You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘cherry blossom’ tag.

Thought I wanted something healthy for the first meal of the day, so headed over to Brown Rice Cafe, which was about 5 min walk from where I was staying.  But the sign on the door said it opens at noon!

Brown rice cafe:
GREEN BLDG 1F, 5-1-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

Since I was rather hungry and had to head over to Nakameguro to meet up with a friend,  aborted my plan for having a healthy meal and went for a tonkatsu set meal at Maisen.  Very well known to travel books for a very good reason, this place serves amazing tonkatsu and other deep fried dishes.  Batter is unbelievably fluffy, light yet crunchy with capital letter “C”!  Even it’s a deep fried piece of pork, it almost melts in your mouth like a cotton candy!


まい泉 (maisen):
4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ki

Enough with tonkatsu!  When JR train was about to stop at Nakameguro station, I was stunned with the view outside, since along the both sides of Meguro River (it’s called a river, but it’s more like a quaint canal) were covered with cherry blossoms in full bloom!  Since I was rather disappointed by what I saw in Ueno Park 2 days earlier, I wasn’t expecting much!  Plus, my sole reason for a visit in Nakameguro was to try out a veggie dessert place , it was like a huge bonus for me and my friend!  First, we walked and chatted while walking down the river.  Both of us were extremely excited by the view in front of our eyes and felt so lucky to be witnessing something so beautiful together.

And then we headed over to Potager Patisserie for rather unusual afternoon tea.  The place was small and jam packed with people lined up to try beautiful desserts made out of veggies.    We tried 3 items, buckwheat mousse, carrot pudding and chocolate brownie with some sort of veggie inside to add some crunch.  I must say I’m still a fan of full fat and sugar concocted desserts, but it was a very unique experience worth  trying!

Patisserie Potager:
2-44-9 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku

After the afternoon tea and long chat, I headed over to Ebisu, where sleepy residential streets are dotted with one of a kind stores for clothing and home furnishing.  I was able to score a french sailor shirt with crisp dark blue horizontal strips (which was on the top of my shopping list) and cute enamel butter knives, which I’m so excited to use for homemade scones.

Strolling in Ebisu was very calming and spotting newly opened blooms were rather refreshing.  It was cold though.  I nestled myself in a tiny cafe ran by 3 young woman and warmed my hands, body and soul with a mug of matcha latte while watching the sun go down…

Hexagon Cafe:
2-8-9 Ebisu Minami, Shibuya-ku

My plan was to walk over to the train station, but I knew I was lost.  Sun was already gone and dusk was fast approaching.  But I was rather calm.  Asked a person on the street whether I was close to Nakameguro, since I sensed that I was walking toward west.  The polite middle aged man said I was about 20 mins away, so I walked.  I wanted to see cherry blossoms once again illuminated by the street lights.  I always considered cherry blossoms to have innocent beauty.  But night sakura showed its sensual side.  There’s something shy and introverted about closely clustered blossoms, yet so open and eager to show itself…

The main purpose of my trip to Tokyo was my dear friend’s wedding.  When I received an email from her notifying the wedding location and time, I was more than excited, since I knew it meant a wedding during the cherry blossom season.  It just can’t get any whimsical and beautiful than that!

Anyway, the day started with a cup of coffee from Motoya (as the name suggests, it’s a tiny mini van selling coffee) near Omotesando Hills.  In Japan, there are so many cute cafes but they seem to open rather late around 11AM.  So Motoya becomes my go-to morning coffee place during my trip, since it opens at 8AM on weekdays (plus, I refused to get coffee from Starbucks while I was in Tokyo).

After a strong paper cup full of coffee, we proceeded with shopping at Omotesando Hills.  Omotesando Hills is a shopping mall with many interesting shops, but since I was still in my browsing mode, I ended up not getting anything – although, the story changes dramatically as the trip approaches its final days.  After a couple of hours of skimming through shops, we chose Yasai Mei (located on the 3F of Omotesando Hills) for a lunch spot.  We liked the fact that fresh vegetables were used for the window display and the queue outside the entrance.  The wait wasn’t too long and it gave us a chance to peek into the restaurant and see what others were ordering.  As soon as we set down, we were handed with a Japanese menu and was told that they didn’t have an English menu.  Nonetheless, we were able to ask the waitress to bring us the raw vegetable arrangement, which seemed to be the most popular item!  It was a simple platter of raw root vegetable and some leaves served on a bed of ice accompanied with cream/anchovy dipping sauce.  Sounds simple, but the taste and texture of fresh vegetable were absolutely amazing and the sauce had such a depth!  It was definitely not a boring vegetarian dish.  For my main course, I ordered roasted vegetable curry, which was served as a plate of rice topped with beautifully arranged oven roasted vegetable and a gravy bowl of curry with fried yuba (tofu skin) floating around.  The spiciness from the curry and the sweetness of the vegetable complemented each other so nicely.

Yasaiya Mei (やさい家めい): Omotesando Hills 3F, 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

When we arrived at the hotel, it was around 2:30, which meant one and only thing: a short disco nap before heading to the wedding!  Thought I’d sleep for 30 mins, but when I woke up, I only had 30 mins to get ready and be at the wedding!!!!  We scrambled and blamed my jetlag!  Never gotten ready for a wedding so fast in my life, but miraculously, we were able to get there and see my friend getting wedded!  It was a small but a beautiful one.  Throughout the ceremony, I was able to see how much my friend and her new hubby are in love!  And thanks to both of them, we were served with wonderful food and an after party at an izakaya (Japanese Pub) in Ginza.

Thought the day was perfect, and it couldn’t get any better, but Tokyo didn’t stop surprising me there.  When I was about to head back to the hotel, I saw the very first glimpse of cherry blossoms glittering the dark night sky…  Like I said earlier, can’t get any more whimsical or beautiful than this…