Japan Day 17: Foodie Adventures in Tokyo

Another super chill day in Japan for us! We started out the day heading to Omotesando to the famous Maisen Tonkatsu. I had wanted to eat there on the day we were getting our hair makeovers at NALU Salon but for some reason I didn’t see it even though they’re practically next door LOL.

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Yup, I took a picture of a laptop screen lol. Ugh I love the train system in Tokyo. It is so incredibly convenient and fast and punctual and cheap and I know it’s such a foreigner tourist thing, but the novelty of riding the train never wore off for me hahaha! It may be partly because I dislike driving?

We found Maison Tonkatsu quite easily. There are signs leading to the restaurant from the train station. We waited for a little while before we were seated. The restaurant is a lot bigger than we thought!

The menu is pretty extensive. We asked for the English menu.

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My meal!

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My sister’s meal!

I don’t have pics of my brother’s and cousin’s meals. My brother got his usual katsudon though. Theirs came with ice cream!! You can see in the vlog. All of us really enjoyed our meals.

Oh yeah, since we were nearing the end of our trip, we tried to get rid of all our coins by paying for the entire meal in coins…but they didn’t accept it LOLOL. Sad.

We walked next door to say hi to the hair-master Deji-san at NALU! It was great to just see him one more time and thank him for giving us beautiful hair before we went back to California.

Then I wanted to go to Omotesando Koffee. I had heard about it somehow and the reviews are really good. I only just started to appreciate the taste of coffee thanks to my then-coworker, Chris. Every day he drinks a black iced coffee and he would offer me some. And over time, I acquired the taste I guess? So I wanted to try this coffee place and enhance my palate haha.

The place is really hard to find even if you use a GPS/Google Maps. It is hidden, and it looks like a regular home. Well it basically is a home turned coffee shop. There’s a tiny minimalist sign that has Omotesando Koffee out in front though. And we saw a line forming out the sliding door so we knew we were in the right spot!

While in line, a fat white guy took a photo of my brother. He used his phone and the flash went off. I got really mad and wanted to confront him and tell him to delete the picture, but my brother said it was fine. He said it was probably just cause he has purple hair. I guess, but that’s no reason to take a photo of a stranger. He could’ve asked…we were speaking English so it’s not like he was afraid of us not understanding him.

My sister and brother got a frozen mocha or something. IT WAS SOOO GOOD!!! super coffee and chocolatey flavored, the whipped cream was so fluffy and sweet! No icy taste or texture at all.

I got a plain black iced coffee. It was smooth and strong and perfect. I was surprised that a coffee noob like me could taste the difference between this and a Starbucks iced coffee. Or maybe I just imagined it haha. Anyway there’s only one guy who runs the entire coffee shop at Omotesando Koffee.

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There were little toasted pastries for sale too but we didnt try them.

Actually, Omotoesando Koffee has closed permanently. Apparently, the house needed repairs that would have cost too much for the owner, so it’s no longer open for business. There is another location in Toranomon, though, and I will include the address for that location in my “Places” at the end of this post. I feel lucky that we were able to try this place out before it closed! I loved feeling like I stumbled upon the coffee shop (we almost walked past it), and it was a new experience to walk into a traditional Japanese house! And of course, watching the guy make the coffee with so much precision and passion was interesting too!

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After our coffee break, we headed to Tokyo Tower again because my mom wanted more of the Japanese doorway hangings that we bought her (I think they are called “noren”) from the little souvenir area on the second floor of the tower.

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And we saw our friend the monkey again!!! He is such a smart and cute little monkey!

Inside Tokyo Tower, I spent hours shopping for souvenirs for friends and family. I don’t remember everything we purchased, but we got our grandpa a sake set for decoration, a samurai shirt for our dad, wall hangings for our mom, keychains for friends, white chocolate mochi for my employers and co-workers, a set of decorative chopsticks for the people who wrote letters of recommendations for me, sling backpacks…and more. omg. So if you want to get people souvenirs, I think Tokyo Tower is a really good place to go! They have everything there!! And the people there are super sweet and friendly. One elderly woman complimented us on our Japanese, she was shocked when we said we were Americans haha. So cute.

Then we headed back to our apartment to set our things down and rest before dinner. My cousin really wanted to treat us all to yakiniku, which was really sweet of him! So he asked me to find a place nearby.

We couldn’t figure out the name of the restaurant we went to because it’s in Japanese characters only?? haha but it’s in the same plaza thing as Mos Burger on Dogenzaka in Shibuya.

OH JUST KIDDING I TOOK A PIC OF THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT OMG well it’s too late to put it in the vlog now lol

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Wow I am so smart for doing this lol. Anyway we ate here cause it’s like 2 minutes walking from our apartment! We took off our shoes and they put them away for us right when we entered. We were seated and we ordered food!! Our cousin was so generous he told us to order everything we wanted including drinks and appetizers! So we went a little crazy hehe

My siblings and I got chawanmushi! It’s got seafood in it and it’s really light and fluffy egg custard that is steamed. My sister also got peach juice, and my brother and I got lemon sodas (me without alcohol though hehe).

The dinner was super crazy fun…It was definitely one of the best dinners we had just because we were laughing so much and eating so much. The quality of the meat was super good. My cousin and brother ordered SO MANY PLATES OF MEAT. The waiter was like, AGAIN?!? HAHAHA. One of the waiters was really really cute and my sister and I totally freaked out about him haha. He looks like Usuke Devil, a bishounen who’s like, Instagram famous hahah.

After dinner we stopped by combini to get some ice cream of course.

The macadamia nut one was mine and the green tea was my sister’s.

Here’s the vlog:

Until next time,

C.


Places:

Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten

Address: 4 Chome-8-5 Jingumae, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Hair Salon NALU

Address: 4 Chome-9-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Omotesando Koffee –> Toranomon Koffee

Address: Toranomon Hills Mori Tower, 1-23-3 Toranomon, 港区 Tokyo 105-0001, Japan

Tokyo Tower

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Hannadaidokokoro Dougenzakaten (yakiniku)

Address: 2 Chome-29-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan (this is the address for the same plaza it’s in).

 

 

 

 

Hair Makeovers at NALU Salon

This was the day we had all been waiting for!! To get our hair cut and bleached and colored in Japan! My brother had been growing his hair out for six months. I had been growing my bangs out for a few months too. My sister already has really long hair and bangs. We all bothered our cousin like crazy to get him to choose a hair color and style!

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Selfie…of course. I called my mom on FaceTime because this would be the last time she’d see us with black hair. For the rest of the trip she would ask me to FaceTime or she would just go ahead and call me. I had to tell her the internet in the apartment was too slow each time haha. My mom has always expressed her distaste for us dyeing our hair so I knew she’d be worried and angry and annoyed if she knew hahaha.

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The first thing my mom said when she saw us was, “Dep qua!” which means “so pretty” in Vietnamese haha. I still remember because it made me happy hehe. My sister and I shared this queen bed our entire stay in Japan.

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My combini breakfast: a lime flavored drink and mentaiko onigiri. Delicious. The cool thing about the combini onigiri is that the plastic wrapping is done so that when you want to eat it, you pull it open in a way that allows for the nori (seaweed) to go from no contact with rice to contact with the rice. So the nori stays crunchy and fresh whenever you’re ready to eat! I bought an onigiri almost every night so I could eat it for breakfast the next day. My brother bought two every night and ate them before bed LOLOL.

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Not sorry for this selfie because I think I look really cute LOL. I went a little overboard on the eyeliner though lol whatever I’m on vacation.

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So why NALU Salon? and how did I make our appointments if they only speak Japanese? I found out about NALU salon because I love Cheesie’s blog (www.cheeserland.com) and she posts about getting her hair done there a lot. So does RinRinDoll (www.rinrindoll.com). Anyway I follow the salon’s Instagram @Number_76 and I commented on one of their pictures “I want to make an appointment at the Tokyo location but I can’t speak Japanese?” so they asked me to email them. So I did and making the appointment was easy. There was a little back and forth when I asked a few questions and then we were all booked and ready to go.

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After the fiasco with the pervert on the train , I started to wear a face mask when walking in the streets or taking the train because that way I attract less attention.

We got off the train at Ometesando Station and followed the instructions that the Number 76 email gave us. They were clear and easy to understand and it’s only a 4 minute walk to get to the salon from the station. But since I understood the importance of punctuality in Japan, we arrived about an hour too early. I thought we’d have trouble finding the place haha. So we went to get lunch! Actually I had planned for us to eat tonkatsu at Maison but we couldn’t find it. (It’s in plain sight of Nalu. Don’t know how we missed it. There were signs giving directions for it the whole time from the station. We ate there a later day).

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So we walked around and decided to stop at Afternoon TEA STAND to have lunch before our hair appointment. It’s a little cafe known for special tea blends. I ordered chicken curry and it came out like this! So unique.

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It was really light and fluffy and pretty good. I really enjoyed it especially because I’d never had anything like it before.

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My brother got some sandwich. So did my cousin.

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My sister got Homard Bisque Cream. Fluffy too.

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I was really surprised when my brother ordered tea. He doesn’t seem like the tea-drinking type haha. But he said that he wanted to because it looked cool. And it did! It was Chardonnay Darjeeling Soda Tea, I think, and it was fizzy. He let me try some and it was very refreshing. My brother was really excited to get his hair cut because it was getting wayy too long.

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I Instagrammed this while in Japan hehe. My sister and I shared a strawberry sundae and it had cornflakes in it. I was talking about it to my boss’s partner and he told me that it’s a Japanese thing. I liked it!

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Snapchat filter!

After lunch we were ready to walk on over to Nalu and get our hair done.

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We walked in and met Dejima-san, who would do all of our hair. He speaks English really well.

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We wrote our name and emails on a slip of paper and put them with our stuff. It was nice to not have to worry about my purse when I was getting my hair washed haha.

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Before…

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Fuzzy before pic with my sister.

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Before he did anything else, Deji-san took out my braid and got familiar with my hair texture and asked me some questions. I showed him a picture of a color that I liked and told him I wanted to cut bangs!! He already knew none of us had ever dyed our hair before because I emailed Number 76 about it.

 

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About to get bleach put on my head. Deji-san’s assistant helped him with this step so that every strand is evenly coated with bleach.

 

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I’m smiling but bleach STINGS!! SPICYYYY

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My hair is starting to change color…

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My brother got his hair cut first. He was so happy to finally get his hair cut hahaha. Deji-san did this without a razor shaver electric thing. Just scissors. And look how even the sides are! wtf magic or something.

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The end result!! WHOO HOO!!! We LOVED everything- the final product, the experience, the amazing skills of Deji-san and his friendly assistant. My brother was like, “It’s nice how they wash your hair before AND after you get your hair cut.” And since he got bleach and color too, he got a few more extra washes hahaha.

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This was the best haircut I’ve ever had in my life.

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Love the ashy-ness of the color!

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I felt soooo pretty!

My sister during and right after bleaching! Needs color haha she kept saying she looked like Mufasa before she got the color.

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After color and during styling…

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Ta-da!!! The end result!

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Here’s my sister’s new hair! Omg don’t you just love her beachy wavy curls? So cute!!

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Siblings!!! My cousin took this. He got his hair done last because he was still choosing a hair color from the books they had.

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Don’t we look goooood??

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Here are the prices of the services that Nalu offers!

YEEEE. If you think this is a lot of pics of myself, realize that my sister took about 4x as many as I did. AND THAT’S NOT A BAD THING!!! CAUSE WE LOOK FAB

All collages should be like this. Just pics of me.

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Front, side, and back views of my brother’s badass new hair haha! I picked out this style and color for him. Doesn’t he look straight out of an episode of anime?

 

My brother wanted a picture with Deji-san!

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So I asked for one too. Hehe

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While waiting for my cousin’s hair to get colored, I had to use the bathroom. I asked the assistant but she didn’t understand me and I didn’t know how to say it in Japanese. Finally I just said “toilet” and she understood immediately. Yay!! LOL

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LOLOL!!! I love these pics! We collected our bags and happily paid. My cousin got his hair colored 5 times because each time the color didn’t stay, but he had to only pay for his bleach and color (not 5x color lol).

Anyway we were all starving because we hadn’t eaten in hours. We went downstairs to NALU’s restaurant, 76CAFE. Deji-san noticed us looking at the menu outside and he got us a 10% off discount on our bill T_T why so nice?! Thank you!!

 

  1. Sister’s taco rice
  2. Cousin’s burger
  3. My omurice
  4. Brother’s pizza

All were delicious hehe. Really recommend coming down to eat at 76CAFE! The ambiance is really chill. And even though it’s a common thing in Japan, I forever appreciate having a box to put my purse in so it doesn’t get dirty sitting on the floor!!! Japan thinks of everything. The service was great and there was such an extensive menu that I wanted to try EVERYTHING!

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My brother let me try a slice of pizza. It was sooo good! IMG_3101IMG_3111

I ordered dessert hehe. Ladybug mango mousse and cappucino!

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How freaking cute is that. And delicious too!

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We walked around Omotesando for a bit but it was kind of late and all the shops were closing. Most of the shops were designer and high end. Super nice window displays haha.

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Like this sassy mannequin. hehe

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Then we took the train home and considered it a day well spent.

I think my sister has a full gigabyte of selfies on her phone after we dyed our hair haha.

Then we made our nightly trip to the combini before heading back for the night!

I am so glad that I chose NALU Salon to do our makeovers for us because they were amazing! First they were great with email correspondence even though I contacted them months beforehand, and they even followed up after our visit to ask us how our experience was. They even sent us a few pictures that Deji-san took of us! We all followed Deji-san on Instagram and he followed us back too hehe. I knew our hair was in good hands and we all loved getting our makeovers. I wish I could go back again soon. I would recommend NALU Salon to anyone visiting Tokyo because they’ll truly give you the Japanese hair salon experience and results. And while you’re there, stop for a bite at 76CAFE!! Omg this sounds like a sponsored post haha it’s not, I’m just really enthusiastic about NALU okay?? I’ll see you in 4 years Deji-san!

Watch our hair makeovers on our vlog! It’s missing some footage because of some technical problems with our GoPro but it’s got some great stuff from our eventful day. After which I could no longer send my parents any pics of us hahaha.

Until next time,

C

P.S. Next vlog and blog post will be about our shopping trip to Shibuya 109! My sister and I shop till we drop and just about die from all the kawaii in that mall.


 

Locations:

Afternoon Tea Stand

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, 神宮前4ー3ー2

 

Hair Salon NALU

Address: 4 Chome-9-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

76CAFE Omotesando
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya 神宮前4-9-2 神宮前MMビル1F,B1