We visited Ueno twice. Firstly, to check out Yamashiroya, the fabulous 4-storey toy store (because we weak like that). On our second trip, our friends Brian and Sher-li (whose family was holidaying in Tokyo at the same time) took us out to eat Yakitori in a quaint little restaurant under the train tracks, alongside salarymen, so we could experience every rumble. So fun!
Once you arrive at Ueno station, cross this traffic light and there’re a zillion shops and restaurants to explore. Of course, we started with the most important one — the Yamashiroya toy store.
The nice store lady gave me a complimentary pop-up hat hahaha. My hubby Alan is not impressed. Luckily, Ayden is not at that age (yet) where he is too embarrassed to do silly things with me.
Left my boys to their toys while I wandered around Ueno. While the restaurants attract many tourists, there are also many ‘regular shops’ where the locals buy their fish and dried goods.
This old school hole-in-the-wall shop was selling old records. I just had to stop and shoot a video.
For dinner, we decided on this 1924 restaurant to try authentic Japanese-style western cuisine.
I was craving Omu rice, Ayden wanted his burger and Alan settled for a beef rice bento.
Ayden’s burger was so juicy and flavorful, I almost stole it from him. Served with a side of hand-cut fries.
Alan’s beef rice bento was also very flavorful, in a soy-based marinade topping fluffy rice.
My Omu rice 🍛 came with curry and pork chop. Simple, satisfying. This shop is strategically located near the traffic crossing in the pic above, across Ueno station. Quite inexpensive (we spent about S$60 for our meal) and pretty decent quality.
The next evening, we returned with the Torrey family for a rumbling dining experience.
Kanpai! (Okay, only Brian was throwing back sake, the rest of us were faking it.)
We ate fast and furious so we didn’t take many pics. When you have 3 hungry kids waiting, forget the camera! Sher-li and Brian, who both speak fluent Japanese, did the ordering and everything was yummy.
Minced Japanese meatballs are the bomb!
I love tofu! I’ve never eaten it with marinated spicy raw ika (squid) 🦑. Love it!
Fried chicken is always a hit.
Roaming the streets of Ueno with Clarissa (who is showing her new Pokémon nail polish 💅 from Ayden) and Ian, who also got his share of Pokémon loot from us.
Behold that giant bowl of ramen! We didn’t eat here though.
That’s the thing about Tokyo. There’s always something interesting to look at and take a selfie with!
Tokyo Part 11: Sugamo, the Harajuku for Grannies