|Excelsior Cafe South Exit Ikebukuro|
|Meiji Shrine Tori Gate|
|Saki Barrel Offerings to the Shrine|
After our shrine visit we went to Harajuku and decided to have an early lunch to beat the rush (lunchtime is always busy in Tokyo). I was looking for an outlet of Jangara Ramen, a somewhat famous ramen chain. I was following a map by another blogger and their mapping skills were somewhat off as we wandered a bit and then found it after we gave up - i.e. lets just try that place we just passed - hey wait a minute, that's it! The tonkotsu ramen here was tasty and they had booth seating for our group on the second floor - very nice atmosphere, pleasant staff, and an English menu even. They were happy to see customers from Canada. Nice pork broth, not thin or thick, but a nice in the middle for texture and lots of flavour. It was an excellent first ramen to have in Japan. Japan is famous for its ramen noodles, an invention originally from China, but one that has been adapted into an all new dish here. It is considered a "fast food" but much healthier and you will see that ramen shops are fairly common. Often there is only counter seating and you are supposed to eat your noodles quickly so that other customers can get a seat as the shops are not large. You often order from a vending machine that is also the menu and pay in advance. This can be fun if you don't read Japanese, but Jangara does not use a machine so no problem!
|Jangara Ramen Front. Second floor is the windows above the silver band.|
|Tonkotsu Ramen. Yum.|
After a nice lunch we headed east down Jingumei, the main street in front of the restaurant toward Kiddyland. On the way there we made a major stop right at the intersection on top of Meijijingumae Station. I had read about Tokyu Plaza, this new building / mini-mall with an awesome park space on top going up in Omotesando, and here it was! We gave this place a good visit and there were all types of interesting shops inside including a mini-Tokyu Hands which is like a giant craft store on steroids and cute. The rooftop had a nicely setup Starbucks and the park patio fully met expectations as a wonderfully crafted space. Why do the Starbucks over here in Tokyo look nicer and have a better selection of food, desserts, and beverages than at home - we must be second class chumps back here in North America (or the competition on Tokyo makes them up there game).
|Tokyu Plaza Mirrored Entrance|
|Tokyu Hands Be|
|Starbucks with a delicious looking latte / frappuccino. The pastries / dessert cabinets were double size in this store with many delightful looking treats. Starbucks is also non-smoking.|
|Tokyu Plaza Park Deck|
|Some Dragon Quest Goods|
Post continues in the next installment. Click here.
View the Tokyo Travelogues Master Page here.