Once we visited the museum and watched the video about the shogun and samurais that controlled this town, we were ready for the very modern and fast Shinkansen train. This time instead of getting off at Omiya we thought it would be nice to check out Tokyo downtown so we decided to go all the way to Tokyo Station. We arrived by 4:45pm.
The station is huge and nicer than the other stations we have been. It is located in the Marunouchi business district of Chiyoda, Tokyo near the Imperial Palace . Modern skyscrapers form the skyline. There are tunnels connecting the buildings to the station, many restaurants to cater the white collars working in those building. This is similar to Houston downtown, so we didn't feel out of place and with Yelp and Google help we found a nice small restaurant in one of those tunnels.
Arriving of Shinkansen train and the Tokyo Station Building
The hostess kindly took us to the table with a hot plate in the center and the seats all up. Thanks to another couple being seated at the same time, we learned that the purses and bags had to be put inside the chair and then the seat is lower to cover it, very neat!
My daughter asked for a menu in English and we got it. The specialty of this place was omelette stuffed with yakisoba(pasta) and vegetables,called Okonomi-yaki, which was started by two young chefs with very long hats who were presiding at the center of the kitchen facing the costumers, and finished in the hot plate in each table. It was very delicious! We also noticed that the check was put behind the chair where my husband sat. The waitresses, although they didn't know but a handful words of English, were helpful and friendly, checking the temperature of the hot plate, checking if our drinks were ok. When the couple arriving at the same time like us left, we noticed that they took their check from behind the chair were the gentleman sat and headed to the cashier, so we did the same and because you don't have to leave tips, we did not need to return to the table, which was immediately set up for the next costumer, when we left there was a long line of white collar people waiting to eat in this place.
Several small restaurant were along this tunnel including at the end and Irish Pub, in most of them there were them long lines of people waiting for a table. We followed the panels with instructions to get back to the station walking through tunnels, once we reached the station, bakeries, food shops (bento boxes to take-out or ekiben as they are known here), convenience stores, coffee shops, restaurants and many people looking for their trains. We found our train to Ikebukuro and went home.
Early we got up and headed again to Ikebukuro and then to Tokyo Station where we found a nice coffee shop to have breakfast and start our day walking outside the station and visiting the Imperial Palace gardens.
view of the Imperial Palace grounds, Imperial gardens and view of the Skyscrapers Business buildings, view of the Concert hall of the imperial family
ps. Okonomiyaki (Kansai style) is a delicious pancake/omelette
Cooking with a Dog (Francis) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=