Here is Part 2 of our trip this past March!
This day it was raining so that was a bummer. We first went to Shinjuku Station where they have like 6 levels of shopping and restaurants and we tried a Korean spot which was not good enough to recommend, then we got some yummy matcha and tea drinks at another spot which was called Nanas Green Tea. I just realized there is now a Nanas Green Tea here in Honolulu too in a new shopping center called Stix Asia!
After that we walked around Harajuku, which is a super touristy area. I felt like we didn’t do almost anything this day except walk a lot and stop at a lot of thrift stores. I did not want to shop but my sisters and Melanie did. We ended up getting massages in the evening and that was pretty good but also not do not really recommend them. It felt like a massage place in the mall.
On this day Melanie and Albert left so it was just my sisters and I. For a late breakfast we decided to try walking over to Marugame udon which on the map looked super close, but it is quite a maze from our Hotel Villa Fontaine and it ended up being kind of challenge to get there. When we did, it was crazy how long the line was — all the business people eating during a quick lunch break– so luckily it moved fast! The menu was 100% in Japanese so I ended up ordering an udon dish with a raw egg by mistake! I thought it would be soft boiled or something but no, completely raw so that was gross. It was interesting because mine also didn’t come with broth, but there was a stand with self serve broth and green onions. My favorite thing ended up being the spam masubi and fried chicken.
After we ate, unfortunately we were pretty tired from walking so much the first few days and we didn’t really plan out what we would do once my friends left either so we didn’t get out of the hotel til like 3 pm since we were like OMG we need to figure out the plan for the last 3 days of our trip. We could not figure out almost anything to do so last minute so we just ended up going back to Harajuku since I wanted to see some hedgehogs, as I never saw those in real life! That ended up being kind of cool but I don’t think the hedgehogs liked being held plus it smelled bad in there so we paid for an hour but left after 15 min lol.
Then we got a yummy crepe snack at Santa Monica Crepes (name is hilarious) and made reservations for massages at a nicer place than the first one ha! We decided to schedule the massage for about an hour and a half later to leave time to eat, but we almost didn’t make it! The wait at Kura Sushi ended up being so long we had about 5 min to hurry and sit down and eat! So we like tried to eat as fast as possible then run to the massage place. I do not recommend this lol.
This was our second to last day! We deliberated over if we should go to Hakone and in the end we decided yes. On the way there we stopped at Shinjuku Station (again!) and we tried the most surprisingly delectable curry spot called Spice Factory! We 100% enjoyed this restaurant! It was quick too because you just order at the machine in the front then the food comes out shortly after and you grab it from the counter. Chantel and Jasmine wanted to walk around and shop a little then we stopped by this cute little snack shop called Pacific Bake House and tried their raspberry doughnut, lemon cake and a few other things – it was all very tasty!
Chantel said she was able to book private onsens at Hakone Yuryo the night before but she didn’t get an email confirmation. Unfortunately when we arrived they said the reservation didn’t go through so we didn’t get private onsens. Jasmine still decided to go forth and try out the community onsen in which you do have to be fully nude but they do separate the hot spring onsens by gender.
While Jasmine was experiencing the onsen, Chantel and I ate a delicious restaurant they had on site and talked about the abundance mindset for almost an hour! Then we tried to hike to the famous Hakone shrine but it was raining and miserable (and we weren’t wearing hiking clothes either) so halfway through we decided to turn back!
While waiting for the train back I noticed a spot on the stair railing that looked kind of like a Pasmo swipe sign (it was glowing blue like the other ones we always saw) but I didn’t know that we were supposed to swipe our cards somewhere in Hakone so the system would know we went there and that way we could get out. If I thought about it then I would have checked if that was a spot to swipe. It may or may not have been. Regardless when we got to the next train station out of Hakone, there was a big mess! Our Pasmo cards weren’t letting us leave and the Japanese attendants couldn’t understand us! This is when we finally figured out we should just add Pasmo to our iphone virtual wallets. We ended up being there for almost a whole hour and I’m still confused what exactly happened but thank goodness we finally were able to leave lol
On the way back we stopped at Shinjuku Station for dinner and tried the most amazingly tasty Indian food called Garam Garam. If you guys like Indian food you will love this spot!!
- Japan is the kind of place you should really make a clear itinerary. I never felt this so much anywhere as I did in Japan!
- Shinjuku Station has sooo many amazing places to eat such as: Garam Garam, Pacific Bake House, Spice Factory, Original Pancake House and more!
- Add Pasmo to your wallet!!
- Book a private onsen in Hakone up to a month in advance and also highly recommend staying at least one night!
- We felt like we needed massages from all that walking but perhaps if we had known this ahead of time we could have booked a spa treatments at nicer spas. Something to consider!
To be continued…