Full from Tsukiji fish market, we set about exploring as much of the city as we could fit in.
We started at Hamarikyu Gardens, which used to be home to an imperial palace in the Edo period, and seems like a Central Park of sorts.
A quick train ride took us next to Asakusa, home of the Sensoji Buddhist temple.
It had some interesting statues….(supposedly it’s for after someone has had a prayer answered regarding a sick relative).
We headed next to another neighborhood, Ueno, and its sprawling park.
After a brief rest stop that included trying an egg sandwich from Lawson (it is as Bourdain says—strangely and amazingly delicious), we headed to Shinjuku. Every block had glowing lights and signs—even a Godzilla.
This is where you come for the weird stuff—strange stores, “hostess” bars, the infamous Robot Show, love hotels. All along the streets are tiny alleys and pockets of shoebox-sized bars where every fetish is obliged.
We walked down a side street to get some food and ended up at a tempura restaurant, Tsunahachi.
Here you receive a large tempura place setting including flavored salts, dipping sauce, ginger, tea, salad, miso soup, rice, something white and salty that we have no idea what it was.
Each piece of the tempura is fried individually and served on a plate in front of you right out of the oil by the chef—standing right in front of you.
The crispiest, least oily, and tastiest tempura you’ll ever have! Mostly locals were inside.
We still had places we wanted to hit up, including Golden Gai and all of its small bars and restaurants, but jet lag hit hard so we ended up falling asleep fast and early!