Today we explored an area known as Omotesandō which is known for various fashion houses along the street which are all designed by very well known international architects. We started on one end of the street which also the location of the Nezu Museum which is the private collection of pre-modern Japanese and Chinese art work from the railroad tycoon Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940). The museum is located on the grounds of the estate which has an expansive Japanese garden, while the main building is designed by Kengo Kuma + Associates as the original exhibition spaces were destroyed by bombings during the war (the artwork was stored out of Tokyo during the war).
We also took a detour off the main street to go to the SunnyHills bakery which specializes in a pineapple cake from Taiwan. The building was also designed by Kengo Kuma + Associates which utilizes a wood joinery technique similar to which I will be learning about later on during the school program in Hida which does not use nails or glue to interlock a lattice of wood.
We grabbed Tonkatsu for lunch, a style of deep fried pork cutlet, and continued up to the end of Omotesandō we walked past Yoyogi National Gymnasium (in Yoyogi park) to catch the subway to head towards the National Garden. However by the time we reached the National Garden it was closing, which we were not aware that it had such early closed gates (their is a fee to enter the park). However we were not at the other end of Yoyogi park so we opted to head into the park and visit the Meiji Shrine. The park was equally amazing with very old trees and you very quickly lost sense of being within the city.
We returned home to change as Nicole booked a dinner reservation at Higashi-Yama, a modern Japanese restaurant with a set menu. Before arriving we went up to the O-path (Meguro Sky Garden) an elevated park which was built as the cover to a highway intersection. The dinner we did the three course meal (as it was the cheapest -- but still a very expensive meal for a student!). The starter was Fig and bacon (super thinly sliced it was almost transparent - yet so much flavour) salad with balsamic dressing. First course was seasonal tempura which included a very small fish entirely deep fried - Nicole was too freaked out to try, which I was nervous at first as you can see its head! However it was surprisingly soft to bite. And third course was a type of beef dish (I could not seem to find this particular dish on their online menu) that was very tender that you can pull it apart easily with chopsticks. For desert I did some kind of Jelly while Nicole had a matcha coconut dish. Afterwords we finally did Shibuya Crossing (which is just near the subway station we usually get off at and catch the bus from to our AirBnB) - the famous scramble crossing in which seemingly hundreds if not thousands of people are crossing the street at once. The second-floor Starbucks (which we did not go up to) is supposedly the busiest of all their stores.