Friday, August 14, 2015

Pat and Ray visit Tokyo (2-9 Aug 2015) Part I

2 Aug 2015

We left our Singapore apartment at 4:50 AM to head to Changi Airport for our 6:50 AM flight to Tokyo. The flight was uneventful, as one always hopes. We landed at Narita (NRT) at about 2:30 PM.

The line to get through Immigration was horrendous. Probably the longest delay we ever experienced in our many travels - room was hot and humid and it took over an hour to get through and there was no apparent reason for it. Fortunately, picking up our luggage and getting through Customs was easy and fast.

Once outside Customs, we looked for, and found, a Citibank ATM. Then it was off to arrange transportation into Tokyo (the airport is about 50 miles outside of the city). We took the Narita Express train to Tokyo Station, where we took the Marunouchi Line (subway) to Akasaka-mitsuke Station.

Pat enjoying the Narita Express into Tokyo.
Great views of the rice paddies along the tracks.

Trying to get a ticket for the subway was a challenge, but we were aided by a friendly gentleman who showed us what to do. After that buying subway tickets was a breeze - we even stopped clicking on the English language button.

Arriving at the Akasaka-mitsuke Station, we exited to the main street, Sotobori-dori (love how that sounds). Looking across the street we saw our hotel - the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu - how convenient! Also saw a sign in same building as the hotel for the Beer Kitchen - looks like we found a place to stop after checking in.

Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

Location of our hotel

Our first dinner in Tokyo was at the Beer Kitchen. Oh, so good!

Taps at Beer Kitchen

Yona Yona Real Ale

Hare no Hi Sennin

Very rich broth for the noodles. Much more attractive than this photo shows. And really yummy.

Pork skewer with a tasty sauce

Here are some of the notes about these beer, taken and modified from the beer menu:
  • Yona Yona Real Ale - unfiltered rich aroma and uncarbonated direct malt flavor. This hand-pumped ale shows bubbles to create a creamy head. 5.5% ALC and 36.5 IBU. Ray started off with this one.

  • Yona Yona Ale - Fragrant aroma and rich flavor. Our flagship ale. Golden amber color, fragrant citrus-like flavor of premium cascade hops, and well-balanced bitterness and sweetness. 5.5% ALC and 36.5 IBU. This was Pat's first choice and all time favorite.

  • Hare no Hi Sennin - Rich and mellow. Over 1/2 a year maturation makes this ale high-alcohol like wine. Strong in body, bitterness and sweetness. Recommended to emjoy relaxed using a wine glass or brandy glass. 8.5 % ALC and 68 IBU. Ray's second choice came in a brandy snifter to hold all that 8.5% ALCs in.

  • Zenryaku Konomi Nante Kiitenaize SORRY - Striking aroma of Yazu, unleashed with coarse salt. A session ale of serendipitous combination. The bursting aroma of salted Yazu and 2 different aroma hops (Cascade and Styrian Goldings) creates an unprecedented unique flavor. 4% ALC and 13 IBU. Pat tried this one after her bowl of yummy noodles.