Homeward bound


I find myself sitting again in the Sakura Lounge in Tokyo, on the last leg (not counting the flight to Adelaide).

Our last day in Tokyo was short, once packed we ventured to Fabric Town (Nippori), which believe me, has a lot of fabric, then on to Sugamo to experience a more reaxed street for shopping then Shibuya for last minute look into Loft, and a music store for a couple of random selections of J-pop to add to our CD collection. Prior to leaving we checked the weather forecast. It stated there would be a 20% chance of showers. In Sugamo, it was sunny, and humid, then it began to rain. The rain was heavy. Kym packed his umbrella, given the forecast, this was understandable. As sharing one small umbrella wasn’t working, we picked up one for 105yen or 100yen before tax from the 100ye shop.

Sugamo was a delightful area with a friendly and easy shopping street. Very little in the way of English menus. It always helps when a delightful man popped out speaking English and helped us to decipher the menu on the ticket vending machine helping Helen avoid natto on soba. Those familiar with Japanese food will understand Helen’s relief (yes the person typing this post had changed from Helen to Kym – this is to allow Helen to experience the pleasures of the shower rooms of the JAL Sakura Lounge – just let me say that they are better than most hotels.)

Before I finish this post to go get some snacks, I would like to again thank Gaku and Ryoko our friends from Tokyo for making our stay so much fun, especially the “maniac” cycling on Muji bikes.

Until we’re back in Australia this is Kym and Helen signing off.

Foodie Report #2

Copenhagen, originally uploaded by Helen K.

Foodie Report #2

Wow, time has flown. It is our last day of our vacation and I haven’t written a foodie report since early July. It could be because we’ve only been eating at McDonalds, Quick and Mos Burger. But that isn’t true. Rather it is because we have been rather occupied by eating good food.

He are the 2011 Vacation Foodie Awards – Part 1.

The “Oh my god do you expect me to cycle up that steep hill” award goes to the Burnside Brace Guesthouse for cooking a great FULL english breakfast. What followed was a hill that at points had a 17% gradient. Also very good breakfasts came from Lowbyer Manor Country House and Norcroft Guest House.

The “Wow, can this really be that good” award goes to the Danish Grilled Medister. Yes it is a sausage with mustard, tomato sauce, onion chips and a soft bread roll sold from vans from the side of the road. But, it is bloody good and we should bring it to Australia.

The “Home sick and two Michelin stars” award goes to The Ledbury amazing food and amazing wine everything you’d expect from two Michelin stars. It started of a little frosty at the front door but warmed up wonderfully with Luke the very engaging Aussie sommelier. He provided a wonderful wine education from around the world. I just hope to remember some of it. The Chef Brett Graham is also from Australia. (Note for David if you find your future wife in London this is the place to go to pop the question!!)

The “Sweetest town on Earth” award is jointly awarded to Paris and Tokyo. The most amazing sweet and cake shops on the planet are in these two towns. My only question is how come people in Paris and especially Tokyo are so skinny?

The “That’s not Pudding” award goes to the Brew Pub in Copenhagen. After a great meal of beer braised pork cheeks I had a pudding of summer berries. The only thing missing was the “pudding”. It was like a summer berries soup with cream. Yumm! A special mention goes to the on-venue brewed beers and the tasting flight option!

The “Most Showy Dish” award goes to Restaurant Herman for its dish of Scandinavian Shellfish and Bisque of Dried Chamomile. It was presented in amazing two level bowl. The first level emitted chamomile infused steam adding smell to the taste sensation!

… more awards to come.

Tokyo – shopping Ginza

Tokyo – shopping Ginza, originally uploaded by Helen K.

We ventured out to Ginza on Sunday to do some shopping. The main street is shut every Sunday from noon, complete with chairs! It is a hive of activity, We purchased lunch from the lower ground floor of a Japanese department store and people watched as we ate!

Yukatas were the clothing choice of the day for many, due to a special promotional event. Perfect for tourists and photos!

What do you do after a 12 hour flight when you land in Japan?

Tokyo, originally uploaded by Helen K.

We could of taken it easy – given my lack of sleep on the flight to Tokyo. However, before leaving on holiday we had decided to see a J-league match on the same day we landed. So off to a J-League match we went.

When we arrived the match was about to kick off, and the stadium was alive with drumming and supporters chants… which continued for the whole match. Who played Yokohama F Marinos vs Omyia Ardija. Yokohama won 2-1.

Many thanks to our Tokyo friend Gaku, who met us at the airport, guided us to the hotel and the Yokohama Stadium, propped us up with coffee and back to our hotel again.