Japan 2017: Shinjuku Gyoen, Halal Ramen Ouka

The cherry blossoms had gotten their groove on when Scott and I visited Shinjuku Gyoen. We were super lucky to have been there for the blooms!

Shinjuku Gyoen has an entry fee of ¥200 (~SGD $2) per person. Entrance comes with a map to explore this huge area.
Everyone knew about the sakura blooms at this park, so it was quite crowded! We had to join a small queue when we arrived at 1pm, and queues to enter were even longer when we left the park at about 2.30pm. Luckily, the fields were large enough to comfortably accommodate people who’d set up picnic mats for lunch.
Here’s a 13mb animated gif of the precious few magical times when we were thrust into an anime-like scene with sakura petals being blown in the wind! ANIME WAS DEFINITELY NO EXAGGERATION.
This cup of sweet wine (Amazake) from a stall in the park cost ¥300 (~ SGD $3).
This is the only image I doctored to get rid of all the people in the background! I tried. Vacations are an opportunity for me to experiment with some crazy outfit combinations, so I drew a bit of attention when taking this photo. In fact, a couple of tourists wound up taking photos of me with varying degrees of acknowledgements. Hopefully these photos don’t wind up on some website ridiculing me, but even if I do, I think it’d be pretty funny to read people’s reactions anyway. Wearing CNDirect dress, Gamiss floral bra, Shein floral skirt, Rocket x Lunch reversible bomber jacket, We Love Colors knee socks, Topman Tea-rex socks, Paper Planes shoes. Photo assist: Scott.
Here’s one in which Scott had carefully angled himself to take a shot without people in the background. I think he’s becoming a better photographer than I am… Photo by: Scott.
Naad recommended this halal ramen place, Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka, run by the sweetest muslim ladies ever! This hole-in-the-wall had not yet opened, and so Scott and I chilled for a bit at a nearby playground. We barely got to be the first few people who were let in due to limited seating! A couple of caucasian guys working IT in Japan originally tried to be ignorant to the fact that Scott and I arrived before them and had been waiting outside the store about half an hour before it was due to open, just so they could edge in as the first batch of customers instead of having to wait outside as the second batch. I’d totally have been bullied by them if not for the fact that Scott firmly stood up for us and called them out on their bullshit. One of those times when I’m thankful for his lack of qualms against being confrontational.
Anyway it turned out that there was just enough space to let these two guys in, and they sat right next to us. We tried not to let this experience sour our tasty ramen experience though!
Here’s a how-to! We both got the ‘Halal Ramen’ for ¥1100 (~ SGD $11). Also, I’m still not sure what an ‘Epsuma’ is…
We were later served a small bowl of rice to enjoy the dregs of our tasty fish broth. I’d love to go back the next time I visit Shinjuku~
Scott got himself a seasonal bottle of Coca Cola for ¥400 (~ SGD $4)! Pretty expensive but so pretty~