The next day, us early birds meaning me and kuya, woke up at around 7am. Bought some hot coffee at Family Mart (Y150) and walked around the area to see what was in store for us. Good thing we did an ocular because we discovered (1) there was a kimono rental nearby and (2) saw a shopping strip with different stores and restos.
Us girls were actually planning on doing a kimono dress-up but the one I found online had a weight limit of 70kgs so my sister thought we wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. So this nearby rental was a good discovery! More on that later.
Went back to the apartment and started preparing for a long day. As always in Japan, saw tons of vending machines but lesser as compared to Tokyo or Nagoya.
Our first stop was Kushida Shrine (free entrance) which was just a few minutes’ walk from our home.
Brother saw a caped ‘bat dog.’ Haha.
We were already walking towards the exit when mom saw this sign saying ‘Big Buddha is upstairs’. Good thing we decided to check it out at the second floor because it was a 16 meter (if I’m not mistaken) wooden Buddha which was so pretty! The carving was intricate and if one giant Buddha is not enough, there were small buddhas behind it and even tinier buddhas behind those small ones. Haha! Photos are not allowed inside but I highly recommend you take a peek. At the side, old photos during the planning and construction stage were displayed. So interesting!
Our tummies were rumbling so off we went to the Tenjin Subway Station wherein we were able to hit three birds with one stone: the underground mall, Tenjin Core mall and Parco.
Both Tenjin Core and Parco have food courts. Parco also has a grocery store. Some shops to be found at the underground mall are the must-go-to 100 yen store and the must-eat Bake cheese tart. The cheese tart had a long line, about 10-15 people so it must be worth it. We tried it (Y200 per piece) and yes, it’s worth the wait. Crust is crunchy then the filling was so creamy and had just the right amount of tartness. No wonder there was a long line!
Their comfort room was also pretty! Pwede ka na tumira dun. Haha!
At Tenjin core mall, we went to the 7th floor where the food court was located. But unlike in Manila where food courts are drabby, theirs was a beautiful and classy one with a communal eating place in the middle then other restaurants surrounded it. We went around and decided to try the first katsu resto on our left upon getting out of the elevator. Good thing we went there at around 11:30am because come 12:00, there was a long line already!
We ordered katsudon with a side of egg salad as sauce (so good!), karaage (chicken) with lemon (so good!), beef and chicken bowls, and curry katsudon. All meals came with miso soup, rice and cabbage salad with sesame dressing. Katsudon was for Y880 while the rice bowl was Y760.
Now that our stomachs were filled with sustenance (haha!), we went around the area. Most shops had clothes, which of course were expensive. We also saw this Disney store with so many people. Was a bit tempted to buy the Disney character inspired facemasks (Y600) just for the novelty of it but decided against it.
Our last stop was the grocery store at Parco where we bought some breakfast food again. Look at their produce – so perfect (and expensive). I saw a piece of banana for Y100, roughly P50! In Manila, that’s already one whole bunch of about 12 pieces. Haha. No fruits for me here. I guess that’s the only con about Japan. Haha! Our grocery consisted of a liter of peach iced tea (yey peach! Y140), mint milk tea latte (yey mint! Y125), a loaf of white bread (Y135), butter (Y148), a cup of noodles (Y115) and three packs of sandwiches with fillings inside (Y100 each, peanut butter, tuna salad and noodles with egg which I found interesting) for a total of Y1040. I like these sandwiches – 2 per pack – because the crust was cut off and the sides were sealed. I think these were made for kids so they won’t make a mess. The Japanese think of everything!
We then went back home to rest. As I said in my other post, this was a very chillax trip. But since we saw that kimono dress-up rental place nearby, we decided to check it out. Good thing we didn’t skip on this because they were open and able to fit us all, no weight limit! Haha! It’s located at the third floor where you’ll be greeted by a salon. An old lady welcomed us, ushered us downstairs to the second floor and asked us to choose our kimonos. With another assistant, they started to dress us up. We arrived there at around 3:30pm and for the five of us, it took about 30minutes prep time. The outfit was made complete with wooden slippers, a tight belt which would be a bow at the back and bag. I was a bit worried that since we finished dressing at 4pm, we would only have an hour for the photo opt since it stated that rental was only until 5pm. It turns out, we have two hours to wear the kimono! I guess the 5pm is their last call for customers. Our clothes and bags were left with them, which is not worrisome because the Japanese are so honest. The rental fee was Y3000 each for 2 hours.
We had three locations in mind: the nearby park, the canal and along the shopping area with the colorful paraphernalia (I think they’re supposed to be squids? Haha!). So off we went and had our own mini-photo shoot! Hehe.
We were able to go back home, show our outfits to mom and kuya and drag them both out for more photo shooting! Mom is our mama-san. Haha! I highly recommend this for any tourist. It’s a super fun experience and doesn’t even cost an arm and leg!
We decided to eat at this tiny restaurant down a flight of stairs called Cochi Kinsaitei.
We ordered 4 chicken noodles, 1 curry tantanmen noodles and 2 gyoza (total of Y4490). The gyoza was so good! The chicken in the noodles was a bit tough since they used native chicken. The tantanmen was so rich! Can be shared by two people.
This was actually a celebratory dinner for two things (1) mom and aunt’s birthdays and (2) despedida de soltera (bridal shower) for my sister! Bought ate a small bouquet of flowers (Y480) at a nearby flower shop. We even had a symbolic gift ceremony for ate. Hehe.
The family headed back home but since it was early for me, and the fact that I like to spend as much time out as possible when traveling, I told them I’ll walk around first and just go home in an hour or two. Saw a beauty store and ended up buying a green tea peeling gel (Y1296) since they didn’t have the peach one, a 7-piece pack of Lulu face masks on sale (Y324 from Y400+) and one Softymo Make-up Remover Wipes(Y324) since I plan to check out Don Quuixote’s price first before hoarding.
I also saw the famous 100 yen store and wasn’t actually planning on buying anything since I only wanted to buy beauty products and this particular bag I was searching for. But, as they say, you can’t go out of a 100 yen store empty handed. So I ended up buying a cute atomizer and pair of Samurai socks (Y108 each with tax).
On another day, ate bought cute alpacca chair socks & cute bottle cap, also at the 100 yen store.