Konichiwa (こんにちは), Let’s See & Eat Japan. (Pt.8)
It’s a long way to the top, if you wanna eat it all.
Day 8, Tokyo: Exploring Shinjuku & stopping by quite possibly, the coolest bike store ever; Blue Lug.
BACKGROUND: One of our very few ‘super leisure’ days, we woke up late, ate our meals late, and just took our sweet old time walking the streets of Tokyo.
MEAL: Brunch at Slappy Cakes, Lumine Est, Tokyo. We awoke close to midday and we were once again in a scurry to find another epic brunch spot in Tokyo. We Googled away and our phones ending up landing on a place called ‘Slappy Cakes’.
Slappy Cakes is known for their all-day artery-filling pancake combinations. So yes, naturally, we wanted in on this. My partner in crime ordered the very unique and highly popular ‘Pork Belly Eggs Benedict’. It was rich and decadent. To really give it a fair go, you would have needed to have a completely empty stomach, which given our previous dessert splurge, we did not.
I went for a much more ‘timid’ option; Chocolate Chip with Hazelnut Spread Buttermilk Pancakes. Now that I re-read what I ordered, it was probably just as indulgent as the benedict!
Rating: 3/5 While uniquely American and moorish, the flavours and bread/pancake components themselves did not stand out. We recommend this place if you’ve had a big night out and need a dose of carbohydrates, stat!
DESTINATION: Shinjuku, Tokyo. This is the part where we walked around aimlessly without any urgency pressing into our backs. We spent some time admiring everything that is Japan….
Like this rice cooker for example. Based on the current exchange rates, it is roughly priced at $839 USD. That must be some decent rice being cooked in here. None of that simple white grain stuff, bring in the premium Basmati crop!
Or how about this novelty, oversized Kani (crab) signage? It’s scarily lifelike!
DESTINATION: Blue Lug, Shibuya, Tokyo. Being a little bit more than recreational cyclist, but less than a crazy road rider, Blue Lug was a bucket list destination that HAD to be included in our itinerary. Many praises had been sung about this bike store, so we decided to check it out. To get to Blue Lug, it’s around a 10–15 minute walk from Sasazuka Station on the Keio line. But remember, be sure to take the right train on the Keio line, as some of these trains are super express services which do not stop at Sasazuka Station.
Nowadays most bike stores are equipped with complete bikes. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just how a majority of the consumers like to purchase bicycles- with utter convenience. For the enthusiast and thriving ‘urbanite’, the complete custom fit and build up is what works, and is what Blue Lug’s value proposition lies.
A worldwide known seller of Surly’s, the store carries a wide range of frame sizes, styles, accessories, components and clothing. They also service bikes and coordinate resprays. Now you’re thinking, ‘Where are the carbon bikes? Where are the full suspension mountain bikes? Where’s your selection of Giant or Trek bikes? What is this place?’
If you’re even remotely thinking like the above, this isn’t the time nor place. These guys pride themselves on helping out the humble commuter, the recreational cyclist, the courier as well as the single speeders/hipsters and the traditional roadie. They support both small and large manufacturers, and just taking a look at their cabinets and clothing racks, they stock a good amount of them too. It’s all quality! You’ll find items from Chrome, Panaracer, Swift Industries, DZR, Surly, Kryptonite, Fairweather, Spurcycle and Paul Components (just to name a few).
Rating: 5/5. Believe the hype. This store is out of control! Come in with NO budget, because you WILL walk out with a few unplanned purchases. I would recommend that you save one of your last days in Tokyo to visit Blue Lug so you can load your luggage with some sweet bike stuff- ready for your trip home.