Drinking in Japan: The HUB

ImageI never really drank before I went to Japan because I just never really thought it was something I would do, but living in a foreign country can change that for a person!! I wanted to recommend one of my favorite drinking spots for you guys. It’s called, “The HUB”.

The Hub, from 4-7pm (weekdays), has something very amazing called, “Happy Hour”.  Drinks during that time cost from $3-$5 and even more I believe. But that only depends on what you’re getting. The price is higher for drinks, but it all depends on what you buy.

The style of the HUB is like a pub. It really does have a foreign feel to it. There’s sports on the teli, the whole place is covered in dark wood, flags of different counties, flags and posters of sport teams, and the music is usually varied in different genres. It’s a really chill vibe you get from this place and it’s a great place to hang with friends on a Friday after a test, on the weekend, and with coworkers.

I love the HUB and I totally recommend it. It’s like everywhere, especially in Tokyo: Shibuya, Shinjuku, you name it!! Oh and they have delicious food!!! 

Tips on how to save money while in Japan

I said most of what I needed to say about my cousin’s stay in Japan I believe. Now on to little things here and there about her stay that I feel I need to tell you about.

TIPS# 1

Tips about trying to say money whiling traveling Japan: FOOD!!!!

So when you’re in Japan, other than the fact that EVERYTHING is expensive, depending on the country you’re from, there is a way to save money during your time there.

The first step is food. Food is one of the best ways to learn about a country’s culture and one of the greatest ways to feel happy. I mean it’s true right?? You get depressed, you eat. You’re boyfriend/ girlfriend cooks you this amazing breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you eat. You’re hungry, you eat. And comes after the first bite?? This burst of Happiness from eating something sooo delicious!! Yes, now to save money on food. You’re going to have to choose at what time of day did you want to eat out at a restaurant: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Alternating? Well once you decide that, you have two times of day where you’re to have to eat elsewhere.

Places I recommend:

#1 100 Yen Shop

The “hyaku en shappu” (Japanese pronunciation for the store) you can find breakfast food, lunch food, and diner food and other random things for only 105 yen. This is equivalent to 1.34 US dollars. Yah I know, the price changes once you enter inside lol. I guess you can compare this to the 99 Cents Store within the states. It’s very convenient prices for when you’re traveling or when you are living in Japan, doing study abroad, teaching and stuff. The 100 yen shop was the go to store when I was at the International Christian Univerisity. It was right down the street. I also continuously used this store when I was traveling Kansai and staying in Asakusa.

#2 Conbini (Convenience store)

Conbini’s in Japan range from 7 Eleven to Family Mart to Sunkus to DailyMart to other shops, but these are the main ones. It’s there that you can pick up cheap food, and not just warm-up sh*t. My cousin and I always stopped by 7 eleven to pick up an onigiri, rice ball, for breakfast. It’s quick to eat and filling-ish lol. Also onigiri’s usually have some sort of surprise in the middle, for example, tuna. We always got the tuna onigiri. The prices range from 105- less than 300 yen. It really all depends on what’s inside. ^^

#3 Fast Food

Fast food may not be the healthiest choice, but it does save money. I can’t really speak for many places for being low [rices, but I will mention the places I have gone that had a menu similar to the states “1 Dollar Menu”. First off is McDonalds. This do have a 10o yen menu, but I think the 120 yen menu is way better. The breakfast menu for those two prices are good too. Second is Lotteria. I LOVE Lotteria. I usually got some sort of pie, or the ebi (shrimp) burger. It was sooo delicious. My absolute fav!!

#4 Side shops/ restaurants that don’t look too fancy

Let me tell you, I didn’t have to go to some top notch restaurant to get some authentic Japanese food. There are splenty of not-so-top-notch looking restaurants that see amazing Japanese food like udon, ramen, katsudon, and many more. You just have to look around. I prmise you will find something good, filling, and cheap to eat!!

PLACES TO CHECK OUT: These are chain restaurants (SUPER CHEAP) throughout Tokyo, and probably Japan that I recommend.

Matsuya, Sukiya, Yoshinoya: These are two different chains, but they sell practically the same types of foods. (i.e.beef bowls)

Gusto: This restaurant is a 24hr restaurant. They have something called, “drink bar,” where you can have access to all non-alcohalic drinks, limitless time, for like 4 bucks. It’s a good place to study!! The also have pretty cheap meals too. Check it out!!

The Cousin in Japan Part 6: Tokyo Tower

My cousin told me that one of her favorite places was Tokyo Tower. We went there at night and it was pretty crowded but not that crowded. It was a good crowded lol. It was about $25 dollars American money in total to go to the main observation deck and also the highest deck and when you get up there the view is amazing. Although it was at night, I really enjoyed it, I’m not going to lie. We were kind of out of it because we both caught a small cold but we had a good time.

We had to wait about 45 minutes until our number showed up on the screen to be able to go to the highest observation deck, but during that time there is much to do. Well, not much but a good amount. There was a DJ playing there and they were also chatting and stuff. The music they were playing was all in Japanese and it was some weird techno-kiddy stuff so it wasn’t to my liking. I mean, I do like Japanese music but the stuff they were playing was blah….

But don’t worry there, there’s views to see and a restaurant to eat at. OMG, I don’t know if it was because we went there on an empty tummy, but the sandwiches they served there was BOMB.COM. No lie yo. We also treated ourselves to some ice cream for dessert.

FUNNY STORY: After our numbers were called to go to the highest observatory, we up went up and hand to wait in line to go up in this elevator that takes you there. We got up to the front of line but the worker-lady  stops us right at the front and let’s that elevator go up. I said to Nyambura, “What if when the next elevator comes down she only puts us on then let’s us go up by ourselves?” Bwahahahaha!! It was so funny. We were like the only black people in there so people kept staring at us and from the stereotypes of black people that the Japanese have of us, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people were scared. Thus, if they did shut the elevator after only letting us in, it would have been messed up. Of course I was just joking but we were cracking up about it sooo much. Ahhhh Good times :]

The Cousin in Japan Part 5: Sakura and Ginza

Even though most of the palace grounds were closed when she came, I think something that needs to be highly highlighted during our time there was the cherry blossoms. In Japanese they call it “sakura”, which means “cherry blossoms”. The sakura in Japan bloom at different times depending on where one is in Japan and when my cousin was visiting, not many of them were blooming, but the one’s in the palace were beautiful.

I think we ended up going to Ginza that day, which is like the Beverly Hills of Tokyo. There’s nothing but expensive shops and expensive looking folks, walking around in their business suits and brand named clothing, Coach and Prada bags. Man…every time I went to that city I felt poor. But people, people, people, money isn’t everything. Believe me. AND IF you make it everything you are only setting yourself up for unhappiness.  That’s just my opinion though. ;]

Because it was colder than the North Pole we ended up just going to McDonalds and staying there for the whole time. So basically we went all the way to Ginza to relax in McDonalds. It was a waste of money but we had a lot of good laughs, which in the end is way more important than any amount of money.