Tokyo / Day 5

For my last full day in Tokyo, I made it a big one. First things first - Portuguese Egg Tarts from Nata de Christiano's in Shibuya. I'd heard that these little tarts were held in extremely high esteem, so armed with Google Maps (in offline mode, of course) I went searching. Now, one thing you should be aware of is that it can be quite tricky finding the correct address when you're in Japan. I had three different addresses for this place, all roughly around the same area. Of course, the first two were wrong, so I eventually ended up (hungrily) at the correct location. Pro tip: if you see a gas station on the corner, you're near the right place. 

Words cannot describe how tasty these tarts were. They were perfectly flaky and sweet, I ended up eating two! Well worth the effort finding the place.

As I was in the area, I returned back to Meiji Jingu to see the main part of the shrine. The whole area is incredibly beautiful, it's hard to believe the chaos of Harajuku is just a few meters away. This shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. The spacious shrine grounds offer walking paths that are great for a relaxing stroll. After slowly meandering through the grounds, I ended up at the main shrine. It's a gorgeous pavilion, and more often than not there's a wedding taking place so you'll catch a glimpse of some gorgeous traditional clothing. Just make sure to ask permission before taking someone's photo, it's not polite to stalk someone paparazzi-style. 

You can write your wishes on these boards.

I also payed an extra ¥500 to gain access to Kiyomasa's Well and a lovely garden area. It was very secluded and wonderful to stroll through at a leisurely pace.

Kiyomasa's Well itself was...a little small? I was expecting some kind of enormous well, considering you paid entry to see it, but it was quite tiny! Apparently it was named after a feudal warlord who constructed it during the early 17th century. Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken frequently visited Kiyomasa’s Well during their lifetimes. Because of this connection with the past, the well has become something of a pilgrimage spot for many people. 

Feeling completely calm and at peace with the world, I threw myself back onto the mercy of the streets of Shibuya. This time I had another food destination in mind - Whoppi Goldburger, the home of the most pun-tastic burgers you could imagine. The burger I chose was called the Kevin Bacon Burger (1 guess why), however the menu also featured the Charlotte Gains-burger, the Helena Bonham Burger, and the Sarah Jessica Burger, to name a few. The atmosphere inside was excellent - The White Stripes were playing on the stereo and I had an enormous burger in my hands. Good times. 

After a quick round of shopping in Shibuya, we went back to our hotel for a couple of hours before venturing out into the district known as the Golden Gai. This area is crammed full of tiny bars, most unable to hold any more than ten people, as well as a number that generally don't accept foreigners. The general rule is: if there's English, you'll be ok to enter. I know it sounds a bit discriminatory, but considering this area has become somewhat of a tourist attraction the bar owners need to maintain their livelihood. We grabbed a couple of drinks at a bar called Albatross, which was small yet beautifully decorated from the inside.

For dinner we had Okonomiyaki, which is one of my favourite Japanese dishes. It's so fun being able to cook your own food right in front of you, and was a great way to finish my last night in Tokyo.