With four nights and an earthquake behind me, I would be heading out Wednesday to Hiroshima to do some sightseeing.  I was originally planning to do this later on in my trip, to hopefully catch the cherry blossoms – but that was not to be.  Spending a few days there early would allow me to take in Shikoku before returning to Tokyo for the Anime Festival.

Before that, however, I wanted ramen.  And not just any ramen – the one from this particular restaurant in Ueno.

Every time I go to Tokyo, I make sure I go to this place.  With ramen, it’s all in the stock and the noodles, and this place does both great.  Available in regular (white), spicy (red), and squid ink (black) sauce, with your choice of egg, roasted pork, and portion.  The noodles aren’t like regular ramen, and I wouldn’t call them soba or udon either – they’re thicker than your average ramen, and done a bit al-dente.  For all I know they might even be egg based, rather than rice.  That said, it’s delicious.  South of Ueno station, just look for the line-up around noon.  I’ll be back here before leaving Japan for sure.  After lunch I wandered around Ueno and enjoyed the afternoon.

At this time it’s also worth mentioning that in a previous post I highlighted a Korean restaurant in Ginza under the railway that served up rather tasty taco’s – that restaurant, while still physically there, appears to have morphed into a seafood joint.  Same basic layout, but it’s lost a lot of it’s previous character.  Oh well…

For my last day in Tokyo I decided to head to Shinjuku and check out a few camera stores looking for old lenses at some of the used camera stores there.  While a couple of them are obvious, there are two or three that you just can’t find without previous knowledge, good google skills, and some knowledge of katakana.  I’ve become quite adept at seeing カメラ written on signs in the hunt.  While I found a lot of interesting stuff, I did not find what I was specifically looking for – so left empty handed.  Which is probably a good thing at this point, given I’ll be dragging my luggage around for a while yet.


Got a sore neck?

So after the camera stores and a tonkatsu lunch, I headed into the back streets of Shinjuku to snap a few photos.

Is half a loaf of bread with ice cream a good thing?

Afternoon became evening, and I ended up near the office buildings well off the main restaurant and shopping area, and ended up with some architecture shots.

On my last trip to Tokyo, I had been hoping to try out a stand-up bar, Buri, known for its large variety of sake from all over Japan.  It was a bit out of the way and I had never previously managed to have the time, but today I would make time.  I headed off on the subway (still avoiding the JR trains at this point) and made my way to Ebisu.  I still had the map to the place on my iPhone, so after getting my bearings leaving the station it was a short walk to the place.

The sake they served here came in 180mL individual sized glasses – you “shook” it up, and then pulled the top off.  I started with one from Miyagi, progressed to Niigata, and enjoyed  a couple of others with some edamame and escargot.  There weren’t too many people there at this hour yet, likely resulting from the fact that it was a Tuesday night, and the questions around public transportation were causing people to not come out.  Perhaps if I had stayed late Ebisu’s nightlife might have been more livelier, but needing to pack and get ready for an early Shinkansen to Hiroshima, I decided to head home.