Fling in Tokyo: Saturday

If you have not already done so, please read yesterday’s blog entry, which describes my first night in Tokyo.

PICCOLO MONDO (in our hotel):  This is the view of the garden.  For 2,550 yen, we had a sumptuous breakfast buffet.  Besides the food pictured here, there were pastries, pancakes, an omelet station, and various beverages. 

After breakfast, we took the subway to the world-famous UENO ZOO (600 yen entry fee).  Unfortunately, we were told that the two Giant Pandas, Tong Tong and Ling Ling, had died only a few months ago, apparently of old age.  But, we got our money’s worth when we saw polar bears for the first time.  All of the animals seemed well-fed and much healthier than those in the Honolulu Zoo.

From the zoo, we took the taxi to the popular tempura restaurant, AOI MARUSHIN, in Asakusa.  We chose the delicious Prime Tempura Set for 3,400 yen per person.  It’s said that tempura came to Japan with Christian missionaries, who fried fish and vegetables when they had to abstain from meat.  “Tempura” is derived from “temples.”

Appetizer and pickled vegetables

Tempura, rice, and sauce.  Not pictured: soup and green tea.

Dinner was spent at OSHIMA Restaurant in our hotel.  All of the waitresses were dressed in kimonos.  We chose the sushi course for 5,800 yen per person.

This peach drink tasted alcoholic and stunned my taste buds.  Yummy!

Appetizer:  Chilled nori, vegetables, and crab meat.

Excellent, fresh sushi!  The fish was from northern Japan.  I also enjoyed the miso soup.

For dessert, green tea ice cream cost 640 yen extra.

After dinner, we headed for the SKY LOUNGE BLUE PACIFIC on the 30th floor of our hotel.  A Japanese group performed “oldies,” like “Teenager in Love,” “Do the Loco Motion,” and “Tennessee Waltz.”  It was rather expensive.  Kirin beer cost 1,090 yen, and cover charge for hotel guests was 1,050 yen per person.

TOMORROW:  Tokyo Tower, a tea ceremony, a Japanese BBQ, the Imperial Palace, a river boat cruise, Nakamise shopping arcade, Kannon Temple, and a French restaurant.  Whew!

10 Responses to “Fling in Tokyo: Saturday”

  1. M Says:

    In April, Ueno park is full with cherry blossoms, very nice. The food looks sooo good. I miss Japan.

  2. Jason Says:

    I’m still getting used to the idea of you eating seafood. 😀

  3. Jason Says:

    BTW, alternate explanations of tempura’s origin from Wikipedia:

    Tempura was introduced to Japan in the mid-sixteenth century by early Portuguese and Spanish missionaries and traders. The word tempura may be derived from the Portuguese noun tempero, meaning a condiment or seasoning, or from the verb temperar, meaning “to season”. There is still today a dish in Portugal very similar to tempura called peixinhos da horta, “garden fishies”. An alternative explanation for the word is that it is derived from ‘tempora’, a Latin word meaning “times”, “time period” used by either Spanish or Portuguese missionaries to refer to the Lenten period (ad tempora quadragesimae) where they could not eat meat.

  4. Masako Says:

    I enjoyed Ueno Zoo when I visited, I thought it was a bargain for six bucks. Oh that tempura and sushi looks so good! I think i’ll check out that tempura restaurant when I go next year. There are lots of good restaurants in Asakusa. Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

  5. al Says:

    shooot. raw two night in a row. including raw salmon roe.

    i am impressed.

    on another note, you say “fling”. now according to the encarta dictionary the noun fling means, you know what. so is that what your interpretation of fling was/is?

    inquiring minds want to know.

  6. gigihawaii Says:

    Al, I’ll let your mind run wild on this one…

  7. Kaimuki boy Says:

    The food looks great. I miss the food in Japan. Did you eat Natto and Miso soup for breakfast? Usually they serve it with the buffets. I really think the Natto in Japan is excellent. Ueno zoo is a great deal. It is much better than the Honolulu zoo. I really liked the Gorilla exhibit, and the price. My kids loved the small kind amusement park rides outside of the zoo, and the gelato stand.

    Did you notice that Japan has a smell? Well, all places do. Hawaii smells like the ocean. I think Japan has an industrial metal work shop smell. Did you smell it on your clothes when you got back?

  8. gigihawaii Says:

    I didn’t notice any unusual smell in Tokyo. The city was very clean, and there was no graffiti.

    For breakfast, I focused on haole food. The breakfast buffet at the hotel was great.

  9. LizKauai Says:

    What beautiful places and food! Looks like the prices were very reasonable too!

  10. las vegas Says:

    looks like you had a great trip!

    btw, entering Tokyo, city smells of soot, once there it smells like shoyu
    to me anyway

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