I just feel too lazy but we should all learn from their diligence in looking good!

We were searching for a restaurant in Japan to try authentic sushi and chanced upon a signboard outside a quiet mall. Went upstairs for it and I think it's quite a popular place because there was a queue.

AND THE SUSHI WERE SO FRESH AND YUMMY!!!! Probably one of the best we had, ever.

Cute sushi candy outside the restaurant... Was so tempted to purchase them as souvenirs!

It was night time already when we came out. Time flies when you are having a good time~

Saw a gudetama machine so I tried one, and got this cute little thing!

Went shopping and got very good deals at H&M~ One of my buys was a wine-red dress at 100yen (Approx SGD1.20)!

My sister brought us to Ichiran, highly recommended by her friend. We passed by two outlets in Shibuya (look out for the red signboard!)

Ordering by machine...

We were led to a squeezy and dark corridor outside the kitchen with two rows of diners. This is the indicator for the usher who was manning the queue. Diners will enter one by one, everyone will have their own individual table.

This how it looks like from the queue, behind the curtains!

Each diner will have their own separate section, and the kitchen staff will serve you through the "window" in front. It will be closed throughout the meal except when serving. I've heard about such concepts in Japan before and it was quite an unique experience!

Lighting is horrible but must take a photo for remembrance! Luckily for me, I had my sis to the left and my grandma to the right, although we were allocated at different timing.

The rest of my group ate quite fast so I was rushing through my meal as I didn't want them to wait for me outside for too long! I felt that the ramen was slightly above average... but not as good as I thought it would be. It was a bit too bland for me... Prefer the soup to be stronger!

Nevertheless, I was glad we paid Ichiran a visit, especially since it's such a popular name with tourists!

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