Yakitori street in Shinjuku

In Shinjuku, there is an interesting old narrow street that is filled with many small shops selling Yakitori. It is known as Yakitori memory lane or piss alley. If you are into Yakitori, this place is quite a place to visit. You will see many local salaryman filling up the narrow street shops eating and drinking away. Beware, some store will charge an entrance fee. Check before entering. To avoid crowds, you can go after 9pm. The place opened till very late.

Must buy item: Toyko Banana?

If you ask anyone what to buy in Tokyo, chances are they will answer: Tokyo banana. This sponge cake like food should be one of the most famous item to buy as souvenir when you are in Tokyo. But you do not need to search high and low while in the city. You can simply buy it on the last day in Narita airport after you crossed the custom. It will be cheaper without tax plus fresher with a more updated expiry date.

Tokyo Banana costs 1000 Yen per box

Where to buy facial products in Japan?

Facial products business is a huge market in Asia. Many famous and affordable brands are from Japan and Korea especially. You might think to get in departmental stores. But hold your horse. There are more places you can check out at a much competitive pricing. In Hong Kong, there are Sasa, Bonjour. In Korea, there are Olive Young, all the individual brand outlets. In Japan, you can go to the drug stores with the word 藥. Yes. You heard me. These drug stores sell tonnes of facial product brands at super competitive price. One popular chain is Matsumoto Kiyoshi. Some stores have their own promotion. It will be good if you can walk around and do your homework first before buying.

Gyoza for supper?

Hungry in the middle of the night and thinking of what to eat? If you are staying in Shinjuku, you are in luck. Try Kakekomi Gyoza. This shop sells different type of gyoza. Fried, steam etc.. The texture and taste of the gyoza are really fascinating. I have to recommend the chicken soup gyoza. Simply delicious. Best of all, it is tourist friendly and not too expensive. Many tourists however just drop by for a drink. Open 24 hours.

Address: 1-12-2 Kabukicho 1-2F 58th Tokyo Bldg, Shinjuku 160-0021, Tokyo Perfecture

Japanese brands in Japan must be cheap! Right?

Many people believe it must be cheaper to get Japanese goods in Japan. Sorry to burst your bubbles. It depends actually. E.g..

1. Uniqlo. It is cheaper in Japan without tax. With tax, slightly more expensive than Singapore. 

2. Shiseido. It is definitely more expensive than Singapore even without tax. 

3. Nintendo Switch. This console is much cheaper than in Singapore.

4. Fancl. It is cheaper in Japan. 

So the moral of the story is to check the price back in your home country before you make that purchase. 

Ichiran Ramen.. Best in Japan??

I heard rave reviews about Ichiran ramen. Some said best ramen in Japan. So I decided to pop by. You need to buy the tickets from a vending machine. Fret not. It has English menu and anyway it only sells one type of ramen. So it is good for indecisive person. The food I would say is nice. The noodle I have to say is QQ. Smooth and not like others. The soup and egg are tasty too. But is it queuing nice? No. So I would not waste time queuing. Though is good, it is not out of this world.  There are many outlets in Japan and saw long queues at many outlets at usual timing. You can wait for hours just to eat that. But if you must, let me tell you how to beat the queue. Go on a weekday and go around midnight. By the way, they are open 24 hours. There are not many people at this sort of timing. 

Tonkotsu Raman costs 890 Yen

Stay where in Tokyo? 

In Tokyo, I have to recommend Shinjuku. Reasons are all departmental stores are there, many 24h eateries are there and night life are there. However, hotels at that area are slightly more expensive.