Japan and Tokyo Guide - Coffee and breakfast

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Last Updated : 02 July 2012

 

 

Intro Japan and Tokyo Tourist Guide
What to pack for your trip and how much to bring

Day 1 - Flight to Narita
Day 2 - Tourist in Tokyo
                - Coffee and breakfast
                - Getting a train ticket
                - Ginza and Akihabara
Day 3 - Tokyo Motor Show
                - The Tokyo Motor Show Pt.1
                - The Tokyo Motor Show Pt.2
Day 4 - Yokohama and Pokemon
Day 5 - Site seeing
                - Kawagoe
                - Odaiba
Day 6 - Hamamatsu
Day 7 - Cars and Motorcycles in Tokyo
                - Tokyo - Transport - Cars
                - Tokyo - Transport - Motorcycles
Day 8 - A day trip to Mt Fuji
Day 9 - A day shopping in Tokyo
Day 10 - Last day in Tokyo

Dependent on the time of the year and city you’re from, Japan is 1-2 hours behind Australia. So I wasn’t surprised to wake up very early. I watched the red sun rise from the hotel window and looked down at the already busy streets. Tokyo extends beyond the horizon layered in a whitish haze as if a never ending city of oddly shaped and largely unique buildings.

Most hotel rooms in Japan are smaller than western counter parts - unless you want to pay lots of cash. Some complain about size but the reality is this: if you’re spending the majority of your time in a hotel room in Japan or any holiday destination for that matter you need a brain transplant. The hotel room is a place to sleep and that’s it really. Room appointments vary according to price naturally. Toilets are mostly computerized things with butt washing and rinsing bidet facilities. They also have self closing lids so don’t be frightened!

My first day in Tokyo was dedicated finding out how to get to the Tokyo Motor Show being held in the Chiba district. I have never been there before. Chiba is a North-west ‘surburb’ of Tokyo – about 30kms by direct line so about 45 Kms from where I was staying. Since I didn’t have much time to research how to get before I arrived I made notes from the website , hopefully that would be enough. The bright spot was that the Show stop was after Tokyo Disney land!

So I departed from the hotel at about 7am, stopping at a local coffee chain. Of all the café franchises in Japan I reckon the Excelsior serves the best and most consistent blend of coffee that said (They only seem to have one! :-) it's no where near the best I’ve tasted. Even the worst blend is superior to the best Starbucks can offer - feel free to disagree but you’re fighting a lost cause because they are just as bad in Australia. Regardless there are plenty of cafes to choose from but none open at this time of day. Regardless of choice they all serve cheap and tasty sandwiches! Price varies from say ¥ 290-500 Yen and so do ingredients. They come in a variety of combinations but are always fresh. There are other bread or wheat based things like pastries you can order so try them all – just not all at once. The offer additional milk type concentrate and something called gum sugar which is a liquid sweetener. Try it.

Apparently coffee and cafe culture was not popular till the 80's and of course the Japanese fascination with French culture.  Prior to this Green tea drinking the the thing to do.  Maybe I didn't noticed but there where not any el fresco cafes.

Another way of getting your morning caffeine fix is to try the local vending machine.  Of course I could have gone to a vending machine for some coffee but I wanted to sit down and ponder over the usual life issues.  See the prior page for more vending machine details.

The other thing you’ll notice is that smokers are catered for in most eating outlets in Japan – most have a smokers area. Even MacDonald’s and KFC. If you don’t like it go somewhere else. The Japanese have the longest life spans on the planet. Must be the Green Tea they have.

So of note was the service you get! These aren’t premium restaurants yet the attention you can receive is worthy of commendation. And you don’t need to tip.
The other thing you’ll notice is that you can leave bags to reserve your seat – unheard off in any other country. Try that in Australia and it would be stolen before you can say what the... They are clearly civilized. You’ll also note the vocal hellos and goodbyes chanted by the staff as you enter or leave in Japanese of course - a novelty for sure. Ordering can be done by pointing at the menus but most staff know the English pronunciation.

 




 




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