Japan 2019 Day 9 - Tokyo Westside

Mar 6, 2019 4 min read

Tokyo escape with the Lemon family.
Featuring the serene Yoyogi Park’s Meiji Shrine, the trendy Harajuku, an anime art gallery, and tuna in Shinjuku.

H-Hey, it’s been a while since I updated this blog…a couple years actually. I got frustrated with my photo editing workflow then I got obsessed with vtubers and now I’m starting to forget why I took some of these photos h-haha.

Anyway, lemme re-read what happened on the previous day…Ah, right…
I was in Osaka, felt ill from lack of sleep then packed to return to Tokyo to meet up with my parents.


Wew, both me and my parents were so tired from our respective holidays so far that we all passed out for like 11 hours. The beds in this Ibis hotel were softer than you’d usually find in a Japanese hotel, we just sank right in. Feel so refreshed ~( ̄▽ ̄)~

Off to breakf- brunch!

Authentic real life randoserus. Just like my animes. Damn, these are pricey.

The restaurant we’re going to ended up being a bit of a walk. Shinjuku is big…

Zauo Shinjuku

Found this place online where you can fish for your own meal and have it prepared fresh. Thought it sounded kinda fun but turns out they only offer that during the evening dinner service.

Oh well, we all got a different set meal and it was still good. Yumshii 😋
All the variety in side dishes you get in Japanese cuisine is perfect for my short-attention span monkey-brain.

Woah, authentic restaurant private rooms. Just like my animes.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

I tried to visit this place before in 2014 with RokoNoe but…

You know, looking up their website now, I don’t think it actually was closed.
I think we were just being dumb gaijins.

Fortunately, it was in the same district as Zauo.

There’s some tourism brochures in the lobby. The observation deck has its own elevator.


Hey, it’s the Gherkin

The observation deck is free but the views aren’t particularly interesting.
There’s a cafe up here with supposedly better views but you need to order something to enter.

There’s a souvenir shop too with all the big Japanese franchises like Hello Kitty.

Hey, it’s the tripod all those Youtubers use (back in 2018, they use gimbals now).
She walked away for a second and the camera started to fall. She saved it with a 1010 dive.


Overall, this place is pretty skippable unless you were already in this part of Shinjuku.

This might be the first time I’ve ridden on Tokyo’s underground trains. Nicer than London’s.


Yoyogi Park

Shops in Japan don’t open that early so this might be a good spot for early morning risers or those looking for someplace close by to escape the city. Plus it’s free~

As you step through the torii gates the sights and sound of the city are replaced with tranquility.

Fun fact! The forest in Yoyogi Park is manmade. Over 100,000 trees were donated from all over Japan.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

Meiji Shrine

One of Japan’s most popular shrines, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his waifu.
Imagine how packed this place would be during the New Years episode.

Couple Camphor Trees

The 2 trees are tied together by a sacred rope to represent the love between the emperor and his wife.

All sorts of events are hosted here including traditonal Shinto weddings.

Outside of event days, the place is so peaceful it’s hard to believe you’re still in the middle of Tokyo.

On display are over 200 sake barrels from famous breweries across the country in addition to a bunch of wine barrels imported from France. The emperor liked to drink.
(And something about how the emperor helped spread western culture throughout the country.)

We rented some kimonos in the park where we got our photo taken.

Omotesando Avenue

I somehow always end up here every Japan trip.

Yep, okay, we’re definitely back in the city. This place is packed.

Example of the rolling shutter effect with fluorescent lights when using the electronic shutter.

Anime girls are everywhere in Japan.

That cotton candy’s huge.

I got a “Croquant Chou”, a crispy pastry filled with custard cream, from Zaku Zaku.
It’s like a cream puff in the shape of a stick. Really oishii/10. Only Â¥250 too.
I’m drooling just looking at these photos again.

Wherever you go there’s always a queue for the bubble tea.

Mmm crepes…

I got a crepe. Crepe/10.

Despite the name Santa Monica Crepes, they didn’t really have anything to do with America.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando

That one famous shopping centre all the instagrammers visit.

That one photo every instagrammer takes.

Cute mini Sploons.

Somewhere between Harajuku and Shibuya

My parents are taking a break while I go visit an art gallery.

The neighbourhoods around here are cute.




The artist on display that week was En Morikura.

She’s most known as the character designer of Virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI.

“Oh, hey, it’s all those images I saved before.”

I wanted to get one of these canvas prints but you needed a Japanese shipping address.

They had re-prints of their whole back catalog.

A wall of AIs.

Kizuna AI 2019 Edition

Kizuna AI Gaming Mode

Ooh, these actually look pretty nice. Cool poses.

Can’t resist the virtual booty.

Authentic JKs


I can clarify on this a little w
this is Conomi, a school uniform specialty store
they don’t supply schools specifically but their stuff is made to the same quality spec as real uniform
intended to be worn for fashion, or alternatively to be worn by students whose schools only enforce a dress code and not a specific uniform
so it’s like
both real and not real at the same time

Woops, it had gotten dark, didn’t intend to stick around for so long. Better head back.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando

Meeting up with my parents at the fanciest Starbucks I’ve been to.

Incredibly comfy vibes.

Neat view up here.


Quick stop at Shibuya’s crossing before dinner. Tokyo sure is a city.

Good boy

Yeah, that was it.
I only wanted to show my parents the crossing since we were passing through anyway.


The city that never sleeps.

Youtube compilation for entertainment while you wait to cross the road.


Shame it’s our last night in Shinjuku. There’s still so much to do here.
I had wanted to extend our stay to the whole duration of my parents’ trip but this was my one hotel booking that didn’t allow amendments.

I already have a place in mind for tonight’s dinner. Arriving early before the show incase they’re fully booked. It’s a weekday so we should be fine.

Maguro Shoten

Ah, yes, gaijins sure love their Coca-Cola™.

I like this decor. I feel like I’m in an early-2000s Japanese documentary.

Maguro Shoten is an all-tuna restaurant. Hope you like tuna with your tuna.

The staff don’t speak English but there’s an English menu.
Half the items were sold out…

DIY sushi roll.

Grilled tuna steak.

Maguro Shoten, or The Tuna Demolition Show Restaurant.

Show’s starting, gather round, children.


They show the process of butchering a bluefin tuna, and presumably all sorts of other fun facts but I don’t speak Japanese. English captions scroll by on the ticker in the corner but it’s not synced up to anything and I get the feeling it’s missing a lot of the show.
The show happens every day in the evening and it’s free. It was so lively with everybody gathering round in the centre of the restaurant, all clapping and cheering.


Scrape out every little bit. Nothing goes to waste.


Rock-paper-scissors competition to decide who gets the bits scraped from between the bones.

And the winner is…

…my mum!(?)

Uh, I don’t think my mum knew what was going on… She was just going with the crowd and kept throwing hands even after she had already lost and nobody noticed since we were at the back.

Stolen tuna…tastes good though.

My mum: We didn’t order this.
Me: It’s uh complimentary, don’t worry about it.


In hindsight, it makes sense that the tuna cutting would re-stock everything.

Fried tuna.

Overall, the food was good. I’d come back if I ever find myself in Shinjuku again.
I always the worry that these kind of places will be a tourist trap but prices were reasonable.

Exploring Shinjuku

Milf cafe

Cute construction workers.

I take it back.

Ooh, cute. We didn’t have dessert at the restaurant either.

The miniest pancakes.

It was alright.

Idolfan spotted.

The pancake shack was next to a Tower Records store.


I’m skeptical if these things work any better than Google Translate.

I never got into Million Live.

But I have been following an Artist who has been drawing Nao (eating everything) for over 7 years now.
His very first upload to Pixiv was even a drawing of Nao eating something. His art sure has improved.

These are the idols I’m more familiar with. Surprised they’re still selling.

Minna happy happy friends


Golden Gai

Cyberpunk AF

The infamous network of alleys crammed with hundreds of tiny bars that seat 6 people at most.

It’s just like my Yakuza games.

A lot of the bars we walked past had “MEMBERS ONLY” and “NO FOREIGNERS” signs.
Not the friendliest place for non-locals to walk through although some bars were welcoming of tourists with english menus out front.

Let’s drink here.

Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane)

Also called Piss Alley, named after that time in the 1940s when this street was filled with unlicensed bars that didn’t even have the plumbing for toilets.
Unlike Golden Gai, there’s lots of eateries too. I didn’t try anything on that day but I read this is a good place to get yakitori. One day I’ll be back…

This may be my favourite photo from the whole trip. So cool~

Memory Lane is a fitting name. After a fire burnt it down in the 90s, the local government rebuilt it just as it was before to retain that comfortable nostalgic feeling, and now with toilets.

And we’ve circled back to our hotel. Sleep time 😴


I picked up the missing books in my collection along with some postcards.

*chucks onto the loot pile*

We were all over the place today.

Next time, we head to Odaiba…