Tokyo Adventures: Airport, Sukiyaki, Roppongi Hills
Welcome to the beginning of a multi-part series going over my recent adventures in Tokyo! Buckle in, because I did a lot of stuff. I'll also be using this blog to post some more specific 'guides' outside of just the ~adventures~ for anyone interested in visiting Tokyo!
So let's start this section off with giving a nod to Korean Air. JAL is what most people use (well, people who don't want to do bottom-of-the-barrel flights anyway) and it's rated prettty high, but Korean Air is a classic...and in my case, I had miles to use from all my flights to Korea. Huzzah! I'm also a super duper special 'Morning Calm' member which is super legit. Look at the lounge in Gimpo -
And then not only was the lounge super cool, but everyone on the (very not-crowded flight) got a full meal for what was only a 1.5 hour flight. You know what United would've given us? Pretzels. Actually, they give out a thing called 'Asian Snack Mix' on flights in Asia. So not even pretzels.
So now with the nerding out over airport stuff done, let's talk about Tokyo. Actually, sike. I'm going to nerd out over the Haneda airport.
Upon arriving in Tokyo, you're immediately put in the 'hey, leave already' arrival zone that has a bunch of tourist information, ATMs, SIM card sellers, and people desperately trying to figure out the subway system. Buuut, if you take a chill pill and go up to 'departures', you're met with a pretty amazing airport.
The entire top half of the airport is setup as if you were already in Tokyo. These are pictures from the airport. And there's some amazing restaurants there, again, dolled up as if you were entering into an old-fashioned restaurant in Tokyo. Donkatsu is probably my favorite Japanese meal generally, so I was more than happy to make that my first meal.
Also, my first big goal in Japan is always to find REAL GOLD, an amazing soft drink. Highly recommend this bad boy to anyone visiting the area.
So once we figured out the (initially) complex system of the Tokyo subway, we found our AirBnB in Roppongi, an area known for its nightlife and foreigners...as well as some other, not-PG things. This apartment was AMAAZING, and yet I somehow never remembered to take pictures of it. So it goes. Our first mission: nap time. Our second mission: food.
Being someone who loves to plan, I google map'd a restaurant near us with good reviews and ended up finding a place that was such a hole-in-the-wall, we initially went behind the house and into someone's yard in our attempt to find it. We eventually take a chance and enter into what definitely looks like someone's house...and it's actually a sukiyaki restaurant. Now, I was a bit of a weaboo back in my teenage days, so I love my ramen and onigiri and whatnot, but I had not heard of sukiyaki. Turns out, it's a sort of hotpot of meat that is eaten with raw egg that's seasoned in a sweet way.
It was a pretty interesting first 'real' meal of Tokyo. Also, probably the most expensive meal of the entire week. Google had it at $$, how was I supposed to know it would be $40 per person??
The first 'real' day in Tokyo was spent at Roppongi Hills, a huge department store that's sometimes described as a 'city within a city'. Brunch was first, and so we stopped at a restaurant in the mall called 'Eggcellent' that, unsurprisingly, served eggs. Maybe more importantly however, is that it served Japanese pancakes - known to be fluffier than what we're used to. Look how fancy this looks.
The rest of the visit included walking around and witnessing an ongoing festival at the mall. Unfortunately, this wasn't really a casual mall, it was definitely more of a high-end place...so shopping didn't really happen. But we had to kill time until feardragon landed, so we enjoyed some nice scenes.
That just about does it for the day. feardragon was jetlagged so not much else happened, and it was better that we all got a full night's rest since the rest of the trip had each day fully planned.
You can always follow my adventures in more real-time on my instagram. Hope you enjoyed the read!