Wednesday, 24 August 2016

BLOG -- My trip to Japan V.2 -- JAPAN EATS

So here is my blog on the foods I had while in Japan. I'm using the same format as my last "Japan Eats" entry and have organized the places by region. Also, this entry is very photo-heavy -- the scroll bar is NOT tiny because I've written a novel here! (maybe a light novel, though) ;) You can read my first "Japan Eats" entry here.

Something that I noticed with my eating habits is that I tend to eat out if the place is anime or video game themed. Otherwise, unless I've already been there before, I turn to the foods at convenience stores or food halls. I think I was a little self-conscious most times to eat out by myself. My line of thinking was, I already stand out because I do not dress the same. I don't need to be a spectacle. I'd be more comfortable eating out if somebody else was there to share in that lost feeling, lol.

Something else I tried to be mindful of was getting some fruits or vegetables in me. I think it would be a very silly thing for me if I were to get scurvy, lol...

I'm just keeping this here because it is useful: One thing to note is that when ordering foods in Japan, if you don't know Japanese or enough Japanese, you can often point to what you want on the menu and show with your fingers how many of that item you want. Even though I was prepped beforehand how to order in Japanese, I would still often end up pointing at the menu and saying how many I'd want.

GAMAGORI (in Laguna Ten Bosch)

Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): One Piece-themed
Yen Spent: 1400
When/Where to Pay: At the counter before the food comes
Restaurant Size: Medium
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
This had a spacious, laid back feel to it. Unfortunately I wasn't paying too much attention to the decor so I can't comment on it -- I was too busy looking out the window and observing other Laguna Ten Bosch attendees.

When you enter the restaurant, you wait to get handed a menu and then you can sit wherever you like. When you know what you want to order, you go back to the front, make your order, and then pay for it. There is a station to self-serve water and grab utensils.

I couldn't read the menu fully, but I ordered an ASL (AcexSaboxLuffy) Curry Combo rice thing. It was pretty good! Unfortunately, though, when I took a bite of the meat patty, I tasted something soft inside. *sigh*... I think it was cheese, bleh! lol.

ASL Curry Combo rice thing. I did not dare touch the 
hot flame decoration. I can't take my spices well, lol.

OSAKA (in Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum)

Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Instant noodles
Yen Spent: 270
"Restaurant" Size: Very small
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
So inside the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is a small area to purchase and taste instant noodles that are either unique or from other regions of Japan. You can also just purchase the instant noodles if you want to eat them later. For me, though, I wanted to eat it at the museum so I got in the long-ish line. I think the wait was about 15-20 minutes. During that time, I was observing and trying to note the process of the whole thing. I also noticed one person sipping the soup of their noodles for the first time. He paused for a moment, and then did a small nod. Lol, I guess he approved it.

When it got to my turn, I was asked how many people were in my group and I indicated one. I was seated. Then I was able to go to the instant noodle area. All the instant noodles were in vending machines, probably organized in some fashion. Next to the vending machines were two stations that dispensed hot water.

I don't know what I got exactly -- I couldn't read the label. But it was good, lol.

If I ever get the chance to check out the Instant Ramen Museum again, I would definitely go back to the tasting area.

The instant noodle that I got. I had to ask a staff member for help 
preparing it since I didn't know if I had to empty that orange packet 
before adding the hot water or after. It was the latter.

 A shot of the instant noodles area.

 Some of the various cup noodles. I cringe a little at the "Cheese Curry" one, lol.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Custom-made!
Yen Spent: 300
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes!

Brief Impression
So I mentioned in an earlier entry about going through the My CUPNOODLES Factory and putting together my own custom cup noodles. Well, now I'm going to comment on it. In short, it was very delicious! The flavour was very strong and toppings were abundant. I would definitely recommend going through the My CUPNOODLES Factory experience to anybody who likes cup noodles. For me, it was totally worth the 300 yen.

My custom-made cup noodles. From looking at the toppings, I selected fish sausage, 
crab-flavoured fish sausage, and two helpings of cubic roast pork. 
The soup base was curry.

What it looks like after the hot water. It was... sooooo good! I loved the curry flavour.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Bunny girls
Yen Spent: 1700 (500 entrance fee + 550 fried chicken + 650 chocolate waffle)
When/Where to Pay: At your seat after the meal
Restaurant Size: Very small
Recommend? Depends -- knowing some Japanese is sorta recommended

Brief Impression
So I stumbled upon this place by accident. I was wandering around Akamon Street in Nagoya and my stomach growled. Lol... I found this building that indicated food shops on the 2nd floor. I went to the second floor and saw many themed restaurants. I wanted to take a peek inside, but there were no windows on any of them. So if I wanted to eat at one of those places, I'd have to open the door and step inside...

After about 30 minutes of going back and forth in my head, I decided to take my chances. I did tell a friend I would check out a Maid Cafe while in Japan. This wasn't exactly a maid cafe, but close enough. I chose Cafe Iroha, the restaurant with the cutest front.

Inside it was very small. I think there was one table and a bar counter. There were a couple male customers inside who gave subtle glances when I entered. I was the only female customer (lol... I'm not really surprised). One server with bunny ears approached me and started talking in Japanese and I responded in Japanese "I'm sorry. I don't understand Japanese." Then she tried speaking in English, telling me that there is a 500 yen entrance fee for one hour. When I said "Okay" to that, I was seated.

A few minutes later, the server asked in English: "Speak Chinese?"

I shook my head and said in English, "English."

She made a loud gasp and spoke with the other server in Japanese. They kinda made motions like they were looking for somebody. I was confused. Then when another server came in, the first server spoke to her and motioned to me. The new server then approached me and introduced herself (in English) as Mio (I think?) and that she would be my server. Supposedly she was the only server who was learning English at the time.

Then she proceeded to help me go through the menu, which was all in Japanese. I told her I could read katakana and hiragana and tried reading some of the menu items and she seemed impressed. After I made my order, she tried making small conversations with me in English. We talked about the places I visited in Japan, a bit about what she wanted to do in the future (I think she wanted to travel), about One Piece and a couple other anime series. Mio also asked me to share their Twitter page, so here it is (the page is in Japanese):

In the back of my head, I concluded just what that entrance fee was for (at least how I make sense of it). At Cafe Iroha, the entrance fee is for conversing with the server. It is interesting -- it can add a level of immersion and roleplay.

For myself, I probably wouldn't go back to Cafe Iroha until I've learned more Japanese. I mean, what if an English-speaking server isn't there when I go? Overall, though, it is an experience. I would recommend it if you want to converse with girls wearing bunny ears. 

The chocolate waffle. Mio wrote the message and 
drew the image in front of me. The waffle was okay.

The fried chicken. It was okay.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Various
Specialty (if any): Various
Yen Spent: 1619 (1121 salad + 260 fancy mochi ice cream + 238 other mochi ice cream)
When/Where to Pay: At the corresponding counter
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
Like the food hall in Isetan (E.A.T. Paradise), the food hall in JR Takashimaya is large and carries so many different sorts of foods. And just like in E.A.T. Paradise, it was very crowded. Trying to get some greens in me that day, I got a salad. I also bought some supposedly popular mochi ice cream. There was a long-ish line so I was curious.

When I bought the mochi ice cream the cashier placed a small block of ice thing inside the bag and motioned me to an English message saying that the ice thing will stay cold for two hours max. It also mentioned in larger font to NOT eat the ice thing.

The salad (left) and the mochi ice cream (in the bag).

Inside the bag. The fancy mochi ice cream (banana, 
strawberry, fruit?, red bean) is on the left.
I personally prefer the other mochi ice cream (strawberry, red bean).
The fancy mochi ice cream just tasted too crowded, lol.

A large display showing the inside of the fancy mochi ice cream.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Sailor Moon-themed
Yen Spent: 2500 (1300 Tuxedo Mask pasta + 1200 Luna Berry cake)
When/Where to Pay: At your seat after the meal
Restaurant Size: Medium
Recommend? Yes (but it's no longer there)

Brief Impression
So this was a pop-up cafe to go along with the Sailor Moon Exhibition. The cafe was located inside the Mori Arts Center right next to the exhibit, so admission to the Sailor Moon Exhibition was required to access the cafe. And due to that... I stood in the long, long, loooong line for the cafe instead of coming by another day. There were signs at designated points in the line noting if the wait would be an hour, 90 minutes, or 120 minutes. I was somewhere between the 90 and 120 minute signs.

Around the 60 minute sign, a server came out of the cafe and said something in Japanese about the hamburger menu item. My heart sank. Even though I didn't understand, I was pretty sure she just said that the Chibi Usa Hamburger set was sold out. That was the thing I really wanted to try! :(

Despite the negatives, the experience inside was nice and pleasant.

Tuxedo Mask pasta. Supposedly it was spicy, but I didn't 
taste much of that, which worked in my favour. 
The mask was very tasteless, though.

Luna berry cake. This was really good. It wasn't too sweet 
which is something I usually worry about with themed desserts.

Plastic replicas of the menu items. I would have tried the far left curry dish, 
but I had no idea how spicy it would be.

More plastic replicas.

A shot of the cafe.

The placemat at my table. Guess which Sailor I had lunch with? lol.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Dragon Quest-themed
Yen Spent: 2230 (520 omase na beer + 930 medal pizzas + 780 frozen slime dessert)
When/Where to Pay: At the counter before the meal
Restaurant Size: Very small (standing restaurant)
Recommend? For Dragon Quest fans (reservations recommended)

Brief Impression
Luida's Bar is a standing restaurant. There are no chairs at all. It's recommended to make reservations ahead of time because the place is really, really small. When I went, I was lucky there was one available spot, but... it was also the worst spot in the restaurant. I was assigned to Table 15 which was right under the fan. Cold air was being blasted at me every few minutes. I had some difficulty finishing my dessert because I was starting to get physically affected.

Despite its size, I would recommend this place to Dragon Quest fans. There are replica swords and mini armors displayed around the restaurant and the overall atmosphere does give a Dragon Quest-like feel. The food is also decent from what I tried of it. But order a different drink, lol.

Omase na beer. It tasted like root beer.

The medal pizzas. They were okay.

The slime jelly dessert. This was very cold! And with me being 
under the fan, I physically shivered sometimes while eating this.

A shot of the wall. The TV was playing ads for Dragon Quest Heroes II.

Some mini replicas.

This just looks really nice.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Sushi
Yen Spent: 1350 (850 california roll + 500 super negi tori roll)
When/Where to Pay: At the counter after the meal
Restaurant Size: Small
Recommend? Yes!!

Brief Impression
So I visited Sushi no Midori during my first trip to Japan and I loved it. It was no different this time. I am so happy to see they are still in business -- and that they still have long, long lines. The ticket system is still there, so make sure to grab a numbered ticket before waiting to get seated. For my own benefit, because I had trouble finding this place just like last time, Sushi no Midori is in Mark City on the 4th floor.

I was seated at the bar, so I was able to watch the chefs work their magic. The chef closest to me spoke some English and made jokes here and there. When I made my order, he was really nice to suggest I order less, saying that it would be too much food and they do not doggy-bag leftovers.

There is no question that I would totally go back again. Their food is just so yummy, lol.

I still love the california rolls here much more than the california rolls in Canada!

Super negi tori roll. It was good, but I like the california rolls better.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Final Fantasy XIV-themed
Yen Spent: 5654 (2 visits -- 1324 reservation fee; food breakdown below)
When/Where to Pay: At the front desk after the meal
Restaurant Size: Medium
Recommend? Yes!! (reservations recommended)

Reservation / No Reservation Experience
So I went to Eorzea Cafe once with a reservation and once without -- just so I could share my experience. There's been multiple posts online about both processes, but all of them were slightly different from what I actually experienced. So... here is what I experienced. Please note that the process may have changed from the time of this posting.

Making reservations online
Well, I followed this blog to make my reservations and it was going well up until the confirmation page. This was probably added to offset possible bots, but at the bottom of the confirmation page was a section with four images and a "Drag & Drop Item Here" box. Just above the images is a sentence telling you what of those four items to drop into the box. Just have Google translate ready when you get to this screen and copy / paste the sentence. If you are at the confirmation screen for too long you will need to refresh the page, changing the four images.

The section with the four images. The sentence is telling 
me to select the camera.

Once you get past the confirmation screen, either take a pic of the confirmation screen or write down the confirmation number, because it will be needed for the next part: picking up and paying for the ticket(s). The blog mentioned having 3 days to pick up the tickets. I had only until 11 PM the same day to pick it up. Thank goodness I reserved around 1 PM.

To pick up the ticket, you have to use a Loppi machine. It is a reddish machine and is located inside a Lawson convenience store. So far, I've seen at least one Loppi machine in every Lawson store I went into. And Lawson stores are all over the place. I tried getting the tickets myself, but hit a screen I couldn't read so I had to get a staff member to print out the ticket for me. Once that's done and you've paid for the ticket at the cashier, you're set! One cool thing about making reservations is -- at least at the time I did it -- a free drink order is included, plus a random character class/job coaster.

Going without reservations
So I read varying things about going without reservations. The process most mentioned talked about showing up to Eorzea Cafe around 10 AM to take part in a lottery that starts around 10:30 AM. Then when the lottery starts you form a line and pick a numbered card from a box. Then customers are called to make reservations starting from the lowest number. Okay... that did happen... but it didn't happen at the same time! Lol... I will explain. If you don't wanna read my little embarrassing story, I highlighted the actual process below.

I went to the lobby counter at 10 AM. The staff member there probably asked if he could help me with anything. I first said I didn't understand Japanese and then said I wanted to make a reservation for Eorzea Cafe. He then said in his best English to come back in an hour. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, But doesn't the lottery start at 10:30 AM? If I come back in an hour I might miss out completely. I asked if I could wait (there are seats in the lobby), but he said to come back in an hour.

I left but decided to pop back in at 10:30 AM. When I did, I saw a bunch of girls in a long line. The same staff member was holding a huge box -- I'm guessing it contained numbered cards. Immediately I thought, The lottery is happening! And it's happening right now -- not in an hour... and I went to the end of the line.

The staff member gave me a brief look as I grabbed a card from the box. The number was 41. Darn! I might not be able to make reservations for today...

While numbers were being called up, I took a closer look at the numbered card and then noticed something: the logo on the card was of the cafe next to Eorzea Cafe. Then I realized that I just participated in a lottery to make reservations for another cafe: the Otomate cafe. Hahhh...

At that moment I was playing with the idea of just making a reservation at Otomate and experiencing it, even though I had no idea what theme Otomate would be. But then I thought, What if I made reservations and took away the spot or time somebody else really wanted? Somebody who actually really wanted to experience that cafe today?

When my number was called (in Japanese), I sheepishly walked to the front counter and told the staff member in English that I picked this card by mistake. I don't know if the staff member understood, but he asked in English "You want Eorzea cafe?" and I nodded, gave back the card, and did a small bow in apology.

I went to the lobby seats and waited while the rest of the numbers were being called out. At 11 AM, another staff member came by and asked if I was here for Eorzea cafe. I said yes and she showed me the seating availability for the day and I chose the time and for how many people. She marked it down and gave me a numbered card -- to tell me which seat I was assigned to inside the cafe.

So... that's the process for going to Eorzea Cafe without reservations. Just show up at 11 AM and tell the staff member you are there for Eorzea Cafe and that you have no reservations so you can make some. If there was a lottery system for Eorzea Cafe before, the lottery system is now for Otomate cafe, lol.

After checking out the site for Otomate cafe, though, I think I will definitely try experiencing it next time if it's still around, lol. Mmmmm, bishies... LOL x3

The card I picked out from the lottery. If that Otomate cafe is still 
around the next time I visit Japan, I will actually try experiencing it, lol.

Between making reservations or showing up without reservations, I personally would recommend making reservations. While there's a bit more upfront hassle with getting the tickets and that there is a fee, at least your seat is guaranteed. Also if you are collecting the coasters, making reservations is the only way to get class/job coasters so far that I know.

Just take note that seating availability will NOT show for at least the next two days from when you try to make reservations. For example, if you try to make reservations on August 22nd, seating availability for August 23rd and 24th will show up as completely unavailable, even if in reality there could be empty seats. If you just have to eat at Eorzea Cafe the next day and you didn't make reservations early enough, try going without reservations and hope there is availability.

Brief Impression
In short, this cafe was the best themed cafe I've experienced so far. The decor is lovely. The food is lovely. There are PCs and PS4s available for you to log onto FFXIV while you are in the cafe! And the seating limit is 2 hours. You can leave earlier, but if you want, you can definitely relax and get immersed into the atmosphere and food.

Before entering the cafe, every customer was given a menu, an order sheet, a list of seating / eating / ordering etiquette / rules, and a "gold saucer ticket" with three numbers. Once we were all seated inside, a staff member welcomed us in Japanese and probably went over the etiquette / rules. Then they did the "gold saucer" drawing. If they call out the number on your "gold saucer ticket", then you win. The 1st prize was a ridiculously huge dessert. I don't remember what the 2nd and 3rd prizes were.

On my first visit, I made conversations with another traveller who was seated next to me (I was assigned bar seats on both visits). At first we were just doing our own thing -- he seemed really focused on his phone. Then when we got our orders and our random primal-themed coasters, after a while I asked, "Wanna trade coasters?" He had the Titan coaster and anybody who knows what I like in FFXIV knows that Titan is my favourite primal. Where many cringe at doing Titan EX, I love running it! <3 You can check out a run of Titan EX here. These days, though, it should be cleared faster since there is better gear.

After that we were talking about various things -- about FFXIV, our favourite classes, favourite EX primals, the servers we were from. We also chatted about our Japan trip and the places we visited. He told me to be weary about going to bars -- that some people will make nice small talk with you and order a drink but then tell the server in Japanese that the drink is covered by you. Good thing I don't go to bars, lol...

It was nice being able to chat with somebody in English. I guess even a loner like me has a limit to how long I can last with little-to-no conversation with others.  

All-in-all, I really enjoyed Eorzea Cafe. Even if the day came where I would completely quit from playing FFXIV (I am sorry to say -- but I know it will happen someday... so many things are calling for my time... :(), I would definitely come back to this nice little cafe.

What I Ate / Drank ...
Titan burger (900 yen) -- This was a big burger! At least for a tiny person like me, lol. I was given a paper wrap and the server motioned that I need to put the burger into the wrap. After some messiness, I succeeded. The burger was good!

Fat chocobo curry (850 yen) -- This was a cute, but yummy dish.

Golden saucer parfait (580 yen) -- I know I shouldn't be eating milk-based stuff (I am partially lactose-intolerant), but it looked really yummy. And it was really good. I liked that it wasn't too sweet.

Colibri cake dessert (600 yen) -- This was really good.

Bard drink (free with reservation) -- I forgot what this tasted like, but I liked it. Even though it looked like there was milk in it, I just had to. I main a Bard class, lol.

Odin drink (750 yen) -- So... I ordered this just to test if I could order an alcoholic drink so early in the morning. This was bitter and strong. I actually felt a little sick afterwards for maybe 10-15 minutes... and I was in a store at the time, lol...

Leviathan drink (650 yen) -- I got this mainly to try offsetting the Odin drink. It was good.

Bard drink. I wish I could keep that metal arrow, lol.

The Titan burger! When I tasted seaweed, I thought, 
'Oh -- I guess I just ate Titan'. Lol. 

The Titan burger from another angle. I cringed at the cheese, 
but thankfully it was mozzarella.

Golden Saucer parfait! So yummy.

The fat chocobo curry rice. He looks angry, lol. 

The Colibri cake.

Odin drink.

Leviathan drink. 

A shot of the various drinks. I like the labels.

I love the bow. 

A closer shot of the bow plus other weapons.

This makes me think of Gridania.

Cactaur and moogles! 

Map of Eorzea.

1st prize dessert from the "gold saucer" drawing. The winner was nice 
enough to let me take a picture. I'm... just thankful I did not win that, lol. 
I would not be able to eat all that by myself! >_>'

Some primal-themed coasters.

The front desk. This is what you would see once you step 
out of the elevator (Eorzea Cafe's on the 2nd floor). 
This is also where you pay when you are done. 

The coasters I got (woot, Bard!), the "gold saucer ticket", and a card to keep track of 
my spending at the cafe. I think for every 1000 yen spent, you get a stamp. 
When you get enough stamps, you probably receive a gift or something.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Meat sticks
Yen Spent: 500
When/Where to Pay: At the cashier right after ordering
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
So I can't read the banner... if anybody knows what it says, please let me know and I will update the name of this place, lol...

Anywho, the traveller showed me this place after wandering around Akihabara. They serve seasoned meat sticks. You make your order at one line. Then you go to the other line to pick up your stick. I got the standard beef stick and it was good. It's best to eat it there so you aren't wandering around looking for a place to chuck your stick later.

If I can find this place again, I would definitely try out some other meats.

The counter.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Taiyaki
Yen Spent: 312 (136 red bean + 176 matcha)
When/Where to Pay: At the cashier right after ordering
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
One thing I wanted to try last time in Japan was taiyaki, but we didn't find a place that had it. This taiyaki stand is actually pretty close to Akihabara station. I got the regular red bean taiyaki, and then a matcha one. Both were good, but I liked the matcha one more.

Mmmmm, taiyaki...


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): One Piece-themed
Yen Spent: 1800 (1000 Zoro burger + 800 Chopper's mont blanc)
When/Where to Pay: At the counter after the meal
Restaurant Size: Large
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
Woot, another One Piece-themed cafe! This was located inside Tokyo Tower, but you don't need admission to eat inside. Some of the staff were dressed like pirates -- it was really cool.

Inside was spacious and had a classy feel -- despite the little One Piece things strewn about the restaurant. I would totally recommend this place, especially to One Piece fans.

The Zoro burger. It was good!

The Chopper mont blanc. This was really nice. I've never had a mont blanc before.

I think that's Sanji's suit.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Video game-themed
Yen Spent: 4970 (2 visits -- breakdown below)
When/Where to Pay: At the counter after the meal
Restaurant Size: Medium
Recommend? Yes!

Brief Impression
My biggest gripe with this cafe is its location. To me, it is located in the middle of nowhere, and it takes about an hour of subway commutes and multiple transfers to get there.

Despite that, though, Capcom Cafe is currently my 2nd favourite for themed cafes. I really love the idea of a cafe that changes its theme every now and then. When I went, it was Resident Evil-themed. At the time of this writing, it is now Basara-themed.

The service was really friendly. When I said I didn't understand Japanese, one server tried conversing with me in English. She asked if I liked Resident Evil (calling it Biohazard -- the Japanese title) and I said that I never fully played any game, but that I watched all the movies and didn't like them. Then I asked if she liked Resident Evil and she said she never played the games nor watched the movies.

The second time I went, the same server recognized me and greeted me very brightly. She tried conversing in English again, asking me where I was staying, and why I was in Japan. Then she wanted to ask me something but couldn't word it properly and motioned with her hands to "never mind". I really wanted to say something like "See you in two years!" since chances are I'd be coming back to Japan in two years. Hopefully by then I'll have known more Japanese and if she would still be working there in two years, I'd be able to have a conversation with her, lol.

Overall, the Capcom Cafe is pleasant and I would make that hour-long trek. So... thanks to my friend who wanted me to buy a T-virus perfume, which was only available at the Capcom Cafe. I would not have visited this place otherwise, lol.

What I Ate / Drank ...
Zombie burger (1180 yen) -- I really liked the hamburger and rice.

Fried chicken (950 yen) -- This was yummy.

Icy dessert (980 yen) -- It was a hit or miss with this.

Dessert sampler + Leon S. drink combo (980 yen) -- This combo originally came with another drink, but I asked to switch it to Leon's drink.

YOU DIED drink (880 yen) -- This was berry strong, lol... (forgive my lame pun)

The zombie burger! The zombie is actually rice with a light tomato flavour.
Dry ice was in the little cup for effect, and the server motioned that I do NOT eat that.

The icy dessert. This was okay. Some of the things were yummy. 
Some were either sour or plain too cold to eat.

The fried chicken. This was good! I was afraid that it 
would be too spicy, but the seasoning was just right.

The dessert sampler. I liked this more than the icy dessert.

The YOU DIED drink. It was alcoholic. Just like with the Odin 
drink, I ordered it mainly to see if I could order alcohol early in the day
It was good, but a bit strong.

Leon S. drink. It tasted lemony.

A shot of the center table. I wanted to go closer to it but 
didn't want to make a spectacle of myself.

A felyne chef! x3

Resident Evil 4. Hellooooo, Leon... lol. What can I say -- 
he looks so bada** and hot, lol. Way hotter than how he looks in Resident Evil 6, lol... :3

If they ever do a Gyakuten Saiban (Phoenix Wright)-themed cafe, 
I better be in Japan while it's happening!!

Whee, 8-bit Monster Hunter!

I like the 8-bit Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Western
Specialty (if any): Fried chicken
Yen Spent: 1630 (1080 combo + 550 seasoned chicken)
When/Where to Pay: At the cashier
Restaurant Size: Medium
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
So this is my second time visiting KFC in Japan. I guess I wanted to eat some Western food in Japanese style, lol. The KFCs in Japan are different from the KFCs in Canada. The menu items are slightly different and the chicken is more breaded in Japan.

My combo. This was too much! I had to chuck a couple pieces of chicken :(

A couple pieces of seasoned chicken. This was okay, 
but I don't think I'd get it next time. 


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Video game-themed
Yen Spent: 2650 (880 salmon avocado sandwich + 900 tiramisu dessert + 870 Shiva drink)
When/Where to Pay: At the counter after the meal
Restaurant Size: Small
Recommend? Yes... but more for the gift shop

Brief Impression
So nothing's really changed with Artnia. So... still avoid their pancakes! Lol, I am kidding, though only partially. The gift shop is still worth checking out, though some of their products are a little pricier.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Bar Menu notes that alcoholic beverages aren't available for order until after 5 PM. Lol... this is the reason why I keep testing if I can order alcoholic beverages at other themed cafes at an early time. So far Artnia is the only place with this "no alcohol until 5 PM" rule.

The salmon avocado sandwich. I really liked the avocados, yum.

The Shiva drink. Very strong. My face got pink-ish afterwards.

The tiramisu mochi. That was a limited dessert so it might be gone now. 
It was a weird experience. I don't know if I would recommend it.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Various
Specialty (if any): Various
Yen Spent: 2665 (breakdown below)
When/Where to Pay: At the corresponding counter
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes!

Brief Impression
So I visited E.A.T. Paradise more often this time, but I often had difficulty deciding what to get from there -- there are really so many foods! It started to make me wonder about what happens to all the food when it's closing time... >_>'''

From my experience, the food seems to come cool (so they were probably cooked and left out to cool) so if you don't have a place or appliance to heat food that needs heating, I'd suggest getting foods that can be eaten cold.

What I Ate / Drank ...
Melon bread x4 (800 yen total) -- Of course I'd be eating this again. It was a little different this time. There wasn't any cream filling in the bun -- just the melon filling. It was still very good, though!

Curry bun (250 yen) -- This tastes exactly what it says.

Lasagna (738 yen) -- This came to me cool. It was okay.

Yakitori x4 (877 yen) -- Each stick I got was slightly different. I didn't know what I got -- I just pointed to the sticks that looked yummy. This came to me cool as well. I find that I tend to like the cheaper sticks.

Two melon breads, one curry bun, and three yakitori sticks. 
The curry bun and the sticks were my dinner for one day, lol.

A yakitori stick and lasagna. This was dinner for another day, lol.


This section is just to list what miscellaneous snacks / foods and flavoured vending machine drinks that I bought or got.

What I Ate / Drank ...
Takoyaki-flavoured chips (108 yen) -- This was so good!

Green tea milk marshmallows (108 yen) -- This was okay.

Fruit jellies (108 yen) -- This was okay.

Ace mini gummies (463 yen) -- I wanted to bring this home but I was over my declaration limit. It had a spicy kick to it!

Krispy Kreme donut - Mixed berries jelly (230 yen) -- This was really yummy. I'll have to try more Krispy Kreme donuts the next time.

Chocola BB Joma drink (promotional item from Sailor Moon Exhibition) -- This was weird. I will say more under the pic, lol.

Rockman E drink (150 yen) -- This was okay.

Vending machine drink: Peach-flavoured (160 yen) -- I do like my peach-flavoured things.

The takoyaki-flavoured chips, milk tea marshmallows, and fruit jellies. 
I got these from Daiso (100 yen shop). I really like the takoyaki-flavoured chips!

The Krispy Kreme donut (mixed berries jelly). It was really good!

An ad noting that it's Krispy Kreme's 10th anniversary. As a special, you could 
buy a box with one of each of those donuts plus two regular donuts for 2000 yen. 
When I saw that ad, I was thinking 'Maybe I should buy a box and eat a donut 
each day...' I ended up not doing that since I'd be travelling to Tokyo in 
two days... meaning I'd have to lug a box of donuts. It'd be added stress, lol. 
I really wish I got to try the green tea donut and the mango donut. 
The coffee donut looks really cool, too!

Peach-flavoured vending machine drink. It was really good.

Rockman E drink. I think it's an energy drink. It was okay. It tasted like pop.

This drink was given while I was exiting the Sailor Moon Exhibition.

This is the actual drink. I think it's an energy drink. It had a bright 
neon yellow colour to it and it tasted okay. The strange thing was... 
well... my urine was the same neon yellow colour for the 
next few days after drinking it. I didn't know 
if that was normal -- or if that meant the drink 
went right through my system >_>'


Type(s) of Cuisine: Various
Specialty (if any): Unsure
Yen Spent: 2028 (Breakdown below)
When/Where to Pay: At the cashier
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? Yes

Brief Impression
So I visited a supermarket this time in Japan. I've mentioned in past blogs, but I had a personal mission to try finding wasabi-flavoured ramune for a friend. I even went so far as to e-mail the company to ask where they would be stocked. Of course I didn't get a response. I also did a lot of research when I arrived in Japan and didn't see ramune anywhere.

Places like gas stations, Village Vanguard, 100 yen shops, and Maruetsu were suggested if you wanted to find ramune off-season (ramune is more common during the Summer season). Save for the gas stations, I checked out all the places at multiple locations and could not find wasabi-flavoured ramune. But I tried very hard -- that's what really matters, at least for myself.

Overall, Maruetsu is slightly cheaper than convenience stores. They also carry their own pre-made meals and pastries, but I personally like the meals in convenience stores more. Maruetsu's beer shelf is very colourful and fun to look at, lol.

If you are close to a supermarket, it may be worth balancing what to buy from there to save a little yen. It all adds up. :)

What I Ate / Drank ...
Red bean taiyaki (268 yen) -- This was a pack of six. I ate one everyday as a snack, lol.

Fried fish burger (172 yen) -- I stopped eating this once I found a bunch of tiny bones. I hate fish bones in my food :/.

Salmon sushi + Negi tori sushi (950 yen) -- These were okay.

Pomegranate gummy (178 yen) -- I liked this.

Seaweed-flavoured chips x2 (172 yen) -- I bought from two companies and I liked the cheaper-priced chips just a bit more.

Bottled water (85 yen) -- Water is water.

Ramune - Original flavour (100 yen) -- This was the only ramune I could find. Look how cheap it is!

Peach-flavoured beer (103 yen) -- It had 3% alcohol, but I just had to try it. It's not everyday you stumble upon peach-flavoured beer.

Taiyaki and ramune.

Seaweed chips, fish burger (bleh!), pomegranate gummies, 
salmon + negi tori sushi, water.

Peach-flavoured beer! It tasted like carbonated cream soda. 
I don't think I was affected at all.


Type(s) of Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty (if any): Unsure
Yen Spent: 7780 (breakdown below)
Restaurant Size: Not applicable
Recommend? YES!

Brief Impression
As I've mentioned before, I visited convenience stores way more often this time. Besides feeling self-conscious about eating out by myself unless I was checking out a themed cafe / restaurant or a place I've already been to, I actually had more entertainment at the hotel. A typical evening for me was buying dinner, going back to the hotel, and then watching Youtube videos on my phone while it and the pocket WiFi was recharging.

This time I visited more convenience stores -- Circle K and Lawson. In the end, though I still personally prefer 7-11. They all generally carry the same products, but I find 7-11 a bit more... welcoming? Lol. I think 7-11 also carries a wider selection of meals, which is a big plus for me.

What I Ate / Drank ...
Ready-made meals x10 (4380 yen) -- Some of the meals I liked and some were just okay.

Onigiri x3 (350 yen) -- These were good. I tried different flavours.

Tomato inari thing (108 yen) -- I liked this.

Yakisoba bun (165 yen) -- This is the same as last time -- I liked it but I had to pick out the ginger.

Anpans x4 (108 yen) -- Lol -- last time this was part of my first convenience store purchase in Japan. It was the same this time as well.

Calorie Mate x4 (432 yen) -- I just had to try what Snake ate in the Metal Gear Solid series. Each box was like a cheap breakfast for one day.

SoyJoy (123 yen) -- This was okay. I got it as a quick breakfast one day.

Okonomiyaki bread (148 yen) -- I liked this.

Melon bread (100 yen) -- This had no filling, but I still liked it.

Tiramisu shaved ice (149 yen) -- This had a strong tiramisu flavour, which I really liked.

Seaweed-flavoured chips (159 yen) -- I think seaweed-flavoured chips is one of my favourite chip flavours in Japan.

Calbree shrimp-flavoured chips (128 yen) -- This was okay.

Mixed Fruits Cup (194 yen) -- I got this mainly to make sure I didn't get afflicted with scurvy, lol... I really do need to eat more fruits.

Kagome fruit salad drink (110 yen) -- I got this for the same reason as above. It had a nice flavour.

Peach-flavoured cider (100 yen) -- I'll try almost anything peach-flavoured.

Salt & Lychee drink (254 yen) -- I had this last time and I liked it.

Bottled Water x4 (448 yen) -- Mmmm, water... <3

Dango x3 (324 yen) -- This time I saw dango in tons of stores. I think it was cheapest at the supermarket.

The first meal I bought while in Japan. Yummy stuff!

A curry noodle meal. I liked it.

A spaghetti meal plus some meats. I didn't really like the meats.

This was yummy.

This was good, too.

This was okay. I think I would have preferred more meats.

Soba! It came with a packet that you are supposed to pour over 
the noodles to make it less sticky. I forgot the name of the packet.

This was my favourite of the pre-made meals.

This was okay. The SoyJoy was okay as well.

Onigiris. I couldn't read the label so I picked ones that had a yummy-looking pic.

Yakisoba bun and okonomiyaki bread.

Tiramisu shaved ice, mixed fruits cup, tomato inari thing, fruit salad drink.

Must stay hydrated!

Peach cider, onigiri, Calorie Mate.

Another shot of the Calorie Mate.

Calorie Mate in different flavours! From top to bottom, 
we have Chocolate, Plain, and Maple. I liked chocolate the most.

Bottled water plus dango. This dango is my favourite of the dangos I bought.

Melon bread (no filling).

More dango.

Chips! Mmmmm, I really like the seaweed chips here (to the left).

Here is the total yen that I spent on food: 42685 yen.

For comparison's sake, here is what I spent on food two years ago28729 yen.

Thanks for reading! Truly, if you read to the end, you are most excellent! If you have any comments or want to know more about anything, feel free to say something! :)

My last Japan blog (fingers crossed that I'll be able to finish it this weekend!) will be on any miscellaneous thoughts / observations PLUS all my "swag" purchases (wheee!).

Until then and take care! :)

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