Go to only ONE place. Don’t be greedy and think you can conquer half of Tokyo. Focus on one place. In a recent work trip, I have about two hours to walk around Tokyo before my flight home. The place I chose was Isetan at Shinjuku.
Isetan food hall is legendary. Each time I step into the food hall, I am always overwhelmed by the numbers of stalls, the food choices, and so many new things to see which send my head spinning. And the folks at the food hall are super friendly and generous. There was a lady giving out S$80 melon sample. I rejected the sample as I have no intention to buy but she insisted that I try. The melon was of course delicious, and she didn’t push me to buy it. She just continued giving out sample to the rest of the shoppers.
And the fruit lady was not the last to shove samples in my face. There were so many things to see and so many people asking you to try their food. There were crackers, Japanese sweets and chocolates that you can buy, and they were all beautifully package–great as gifts. There were cooked food–croquettes (totally regret not buying one before I left), bento sets, tempura and I can go on and on.
While I was in Tokyo, it was summer and momo (peach) season. I was told one momo would cost around ¥400-¥800 (S$4.50-S$9). I was luck out–Isetan was having sales and I managed to get a tray of four peaches at ¥1,000 (S$12)! I also grabbed a tray of figs (S$8) which looked plump and irresistible. The cashier at Isetan was really thoughtful–he bubble-wrapped the peaches and figs, and placed them carefully in the paper bag (and I did not even tell him I am bringing them on a flight).
After the mini fruity shopping spree, I hopped off to my last stop – Sadaharu Aoki to pick up some pastries. With all the deliciousness in my bag, I very reluctantly left the food hall and made my way to the airport.
Isetan Shinjuku (website is in Japanese)
3-14-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku,