Japan Day 11: Ochanomizu/Akihabara/Yoyogi

We’ve been to Tokyo multiple times, so each new visit becomes a challenge for us – I always want to find something new to do, and unearth good restaurants so that Tokyo always stays fresh to me and I don’t get bored of this wonderful city. This time, my research had yielded an awesome butadon (grilled pork with rice) place called Butayaro, near Ochanomizu station, and since it was near Akihabara (one station away), we planned to have lunch at Butayaro first before walking over to Akihabara and hopefully scoring tickets to Eorzea Cafe*.

Eorzea Cafe is a Final Fantasy-themed cafe in Akihabara that has specific times for dining (three sessions a day), and it’s usually sold out. If you don’t have a reservation/tickets in advance, you can show up and hope for the best. We’d tried to purchase tickets when we got to Tokyo, but they were sold out, so we decided to head down to Akihabara anyway and try our luck.

HOWEVER… everything was not to be. When we got to Butayaro, it was closed. That was the moment I realised that I had missed seeing that it was closed on Sundays. Nooooooooooo. Well at least the neighbourhood was nice! It was my first time there and it had a very young (there was a university nearby) vibe and also was full of shops specialising in music instruments, especially guitars! There were plenty of cheap eats too (probably to cater to the young crowd). We decided to try Lotteria (a fast food chain that we keep seeing around but just never felt tempted to try) and got a hamburger set to share:

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It was… interesting. Quite yummy but the cheese was very different from normal cheeseburgers! No idea what kind of cheese this was, but it had a stronger taste.

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After that, we headed to Akihabara but sadly, Eorzea Cafe was full and didn’t have any last-minute availability. We consoled ourselves with a GIANT honey toast from Pasela Resorts:

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OH. MY. GOD. This was our first time trying their honey toast (apparently famous – it’s their specialty and they’re a chain store) and we fell in love. First of all, it was huge. It’s a giant slab of bread toasted to perfection. The inside of the loaf was hollowed out and cut up into bite-sized cubes and placed back in. Came with yummy honey and ice cream! They were so generous with the banana slices too! Perfection.

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Go to Akihabara on a weekend if you don’t mind the crowd – the roads are closed off to traffic so you can wander on the roads! Just be prepared that if you go into the shops, you’ll be packed like sardines with everyone else.

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Got a sudden link from Jenrine – it was an article recommending a cheap sushi bar in Yoyogi, so we decided to hunt it down since we had nothing else planned for the day. The article was seriously vague, because… this restaurant doesn’t have a name. So, all we had as clues were a photo of what it looks like on the outside, plus the fact that it’s very near Yoyogi station. So, we just walked around until we found it. Spotted it quite easily!

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Apparently it opens every day at 5.30pm. We got there shortly after it opened, but it was already full. Little wonder, because it only has two small tables and a tiny bar counter! Total capacity: probably 10 people or less!

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This was the reason we came – YELLOWTAIL SUSHI AT 10YEN A POP!!! Madness. The only catch was that you had to order a drink as well, but that’s no big deal!

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Unagi sushi! Well basically the rest of the sushi, apart from the yellowtail, was at normal prices, so if you want to keep your total bill low, you should probably stick to yellowtail. However, we were of course feeling pangs of guilt (how are they making any money if we just order yellowtail?!?!?) so we ordered more items at regular prices!

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We also had tuna, tamago… everything was decent (not outstanding, but for the price, it was worth it), but the fried corn was SPECTACULAR. Try it!

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We were very lucky that we met a Singaporean there – he’s half Japanese and speaks very fluent Japanese so we had a roaring good time together in the restaurant, with him acting as translator and introducing us to everyone else! It was a really interesting experience because the place was very small, so if you wanted to order something, you had to tell the person next to you (also a customer) what you wanted, and he would tell the person next to him, until your order reached the chef. Like a relay! So, if you don’t speak much Japanese (or read it – because the menu is entirely in Japanese), you’ll have problems ordering here. When the food is ready, it gets passed from person to person until it reaches the right person. It was so different from our usual dining experiences in Japan, and so much fun!

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