Food review: Uoriki Kaisen Sushi

We visited Uoriki Kaisen Sushi on Christmas Day last year. After celebrating Christmas at Tokyo Baptist Church, we straight away went to Tokyu department store nearby Shibuya station. Uoriki Kaisen Sushi located at Basement 1, near the supermarket.

We visited Uoriki Kaisen Sushi because of its location. On top of that, the sushis are affordable, nice and fresh. The waiting time are also not that long (around 15 minutes). This is a good choice especially if you travel with your kids.

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi serves exceptionally fresh sushi and sashimi at affordable prices. It is a hidden gem in Tokyo and I recommend this place when you are looking for a place to eat in Shibuya.

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi able to serve fresh sushi and sashimi because their core business is seafood retail – supplying fresh seafood to supermarkets and department stores directly from Tsukiji market.

The basic Sushi Set  is very value-for-money and affordable. It comes with ten pieces of sushi and it cost only 990 yen. You also should try their Tuna Sushi Set which comes with maguro nigiri, maguro gunkan and otoro nigiri. The cost of tuna set is 1,290 yen.

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi also provide English menu so visitors will not have difficulty to order in this sushi restaurant. Since the place is quite small, visitors need to write their name at reservation book and once your turn is up, the waitress will call you straight away. The sushi will be made on the spot, in front of you which guarantee the freshness of the sushi.





My kids really love the sushi because it’s very fresh and taste nice. My first daughter able to finish the 10 piece sushi set by herself. 

If you do not want to order sushi set, you could also order ala-carte. You just need to tell the waiter which sushi you want to order and the quantity. 

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi is a place where we will return again. If you are going to Tokyo for holiday, you must visit this place. 

Uoriki Kaisen Sushi

B1 Tokyu Department Store

2-24-1 Shibuya, Tokyo

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Japan Day 6: Christmas day!! Yeay!!

Yeay!! Today was Christmas day. After full day explored Lake Kawaguchi on Christmas Eve, we woke up a bit late to recover our energy.

Today’s plan was relaxing day for us and just strolling around Shibuya and Shinjuku area. Before we went to Tokyo Baptist Church to celebrate Christmas, our kids requested us to visit the beautiful Japanese garden inside the hotel.


We took subway to go to Tokyo Baptist Church to celebrate Christmas. The sermon on that day was good and the church congregation are really warm and friendly. So, if you happened to live in Tokyo and you still do not join any local church, you can visit Tokyo Baptist Church and I believe you will be blessed.

Tokyo Baptist Church website: http://www.tokyobaptist.org


For lunch time, we visited Uoriki Kaisen Sushi, a humble sushi bar located within supermarket at the basement of Tokyu department store at Shibuya station. Uoriki Kaisen Sushi serve fresh and good sushi at affordable price and considered one of hidden gem in Tokyo. Our review is here

 
After completed our lunch, we went to take photo with Hachiko statue and took time-lapse video of Shibuya crossing.


It was very crowded at Shibuya crossing and it’s quite an epic video to see so many people crossing at the same time. We also took picture with the famous Hachiko statue and someone using Deadpool costume.



We walked along Shibuya road to reach Takeshita-dori. Takeshita Street (竹下通り Takeshita-dōri) is a pedestrian shopping street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan. Stores on Takeshita Street include major chains such as The Body Shop, McDonald’s, and 7-Eleven, but most of the businesses are small independent shops that carry an array of styles (Wikipedia).

Before entering Takeshita-street filled with crowds of people, we bought Japanese crepes at Santa Monica street stall. There are a lot of crepes flavor to choose from and visitors usually have difficulty to choose the flavors they want. It’s also happened to me because from the pictures, all crepes looks yummy. At the end, we decided to buy 1 hot crepes (Tuna mayonaisse crepes) and 1 cold crepes (Banana Chocolate crepes).


The taste of the crepes was good and nice but we prefer the cold crepes. It was nicer to eat cold crepes rather than hot crepes during cold winter.

Takeshita-dori really filled with a lot of people and we encountered a traffic jam at some section of the street especially near the train station. It was very difficult to move forward and it was only can be done bit by bit.

Note: If you want to visit Takeshita-dori, it’s better to visit it during weekdays to avoid crowds.

In Takeshita-dori, we bought the famous Calbe+ snack. We need to queue for 30 minutes to get our snack. But the long queue paid off with the crunchy and yummy potato fries. Better eat while it’s hot because Calbee+ serve the freshest potato chip in Tokyo. The potato were deep fried in front of visitors eyes.



We bought Calbe+ Poteriko potato stick for 300 yen and potato chip with maple syrup and cream cheese. Both snacks taste nice, fresh and really crunchy. It is recommended to try this potato snack when you visit Tokyo.

After passed through the crowds, we took train to Shinjuku station to meet my old friends. She migrated to Japan because her husband is Japanese. It was good to see her again and her family.

She brought us to a nice Japanese Mexican restaurant. The food was so good and we really enjoyed the dinner on that night together with my friends family.


Time went so quick and it was time for us to go back to our hotel because we need to pack our stuff for tomorrow’s check out. We went again one last time to the lovely Japanese garden and took photo for the last time.


Tomorrow will be the exciting day because we will experience snow in Hokkaido. Good night!

Japan Day 5: Lake Kawaguchi

What a great morning and we were ready to explore Lake Kawaguchi. We visited Lake Kawaguchi on Christmas Eve and we hope that we can see Mount Fuji clearly today.

We departed quite early from our hotel because we need to arrive at Shinjuku station at 8am. We will use bus from Shinjuku West Terminal to go to Lake Kawaguchi.
Visitors can pre-book the bus at home country using below link:
http://highway-buses.jp/course/kawaguchiko.php

Since we booked 8.15 am bus, we need to arrive at Shinjuku West Terminal at least by 8am.
We were quite surprised to know that our booking already cancelled because we had not make payment. The officer told us that we need to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to avoid cancellation.
Note: if you book the ticket at home country, it’s better to stay around Shinjuku so you can pay the ticket one day in advance to avoid surprises.

Luckily, the officer told us that there were still empty seats left and we still can buy the tickets for 8.15am departure. What a relief!

The journey to Lake Kawaguchi takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, dependent on traffic condition.

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At around 10am, we arrived at Lake Kawaguchiko station. The weather is getting colder and it was quite windy on Kawaguchiko area.

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To explore Kawaguchiko area, visitors need to use Fujikyuko Retro/Omni bus.The bus operates from Kawaguchiko Station at 15 minute intervals, traveling around not only Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Saiko, but also sightseeing facilities such as Mt.Kachi kachi Ropeway, Lake Kawaguchiko Pleasure Cruiser “En Soleill”, Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum, Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba etc.

We bought R coupon package consist of 2 days Retro bus ticket (blue line and green line), Ropeway ticket and En Soleil boat cruise.
The cost for R coupon package: 2,360 yen for adult, 1,680 of children. Free for child below 6 years old.
Please note that they don’t sell 1 day Retro bus ticket (only 2 days are available and cover both green and red line)

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Red Line bus goes to attraction around Lake Kawaguchi like Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway and En Soleil boat cruise.
Green line bus goes to attraction around Lake Saiko like Saiko Iyashi Sato Nemba.

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Our first stop is Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway (red line bus, station 11). The ropeway reaches the summit (Mt. Tenjo-yama Park) in three minutes. Mt. Tenjo-yama Park is one of best spot to view the famous Mount Fuji. At an elevation of 1,075 meters, visitors will be able to enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, and on fair weather days even the Minami Alps (Mount Akaishi and Mount Arakawa) are visible.

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I must admit that the view from the top is stunning and beautiful, especially the beautiful Mount Fuji. It was a Christmas gift for us to be able to see Mount Fuji clearly.

After we took a lot of photos at Mt. Tenjo-yama observation deck, we took the ropeway again back to the ropeway station and visited nearby cookie store. We bought colourful Mt Fuji cookies which has 4 flavors. Each piece cost about 140yen.

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Next, we had our lunch at a restaurant in front of En Soleil cruise boat area. This restaurant located at second floor, on top of mini market. For our lunch, we had yummy Hoto noodle served in hot iron pot, a perfect companion especially during winter season.

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Hoto (ほうとう, Hōtō) is a hearty hot pot dish local to Yamanashi Prefecture. The dish consists of thick wheat noodles in a miso based soup and is often served in an iron pot.

While hoto noodles resemble extra thick udon noodles, they are prepared more like dumplings, and lend a heartier quality to the dish than udon would. The soup is traditionally a miso based broth with pumpkin and other seasonal vegetables added. It can be enjoyed all over the Fujigoko region at specialized restaurants, hotels, ryokan and other restaurants as well.

After a satisfying lunch, we quickly cross the street and register our name for En Soleil Lake Kawaguchi Cruise boat. It was a gorgeous 20 minutes boat cruise on Lake Kawaguchiko. The view of Mt. Fuji and the scenery of town from the pleasure boat are wonderful and the kids liked the cruise so much.

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Mount Fuji shot from boat cruise

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After completed the boat cruise, we quickly boarded the red line bus back to Kawaguchiko station and boarded the green line bus to go to Saiko Iyashino Sato Nemba. This place is also one of best spot to view Mount Fuji.

Iyashi no Sato (いやしの里) stands on the site of a former farming village on the western shores of Lake Saiko. The village was destroyed by a landslide during a typhoon in 1966. Forty years later the village’s traditional thatched roofed houses were reconstructed and reopened as an open air museum and traditional craft village where people can learn about the culture and try out and purchase different handicrafts.

The travelling time from Kawaguchiko station to Saiko Iyashino Sato Nenba took about 40 minutes. After arriving, we quickly bought the entrance ticket and ask the officer where we can rent Japanese kimono.

Japanese kimono can be rented on house no 12. However, please note that kimono rental ended at 3.30 pm during winter. Kimono rental fee is 500 yen per person (same price for adult and kids) and visitors can wear the kimono for 1 hour.

Saito Iyashino Sato Nenba was gorgeous and beautiful. We felt like we are at different era, surrounded by many Japanese traditional houses in peaceful and calming environment. Honestly, we took a lot of photo at this place, especially with the traditional Japanese costumes we wore on.

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We took the green line bus back to Kawaguchiko station and it’s time for dinner. We visited Fuji Tempura Idaten restaurant and had Japanese tempura for dinner. So yummy! The tempura is so crunchy and delicious especially when you dip to the sauce.

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The weather went colder and it reached -1 degree Celcius when we were at Lake Kawaguchi.

The colder the weather, the kids were happier. They started to see smoke come out from their mouth. They started to have “smoke” war and ask their sibling to see the smoke which come out from their mouth.

At 8pm, we boarded the bus back to Shinjuku West Terminal.

Since the trip to Lake Kawaguchi is quite long, it is recommended to stay one night in Lake Kawaguchi area. One day can be allocated for Lake Kawaguchi area. The other day can be used to explore Lake Saiko area.

Lake Kawaguchi attraction map can be accessed from this link: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/heritage-tour/detail/id/1/

Sample of 2 days itinerary can be accessed from this link: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/fuji/course/fuji_sample01.html

We reached our hotel around 10.30 pm and it was a satisfying and happy Christmas Eve day for us.

Japan Day 4: Ginza, Tokyo Imperial Palace and Tokyo Skytree

The kids woke up quite late after 2 full play days in Tokyo Disney resort. They were very happy to play at Tokyo Disney resort and ask my hubby to come back again to Japan for next holiday.

Our itinerary today was visiting Ginza, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo Skytree and watching Christmas Illumination show at Caretta Shiodome.

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We took photo for the last time at Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort and we took hotel shuttle bus to Maihama train station.

Since it was nearing lunch time, we straight away headed to Ginza and had lunch at Ippudo Ramen Ginza. The space in Ippudo Ramen Ginza is quite small but luckily, we did not need to queue and we can straight away get a table for 4 persons.

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We ordered Tonkotsu Ippudo Ramen and Spicy Karaka Ippudo Ramen. The portion is very big and can be shared for 2 peoples.

The Ippudo Tonkotsu Ramen was a bit creamy yet so light, soothing and delicious. Combined with perfect cooked ramen, it tastes special and our children loved it so much.

The Spicy Karaka Ippudo Ramen was special and taste delicious because me and my husband loved spicy food. But, this time is different. The uniqueness of the Spicy Karaka Ramen is not only about the spicy taste but the richness of the broth make it spicy cum delicious.

Ginza is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. We did not spend a lot of time at Ginza because we do not want to miss Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at Tokyo Imperial Palace, the palace was already closed. We did not realized that 23 Dec is Japan Emperor birthday and Tokyo Imperial Palace only opens until noon time.

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Fortunately, visitors still able to visit the outer part of palace. The security was also tightly guarded the palace and visitors were not able to bring any bulky items or luggage into the palace courtyard. Visitors need to register their name clearly and surrender their bulky items at bulky item counter for later collection.

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Since we visited Tokyo Imperial Palace on Japan Emperor birthday, my hubby wrote his name on the provided greeting book to send his wishes for Japan Emperor.

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Next stop was Tokyo Skytree. The Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. It is the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town in the Sumida City Ward, not far away from Asakusa. With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as “Musashi”, a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world at the time of its completion.

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From its observation deck, visitors can see the whole Tokyo city from the top. The view was amazing especially during sunset time. Enterimg the observation can be a challenge for visitors because the queue is always very long. On that day, if we choose the normal process, we need to wait for 90 minutes.

In order not to waste time, we decided to purchase Skytree Fast Ticket which is only applicable for foreign tourist. Ticket price is 3,000 yen per adult and 1,500 yen for kids 4-11 years old. Foreign visitors can purchase Fast Skytree ticket at separate counter and dedicated officer will assist you.

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For dinner, we visited shopping mall located nearby Tokyo Skytree. I bought Gindaco Takoyaki which taste so good and yummy. Actually, I never expected it. When I posted it in Instagram, a lot of my friend gave feedback that Gindaco Takoyaki is very famous in Japan and their branch located all over Tokyo. I can recommend you to try Gindaco Takoyaki if you visit Tokyo.

Before we went back to hotel, we watched Christmas Illumination show at Caretta Shiodome. The illumination show was very beautiful and interesting.

It was a tiring day but we really enjoyed every moments together as a family.

Japan Day 3: Tokyo Disneysea

We arrived at Tokyo Disneysea around 10am.

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The first thing we did was visited Toy Story Mania and grabbed the Fast Pass. Toy Story Mania is the most famous attraction in Tokyo Disneysea. At the end, we got Fastpass around 8.20-9.20pm. Before 10.30am, Toy Story Mania Fast Pass usually will be sold out.

Our activities in Tokyo Disneysea as follows:
1. Grabbed Toy Story Mania Fastpass
2. 20,000 leagues under the sea (5 minutes queue)
3. Brunch at Vulcania Restaurant
4. Meet and Greet with Ariel (long queue, about 30-40 minutes)
5. King Triton concert at Mermaid Lagoon (Fastpass attraction but at the end, Fastpass deactivated because literally no queue)
6. Played inside Mermaid Lagoon while hubby collected Journey To The Center of The Earth Fastpass.
7. Watched Crystal Wishes Journey: Shine On at Mediterranean Harbor
8. Early dinner at Cafe Portofino at Mediterranean Harbor.
9. Plan to take Gondola but unfortunately, this attraction was closed due to raining.
10. Took Disney Sea Electric Railway
11. Aquatopia
12. Took Disney Sea Electric Railway again
13. Watched “Fantasmic” show
14. Journey To The Center of The Earth
15. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea again.
16. Watched Night Show at Mediterranean Harbor
17. Toy Story Mania
18. Late dinner at Cafe Portofino

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Crystal Wishes Journey show. Japanese people already queue for nice spot at least 1.5 hours before the show.

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Brunch at Vulcania restaurant

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My girls so excited to see Ariel and she handed over her drawing to her. Ariel said that the drawing will be her treasure.

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One of our late dinner menu: Seafood lasagna at Cafe Portofino.
The taste is very unique and nice. We can recommend you to try it.

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The most famous attraction in Tokyo Disneysea is Toy Story Mania. Fast Pass usually already sold out before 11am. If you join the normal queue, you need to queue at least for 1 hour

Japan Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland

The kids woke up very early because they knew that today was the play day for them. Today’s plan was one full play day at Tokyo Disneyland. We chose to go to Disney Resort on weekday to avoid the crowd.

From Grand Prince New Takanawa hotel, we took Yamamote Line from Shinagawa Station to Tokyo Station.

In order to save time in Tokyo Disneyland, we stopped for a while in Tokyo station to buy Japanese Bento for lunch. There are a lot of cute and interesting bento and at the end, we chose Hello Kitty and Shinkansen Bento.

We went to Keiyo Line which will bring us to Maihama Station. It took about 10-15 minute for the transfer from Yamamote Line to Keiyo Line and there were also a lot of stairs we need to go through.

From Maihama station, we walked about 5 minutes to reach Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland is very huge theme park and it is impossible to visit all attraction in one day. Since we already visited Hongkong Disneyland, we chose important parades and attractions we never experienced before.

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When you visit Tokyo Disneyland, please use Disney FASTPASS as much as possible because it will help you to cut down the queueing time especially for popular attractions.

The first thing we did in Tokyo Disneyland was to grab the Fast Pass for Monster Inc, one of the favorite attraction in Disneyland. We arrived at Tokyo Disneyland roughly at 10 am and we got Monster Inc Fast Pass at 4pm.

Our first attraction for the day was Christmas Stories Parade.

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After watched the morning parade, we visited Star Wars 4D attraction which has no queue at all.

I didn’t expect that my kids will like it but at the end, they liked it very much. In the evening (after dinner), the kids visited Star Wars attraction one more time.

Nearby Star Wars attraction, there is one shop selling ice cream cone and BB-8 replica. Since the kids like the attraction, we bought ice cream cone and BB-8 replica for them.

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Below shows the rest of attractions we visited on that day:
1. Monster Inc Ride and Go Seek
2, Pirates of Carribean
3. Big Thunder Mountain (using FAST PASS)
4. Star Wars again
5. Cinderella Fairy Hall
6. Nightime Parade: Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlight
7. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
8. Skyhigh Wishes Firework (unfortunately, the show was cancelled).
9. Haunted Mansion
10. Castle Carousel

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At around 10pm, we went to Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort which located nearby Tokyo Disney Resort. To reach this hotel, we took Disney Resort line to Bayside station and we took hotel shuttle bus afterwards.

The kids were very tired and they went sleep straight away after reaching the hotel. Tomorrow will be another play day for them and they must be very very happy.

Japan Day 1: Asakusa

After 7 hours flight from Singapore, we arrived at Narita airport at around 8.30 am. After we collected our luggage, we went to nearby post office inside Narita airport at Level 4 to collect our rental pocket WIFI.

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We rented the pocket wifi from Global Advanced Communication (www.globaladvancedcomm.com) and we chose Premium Wifi option because it gave unlimited data and wide coverage (including Hokkaido). Total price for 14 days was 10,950 yen.

The pocket wifi quality was very good and we seldom experienced connection issue. The battery can also last for about 8-9 hours. Returning pocket wifi is also easy because we just need to put it inside the return envelope and drop it into any postal box within Japan.

We decided to take airport limousine bus from Narita airport to Grand Prince New Takanawa hotel and the journey took about 2 hours. After arriving at the hotel, we quickly asked the hotel to kept our luggage because we can’t check in yet.

On the way out, we saw small beautiful garden in the hotel. The Japanese garden is very beautiful and peaceful. We also saw Japanese maple leaves still in autumn color.

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Our first visit in Asakusa was the famous Kameju Dorayaki shop. This shop was very crowded and the queue was very long. It took about 45 minutes for us to buy Kameju dorayaki.

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Each dorayaki cost about 300-350 yen. In our opinion, the taste is like normal dorayaki (nothing special). However, for Japanese people, they are willing to join the queue and most of them bought few boxes (about 10 pcs dorayaki in each box). The shop will also packed it nicely for customer and it is suitable for present.

Around Kaminarimon gate (the first entrance gate leading to Sensoji temple), you will see a lot of people offering rickshaw. We engaged Ebisuya rickshaw (ebisuya.com/en_smp) and we took 1 block tour.

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Cost per person is 2000 yen and it’s free for kids under 6 years old. The ride took about 10-15 minutes and along the route, the driver stopped at certain places to explain the history of the place. The driver also stopped at Daikokuya Tempura, the famous restaurant selling tempura in Asakusa.

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Our next activity was exploring Nakamise shopping street. It is lined by more than 50 shops selling snack, kimono, shoes, souvenir etc.

First snack we tried was Kineya rice cracker. It is simple but yet crunchy and delicious. Cost per bowl is around 250-300 yen.

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Second snack we tried was Agemanju. Agemanju is steamed cake with sweet filling coated in a tempura batter and deep fried.
Agemanju have sweet red bean, sesame, macha and ume plum filling. Cost per piece around 100-120 yen.

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Third snack we tried was melon bread (melonpan). It’s basically a sweet bun without filling but the shape looks like melon. Cost per piece is 200 yen. Since this is one of the famous snack in Japan, we recommend you to try it.

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After we visited Sensoji temple, we decided to try the famous Daikokuya Tempura. We read that this restaurant is very famous so we expect to see long queue in front of this restaurant.

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It took some time for us to find it and thank God that there was no queue at all. We ordered 3 tempura bowls for our dinner. The tempura type is not crunchy type so it’s a bit different from the one we used to eat. We called it “wet” tempura. Cost per bowl is 1,550 yen. The taste is quite nice but we still prefer the crunchy tempura.

Our next stop is Oz Owl cafe in Asakusa.
Website: http://owlcafe.jp/

This owl cafe was located near Sensoji Temple. In google map, you just need to search using keyword “Funny pals of asakusa”. Entry ticket price is 1,500 yen for adult. Free for children with accompanying adult.

We had one hour time to play with the owls. In Oz owl cafe, we also played with hedgehog, hamster and squirrel. My kids love this place so much and we took a lot of pictures with the animal.

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After played with the animals, we went back to New Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa using subway and we checked in into our room. That’s the end of day 1.