The day before Tsukiji, we had another shopping day. First up was Shibuya, with most of the time spent in Loft, which I always have to go to. Shibuya Loft is probably the biggest and bestest. Another stop was Muji to pick up their super lightweight plastic luggage bags. I like these cos they’re inexpensive, simple, reasonably well designed and they come in a bright red/orange. I got a 72L and the girl got the matching carryon. I also accidentally buy this 3/4 sleeve oxford that I end up liking a lot. I’m a sleeve folder/roller so a 3/4 sleeve shirt eliminates the need to fold/roll. So convenient but chic in that Muji post organic future zen way. Lunch turned out to be udon with tempura. It’s like one of those canteen type places where you can feed yourself for less than 500Y. In Sydney, there’s Mappen and Oiden in the city which is exactly the same, just pricier. In Tokyo, this is one of the cheapest meals you can get if you restrict the amount of sides and just get the big noodles, which is pretty generous. Also, another cool thing is the guy rolls and cuts your udon on a machine to order before it’s cooked for a meal that costs AUD6.50 or so and each portion is even weighed out exactly.

After Shibuya, we hit up Ginza kop shit at g.u and Uniqlo, walk into the LV store and a variety of shopping centers before we end up in Harajuku again. In Harajuku, we stop by a few streetwear joints, the Headporter shop and the awesome Nike store that has 2 floors full of the latest gear. There’s this massive hanging display over the staircase leading upstairs made out of shoes in Nike swoosh like a school of fish. Then there’s the Nike ID section and a good stock of NSW shit. I didn’t see any Gyakusou stuff, which is really what I was hunting for the most. Really liked a teal colored backpack though. I think Nike’s really doing good things at the moment. The idea is to keep walking until dinnertime towards Omotesando so I purposely walk past White Mountaineering just for a peep. There’s no visible logo except the front facade is done up with like bent metal in the shape of WM. Since the letters kinda segue into each other, it’s really subtle. The interior is pretty cool too.

Dinner is at Maisen, a famous tonkatsu chain and the Omotensando store is the mainstore. There’s lighted signs to show you how to get there from the main street! I start feeling like maybe this place is gonna be too touristy and shit. The building itself is massive for a restaurant in Tokyo where most places tend to be tiny. We wait about 15 minutes or so and get our seats. We got lucky because they offered counter seating to like the 10/15 people before us and they all wanted inside seating. Fools. Counter gets the show! We peep at the guys behind the pass, resting pieces of freshly fried pork and admire the cleanliness and efficiency.

Maisen offers 5 types of pork for their tonkatsu and you can pick the fillet or the loin for each, loin being the fattier/better choice. Tokyo X is the most interesting because it’s a pig breed born and raised within the Tokyo city limits so quantities are extremely limited, like 4 loin pieces a day. It’s gone obviously. My next pick was this branded kurobuta at 4990Y but it too was sold out. So I go for the 3990Y regular kurobuta and my gf gets the 2990Y red pork. For mine, I also get a special sauce but they already provide you with two sauces, one thick and one thin. My sauce is closer to the thin one and tastes slightly more acidic and it’s filled with tiny chunks of radish. They also give you a pile of stinky radish before you even start anything. I don’t really like eating it by itself but some people do.

You also get a massive pile of cabbage that had me wondering if it was a machine or a poor sod that had to do all that. It goes great with the thinner sauce. The thick sauce is best with the pork, which is pretty awesome. My kurobuta is fatty and delish. The crumbs are extra crunchy and it makes the meat feel like it’s not even there. I ate one piece differently, crumbs first and then meat. That way sucks. The meat feels like steamed pork and you can feel the bite but when you do the slice in its entirety, it transforms into magic. It’s one of those things where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. You also get clammy miso soup and some pickles plus rice but the star has to be the pork. The red pork isn’t as tender or fatty as the kurobuta but it’s got a distinct, porkier flavour which, I think I prefer more. Dessert is a little bit of orange sorbet, which ends things nice and bright.

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