Ramen, Robots and Maid Cafes…we love Tokyo!

We just spent 6 days in Tokyo and we had so much fun that we’ve only just got round to a blog update! Tokyo was everything we expected and more, crazy, eccentric, amazing food, wonderful people, heated toilet seats…we didn’t want to leave. We’ve rounded it up into a list of our Tokyo highlights.

In no particular order:
Robot Restaurant
The most insane show we’ve ever seen! Pre-drinks in the Robot Lounge, a room filled with mirrors and kaleidoscope colours, eccentric chairs, a lounge band with two “robots” on guitar and robot dinosaurs on the table to play with. When the show is about to begin you are led downstairs through extravagantly decorated corridors and shown to your seats. Get ready for the madness to begin. Flashing lights, outrageous costumes, giant robots, girls in bikinis, glow sticks, hilariously bad plot lines, kung foo panda on a giant cow..it was just crazy! And totally up our street.

Ramen @ Ichiran
Super tasty ramen ordered and paid for at a vending machine when you enter. Fill in a form to customise your dish (with or without pork, how oily, how rich in flavour, how much chilli sauce, how firm you want the noodles). You are then shown to your seat on a row of single booths with a window in front where you place your tickets. The chefs are behind the window and they deliver your ramen when it’s done and close the blind. You can’t even see their faces. Any restaurant where you pay upfront and don’t really have to deal with any staff is perfect in our book!

Tokyo Disney Sea
There are Disney Lands all over the world but there’s only one Disney Sea! With a few rides aimed more at adults and some fantastic sets this was a real fun day trip. Indiana Jones, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and a great end show. Carrie faced her fear of lifts on the “Tower of Terror” but had to be consoled with a rum and coke on the Titanic afterwards. Hoards of Japanese teenagers were running around dressed as schoolgirls or Disney characters. The staff worked for Disney AND were Japanese which meant they were the friendliest and happiest people in the world…ever.

Tempura in Asakusa
We met up with an old Japanese friend in Asakusa who took us for some great tempura. Carrie went for veggies and Seth had a shrimp and squid mixture. We took in the sights of old Japan, the Sensojii temple and streets lined with little wooden shophouses.

Maidreamin Maid Cafe
We’d seen this on a documentary and just had to go! Overly-excited waitresses dressed as French maids pander to your every need and draw cutesy pictures on your food. All in the theme of Kawaii or “cute.” We had a Katsu bear curry which actually tasted ok and a few drinks to get over the initial awkwardness! We were soon well into it, waving our glow sticks as one of the maids got on stage and really went for it dancing to some mad high pitched music! You’re not supposed to take photos unless you pay for one at the end but we got a few sneaky extras…

Sushi @ Genki sushi
Our first sushi experience in Japan was at a restaurant in a Shibuya with touch screen menus. Once you’ve ordered, the sushi comes speeding out from the kitchen on trays along a track and stops at your table. This type of Sushi is really affordable in Japan and very tasty too.

Red Chilli Hot Chicken
Red Chilli restaurant is a basement bar in Shibuya offering the spiciest chicken wings in Tokyo. The spice level goes up to 5, which is habanero chilli powder, chilli sauce and shredded habanero chilli on top! Seth had two level 5 wings and and we also ordered some Russian Roulette Takoyaki. Battered Octopus balls but one is filled with habanero powder!

Studio Ghibli Museum
You can’t take pictures inside the museum but outside they have a giant Totoro and a robot from Castle in the Sky. There is a cinema room where you can watch a film only screened at the museum and lots of rooms with character drawings and animation techniques. The building itself is like something from one of Miyazaki’s films. A must for any Studio Ghibli fan!

Tokyo more than lived up to our expectations, we could have stayed there for weeks and still not done everything we wanted to. Well done Japan, we never want to leave.

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