77 CH77: Sightseeing in Japan

    "When you start eating foods without labels,

    you no longer need to count the calories."

    - Amanda Kraft


    It was late afternoon when Delilah, Shay and Farah finally arrived in Shibuya, one of the most bustling and populated wards in Tokyo. Although it was still five o'clock in the afternoon, the sky has already darkened as the surrounding temperature started to lower. Cool and biting breeze swept across the area, bringing chills and shivers to one body.

    The three women stood outside of the Shibuya station, their hands in front of their face, trying to blow some warmth. After deciding on places to go, they began to leave the area, their hands now clothed with thick gloves.

    They walked around, taking in the beautiful sights as they explored freely around the place. They stopped by several department stores where they bought some items and merchandise. Delilah loved planner stuff and decorations so she kind of went wild when she saw an arts and craft store.

    Leaving the store, she could not believe that she had just spent 11,000 yen on just those items alone [A: approximately USD$104]. She sighed. She did not expect to buy so many things. She felt like she was hypnotized with all the pretty things. Her cousins, Shay and Farah could only chuckle, watching her depressed look. But then she brightened up when Farah convinced her that it was not everyday she got to buy a lot of things. And the fact that they were in Japan, it was also time for her to splurge on herself. Delilah had nodded then, agreeing with Farah.

    After stopping by a couple of few more stores while taking lots of pictures along the way, it was nearly ten o'clock in the evening when they finally reached the station where their BnB was located.

    With their hands full of shopping bags, they felt quite satisfied with their purchases but then their stomachs growled simultaneously. The three of them looked at each other and laughed. It seems like they need to fuel their stomachs before going home.

    So, instead of going straight to the route that leads to their BnB, they decided to look for a late-night restaurant. After a few minutes of walking, they saw a restaurant still opened. Walking in, they were greeted with the smell of ramen and fried tempuras. One of the employees, probably the owner of the store, seeing how he gave off a superior vibe from the way he instructed other employees and whatnot, looked up and saw the three women. He then greeted them in Japanese and politely pointed at the line where they can choose their food from the food display. Something sort of like a buffet but will be served by the employees themselves.

    The three women queued and began to pinpoint the foods that they wanted. They weren't looking for something heavy, rather something light, such as snacks. At the end of the line was the cashier counter. They immediately paid for their meals and carried their food trays.

    Since the restaurant was a bit empty, except for a couple of lone customers at some tables, it wasn't that hard to find an empty table that could accommodate the three of them with their shopping bags. Placing their bags down on the floor, near their feet, they placed their trays down on the table. They had ordered some vegetable tempura and korokke [1].

    What made these three women happy was the fact that all the foods that they ordered were freshly cooked so it was still hot. When Delilah pulled the korokke apart, she could see there was still hot steam coming out from the korokke. They had ordered the mushroom korokke and apparently, they used shiitake mushroom, which gave off an appealing aroma. Before she took a bite, she blew away some of the steam, careful not to burn her tongue. She took a bite and the soft potatoes and carrots inside just melted together inside her mouth. The breaded exterior gave out a crispy texture, which wasn't hard at all and instead, softened together with the insides once bitten. Delilah loved how it gave off a pleasant feeling; taste of tasty comfort. The potatoes don't have that starchy taste, rather a creamy and sort of sweet flavour. The minced carrots too added to the sweet taste.

    The three women enjoyed the korokke, as well as the tempuras, falling into a warm conversation, having a laugh at their first time experience in Japan and getting more excited about their next journey to Kyoto. Why? They are going to a hot spring! Yay! But wait, they said to each other, let's discuss the places that they will be going to in Tokyo.

    After they were done with their meals, it was then they realized that there were more people in the restaurant. They were probably too absorbed in their conversation that they did not notice streams of customers had walked in while they were talking. And interestingly enough, most of the customers were high school students, probably just finished with their club activities since they noticed that they were carrying their sports equipment, for example, basketballs, hockey sticks and etc.

    Few minutes later, they found themselves inside their BnB. they immediately dropped their purchases on the floor in the bedroom. They took turns in taking a shower because there was only one bathroom and they felt slightly sticky, even if the weather was cold. So while the other was taking a shower, the other two just dropped off their purchases near their luggages and made their bed to sleep.

    The next morning.

    The three women woke up early that day, hoping to grab some quick breakfast before going sightseeing. It took them more than an hour to get ready since they had to take turns taking a shower as well as made up the bed and so forth. It also took them a while to put on their clothes, wearing their winter coat and gloves since they were not used to it. They have been living in a country that doesn't have winter so it was getting a while to get used to it.

    Once they were done, they closed the door to the BnB, which auto-locks and went down the street. Along the way, there was a vending machine. The unique thing about the vending machine was that it also served hot drinks which fascinated these three women since it was their first time seeing this kind of vending machine. Giving it a try, all of them tried to buy a hot drink from the vending machine. It wasn't as good as the ones in the restaurant but it was nice since it was hot.

    After having their drink, they threw the empty canned drinks at a nearby recycle bin. This was another thing that fascinated the three women. How there were recycle bins everywhere in the country; can, plastic, papers and miscellaneous. Delilah was simply amazed at how organized and advanced the country was.

    They continued their walk to the station where they would use the subway to reach Tokyo Tower [2]. Since their BnB was in Shinjuku [3] area, they would need to stop at two stations before arriving at the tower. The journey took less than thirty minutes when they finally arrived outside the station that will lead them to the tower. Before arriving at the tower, they passed by many areas, such as a flower garden, a man selling hot sweet potatoes in a food cart and even a woman wearing a kimono [4].

    First, they approached the man who was selling the potatoes and ordered one for each of them. It was still piping hot but tasted great, especially during a cold day like that day. They were feeling kind of hungry and decided that this would help fill their stomach up before going for lunch later. Once they were done, they thanked the man and tried to approach the Japanese woman, who was wearing the kimono. She was standing next to a man, who wore a winter coat. The two were chatting up a storm that the three women felt that it was awkward and rude to interrupt their conversation.

    They too felt a bit scared that the woman might reject their request for a photo. But to their surprise, the woman actually turned to them and asked whether they wanted to take a photo with her. She probably noticed them hovering near her and couldn't help but talk to them first.

    Excited, the three of them took a photo each with the woman. They thanked the kind woman and said their goodbye. Then they went to take more photos around the flower garden. Farah took a lot of photos for her mother since she loved flowers.

    It took them nearly an hour when they finally reached the Tokyo Tower. It was really tall that they had to crane their neck back just to look at the whole structure. Delilah and Farah did so many ways just to get a perfect shot, that included the tower, bending here and there, much to Shay's amusement as she watched their crazy antics.

    After they visited Tokyo Tower, they went straight for Tokyo Skytree [5]. The whole journey took them more than thirty minutes of travel time and they had to stop at two stations as well. There, they took more photos, spending nearly an hour walking around the area. They also went for lunch at the nearby restaurant since there were many of them.

    That day, they basically went to many places, which included Ikebukero [6], an area well-known for Pokemon merchandise. And of course, the main reason why Delilah wanted to go there as well. She was a big fan of the anime. Shay and Farah? Not so. But they just went along with Delilah's plans.

    By the time they were done, it was already late in the evening. They went for dinner, a different place this time. They opted for a ramen shop, also near to their BnB. And after they were done with their dinner, they returned back to their BnB, already excited for the next day to arrive.


    [1] breaded deep fried patty made of mashed potatoes and cream sauce, similar to the French croquettes.

    [2] A communications and observation tower, known to be the second tallest structure in Japan.

    [3] Special ward in Tokyo. One of the most popular areas in Japan

    [4] Japanese traditional dress

    [5] Tallest structure in Japan

    [6] Downtown Street in Japan
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