This was our last day in Tokyo before going to Kyoto, and it couldn’t have been better. We decided to keep it simple and walk from Harajuku, through Omotesando, to Shibuya.
Harajuku definitely has the high-end vibe going on, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find anything interesting there, specially the houses! We already knew the Japanese are pretty brilliant in what concerns making the most out of a small space, but they are also brilliant coming up with exquisite exemplars of great architecture in a small space.
After getting our Shinkansen reserved seat tickets, it was time to grab something to eat. Japanese live part of their life underground, so they put train stations to good use and have huge food courts on the basement floors. This day, we visited Tokyu Food Show, an amazing array of galleries, shops and restaurants offering everything you can think of.
Despite the staggering selection, we got out of the station and entered a small restaurant nearby that had no menu in English and we had to point to someone else’s plate to order, literally. Turns out it was a variation of a Hiyashi Chuka and it was one of the best meals we’ve had: cold noodles with yummy meat, tons of finely sliced cucumber and a nutty spicy sauce on top.
After watching Pachinko madness and burning up some more ¥100 coins on UFO catchers — which got us a full week supply of Pringles and two more fluffy characters — we headed back to Harajuku for dinner. We had Tonkatsu at Maisen that was pretty delicious and walked around a bit more enjoying our last day as Harajuku locals.
This is Pachinko: countless floors packed with very loud, bright and blinky machines that you put tiny metal balls in and get out even more, through a series of events, some mechanical, some electronic. Think video game meets pinball. These balls can then be exchanged for prizes, which can then be changed for money (even if not very legally).