Autumn has come!

As the temperature gets cooler, I often find myself taking a long walk in Tokyo. Walking is one of my few things that became my weekly habits since I moved to Tokyo. I love wandering anywhere in this big city, literally, anywhere. Unlike many other cities in Japan, Tokyo is so diverse that I can sense quickly where I am, even if it was my first time visiting. Sure, it looked all the same from the window of the train. But once you actually set foot on its soil, you could find the difference. Old post-war-style houses stood along a narrow street, but once you look up, there are a bunch of skyscrapers on your eyes. New and Old, stylish and traditional, European and Asian...And an office district comes along with collage students' town... All of them live along side by side in the city. Every time I walk, I find something new, and it was Taco Bell one day. They were long gone since they withdrew from Japan, though, they finally came back in Shibuya, a city loved by young age. Many elders and people spend time in abroad welcomed its return, I heard from someone, and it reminds me of my only one experience eating there: Costa Rica. So why don't I drop off at it to remember my old days? ;)

I expect another wonderful walking within days, perhaps :)


A sunny Saturday.

 I'm sure I'll be back soon :)


Sukiyaki on paella pan.

 Sometimes I eager to eat Sukiyaki. With boiled sweet sauce based on soy-sauce and sugar, I can eat enormous amounts of vegetables. Mushrooms, tofu, sliced onions.... It's so easy to make it, and you can take many kinds of ingredients in it. The only problem was a pan for Sukiyaki: they usually use unique cast-iron pan, and I didn't have it. What should I do? I took paella pan instead, and it worked quite well :) Thanks to it, I enjoyed my homemade sukiyaki!

 In other news, I had had a lot of eating out these days, invited by my friend, or simply got together in a restaurant or cafe. Chatting and eating, they always make the special moments for me ;)


Visiting an udon restaurant named "Shin", in Shinjuku.

Standing along a narrow street in south Shinjuku, the handmade Udon restaurant Shin (うどん 慎 in Japanese) is one of the best wheat noodle shops in this district. I visited there a few weeks ago, and found a wonderful food :) Let me show what it was like.

 Like many other popular yet budget-friendly (you can be full around $10) restaurant in Tokyo, you can see people queued in front of it. I was lucky I found only two people waited inside it, and took only a few minutes to sit a counter to eat. While waiting for clerks to take my order, I took a glance at a menu they passed. There are hot and cold Udon, as well as set menu come along with tempura and so forth. The price range is fairly good: the price of the normal Udon started from 650yen, around $7, and you can ask the bigger amount of Udon for free. I ordered a Udon with chicken tempure called "kashiwa-ten", a popular one in this restaurant (It was 950yen, about $10 for the record)
 Looking into the kitchen, a young man making Udon with his hands and a long wooden stick. Next to him, another man cooking tempura in a pot filled with oil. I noticed almost a half of customers are foreign people: someone from Taiwan and Asian countries, others from Europe and The U.S.  One of clerk explained about reasonings and the ingredients they use in English. "Wow, what a wonderful place to enjoy meals" I thought.

Because my Udon is cold one, they served a set of  black cups of soup. Once I remove the upper, which we pour the soup to dip Udon, nice flavor of dashi and soy sauce breathe around me. It looked I could expect a quality lunch.

 About 5 minutes later, it came in front of me. Everytime I eat Udon, I carefully sense its texture as well as the taste itself. Does it have a texture? If so, isn't it too soft? These questions always make me feel happy, and sometimes I take a memo to remember the details of what I eat. I felt satisfied when I finished eating it. The soup and the texture of the noodle is indeed well-balanced. I'm sure I'll be back soon :)

Restaurant Information
Udon Shin (うどん慎)

Phone: 03-6276-7816

〒151-0053 Tokyo, Shibuya
Yoyogi, 2-20-16

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00-23:00 (L.O.22:00)
Friday-Saturday:11:00-24:00 (L.O.23:00)

Although the nearest station is Minami-Shinjuku, I recommend you to drop off at Shinjuku Station when you visit by train. It's more convenient, and only 5-10 minutes walk :)


A short walk around Tokyo Station in the evening.

 Walking around the Station of Tokyo is fantastic, especially at the Gate of Marunouchi, where sophisticated retro-look buildings and shops stood. Last weekend, I visited there to shoot some photos. As I arrived, I found many people gathered at the station building that is also available as a hotel. It seemed the emperor was about to show up to come back to his palace (It's right near the station by the way). Fancy black vehicles are lined along its entrance to wait for him. "Well, it might be nice to see him from the distance, but I prefer to do my job!" I  opened my shoulder bag up to take pictures.

 One reason I was always amazed is its harmonized atmosphere. Despite it has both modern and retro-look architectures in one place, it doesn't look planless at all. On the contrary, they actually represent more than 100-year history of Tokyo Station. I just heard of the news they build the tallest building in this area by 2017. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing its gradual change :)


Untitled evening.

I just...want to do my way for the time being.


Kushi for dinner.

 My brother and I went to a so-called kushi restaurant in Shibuya last week. Like any other kushi restaurants, it was filled with smoke from grilling kitchen, as well as cigarettes’ smoke from other people enjoying eating and talking. We ordered a variety of chicken meals, and the first plate was chopped raw chicken. Well, I heard of people eating raw chicken, but I had never actually seen the real one. It's always nice to experience new thing, isn't it? The taste was not fatty and good for hot days like summer. (As you can see in this photo, wasabi and sliced onion was great when you eat along with raw chickens.)
 We talked a lot, like what happened since last time we met, and by the time we left the restaurant, it was almost midnight. "I must fall asleep while being on the train to come back to my home!" I thought myself and began to walk toward the station nearby. 

 My latest work :) Shuttling between the library and my home became my routine, and this temple is just besides the library. One day I was taking the lunch outside, I found an old temple stood there. With my pen and paper, I sit in a shade of a tree, then started to draw it. When I finished it, the shade had already moved and I found myself shined by the sun :)


An afternoon at Haneda Airport.

 Sometimes we have to go out when we feel frustrated in our daily life. In that case, Haneda Airport,mainly used for domestic flights and LCCs but also for international flight in recent years, may be a good destination to visit. I went to the airport a couple weeks ago, just see the planes and the passengers go back and forth. Despite people rushed in and out of the airport, I was waiting for nothing in particular. I climbed on a deck nearby, then took a glance once in a while, especially when a loud sound wrapped on it.

 One thing I noticed about the airport was we can visit without any purpose. We can drink, eat in a fine restaurant, and buy clothes and stuff. It was like a mega shopping mall. Since I like this kind of place, I spent much more time than I expected.

I was lucky I found Mt. Fuji before I left. Also, Sky Tree and Tokyo Bay was in my sight. It was a nice afternoon :)