The Lunch at J.S. Burger

A lot of people often ask me if being vegetarian in Japan is very difficult.
My answer is always, it can be but not for me. Mostly because I’m not vegetarian by choice but because I just don’t like the taste of meat or fish. So I’m okay with meat/fish broth and having meat in my dish (I just push it to the side). I’m not allergic, either. It just doesn’t taste good to me. So for me, being vegetarian is pretty much an extension of being a picky eater.
Japan seems to be known for being unfriendly towards vegetarians. And at times it is…but I think that’s just fine. I mean, being vegetarian is a luxury. But Tokyo is becoming more vegetarian friendly by the day.
Take a look at this amazing vegetarian burger! It’s so good I crave it often. They also have regular burgers (which I hear are pretty amazing as well!) so next time you’re hungry for a burger, try this yummy cafe! 😀
6-6-2 Jingu-mae
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

The All American Food

For those of you who do not live in Japan, you probably don’t understand why every one heads to A&W when in Okinawa. That is because we don’t have A&W stores outside of Okinawa, which has a total of 26 stores throughout the island. This island has a lot of influence from all the U.S. bases located here.
Root beer is actually not the most popular drink in Japan. I think half of the people think “Hey this isn’t beer!” and the other half are like “Yuck, this tastes like medicine!” Well, it kind of does taste like medicine. But I love root beer floats. They make the world a better place. As do those curly fries…yum!!!
So this is my sister, our high school friend, and I hanging out at the A&W they have at Naha Airport. It’s funny because we all live in the greater Tokyo area but we ended up catching up in Okinawa 😀
A&W Naha Airport
Naha Airport Bldg 3rd floor
150 Kagamizu
Naha-shi, Okinawa
Hours: 6:30am-8:00pm

Later we went downtown to Kokusai-dori, which is a major tourist spot in Naha City. I’d actually never been there before because every time we’re in Okinawa, we go straight to my grandma’s place and with so many relatives to see and say hi to, we ended up spending most out time with family and end up missing all the touristy places. Which is totally fine, since that’s what we come here for.
But I have to say, I was curious what Kokusai-dori was all about.
It ended up being just a whole bunch of souvenir shops and restaurants. But it was fun to see everything. Also, they had the scary looking Shiisa statues at the entrance. They are like the koma-inu that guard temples and shrines. Pretty much every house in my grandma’s neighborhood had these shiisa statues. They are usually places at the entrance of the property wall or the driveway to ward off evil.
Don’t you love how fierce they look?

The Dinner at La Cocorico

Three of my very first coworkers when I came to this company
always return my Valentine’s Day presents with a White Day dinner.
I love going out to dinner with these guys.
We’ve all moved to different departments and don’t interact on a daily basis
but once a year we get together to catch up at this dinner!

This was my first time here but everything was delicious!
They’re special was the rotisserie chicken.
It was so good that the guys literally fought over it.
You can tell from the pictures that
one of them is not good at this game. haha!
Anyways, I had a great night out with the guys.
Already looking forward to next year!

GEMS Shibuya 5th Floor
3-27-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

The Ichiran Ramen in Harajuku

With all the gorgeous sakura blossoms
Tokyo looks like spring.
But it doesn’t feel like spring at all.
It’s okay though because
there’s nothing like ramen on a cold night!
We stopped by Ichiran in Harajuku.
Ichiran is famous for their unique booth seating system.
(if you don’t know, you can read about it here.)
But they also had a teeny tiny room
to seat four people together.
Which is where we were seated.
And where we devoured our delicious ramen.
Fukuoka ramen is typically made of pork broth
(which we call tonkotsu in Japanese)
and uses very thin noodles.
This store allows you to choose
how you want your noodles and soup made.
I ordered noodles on the hard side
and very thick soup.
I’m not a ramen expert (I love ALL ramen) but
you know when a bowl is really good when conversation stops! ;D
2nd Floor
6-5-6 Jingumae
Sibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11am-11pm

The Ramen at Furaikyo

Sometimes I get ramen cravings.
So I decided I’d have ramen for lunch today.
But sometimes meetings and sudden meetings
and then even more meetings get in the way of lunch.
And I ended up having to wait until 4pm.
But oh the ramen was GOOD!
I love their shio (salt-based soup) ramen.
There’s so much goodness in that yummy soup.
Also love that their noodles
are on the firm side.
It was worth the wait and I left happy as a clam 😀
7-19-18 Nishi Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Open Everyday
Hours: 11am-11pm
(closes when their soup runs out)

The Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

Aoyama Flower Market is a popular flower shop
with over 80 shops around Greater Tokyo.
Last year they opened Aoyama Flower Market Tea House
behind their flower shop in Omotesando.
It’s really something.
Remember that movie The Secret Garden?
That garden they find inside the walls with all those vines?
It’s kind of like that.
Take a look.

We decided to have lunch there.
Masa got the beef stew lunch set
and I got the salad lunch set.

My salad was mostly all veggie
(just a little bacon!) so a perfect dish for vegetarians.
And my chocolate scented tea
(obviously not the official name!)
was quite delightful.
(what is it about tea that makes me want to use british-ish expressions?)

If you’re ever in Omotesando
you should definitely stop by this lovely cafe.
Plus you can grab a bouquet of pretty flowers
at the flower shop just outside on your way out, too!

5-1-2 Minami Aoyama
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Monday-Saturday: 11am-9pm
Sunday, Holidays: 11am-7pm

The Ningen Dock (aka Physical Exam)

Turning thirty is a huge turning point for women.
(or maybe just me…whatever.)
And one of the things I’d been dreading
finally came the other day.
Ningen Dock is a full physical exam,
much more thorough than regular checkups.
(you can see my exam menu here.)
And in my company, after you turn thirty
you take this exam every year.
Most parts of the exam are fine
but I’ve been dreading the endoscope exam.
It came at the very end of the whole exam.
I’d been reading A Time To Kill
to kill the time waiting between exams.
So my head was full of the courthouse drama
while I drank a little something (to clean stomach),
got a muscle shot on my arm (to slow stomach movement),
and sprayed anesthesia down my throat (to numb).
Then I gagged my way through the whole exam.
They say it’s only about five minutes
but it was the longest five minutes of my life.
But guess what?
My doctor said my stomach and intestine
were both very beautiful.
She used the word Utsukushii (美しい).
But even more importantly
she said that I didn’t need to take
the endoscope exam again until I’m forty.
Oh and did I mention that my Ningen Dock
includes a lunch at Grand Hyatt Tokyo?
I chose The Oak Door and it was delicious!
(they even made my meal vegetarian.)
With no endoscope exam to dread
I’m actually looking forward to the next year’s exam!

The Oak Door

Grand Hyatt Tokyo 6F
6-10-3 Roppongi
Minato-ku, Tokyo


Mon-Fri:( Lunch) 11:30am-2:30pm, (Dinner) 6pm-10pm
Sat, Sun, Holidays: (Lunch) 11:30am-3pm, (Dinner) 6pm-10pm
Bar: 11:30am-1am

The Snowy Day Lunch

It may have been a crazy day to go out for lunch.
But look at this great view we had of the snow outside!
I love this place because the place is spacious
and they have the yummiest foccacia.
And they can also make the meals vegetarian for you!
Great place to relax and talk for hours with your best of friends.
Which is exactly what Masa and I did on this snowy day!
Hotel Unizo 2F
4-3 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11am-11:30pm

The Trip Back to Tokyo

Heading back to Tokyo today.
We took the express from Imabari and
headed to Takamatsu in the next prefecture.
Slept through most of the train ride
but caught a sight of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.
We call it Seto Nai Kai.
It’s the ocean between mainland Japan
and the island of shikoku.
And there are apparently over 3,000 islands here.
The view is really fantastic.
We got to the airport with plenty of time to shop for souvenirs.
And we both went through airport security and
promptly got on separate airplanes.
The reason for this is that
my sister flies JAL and I fly ANA.
So this is how we always head to the airport.
Go together, get on different planes.
I landed in Tokyo a bit before my sister
but we met up at and went to Dean & Delica Cafe.
I love this place.
The yummy apple cider.
The pretty wood floor.
We were both beat but
it was a great way to end this trip.
Quiet time at the cafe to
recharge for work starting tomorrow.
Starting the year 2013 in Tokyo.
This is going to be my year.
I’m pretty sure of it.
Haneda International Airport Terminal 1
3-3-2 Haneda Airport
Ota-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 7am-9pm